Andrew Cuomo Drives Three Nails Into the Upstate New York Coffin

Dr. Michael Morrongiello

Andrew Cuomo has said he wants to revive the upstate economy but he’s driven three nails into the coffin of Upstate including a ban on shale gas development.

According to the Urban Dictionary, a nail in the coffin is an event leading to inevitable failure. Upstate New York is in a generations-long decline which was already underway 56 years ago, when President Kennedy noted it in his 1962 speech to the New York Economic Club.

Governor Cuomo has said he wants to revive the upstate economy. However, he has driven three nails into the coffin of Upstate: paid family medical leave, the $15 hourly minimum wage, and the ban on shale gas development. All three are popular progressive policies and job-killers.


The quote behind the name of Mike Morrongiello’s blog.

Only New York, New Jersey and California have paid family medical leave, a policy guaranteed to inhibit business development. How do employers fill the position vacated for the 12 weeks that the “benefit” allows? They must pay both the employee and the replacement. New York’s benefits are the most generous in the nation, a huge expense, not to mention the red tape.

Businesses will quite naturally choose more hospitable states that are cheaper and less regulated. The minimum wage is $7.25 in Pennsylvania, $8.60 in New Jersey and $10.50 in Vermont. No state bordering New York has a minimum wage anywhere near $15.

Cuomo’s ban on gas development robbed our neighbors of their right to the natural gas under their land. In almost any other state, landowners enjoy that right, profit by it, and thereby enrich the community as a whole. Gas development would have been like a jolt of electricity to the flagging Southern Tier economy. The gas industry was going to invest billions in upstate, mostly here in the beleaguered Southern Tier. In states where gas development is allowed, people prosper. The national average median income is $50,502, while the average gas industry job pays $71,220.

The effect of Cuomo’s policies is continued decline. According to a recent Department of Labor report, for the year ending in March 2018 (Cuomo’s been in office since 2011), Elmira had a 1.2 % decline in private sector employment, the worst in the state. Binghamton had zero job growth.

In the competition between states for people, New York is the loser. Upstate lost another 3,596 people in the year ending in July 2017. Since the last census in 2010, upstate has lost 61,688 people. Chemung, Steuben, Schuyler and Tioga counties saw population declines of 4%, 1%, 3.5% and 5.6% respectively.

If Cuomo’s policies were effective, people would be arriving, not leaving.

If the states are laboratories of democracy, then progressive policies in New York have failed.

Editor’s Note: Michael Morrongiello authored the very first post on NaturalGasNOW more than five years ago and several other posts since then, something for which I am eternally grateful. He also has a blog of his own now called He’s an excellent writer. Check it out!

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2 thoughts on “Andrew Cuomo Drives Three Nails Into the Upstate New York Coffin

  1. If you can escape NY, especially north and west of Poughkeepsie. …it’s time to do it soon. You either have a lot of money or you don’t. NY like California needs a large dependent underclass of poorly educated citizens and illegal aliens to do all the grunt work for gentry class orbiting Marxist encampments like Planet Ithaca.
    All one has to do is notice all the Section 8 housing being built as mini plantations to house low income folks who have no or little access to public transit so they could lift themselves out of poverty. There will be lot of tax paying baby boomers and gen x-ers approaching retirement age in the next 10 years. They will be making the move to leave NY en masse to other places and all will be left will be the self proclaimed royals and their serfs to serve them. All Empires rise and fall, NY wlll fall so far that it will be subterranean.

  2. A governor does not have this power; that is to decimate Upstate NY. Cuomo is nothing but a bad apple doing it’s job of spreading rot through the rest of the bushel.

    We live in a republic with due process based on the democracy set forth in the constitution, if the Constitution were to have a mission Statement it would read

    “To ensure that the goverment does not out power the constituency and the pursuit of all rights of life, death and all that in between are given breath before value. That prosperity is not in competition with poverty but be the end result of the drive to live better, live free.”

    Each of you can add your own amendments but the cold hard truth is NY friends of Natural Gas failed itself, we failed each other! Not intentionally but apathetically. We lacked focus and leadership right from the start we were the under funded truth’, that lost to the apartment dwelling gas users who said that unless they can share in the royalties they will fight us. They did and they won, with lies like the Brown Jug, phony made-up penned by a few activist “The List of the Harmed” by turning a well bore into something raping mother earth, and the theft of Grandma’s Land. ALL LIES.

    They used actors to win crowds, offered college credits to students who signed in at protest in Albany, they re dived millions from Russia and the elite, Debra Wringer even told second home voter to vote twice.

    We were Farmers, land owners and caretakers of our land. Our faults were thinking honesty and science would win the day, that Jobs and dreams would prevail in NY as in 32 other states. That no governor would cave to the falsities of our opposers. We failed to remember that our legislators are more afraid of just decisions costing them their position of power, over their failed oath of office and servitude to the better good of the state…

    Walter Hang, Sandra Steingraber did not win in NY, they believe they did and they lined their pockets with Russian Gazprom monies but like us, the land owners of Upstate, the old retired couples, the young ones just starting out, they suffered the loss equally in NY related to Cuomo’s higher taxes for clean failing energy, the denial of cheap abundant energy, and the mass exodus of good hard working families from NY, to states that are still free to peruse your happiness.

    Yes, we failed ourselves. We were never passionate because from the start we thought common sense was the path to victory when in fact… it was Hollywood and their props, and billions total from the UAE and other countries that wanted to keep America dependent on their fuel, and elitist foundations that were board with saving the whales and thought destroying the dream would be a fun game to play.

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