Income Inequality

Morning Must Reads: Inequality Bad

The biggest challenge facing the next President of the United States is runaway inequality.

The State of Working America lays out the trends:

Between 1983 and 2010, nearly three-fourths (74.2 percent) of the total growth in household wealth accrued to the top 5 percent of households in the wealth distribution. For the bottom 60 percent of households, wealth declined from 1983 to 2010.

Morning Must Reads: The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent

Over the weekend, Chrystia Freeland told a story about the city of Venice to warn of the pitfalls for all of society when extreme inequality undermines social mobility.

Third and State This Week: Confusion About Voter ID, Payday Lending in the Senate and Poverty-wage Jobs

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a new report on the Voter ID Law, a bill to legalize high-interest payday lending now before the state Senate, poverty-wage jobs in Pennsylvania, and much more!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On voter ID, Sharon Ward blogged about a new report from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on confusion surrounding the new law among PennDOT staff and voters alike. You can check out PBPC's full report here.
  • On payday lending, Mark Price wrote about legislation before the Senate to legalize payday loans with annual interest rates of 369%. He also explained that the writer of a letter to the editor in the Patriot-News supportive of the bill forgot to mention her group represents payday lenders.
  • On economic development, Mark Price wrote about local incentives in a Tennessee town intended to lure web developers.
  • On poverty, Mark Price reported that about 24% of Pennsylvania workers earned poverty wages in 2011.
  • On monetary policy, Mark Price highlighted two views on what the Federal Reserve can do to boost the economy. 
  • On education, Mark Price shared an Allentown Morning Call column offering a midterm report card on Governor Corbett's education policies.
  • And in a Friday Funny, we bring you an article by the satirical newspaper The Onion on how voter suppression in Pennsylvania isn't as fun as it used to be. 

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

A Look at Poverty-Wage Jobs in Pennsylvania

In this year's State of Working Pennsylvania, we explored the prevalence of poverty-wage jobs in the commonwealth. 

We define poverty-wage jobs as those paying hourly wages that would not be sufficient for a full-time (40 hours a week), year-round (52 weeks) worker to earn an income greater than the poverty line for a family of four with two children. 

Morning Must Reads: The Pennsylvania Senate Considers Payday Lending, Really?

Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate Banking and Insurance Committee held a hearing on payday lending. The testimony, time allotments and treatment of testifiers was biased in favor of the out-of-state companies seeking to permit the entry of storefront payday lenders in Pennsylvania by way of Senate passage of House Bill 2191.

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!

Morning Must Reads: A Bittersweet Investment By Hershey

The Hershey Company today unveils plans for a new $300 million investment in a state of the art manufacturing facility here in the midstate. This is sweet news or, as David Wenner explains, bittersweet news.

Morning Must Reads: Occupy Wall Street A Year Later

While media attention may have been slow at the start of the Occupy Wall Street Movement a year ago, coverage of the first anniversary of the movement has not been.

As someone who has spent much of his very short career (9 years) writing about the alarming growth of inequality in this country, I view the greatest achievement of the Occupy Movement as focusing the country's attention on income inequality in a way that no individual writer or economist was ever able to do. As a result, the movement has shaped public debate and policy in a way that is incalculable but deeply valuable.

Third and State This Week: Voter ID Before Supreme Court, Fewer Uninsured Americans & State Revenue Update

This week at Third and State, we blogged about Voter ID arguments before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, new Census data showing a decrease in the number of uninsured Americans, state revenue collections through August, and much more.

 IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On the Voter ID Law, Jamar Thrasher wrote about arguments before the state Supreme Court in a legal challenge to the law during which a few justices raised concerns about the number of voters impacted and asked why the commonwealth was rushing to implement the law for the fall election.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal blogged about Census Bureau data released this week showing that more Americans were insured in 2011 than the year before, thanks largely to provisions of the Affordable Care Act. 
  • On income inequality and poverty, Mark Price wrote about the bad news in the Census data — incomes are down and poverty is up in Pennsylvania compared to before the recession. Chris had also blogged about what to expect in the Census data on poverty, income and health insurance.
  • On state budget and taxes, Michael Wood blogged about state revenue collections through August but noted that September will tell a fuller story about the state's revenue picture.
  • Finally, Mark Price had a Morning Must Read highlighting news stories on the Chicago teachers strike and an analysis of the job growth performance of past presidential administrations.

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

Poverty and Income in Pennsylvania

Update: You can read a full overview of the Census data released this week from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center

Since Chris got to bring you the good news in the latest release of Census data on health insurance, it falls to me to deliver the bad news regarding incomes and poverty.

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