Posts by alan bowie

Three Years and Counting on the Minimum Wage

In 1960, George Lesauvage of the National Restaurant Association was making the case against increasing the federal minimum wage. “Wages, of course, in the restaurant industry are low for several reasons,” he said. “One of the most important is the fringe benefits that a restaurant worker gets in the form of free meals which in terms of value to the employee are most significant. Another fringe would be free uniforms.”

Wow, free uniforms. He forgot to mention free restrooms!

Outsourcing Hits Service Workers in the Paycheck

Between 1947 and 1979, incomes grew for most U.S. households regardless of whether they were rich or poor. The period from 1979 to 2010 is a different story, with the bottom fifth of households losing ground and the wealthiest fifth gaining more than all other groups.

The figure below from the Economic Policy Institute’s State of Working America just about sums it up.

Midday Must Reads: Increasing the Minimum Wage and the Long-term Impact of Foreclosures

The Great Recession and its aftermath have spurred increasing income and wealth inequality.

The Washington Post takes a look into the effects of the recession and housing crisis on African Americans. The article takes a look at the subprime loans African Americans were given and the long-lasting effects these loans may have on credit and wealth for African American communities.

Midday Must Reads: The Post-Budget Edition

Just days after Governor Tom Corbett signed the Pennsylvania state budget a few minutes before midnight, the effects are transparent — even if the process was not. To start things off today, the Harrisburg Patriot-News takes a look at the newly passed state budget.

Morning Must Reads Part II: Supreme Court Ruling a Victory But More Work to Be Done

Following the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act Thursday, The Philadelphia Inquirer takes a look at the decision, calling it a victory for common sense.

Daily Must Reads: Not Much Change in Local Unemployment Rates

Just as Pennsylvania’s jobless rate stayed stuck at 7.4% last month, most communities across the commonwealth saw little change in their May unemployment rates, according to data released by the state Monday. 

Daily Must Reads: Budget Cuts HIt General Assistance, County Human Services, Early Childhood Education

With the race to finish the state budget under way in Harrisburg, newspapers are taking a look at the fallout of budget cuts and how they will hurt citizens across Pennsylvania. WHYY's Newsworks reports that the state is getting ready to cut off General Assistance benefits effective next month, but no one is telling the people who will be directly impacted.

Daily Must Reads: Layoffs in the Public Sector, Jobs at the Cracker Plant and Liquor Privatization Pushed to Fall

The New York Times this morning takes a look at layoffs in the public sector across the country and what they mean for education, law enforcement, and overall unemployment. The story shines a light on recent public-sector layoffs here in Pennsylvania, with a little context provided by our own Mark Price.

Morning Must Reads: Higher Liquor Prices in Washington and a $100 Million June Revenue Surplus

As the debate over privatizing wine and spirit operations in Pennsylvania looms, The Patriot News takes a look at what privatization brought to Washington State — higher liquor prices. Voters approved the privatization of Washington’s state-run liquor stores effective June 1 (beer and wine is already for sale in private retail outlets in the state). The Patriot story is critical reading for Pennsylvania lawmakers considering privatization.

Daily Must Reads: Teacher Layoffs in Reading, Reining in Sales Tax Windfall and More on Payday Lending

While Mark Price takes some time off, I’ll be one of the Third and State bloggers filling in for him with Morning Must Reads. I know, it’s nearly 3:30 p.m., but better late than never.

To start things off, The Huffington Post has a look at what teacher layoffs in Reading mean for students in a city that is home to the largest share of residents living in poverty of any American city.