Making Subsidies Accountable

An award winner and author founded Good Jobs First back in 1998.

Greg LeRoy, who wrote No More Candy Store: States and Cities Making Jobs Subsidies Accountable and winner of the 1998 Public Interest Pioneer Award of the Stern Family Fund, has made his organization a national leader.

Good Jobs First frequently testifies before state legislatures, conducts workshops and training, and appears in the press.

Good Jobs first says that the failure of large companies such as Wal-Mart to provide affordable and comprehensive health coverage to many of their employees has been a subject of growing controversy – all the more so because large numbers of those workers not insured on the job are turning instead to government programs such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

According to their website, goodjobsfirst.org, Wal-Mart has received more than $1 billion in economic development subsidies from state and local governments across the country.

The literature states also that in a 50-state survey of economic development subsidy programs – such as loans, grants, and tax incentives – not one single state effectively coordinates its economic development spending with public transportation planning.

According to Good Jobs First stats report they wrote documents how two geographically targeted economic development programs, tax increment finance (TIF) and enterprise zones have been weakened in many states so that their anti-poverty impact is no longer assured.

“Our findings are deeply troubling,” said LeRoy. “Denying taxpayer subsidies for poverty wages is truly an idea whose time has come.”

The Lower Development Corporation (LMDC) has been accused by Good Jobs First of mishandling funds.

“Even though the LMDC claims that low and moderate-income residents have benefited from its programs, nowhere in our research could we find how the Corporation measures these improvements,” said Stephanie Greenwood, research analyst for Good Jobs New York.

LeRoy has just had released another book he has written called The Great American Jobs Scam.

“LeRoy has his finger on the pulse of what’s ailing American communities and destroying jobs and our environment in the process,” said Carl Pop, executive director of the Sierra Club.

“As this book reveals, the system is rigged,” Jim Hightower, author of Thieves in High Places and Let’s Stop Beating Around the Bush is quoted as saying on Good Jobs’ website.

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