The New State Budget & Union Worker Turned Novelist

Dr. James Parrott, deputy director and chief economist of The Fiscal Policy Institute discusses why better worker benefits are good for New York businesses and business owners and gives his take on where the 2015-2016 State budget falls short.  Bill Hohlfeld, or should we say Dennis Patrick, is a true renaissance man. He had a long career in the building trades and has put that background to good use in his first novel – a hard boil thriller that offers a rare and honest depiction of working people.

FPI Economist Skewers Cuomo Budget Maneuvers

In April, the 2015-2016 Executive Budget was passed with some significant differences from the governor’s original budget proposal. The governor had vowed that ethics reforms and reforms to fight the gender wage gap would be major priorities. His major victory was in a significant increase in education funding.  Renowned economist, Dr. James Parrot, of the Fiscal Policy Institute, gives his perspective on the reforms our state really needs and how the budget can better serve as an agent of change. For example, although business owners are frequently “enraged” over the enactment of so-called “progressive” laws, (as they were when New York City passed paid sick day legislation in 2014), Parrott asserts that in the end such laws benefit them as well. Not one business reported going under because of paid sick day laws. Parrot asserts we need similar legislation on a state-wide basis.

From Iron Worker to Mystery Novelist

Working class people are often inaccurately depicted by media as uneducated or lacking in creativity and intellect. Bill Hohlfeld, spent many years as iron worker, but he also earned a Master’s degree at night. He is a writer. He has taught English. He currently is a manager at Labor-Press and is now also a novelist. His “whodunit,” Ascent to Avalon, written under the pen name “Dennis Patrick,” is replete with colorful and complex characters inspired by men and women Bill met in his career. Vic and Bill discuss why work in the union trades has great appeal to “creative types,” because of similarities in the thought process that motivate both blue collar work and creative pursuits. Be sure to check out the book. It’s a great read!