NYC Government Pays 200 Workers $1,000 Per Day to Do Nothing

New York City is now home to the most expensive mile of subway track on Earth, and it’s a classic story of government corruption, incompetence, and mismanagement wasting taxpayer dollars.

If you want a job doing literally nothing, it looks like joining a construction team in the Big Apple is the place to be. As we learn from the Times, an accountant reviewing the budget for new trails under Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan noticed a bizarre discrepancy. The budget said that 900 workers were being paid to dig caverns for the project as part of a 3.5 mile tunnel – but the accountant could only identify 700 jobs that actually needed to be done.

As for the other 200 workers? Nobody knows what they do – or bothered to say or do anything about it for the past seven years.

According to the Times, 

The discovery, which occurred in 2010 and was not disclosed to the public, illustrates one of the main issues that has helped lead to the increasing delays now tormenting millions of subway riders every day: The leaders entrusted to expand New York’s regional transit network have paid the highest construction costs in the world, spending billions of dollars that could have been used to fix existing subway tunnels, tracks, trains and signals.

Oh – and all we know about these 200 workers? They they were being paid about $1,000 each – per day.

Here’s more:

The estimated cost of the Long Island Rail Road project, known as “East Side Access,” has ballooned to $12 billion, or nearly $3.5 billion for each new mile of track — seven times the average elsewhere in the world. The recently completed Second Avenue subway on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and the 2015 extension of the No. 7 line to Hudson Yards also cost far above average, at $2.5 billion and $1.5 billion per mile, respectively.

Yes, $3.5 billion, per mile.

Ironically, most of New York’s subways were actually built by private companies. It was private companies who dug the first tunnels and ran the trains for roughly the first four decades of their existence. It wasn’t until those operators wanted to raise the fare one time that politicians decided they needed to “protect” the public, and took public ownership of them to “guarantee affordable fares.” The aforementioned project has cost the equivalent of hundreds of millions worth of fares in tax dollars, and the NYC public transit system as a whole has had no trouble raising prices at will…. ever.

If a private firm were to step in, it wouldn’t be the first time one had to take over a government project.  When Donald Trump took over construction of the Wollman Rink in Central Park, the city had already sunk $13 million into the rink over six years. It took Trump four months and less than $3 million ($750,000 under budget) to complete the project.

Share this story if you think New York City is a socialist hellhole!


Matt is the co-founder of Unbiased America and a freelance writer specializing in economics and politics. He’s been published in The American Thinker, Rare, The Foundation for Economic Education, The Ludwig von Mises Institute, and National Review. He is the author of the new book A Paradoxical Alliance: Islam and the Left. Follow him on Twitter at @MattPalumbo12.

View Comments

  • This is absolutely appalling! Typical example of government waste & corruption! Both the idiot governor & mayor should be fired over this. Americans are fed up with the waste & corruption going on with our taxpayer dollars. Trump is a great President & awesome businessman, thank God he is our POTUS now not the Hildabeast or we would continue to have taxpaper waste. Beyond disgusting!

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