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A few days after the New York Times published a blockbuster investigation on corporate subsidies and their dubious benefits, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $50 million investment in a company, Albany Molecular Research, Inc., bringing 250 jobs to Buffalo.

That’s $200,000 per job. The state will pay for $35 million in new equipment and $15 million in lab space. All of this will benefit a private company.

AMRI has lost money for three straight years. It’s cut jobs and reduced facilities. Aside from the question of whether government should be in the business of providing such large subsidies, this a very clear roll of the dice.

“At first glance, this is not a stock I would recommend to a client,” said Brighton Securities President George Conboy.

Cuomo has promised Buffalo $1 billion in economic development money. We’ll likely see more of these announcements. Meanwhile, other regions and companies of the state have to compete for grants. This is government picking winners and losers.

In Buffalo, the state better hope it picked a winner. There are no guarantees.

Links of the Day:

– Zip lines, horseback riding, rock climbing coming to downtown Niagara Falls?

– Dubbed “Skleinos” by Albany media, new state senate leadership structure is mocked by the New York Post as “banana republic buffoonery.”

“We relentlessly build communities that aren’t safe to walk in.”

– Unionizing workers at the bottom of the pay scale will be difficult. But the alternative to raising wages is building a government safety net to help low wage workers survive.

– Drivers no longer respect funeral processions.

3 Responses to Buffalo’s Billion Trickles Out

  1. Regarding ““We relentlessly build communities that aren’t safe to walk in.” – as a long-time cyclist, it amazes me how often absolutely no consideration is given to people who travel via any means other than motor vehicle.

    Case in point: I was visiting Edison, NJ on business last week. My hotel was surrounded by various restaurants that should have been a two or three minute walk away. They were impossible to walk to because the highway was four lanes separated by concrete barriers without gaps. I couldn’t even get to the ones on my side of the highway because of fences, hedges, etc between the properties. Stepping out into the roadway to get around them would have been literally taking my life into my hands because there were no shoulders and cars were zipping by at 70MPH.

    And so I had to hop in my car and drive two miles ( because of the barriers and one-way streets ) to get to a restaurant I could see across the street from my hotel window.

  2. I’ve heard of government subsidies but $50 mil for a company that has had cuts and losses the last 3 years sounds ludacris to me. The government should NOT be picking winners and losers. It should be working to help every region of the state. Buffalo and the state in general need to figure out ways to keep young people from moving away after college. Making it easier for small businesses to start here would be a good start.

  3. It was pretty obvious when Cumo steamed through here last week, that the voters didn’t matter to him or any of his hosts. They went looking for business parks, not people. Voters are apparently only noticeable at election time.

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