Opinion: Why rural Georgia shouldn’t be in a New York state of mind

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces yet another bid to boost upstate New York, this time concerning Medicaid, March 1. (AP Photo / Kathy Willens)

The economic stagnation in rural Georgia has drawn increased attention during this year’s legislative session, and a few measures mostly related to hospitals and health care are still on the table for the General Assembly’s final two days. The most prominent move regarding rural Georgia came from Speaker David Ralston, who launched a two-year initiative to study its problems, talk with its residents and leaders, and propose solutions. But he pointedly said the idea was not for government to “create jobs.”

The wisdom of that stance has been borne out — in the negative — in New York. There, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has plowed some $25 billion (the equivalent of one year’s entire state spending in Georgia) into the upstate region, with paltry results. The Investigative Post, in a project with ProPublica and Columbia University, found all that spending still left upstate New York far behind almost every state in the union:

“Employment upstate has grown by only 2.7 percent during Cuomo’s tenure — compared with 13.1 percent downstate and 11 percent nationally. Four of upstate’s 12 major metropolitan areas have actually lost jobs since Cuomo took office.

“If it were a state, upstate’s job growth would rank fourth-worst in the nation, below, among others, Mississippi.

“What’s more, 88 percent of the net jobs added upstate during the Cuomo years have been in low-wage sectors, led by restaurants and bars, employment data shows.”

That’s a pretty damning result after spending that kind of money, and it shouldn’t only affect Cuomo’s designs on being the Democratic nominee in 2020. It’s a cautionary tale for anyone in Georgia who does get the notion that government spending can fix what ails our rural neighbors. But not just spending; from the report on New York:

“The sheer number of subsidy programs helps explain New York’s largesse.

“There are property and sales tax abatements. Discounted power programs. Cash grants. State budget allocations to build and equip facilities for companies. And a growing number of state tax credits.

“The Tax Reform and Fairness Commission empaneled by Cuomo reported that the number of state tax credit programs had grown from nine in 1994 to 50 in 2013, the year it issued its report.

“Relatively few companies reap most of the benefits from these programs.

“‘A small number of taxpayers account for the vast majority of tax credits claimed,’ the commission reported.

“A report issued about the same time by ALIGN, an economic justice research and advocacy organization, found that only 4 percent of businesses across New York receive subsidies, and that many recipients are large, out-of-state corporations. ALIGN noted, for example, 14 separate subsidy deals for Target stores and warehouses. Walmart was another frequent recipient.”

Some of that might sound more familiar around here. This year, Georgia’s legislators have sought to make many more tax abatements and tax credits available, many of them with the expressed purpose of shoring up rural Georgia. There are instances where tax credits work, but as a general rule it’s better to place a low, simple tax burden across all rather than trying to stimulate economic activity by favoring a select few.

If that’s the direction the people working on Ralston’s initiative look to find answers for rural Georgia, the results probably won’t be any better than they were in the Empire State of the North.

Reader Comments 0

141 comments
AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 A former top Obama administration official has acknowledged efforts by her colleagues to gather intelligence on Trump team ties to Russia before Donald Trump took office and to conceal the sources of that intelligence from the incoming administration.


“I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill, it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration,” Farkas, who is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said. 

“Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left, so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy ... that the Trump folks – if they found out how we knew what we knew about their ... the Trump staff dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence.” 


Any questions?

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@AndyManUSA#45


Her efforts were "urging my former colleagues". Man. that's weak. But whatever Andy boy. Check that microwave before putting your food in there. Obama may lace your food with God knows what.

ATLAquarius
ATLAquarius

But their donors won't be happy....and that is really all that there is to it...don't be naive that party matters more than who's handing you campaign contributions. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 If there's no evidence uncovered by now there isn't any.


I wonder if you said that after the 6th Benghazi hearing clearing Clinton. Or the 8th ? Or the 11th ?

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

The most obvious wrong decision for the economy of rural Georgia was Deal's refusal to accept the $billions for the Medicaid expansion.  (A decision based on racism because of Obama's leadership, and not on straightforward Econ 1A teaching.)

breckenridge
breckenridge

This country, I do believe, would be better off if there were more people like me - direct, brusque, not afraid to offend.  Because an army of us would be out there, walking up to the 33% of Americans that are obese and saying, "Listen here you fat tub of goo. You fatsos are the reason my health insurance premiums have been going up for 30 years.  Now get off your fat lazy duff, stop stuffing deserts in your mouth, get out there you fat pig and shed those disgusting pounds.  And I'm not going to listen to you 'boo-hoo I can't help it' crap so don't even start."


Yep, pour it on, day after day, every day.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@breckenridge


Although you bring some truth, people will not change and become more resentful towards your message. 


Telling it like it is sometimes benefits the messenger more then the message.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@McGarnagle @breckenridge 

Well there is some good news - the obesity rate for Americans over the age of 70 is quite low.  That's because the obese are all dead and gone by that age.

I'm only trying to help them live a long life.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@SGTGrit @breckenridge 

Why do I need to bring my Glock?  My only fear would be that they sit on me.  But they're far too damn slow for that.

