There are two tasks that all politicians like to be able to boast success about: making the lives of voters safer and making the lives of voters more prosperous. The latter often involves the promise of jobs. Lots of jobs. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo made such a promise and as New York Times reporter Vivian Yee writes in Cuomo’s Start-Up Program, Meant to ‘Supercharge’ Economy, Has Created 408 Jobs, one flagship program has worked all that well.
One of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s most highly promoted economic development initiatives has produced just 408 new jobs across New York State in the past two years, even as the state has spent tens of millions of dollars promoting it, according to a delayed report released on Friday afternoon
Yeah, that kind of sucks for Cuomo, but what does that have to do with Walmart? Enter Tim Worstall. Writing in Cuomo's NY Job Program Creates 408---Around And About One Walmart Store, Forbes contributor Worstall, compares the 408 jobs created by the program to the number of jobs Walmart likes to tout in story after story about the new hires when a store opens. To be fair, in a reply to a comment by John Reagan, Worstall writes: The contrast is with the 400 people that Walmart employs at the average store. That is, Worstall is using jobs at a Walmart store (which seems a little high to me but I won't quibble) as an example, a scale for readers to compare with and he makes no claims as to the quality of the jobs compared. Fair enough. Reagan, however has a point:
Walmart probably isn’t the best choice to contrast against Cuomo’s efforts. Walmart job creation is a myth: Wal-Mart store openings kill three local jobs for every two they create by reducing retail employment, killing mom and pop businesses and causing remaining retail to suffer sales declines of 10 to 40%. Wal-Mart has thousands of associates who qualify for Medicaid and other publicly subsidized care, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. Chain stores, like Wal-Mart send most of their revenues out of the community, while local businesses keep more consumer dollars in local economy.
Yes, Cuomo's job program is a dog. The implication, intentional or not, that Walmart does a better job of creating employment, however, doesn't take home any medals either. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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