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A trend to not bank on
June 7, 2010 - John D'Agostino
Robert Wilmers, who leads M&T Bank, has seen his institution invest greatly in some areas where the economy is downtrodden.
While his bank has grown, he can see the disturbing trends of the past decade continuing, which is alarming. In The Buffalo News on Sunday, Wilmers wrote how public institutions are just too powerful in this region for the private sector.
"In upstate New York, since January 2000, average public employment increased by 50,000 or 8.3 percent, while private employment decreased 82,800 or 3.3 percent," Wilmers wrote. "In 2009, annual public sector wages in upstate New York were 14 percent higher than private sector wages. As a result, New York local government, outside New York City, has seen its debt level grow at almost three times the rate of inflation.
"You simply cannot sustain an increasingly expensive government with a smaller and smaller private economy. As the late economist Herbert Stein famously put it, 'If something cannot go on forever, it won’t.' "
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