July 2004


From the NYS Assembly • Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Susan John, Chair, Labor Committee

What the president’s administration says in support of outsourcing American jobs:

"You can outsource a lot of activities and get them done just as well, or better, at a lower cost."

– John Snow, United States Treasury Secretary

"When a good or service is produced more cheaply abroad, it makes more sense to import it than to make or provide it domestically."

– N. Gregory Mankiw, Chairman, President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors.

Assembly working to keep New York’s jobs in New York

Legislation would curb outsourcing of jobs, stand up to corporate greed

It’s bad enough that companies are moving good-paying jobs out of New York and in to other states and countries – costing us countless jobs. But some of them have been receiving tax breaks funded with your tax dollars. That practice must stop. That’s why the Assembly passed legislation curbing the outsourcing of jobs and is pressing for new laws increasing corporate disclosure and accountability.

What working families say about outsourcing:

"I’m not sure these corporate executives understand the true costs of outsourcing – no one’s thinking about that, just the bottom line."

– Charles Burch, Laid-off Computer Programmer

"It’s tearing down the fabric of our country."

– Bill Major, Retired Bethlehem Steel Worker

"We’re selling ourselves out. It’s only padding the companies’ pockets. The American public doesn’t get anything out of it."

– Ron Cleaver, Former Textile Worker

" ... Amazing as it sounds, New York taxpayers are seeing more and more of their tax dollars being used to subsidize corporations who then take jobs away from the very people paying these taxes, and moving their businesses overseas ... Well, excuse our naivety. We thought they meant creating jobs for American workers, not foreign workers."

- Denis Hughes, President, New York State AFL-CIO

"Here’s the big reason why tax revenues are declining: All these jobs are leaving the country. We need to start talking about this problem and not just blithely saying, ‘Free trade is the solution’ just because it boosts corporate profits and Wall Street likes it."

– John McGowan, Professor of Accounting, Saint Louis University

Fighting those who outsource our jobs

The numbers are startling. According to the foreign policy journal Foreign Affairs, global research firms predict the volume of offshore outsourcing will increase by 30 to 40 percent a year for the next five years and estimates that 3.3 million white-collar jobs will move overseas in the next 15 years.

To combat this trend the Assembly passed the State Financial Incentive Protection Act, which prohibits companies from receiving financial incentives if they are sending jobs out of the state (A.11682). It also requires that, if a company has received state economic development money and then outsourced jobs outside the state, it must return any money it has received.

Another piece of legislation the Assembly passed would require the Department of Labor to examine the effect of offshore outsourcing of technology information jobs and the future stability of New York’s job market (A.11613). Foreign Affairs also cites information estimating that by the end of this year, one out of every 10 information technology jobs will be sent overseas.

Outsourcing is the wrong choice for New York companies and we need to do everything we can to keep jobs in New York State. Tax dollars spent to attract jobs must be invested effectively and not used to send jobs out-of-state.

Increasing corporate disclosure and accountability

The Assembly also proposed legislation requiring companies to annually disclose any tax credits they have been allowed (A.11703) and holding them accountable for economic development incentives they’ve received (A.11681).

Corporations that receive money from the taxpayers to create jobs or otherwise improve performance in New York ought to be able to demonstrate that the money has been spent responsibly and effectively. In the past few years, the need for corporate disclosure and accountability has been well demonstrated. It’s a lesson the people of New York shouldn’t have to relearn first-hand.

This legislation would strengthen Empire Zones, a mostly successful economic stimulation program in New York that has been abused by some of its beneficiaries. Passage of these bills would give us the certainty that everything possible is being done to create and retain jobs.

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