Fiscal and Monetary Policy

Midday Must Reads: College Grads Compete with Outsourcing, Face Debt

Recent college graduates seeking jobs are finding more competition from across the globe. American companies are cutting costs and raising revenues by employing international workers, Nancy Folbre, a University of Massachusetts economics professor, explains at the New York Times' Economix Blog.

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!

Morning Must Reads: New Olympic Event, Economy Shrinking

The idea of expansionary austerity is that in the midst of high unemployment, the public sector can reduce spending and unleash an explosion of economic growth that leads more quickly to recovery (Dean Baker explains here).

The United Kingdom has been putting this idea into practice since 2010 when a new government was elected. Today, we got more results on how that is working out: the UK economy has now shrunk for three consecutive quarters and is now smaller than when the current government took office.

Morning Must Reads: Red Tape Is for the Unlucky In Pennsylvania

Click To EnlargeAfter signing legislation complicating the determination of eligibility for unemployment insurance, the Corbett administration is laying off frontline workers in Philadelphia who help recently unemployed workers determine their eligibility.

Morning Must Reads: Elected Officials Are Supposed To Do No Harm

The New York Times has a good editorial this morning based on analysis by Josh Bivens and Heidi Shierholz at the Economic Policy Institute on just how much state and local budget cuts have hurt job growth. Bottom line, the editorial says, Congress could lower the unemployment rate substantially by providing more federal aid to states.

This Week at Third and State: Tax Break for Shell Cracker Plant, Payday Lending and Budget Myths

This week at Third and State, we blogged about Governor Tom Corbett's proposal to give Shell Oil Co. a $1.65 billion tax credit over 25 years for building an ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania. We also wrote about the passage of legislation in the state House to legalize predatory payday lending, the myths behind Governor Corbett's budget myths, the national job numbers for May, and more. 


  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward blogged about the five "myths" the Corbett administration claims are circulating about the governor's proposed budget — and the myths behind the myths.
  • On tax policy, Mark Price highlighted a Philadelphia Daily News report on Governor Corbett's proposal to give Shell a $1.6 billion tax credit for locating an ethane cracker plant in the state. Chris Lilienthal wrote about a Capitolwire report asking whether Shell should get such a large tax break for jobs that other companies may bring to Pennsylvania.
  • On consumer protection, Mark Price was on top of developments with the payday lending bill, which passed the House on Wednesday. He had updates here and here and blogged about the bill's final passage here.
  • On job and the economy, Mark Price made sense of the national jobs numbers for May. He also took a look at the impact of economic austerity on Pennsylvania schools.

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

Morning Must Reads: Austerity Hurts and the Sands in Bethlehem Has A Union But No Contract!

On Friday, we got a disappointing jobs report for May in which unemployment ticked up slightly and non-farm payroll growth came in below 100,000 jobs. The volatility of the numbers may reflect unseasonably warm winter weather rather than a fundamental slowdown in the economy. That said, the economy continues to grow at a pace too slow to bring down the unemployment rate quickly.

The Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Maria Panaritis has a biting commentary today on the impact of economic austerity on Pennsylvania schools.

Morning Must Reads: Remembering the Accounting Scandals, Bernanke vs. Plosser and Health Care Reform Art and Success!

The Harrisburg Patriot-News has a somewhat nostalgic look at the accounting scandal at the cable company Adelphia

In a study of contrasts, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser both gave speeches on Monday. Bernanke's talk focused sharply on the poor performance of the labor market while Plosser voiced again his concern that Central Banks have done too much to aid in the recovery.

Morning Must Reads: Government Spending, Top Incomes and adultBasic

Paul Krugman this morning caps off a series of blog posts over the last week with a column comparing government spending in the recovery following the deep 1981 recession and government spending in the recovery following the 2007 recession. The bottom line: the employment situation now would have been much better if the federal government had done more to provide aid to state and local governments.

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