Economic Development

Morning Must Reads: How 'bout No, You Crazy Dutch....

The Only Proper Villian We Could Find From the NetherlandsOn Monday night, the Lower Allen Township commissioners in Cumberland County considered a proposal from Ahold USA, the corporate parent of Giant Food Stores, for a $400,000 property tax abatement on a meat repackaging plant on which the company has already broken ground. (Ahold USA is itself the subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Ahold.)

The company has neglected a basic principle of the economic development game through which companies extract subsidies and tax breaks from states and localities where they were going to build anyway: until you have the subsidy in hand, don't give away that it will not impact your location decision.

Reuters Video: Is Your Boss Pocketing Your State Income Taxes?

In a letter to state lawmakers this week, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center highlighted several concerns with a proposed tax credit program that would allow certain qualifying businesses to keep the income taxes paid by their employees. Paying the boss to work? It could get a vote in the state House when the Legislature returns to session the week of October 15.

Believe it or not, this is not a new idea. A number of states have similar programs. Good Jobs First calls it "job blackmail." David Cay Johnston of Reuters explains it all in this great (and short) video. Watch it.

Morning Must Reads: The Participation Trophy In Economic Development Ideas Goes To....

This morning Jane M. Von Bergen details an economic development program in Chattanooga, Tenn. that aims to offer ten $10,000 forgivable mortgages to people who know the computer programming languages Java, Perl, Python and/or Ruby. There is one catch: you have to move to Chattanooga!

Third and State This Week: PA Jobs Advantage Recedes, Supreme Court Has Voter ID Concerns, Poverty Remains High and the Manufacturing Jobs Score

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the shrinking (and now disappeared) advantage Pennsylvania had over the national unemployment rate, concerns voiced by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court over the Voter ID Law, the "manufacturing jobs score" by presidential administration, new data on poverty in Pennsylvania and much more. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and the economy, Stephen Herzenberg fact checked a recent assessment of the Corbett administration's jobs record, and Mark Price blogged about the August jobs report showing that the advantage Pennsylvania had over the national unemployment rate has disappeared.
  • On jobs and manufacturing, Stephen Herzenberg shared a commentary he co-authored with Colin Gordon of the University of Iowa on the "manufacturing jobs score" by presidential administration since 1948. 
  • On voter ID, Chris Lilienthal wrote about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision to send the legal challenge to the law back to the Commonwealth Court — and the concerns voiced by the court about the law's implementation.
  • On poverty, Chris Lilienthal highlighted media reports on new Census data on poverty in Pennsylvania and in major metro regions of the state. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center also put out an overview of the new Census data on poverty, income and health insurance.
  • On hunger, Jamar Thrasher blogged about how more colleges and universities are opening food banks for students who can't afford their next meal.
  • And in Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on Hershey's plan for a $300 million manufacturing plant and on Occupy Wall Street one year later.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

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.

Morning Must Reads: 40 Million American Workers Get No Paid Sick Leave

The New York Times comes out strongly in favor of paid sick leave legislation in New York City. Looking at you, Philadelphia.

Third and State This Week: General Assistance Ends, Check In on Economy & Grads Face Global Competition for Jobs

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the end of General Assistance in Pennsylvania, the state of the economy, American college graduates facing overseas competition for jobs and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On poverty and the state budget, Sharon Ward shared a clip from her appearance on The War Room with Jennifer Granholm on Current TV discussing the impact of ending Pennsylvania's General Assistance Program. Mark Price also highlighted General Assistance's end, as did guest blogger Liz Schott of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
  • On higher education, Jamar Thrasher wrote about the increased competition faced by American graduates as companies outsource jobs for lower wages and higher revenues.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price shared a New York Times piece discussing the lack of good jobs and its relationship to poverty. Mark weighed in on the Federal Reserve's recent decision to take no steps to boost economic growth, despite high unemployment. And Mark delved deeper into Pennsylvania's jobs report for June.
  • And on fiscal policy, Mark Price blogged about a story on the radio program Marketplace revisiting some of the predictions made a year ago about what would happen as a result of Standard and Poor's downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.

Note: We will have more blog posts next week, but we will not have a weekly roundup on Friday, August 10. We will resume the weekly roundup blog post on Friday, August 17. In the meantime, keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Third and State This Week: Challenging Conventional Wisdom on Payday Lending & Time to Raise the Minimum Wage

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a new report challenging the conventional wisdom on payday lending, the third anniversary of the last increase in the minimum wage, public policy that shrinks the economy, bizarre claims about income inequality and much more.

  • Jamar Thrasher wrote about a Pew Center on the States report showing that payday lending is less frequent in states with restrictive laws and that borrowers tend to use payday loans for recurring expenses — not just emergencies.
  • Intern Alan Bowie blogged about the third anniversary of the last increase in the minimum wage and how it has not kept pace with the rising cost of living.
  • On income inequality, Mark Price shared a Paul Krugman column catching the Tax Foundation making a bizarre claim about income inequality.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price highlighted an insightful Q&A with Professor Peter Cappelli of the Wharton School of Business on his new book Why Good People Can't Get Jobs, and wrote about the danger of public policies that shrink the economy.
  • Finally, on the Marcellus Shale, Mark Price highlighted a Patriot-News column eviscerating the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for using suspect job numbers in a Marcellus gas public relations campaign.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Protesters Shame Amazon into Installing Air Conditioning for Warehouses

MSNBC reported last week that online retail giant Amazon is installing air conditioning in its warehouses across the U.S., including in Pennsylvania, after protesters interrupted the company's annual shareholder meeting in Seattle.

Morning Must Reads: Training and Education? Let Them Go To The Pittsburgh Opera

When workers lose their jobs in a recession, they have time that could be spent in training programs targeted to the needs of employers. Of course, there is a hitch: during a recession, employers are not hiring, so at the very time there are lots of people available to train, employers don't need new workers. As the economy improves (like it is now), it opens the door to training tied to the needs of businesses that are hiring. 

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