The Tale Of Two New Yorks Needs To Come To An End

A new report from the Empire Center illustrates the complete lack of economic progress Upstate New York has experienced over the past decade, while New York City has enjoyed far greater prosperity thanks to a downstate-driven agenda from Gov. Cuomo.
According to the report, Upstate New York’s economy added only 6.3 percent more jobs since 2010, which is one of the worst rates in the nation. To contrast, downstate, largely driven by gains in the city, grew by 21.2 percent. Of the 1.1 million private-sector jobs added since 2010, 88 percent of them were in the New York City, Lower Hudson Valley and Long Island regions. The lone borough of Brooklyn produced more than 50,000 more jobs than all of Upstate, a simply astonishing figure.
The most troubling part about these statistics is Gov. Cuomo’s blatant denial of this reality. His misguided perspective, or simple lack of concern, is precisely why this problem has not gone away. Many regions of New York State are still reeling from the recession a full decade ago, yet the governor has simply failed to give Upstate New York the tools it needs to thrive.
The reasons for Upstate New York’s failure to grow can scarcely fit into a single column; miserably failing infrastructure, outrageous taxes made worse by a fleeing base, a lack of representation thanks to the governor’s three-men-in-a-room governing style, onerous regulations, corrupt economic development programs, and the list goes on and on. The governor’s official excuse, though, that people are leaving New York because of the weather, is laughable.
Until he is willing to face this problem head on, New Yorkers will continue to be crushed by his lack of meaningful action. The Assembly Minority Conference has been banging the drum year-after-year calling for lower taxes, economic development programs that actually create jobs and equitable treatment for the millions of New Yorkers who don’t live in Cuomo’s backyard.
The Tale of Two New Yorks needs to come to an end. There is simply no excuse for Upstate New York to languish the way it has during his administration. It has too many natural and human resources—too much potential—for this degree of economic stagnation. It is well past time for Upstate New York to join the rest of the state, and the nation, in creating jobs and growing its economy. Millions of New Yorkers are depending on it.
What do you think?  I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.


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