Economy and Business

Crystal Sarakas hosts this discussion about the wage gap, pregnancy discrimation, and the Women's Equality Agenda.

[View the story "Community Conversation: The Gender Gap " on Storify]

The New York State Assembly voted to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9 an hour. But the measure remains stalled in the State Senate.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver added yet another reason to his long list of reasons he thinks the state’e minimum wage is too low and needs to be increased. He says we are in the midst of a “jobless recovery”, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average at a record high, past 14,000.

Every year, New York State gives out millions in tax incentives, loans and economic development grants to the private sector. Every state does it, and New York has little choice if it wants to prevent companies from leaving. But additional attention is now being paid to the incentives going to the gun industry in New York.

Moody's credit rating agency downgraded Binghamton's long-term debt from a rating of A1 to A2. They also gave a less-than-perfect rating to new, short-term debt the city plans to issue.

A downgraded credit rating can make it make it more expensive for a municipality to borrow money.

According to Moody's, the decision was made because the city's financial performance over the past two years cannot be verified. Binghamton officials have not submitted a financial statement since 2010.

Governor Cuomo has proposed raising the minimum wage as part of his budget plan, even though the increase would not cost New York State any money. That tactic might make it easier for the proposal to become law.

Food pantries and soup kitchens say they are reluctantly becoming a permanent part of the nation’s safety net for the poor. In a new report on New York’s charitable food distribution system, the groups say it is government that needs to step in and lend a helping hand.

The survey finds the 560 food pantries and soup kitchens in New York are being squeezed by growing demand, dwindling donations, and even an aging out of available volunteers to distribute the food.

Over the past decade, demand for local foods has grown dramatically. In the Southern Tier, the number of farmers' markets and small farms is growing, and policymakers are paying more attention to the potential economic benefits of a strong local food system.

Income Inequality

Jun 14, 2011

The gap between the haves and have-nots in America is at an all-time high. Income inequality has been increasing over the past 30 years, and in 2010, the top 20% of Americans earned nearly 50% of the nation's income. Some suggest that income inequality leads to greater social problems, while others say that such inequality is needed to bolster growth in the economy.

Brain Drain

Jun 29, 2010

Migrant Labor in NY

Aug 25, 2009

Agriculture is big business in New York state, generating billions of dollars in revenue through different crop and dairy farms. But one fact that the average consumer may not be aware of is how much the agriculture industry relies on migrant workers to help harvest and process those crops. According to a factsheet from the BOCES Geneseo Migrant Center, approximately 47,000 migrant workers and their families come to New York state every year. What role do migrant workers play in the agricultural industry in New York? What issues do they, and the farmers who hire them, face?