Race and Gender

Midday Must Reads: Increasing the Minimum Wage and the Long-term Impact of Foreclosures

The Great Recession and its aftermath have spurred increasing income and wealth inequality.

The Washington Post takes a look into the effects of the recession and housing crisis on African Americans. The article takes a look at the subprime loans African Americans were given and the long-lasting effects these loans may have on credit and wealth for African American communities.

Third and State This Week: A Brighter Revenue Picture, Impact of Corporate Tax Cuts and Payday Lending

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a new revenue report from the Independent Fiscal Office offering a more upbeat view of the economy moving forward, and the likely impact of a state House-approved bill to reduce corporate taxes by nearly $1 billion by the end of the decade. We also posted Morning Must Reads on payday lending legislation and the economic cost of an asset test for Pennsylvanians in need of food assistance.


  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward blogged about the Independent Fiscal Office's new report predicting a smaller revenue shortfall for the current year and more robust revenue collections for 2012-13. Mark Price also had analysis on the new revenue report, noting that state budget cuts have hurt job growth.
  • On tax policy, Chris Lilienthal wrote about the House's approval of a plan to reduce corporate taxes by nearly $1 billion by the end of the decade without any commitment from businesses to put Pennsylvanians back to work. Sharon Ward shared her Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed on this bill and a memo she sent to editors and reporters outlining her concerns with the bill.
  • Finally, Mark Price had Morning Must Reads on legislation in the state House to legalize payday loans charging upwards of 300% in annual percentage rates, and the lost economic activity from implementing an asset test for people receiving food stamps.

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

Morning Must Reads: Happy May Day, SNAP Asset Test to Cost PA $45 Million & Deaths from Falls

Happy International Workers Day! What's that, you ask? Historian Jacob Remes breaks it down for you.

Morning Must Reads: Happy Equal Pay Day

April 17 is Equal Pay Day, which the National Committee on Equal Pay defines as:

This date symbolizes how far into 2012 women must work to earn what men earned in 2011.

In the spirit of Equal Pay Day, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this morning has a profile of Lilly Ledbetter.

Lunch Time Must Reads: Gender, Employment and the Public Sector

Catherine Rampell at The New York Times explores recent claims made in the Presidential campaign about job loss by gender.

Morning Must Reads: Rising Demand for Meals On Wheels in Reading and Fines for a Hershey Co. Subcontractor

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The Reading Eagle reports meals on wheels for low-income and disabled adults is short of cash thanks to rising demand and falling state support.

Morning Must Reads: Soup Kitchens & Self Sufficiency Programs Under Pressure & Marcellus Public Health Issues

The Erie Times-News reports this morning that Governor Tom Corbett's decision to implement an asset test for food assistance in Pennsylvania is expected to drive more people to seek help in already overburdened soup kitchens.

In other news this morning, it has fallen to charitable foundations to fund programs to help identify the public health impacts of Marcellus Shale development.

Morning Must Reads: PA Department of Public Welfare Adviser Resigns $100K Job Over Conservative Journal, More on Banks

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports this morning that Bank of New York Mellon has reached a partial settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Under the deal, the bank will stop listing services as "free" that it, in fact, charges a fee for. What remains to be settled are monetary damages for allegations that the bank overcharged pension plans and other clients for financial services.

Third and State This Week: Economic Mobility, Budgetary Freeze and Regulations

This week, we blogged about a $157 million midyear budgetary freeze, intergenerational mobility in the U.S. and false claims about the impact of regulations on jobs and the economy.


  • On income inequality, Mark Price blogged about a New York Times story this week providing fresh evidence that there is less intergenerational economic mobility in the U.S. than in Europe.
  • On the state budget, Sharon Ward wrote about a $157 million state spending freeze announced by the Corbett administration this week, marking the fifth straight year of cuts to health care, education and human services in Pennsylvania.
  • Responding to false claims about jobs and regulations, Stephen Herzenberg cited a former Reagan/Bush official who has written that “no hard evidence is offered” for the claim that new regulations are holding back investment and job creation:
  • In the Morning Must Reads, Mark Price highlighted news stories discussing the gender pay gap and a report linking Chesapeake Bay cleanup to job creation.
  • And finally, congratulation to Mark Price, named one of 2011's most influential voices in business by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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

Morning Must Reads: The Gender Pay Gap

This morning, the Reading Eagle does a nice job summarizing Berks County and Pennsylvania data on the gender pay gap. One important note, a certain amount of differences in earnings can be explained by variation in what economists call productivity-related characteristics — things such as education and experience. When you make adjustments for this, the gender pay gap is somewhat smaller but still present and meaningful. The bottom line, the unadjusted gender pay gap data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which the Reading Eagle presents, remains a reasonable guide to the state of gender pay equity.

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