If there is a stark example for why New York continues to head toward economic oblivion, it happened on October 15th.
Governor Paterson approved a $1.25 million state subsidy for The New York Times. For what purpose? We don't know. His Empire State Development Corporation listed the "grant" in a news release with no explanation from the board that approved it.
ESDC didn't give a reason because its bureaucrats knew they'd break the laugh meter. The release can be read here.
Why does The New York Times deserve one penny from New Yorkers? Especially while we're in a fiscal abyss?
The paper's parent, The New York Times Company, owns 24 other newspapers, employs 10,000 people and has annual revenues of $3.2 billion.
But they need $1.25 million in monopoly money from the wallets of New Yorkers.
It makes you want to scream.
And with the The New York Times on Governor Paterson's payroll, we won't be reading any sanctimonious editorials describing a conflict of interest. Or any smug columns on such a conflict by Gail Collins, the paper's editorial page editor, who specializes in smugness.
This is not the first time the Times received a hand out from New York taxpayers. It certainly won't be the last. The Times will come calling again, and Governor Paterson will fail to simply tell them: No.