Wow! Last week was something. Thousands of people stood up against the tremendous divide between the rich and the poor in this city and voiced their opposition to policies that reinforce a system of inequality in which our middle and working class families work more and more in order to have less and less.
And, as expected, the study that the Bloomberg administration requested on the Living Wage said exactly what Bloomberg wanted to hear: that requiring developers who receive taxpayer subsidies to pay a living wage would hurt employment in New York City. While the full study won’t even be released until this summer, the EDC couldn’t wait to try to sabotage the Council hearing and cast doubt on legislation that thousands of New Yorkers support so it released the executive summary. No independent and objective piece of research would ever be released this way.
We think the study was a waste of time and taxpayer money. The way in which the study (which cost a hefty$1 million of taxpayer dollars) was released proved that the administration is only interested in playing an expensive political game. EDC has now started working in collusion with a misleadingly named group called “Putting New Yorkers to Work” that will be working to kill the living wage bill. It is not a coincidence that the EDC’s spin includes the same talking points that this front group is spouting. The Bloomberg Administration has openly opposed wage standards—including the minimum wage—for quite some time, and now they expect us to accept an embarrassing propaganda document and the testimony of a corporate front group.
A national team of economists and development experts finds that the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s study of the living wage bill currently before the City Council is fraught with errors that render its findings fundamentally flawed. You can read the short version of the analysis here and the full assessment here.
Last week was inspiring, but now the real fight is on.