Posts by stephen herzenberg

Slow Down Lottery Privatization for Full and Transparent Review

A few weeks ago I wrote about a series of problems with a plan to privatize the operations of the Pennsylvania Lottery. The effort had elicited just one bid from United Kingdom-based Camelot Global Services.

On New Year's Eve, Governor Corbett announced that his administration had negotiated an extension of Camelot's bid (which was set to expire) through January 10. I put out a statement today reacting to that news.

One Is the Loneliest Number

Three Dog Night: OneOne is the loneliest number that you'll ever do …

Although I’m dating myself, some of you may recognize the Harry Nilsson song made famous by Three Dog Night. We recommend that Governor Tom Corbett download it to his iPod as he contemplates whether to accept a solitary bid from Camelot Global Services to take over the operation of the Pennsylvania Lottery. Whether privatizing state services or getting a new roof for your house, having a single lonely bidder is a red flag for a fleecing — for overpaying the contractor.

Imagine...PA Chamber and Conservative Administration LEAD Major New PA Renewable Energy Policy

Posted in:

“This package will send a strong signal to investors that the government is serious about providing firms with the certainty they need to invest in affordable, secure, low-carbon energy,” said Gene Barr, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the state's main business group, in a statement responding to a new measure that would increase the amount of electricity from renewable energy to 30% by 2020, up from 11% today,

OK, it wasn't actually Gene Barr. It was his British counterpart, John Cridland, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, in a story last week about a strong new push for renewable energy by Britain's Conservative-led coalition government (the Liberal Party is the junior partner in Britiain's coalition government).

Pennsylvania Private Job Performance Through the Looking Glass

In the 1890s, scientist George Stratton reported that, after four days of wearing a lens that inverted his vision, his brain reprocessed what he saw and flipped everything back up the right way.

John Micek’s Friday article brought this experiment to mind.

The State-Level Manufacturing Jobs Score Since 1948

Last month, Colin Gordon of the Iowa Policy Project and I published a national analysis of job growth and loss in U.S. manufacturing by presidential term since 1948. Shortly thereafter, we came across state-level data that allowed us to replicate our "manufacturing jobs score" analysis in each of the 50 states.

We summarized our findings in a new policy brief this week, with a focus on regions and some individual states, including Pennsylvania.

Each of four multi-state regions and 43 of the 50 states experienced more job loss (or smaller job gains) in the nine Republican administrations combined than across the seven Democratic administrations combined.

News Flash! Marcellus Shale Coalition Takes on Pennsylvania Charities

Thanks to Citizens United, we are all the beneficiaries of unlimited corporate money in our elections — witness the onslaught of TV ads interrupting our ballgames and the fall lineup of TV shows.

In a new twist, the very groups that agitated to spend unlimited funds to promote their point of view are now critical of others who challenge them. What brings this to mind is an Associated Press story this morning that the Marcellus Shale Coalition is not happy about the funding priorities of the Heinz Endowments and William Penn Foundation.

Fact Checking the Corbett Jobs Record...and Some Unsolicited Advice

The Corbett administration has a new summary of Pennsylvania's recent job performance. Today's news that Pennsylvania's unemployment rate is as high as the national unemployment rate underscores, however, that the state's recent jobs record is not good. Let’s take a closer look.

The Manufacturing Jobs Score Since 1948

After former President Bill Clinton claimed the "jobs score" was better in Democratic presidential administrations than in Republican ones, Colin Gordon of the University of Iowa and I did some research to see how presidential administrations scored on manufacturing job creation since Harry Truman.

Water Polo Swimsuit Malfunctions CAN Be Revealing

You heard it first on The Rick Smith Show!

Last night, while guest hosting Rick's show, I used the need for rules in water polo — to prevent players from ripping off each other's swimsuits and Speedos underwater — as a metaphor for the fact that we need regulations and government policy to achieve "good" competition in our economy (based on productivity, quality, service, and innovation).

Pink Slips for Teachers Not So Good for the Economy

Laying off thousands of teachers and other public servants doesn’t sound like a particularly good prescription for a stronger economy, but that is the impact of state policy in Pennsylvania these days. So at the Keystone Research Center we decided to take a look at how Pennsylvania’s job performance stacks up against other states in the age of budget-cutting austerity.