McDonald's? Scorched earth policy, along with Burger King etc.  Burn 'em all to the ground.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@breckenridge @SGTGrit  I'll have a Burger King whopper maybe once a year when I'm on the road. Waffle House every now and then too.

independentiii
independentiii

@breckenridge yeah, that's the American way - intimidate people you don't like.  I think you would be called a bully. (in clean terms).

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@breckenridge @McGarnagle


Sounds you just like feeling superior over obese folks by telling them how fat they are. And you are fooling yourself into thinking you are just trying to help. You want to help, encourage them to do right rather then pointing out how they are doing wrong.

Starik
Starik

@Ralph-43 @breckenridge Brusque? Not afraid to offend? Try this discussion on: In the 1960s opponents said racial integration would destroy public schools. Has it? Discuss.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

The problems plaguing rural GA and probably most of rural america is more circumstantial than the system breaking down on them. Technology and businesses are pushing more towards automation and so a certain generation is getting left behind. Education and job training to me are the big initiatives that need to get push. Hopefully to Ralston those don't sound like liberal socialism ideas rather the tools to rural areas help themselves. 


http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/03/27/automation-port-terminals-threatens-thousands-lucrative-dock-worker-jobs.html

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Obama's rule changes opened door for NSA intercepts of Americans to reach political hands


 “There may be very good reasons for some political appointees to need access to a non-minimized intelligence reporting but we don’t know and given the breadth of unmasked sharing that went on, there is the strong possibility of abusive or excessive access that harmed Americans’ privacy,” said an intel source familiar with the data. Added another: “Wholesale access to unmasked incidental NSA intercepts essentially created the potential for spying on Americans overseas after the fact, which is exactly what our foreign intelligence arms are not supposed to be doing.”


Jail time.


http://circa.com/politics/barack-obama-changed-how-nsa-intercepts-of-americans-like-donald-trump-could-be-shared

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Resist Trump @AndyManUSA#45 If the evidence is substantial and was legally obtained, ahahahahahahahaha.


Why are you not in favor of Constitutional protections for all US citizens?

Resist Trump
Resist Trump

@AndyManUSA#45

Why do you think Don isn't open to an independent investigation? If he's innocent, what's there to hide?

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

If collusion with the Russians is such a grave danger to our country, why are the clinton's not subjects of an investigation?



Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 chris matthews voted yes for the Iraq War.


My god the stupidity.



AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Hedley_Lammar Okay, chris matthews thinks uday and qusay were just wonderful people who should have remained in power.


Revision; chris matthews votes yes on Jared and Ivanka's White House employment.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

We have to have an independent counsel now and we will. Its just a matter of when.


1. Our intelligence community has overwhelmingly concluded that Russia interfered in our election. This is what we are being told. Possibly to damage an HRC Presidency. Possibly to help Trump. We must have an investigation to determine if this is indeed fact. Who? What? When? Why? Where? Did Trump collude with the Russians and gain assistance in the past election ?


2. If the Russians did not interfere in our elections why were our intelligence agencies so off the mark again 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Hedley_Lammar  You're beating a dead horse. First of all the Russians attempted to interfere with our election no evidence that they succeeded. There was no evidence uncovered that Trump colluded with the Russians. Get over it your dreams of impeachment have been dashed by reality.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@SGTGrit @Hedley_Lammar You're beating a dead horse. First of all the Russians attempted to interfere with our election no evidence that they succeeded.


We haven't answered that yet.


 There was no evidence uncovered that Trump colluded with the Russians.


We dont know yet.


Get over it your dreams of impeachment have been dashed by reality.


I dont dream of impeachment. It would be awful for this country. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Hedley_Lammar @SGTGrit  If there's no evidence uncovered by now there isn't any. Comey, is only hanging on to his job because he knows that if he formerly closed the investigation he's fired. This issue is out of the publics mind.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

WASHINGTON — The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee rebuffed calls on Tuesday to recuse himself from the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election, as Democrats accused him of stalling the inquiry by canceling the committee’s meetings.


As well he should shut down the investigation. Last time I looked, the Constitution of the United States protects it's citizens from unreasonable search and seizure, can we not agree on this much?


All the "evidence" this committee has compiled to date was illegally obtained. This means that the whole thing should be tossed. 


Thank you, Devin.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews compared President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's infamous children.

Discussing his apprehension at the prospect of Kushner and Ms. Trump working for the president in visible administration positions, he recalled how Uday and Qusay Hussein were also close with their father's regime.


Considering that the troggies would love to depose Jared and Ivanka, does this now mean they consider the war in Iraq to be legitimate?

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Hedley_Lammar @AndyManUSA#45


1) uday and qusay were deposed along with their father.


2) Do you not want to depose President Trump?


3) You are the one who cannot back up your own emails, is it surprising you cannot make this connection?


chris matthews voted yes for the Iraq War.


Deal with it.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@AndyManUSA#45 MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews compared President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's infamous children.


Its the same kind of nepotism yes.


It would be like if Hillary won and she made Chelsea Secretary of State. Which i'm sure you would have been fine with.


Considering that the troggies would love to depose Jared and Ivanka, does this now mean they consider the war in Iraq to be legitimate?


You understand that nobody here can follow your logic. Im serious, are you on a computer inside a mental institution ?