Income Inequality

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.

Third and State This Week: State of Working PA, New Online Sales Tax Rules & Honoring Work on Labor Day

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the State of Working Pennsylvania, new rules that will close an online sales tax loophole (at least a little bit), new budget guidelines for 2013-14, honoring work on Labor Day, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price wrote about layoffs in the Pittsburgh School District and the Keystone Research Center's State of Working Pennsylvania report that came out this week. The Keystone report concludes that Pennsylvania and the nation need a new policy direction to lift up working and middle-income families.
  • On state tax policy, Michael Wood blogged about a rule change that will level the playing field somewhat between online retailers and bricks-and-mortar stores by requiring retailers like Amazon, with a physical presence in Pennsylvania, to collect sales tax on online purchases.
  • On state policy, Jamar Thrasher highlighted news reports on new 2013-14 budget guidelines from the Corbett administration and a new type of voter ID introduced this week.
  • And in honor of Labor Day, Mark Price highlighted a few commentaries honoring work and calling for a middle class-friendly economic policy.

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

Morning Must Reads: Honoring Work and Calling for a New Middle-Class Friendly Economic Policy

It is almost here, Labor Day weekend. That means family parties, celebrations and, of course, reverence for the holiness of work that ALSO affords us what workers in the last century called bread and roses. In that spirit, Rick Bloomingdale has an excellent op-ed this morning celebrating the creation of the middle class in this country and calling for a new direction in economic 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.

Morning Must Reads: Poverty In The Midst of Plenty

Wide swaths of Americans face the same problem today, too few jobs that pay a decent living. From Sunday, Peter Edelman discusses the lack of good jobs and its relationship to poverty.

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: The Tax Foundation Has It Both Ways

Paul Krugman catches the Tax Foundation making a bizarre claim about income inequality and in the process reminds us all about the organization's poor track record on the facts.

This Week at Third and State: PA Jobs Advantage Slipping, Outsourcing Hurts Low-wage Workers & Food Stamps Facts

This week at Third and State, we blogged about Pennsylvania’s job advantage over other states slipping in the wake of state budget cuts, how outsourcing jobs hits workers in the paycheck, the facts about food stamps, the state budget, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and the economy, Stephen Herzenberg shared a new Keystone Research Center analysis finding that Pennsylvania’s strong economic growth coming out of the recession has slipped away in part because of state budget cuts, especially in education.
  • On wages and income inequality, intern Alan Bowie blogged about how the outsourcing of jobs is helping push down the incomes of the lowest-paid workers.
  • On the budget, Chris Lilienthal shared the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center’s analysis of the recently passed state budget.
  • And in Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted a Philadelphia Daily News piece laying out the facts about food stamps and a story on layoffs at a Philadelphia unemployment call center, which comes at a time when the state is already lagging behind most other states in delivering initial jobless benefits in a timely manner.

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

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.

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