Critics Say Study is a Sham (Update)
October 27th, 2010


Advocates and council members gathered on the steps of City Hall today to slam a city commissioned study on living wages, calling it “smoke and mirrors.”

The $1 million study, which is being conducted by Boston-based Charles River Associates, will examine the sustainability of a living wage policy in the five boroughs. A bill to require living wages at city-subsidized developments is currently languishing at the council.

At issue is one economist on the study team — David Neumark of the University of California. Supporters of living wages say Neumark is inherently biased, having authored several studies critical of living and minimum wage policies.

“Hiring David Neumark to advise the city on wage policies is like hiring a global warming skeptic to evaluate the city’s greenhouse gas strategy,” said Paul K. Sonn of the National Employment Law Project.

The city Economic Development Corp., which commissioned the study after advocates started to call for living wages last year, argues Neumark is in the top 5 percent of economists. City officials point to studies where Neumark found living wages reduced poverty — albeit those studies show his “support” for the policy overall is tepid at best.

The city also says a diverse stakeholder group will review the study’s findings, which should be completed this spring.

All of those arguments aren’t silencing critics.

The crowd of supporters hissed on the steps of City Hall when the study was mentioned. They then burst into a chorus of: “One, two, three, four, no one should be working poor. Five, six, seven, eight, New York needs a living wage.”

Council members charged the administration with using the study as a delay tactic.

“This is what happened on paid sick leave,” said Councilmember Brad Lander. “We waited a better part of the year only to squash the bill.”

Council Speaker Christine Quinn has not taken a position on the legislation, although it has a majority of support at the City Council. When asked this afternoon whether she would consider the study’s findings, she said she would consider any information she had when making a decision.

Advocates said they suggested other economists for the city to consider only to be denied. (UPDATE: An EDC spokesperson checked in to say the selection of a consultant was done through an RFP process. They could only accept those that submitted proposals.)

By on October 27, 2010, 2:49 pm
In category: City Hall,Community Development,Economy,Electoral Politics,Eye Opener,Gotham City,Governing,Health,Land Use,Law,Measuring UP,nextNY,Public Finance,Work and Labor | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “Critics Say Study is a Sham (Update)”

  1. Howard Wasson Says:
    July 26th, 2013 at 11:08 am

    This prostate journey of ours started in December. My dad aged 73 started experiencing pain and discomfort. His PSA was on the rise but nothing too hectic. He had a biopsy and results came back as cancer. The prostate capsule raptured so the prostate is still protruding from the capsule. PSA has steadily increased from 8 in November to now in March a 60. Beginning of February his reading was 43 so clearly on the increase. He has been on Avodart HRT since January and clearly has done nothing. We had scans done and have now found since January it has spread to his spine, liver, lungs and lymph nodes. We saw oncologist yesterday who informed us he is stage 4 and terminal. Life expectancy was not given as our doctor is not God with all due respect and when my mom asked the question I replied with “how long is a piece of string”. He started hormone injection yesterday in his tummy and a drip a drug called Zorem I think to strengthen his bones. Hearing the word terminal is very scary but he is comfortable and pain free at the moment due to Oxicontin that he is on. We live each day, embrace each day, live life and love life. We don’t know when his last day will be and I can’t bare to think about it. He is my dad and we are very close. I just want him comfortable , having some quality of life and loads of love and laughter around him. He may have 6 months, reading some of your posts he could have 10 years. Each day is a blessing. God bless you all as we walk this road together Shirley

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