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December 18, 2010

Weasel words and ambiguous language: selling the Brooklyn Arena and Infrastructure Project to immigrant investors whose English may be shaky

Atlantic Yards Report

Part 15 of a series

One technique of salesmanship is deception. Presentations trying to convince Chinese to invest in the Atlantic Yards project obscure the nature of the project, One example is the way New York City Regional Center's Gregg D. Hayden says that the project will produce "abundant job creation" precisely because the project's job creation will be quite anemic.

What is abundant job creation?

According to NYCRC's Hayden, in a webcast (at 2:48), there's "abundant job creation that we are producing with this project." That refers to the Brooklyn Arena and Infrastructure Project--the arena, infrastructure, and railyard--not the entire Atlantic Yards project.

Jobs are calculated via an economist's report. There's no reason to think that the jobs calculated--7696, far more than the 4980 needed, ten per investor--have anything to do with the number of people who might be seen at the Atlantic Yards site, or even the number for the project as a whole in official estimates by the Empire State Development Corporation.

Why it matters: The phrase is used to convince potential investors that they will meet the requirements of federal immigration law: ten jobs per investor.

But the calculation seems to make a mockery of the immigration program, which aims to generate investment that actually creates jobs. This investment, in significant part, likely would substitute lower-cost funding for higher-cost capital rather than serve as seed money or matching funds.

Click on the link below to read more and watch the weasel words flow.


Posted by steve at December 18, 2010 10:30 AM