Manhattan Institute

Corruption and “Economic Development” in New York State

E.J. McMahon and Seth Barron discuss recent corruption cases in New York and how the state government in Albany is attempting to revitalize struggling areas with “economic-development” programs.

Last month, Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo, was found guilty on corruption charges for accepting more than $300,000 in bribes from two companies. Percoco’s conviction reinforces the perception that New York politics operates on a “pay-to-play” model.

Allegations of bid-rigging and other corrupt practices have dogged Albany ever since Governor Cuomo launched his signature economic-development plan, which provides subsidies to private firms to operate businesses in the state. Despite these efforts, New York continues to lose residents to other states every year.

Edmund J. McMahon is founder and research director of the Empire Center for Public Policy, based in Albany. Follow him on Twitter @EjmEj.

More from Manhattan Institute

Manhattan Institute3 min read
If You Improve It, They Will Come
Several Midwest cities are pursuing innovative mass-transit plans—with encouraging results.
Manhattan Institute3 min readPolitics
The Redistribution and Regulation Party
During a recent visit to Toledo, Ohio, to speak at a local school, I saw remarkable signs of an improving economy in this Rust Belt city. My taxi driver from the airport boasted that he could leave his position tomorrow and have his pick of other job
Manhattan Institute4 min readPolitics
For-Hire Backfire
California’s new regulation on Uber and Lyft risks harming a huge segment of the economy—and misses a chance to define a new category of worker.