You’ve seen Andrew Cuomo’s TV commercials, the ones that say, “The new New York is open. Open to innovation. Open to ambition. Open to bold ideas.” The spot is promoting the Start-Up NY program.
Now the results are starting to come in: 76 jobs so far.
In the entire state. From a program that has spent $28 million advertising its own existence.
That’s $368,000 per job.
Start-Up NY sounds great on its face. It’s a tax cut. Who could argue with that? The problem is that it’s a very, very narrow tax cut. It’s only for certain kinds of businesses that do certain kinds of things in certain areas of the state. Surprise: It’s had very narrow effects.
It’s a classic example of how politicians have an irrepressible urge to tinker, to steer, to organize. Tech jobs in university towns are great, but they aren’t defining the New York economy. Start-Up NY’s professed goal? Creating 2,100 jobs. Over five years. Points for modesty.
In a state in which there are 7,775,000 jobs, that’s projected job growth of 0.005% a year. Touting this as “economic development” is like saying you’re going to fight hunger in India by sending Mumbai one box of Minute Rice.