Minimum-Wage Raises Sweep Nationwide

November 6, 2014
By Steven Wishnia

In an election that saw scores of anti-labor candidates sweep into office, voters also approved every minimum-wage measure on the ballot. Four states and two cities elected to give their lowest-paid workers a raise.

NYS Protects Farmland

October 22, 2014
By Stephanie West

Albany, NY - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced $17.6 million to protect more than 6,400 acres of farmland across New York State, which will maintain the land’s use for agricultural purposes and keep the land free from future development. The funds, which are made available through the Farmland Protection Implementation Program, will help preserve 21 farms in 12 counties across the state, and bring the total acreage under the program to approximately 59,000 acres.

Tis the Season to be Wary!

October 21, 2014
Salvatore J. Armao, CPA/PFS, CFP, CFE, CGMA

According to most fraud experts, incidences of consumer fraud spike an estimated 20 percent during the holiday season - the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

It’s a time when increased need - or greed - meets increased opportunity to commit fraudulent acts. We shop, travel and donate more to charity during the holiday season.

Low-Wage Workers and the “New” Industrial Reserve Army of Labor

October 17, 2014
By Oren M. Levin-Waldman

The standard minimum wage model that predicts that increases in the minimum wage will result in lower employment rests on the assumption that workers are nothing more than factors of production. As factors of production, they are simply inanimate objects that are easily interchangeable, either with other similar inanimate objects or more technologically advanced ones.

Citi Overcharged Consumers Millions

October 15, 2014
By Stephanie West

New York, NY – Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. (CGMI), a subsidiary of Citigroup, has agreed to reimburse more than 31,000 Citi customers who were charged higher advisory fees than they negotiated. The agreement returns nearly $16 million to about 31,000 Citigroup customers.

AT&T Fined for Charging Consumers False Charges

October 15, 2014
By Stephanie West

New York, NY – Attorney General Eric Schneiderman along with the Attorneys General of 49 other states and the District of Columbia, reached a $105 million settlement with AT&T Mobility LLC. The settlement resolves allegations that AT&T Mobility placed on consumers’ mobile telephone bills charges for third-party services that had not been authorized by consumers, a practice known as “cramming.”

Global NY Development Fund Creates Jobs

October 10, 2014
By Stephanie West

New York, NY - Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched new “GLOBAL NY” initiatives – including a $35 million Global NY Development Fund and trade missions to Mexico, Canada, Italy, China, and Israel – to help create new jobs in New York and attract additional international business investment to the state. Governor Cuomo outlined these new initiatives on October 7th at the first Global NY Summit on World Trade and Investment at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

September Jobs Report Analysis

October 6, 2014
By Sean McGarvey, President of North America's Building Trades Unions

North America's Building Trades Unions Urge Tempered Enthusiasm for September Jobs Report

Washington, DC -- "While the news that the national unemployment rate has dipped below six percent for the first time since 2008 is certainly welcome, a deeper analysis of our national economic picture would suggest a more cautious and tempered response.

Teamsters Praise Expansion of Living Wage

October 3, 2014
By Stephanie West

New York, NY – Teamsters Joint Council 16 President George Miranda praised Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to expand the City’s Living Wage Law by executive order. Under the changes, businesses that receive more than $1 million in City subsidies will be required to pay employees at least $13.13 per hour. In addition, more workers will be covered than before, including retail tenants at City-subsidized malls.

The Minimum Wage and the New Federalism?

September 26, 2014
Oren M. Levin-Waldman

Among the topics that often rise to the top of the debate in most national elections is just what the proper relationship is between the states and the national government. In other words, has federal authority usurped state sovereignty, or is more federal authority needed because the states are untrustworthy guardians of individuals’ rights? It would appear that the many states that have taken it upon themselves to either adopt their own minimum wages or raise existing ones over the federal have only rekindled the traditional states’ rights v. national authority debate, albeit it in a different form.

Middle-Class Workers Are Losing The Income Inequality Numbers Game

September 25, 2014
Reprinted From:          

The unemployment rate may be down, but the income inequality rate keeps going up. And it’s impossible not to notice it. A Federal Reserve report released earlier this month noted that while income grew between 2010 and 2013 for the top fifth of income earners (those making more than $122,000 a year), real incomes have fallen for everyone else. Only those who were doing well in the U.S. to begin with are making out in today’s economy.

Stringer: Use Surplus Dollars from Battery Park to Repair NYCHA Buildings

September 25, 2014
By Stephanie West

New York, NY – Comptroller Scott M. Stringer called for the projected surpluses from the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) to be directed specifically toward critically needed repairs at New York City Housing Authority properties, where conditions have deteriorated significantly in recent years.

Why the Minimum Wage Orthodoxy Reigns Supreme

September 18, 2014
By Oren M. Levin-Waldman

In his blockbuster book Capital in the Twenty-First Century Thomas Piketty observes that the history of the distribution of wealth has always been deeply political and cannot be reduced to so-called neutral economic mechanisms. But much of this has been obscured by the economic discipline’s “childish passion for mathematics,” an obsession that has only served to create the appearance of being scientific, without having to answer the far more complex question posed by the real world in which we live. The same critique, however, applies to the minimum wage debate.

Looking Through A Limited Scope

September 18, 2014
By  Salvatore J. Armao, CPA/PFS, CFP, CFE, CGMA

As a Fiduciary, would you feel comfortable if your benefit plan’s independent auditor did not apply any auditing procedures to your plan’s investments?  Do you think the plan’s participants would be happy to know that the plan’s investments were not being audited by the plan’s independent auditor?

NJ Pension Fund Investigation Needed Says AFL-CIO

September 16, 2014
By Stephanie West

Trenton, NJ - The New Jersey State AFL-CIO has filed a complaint with the State Ethics Commission calling for an investigation into lucrative pension fund management contracts awarded to top political donors to Gov. Chris Christie and the Republican Party.

Communication Workers Ratify Contract with Frontier

September 4, 2014
By Neal Tepel

Charleston, West Virginia - Frontier Communications and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) announced on August 29th, that West Virginia locals have ratified the labor agreement the two parties reached on August 3rd. The new contract will expire August 2017 and over 1,500 union members will be covered by the agreement.

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