Recession and Recovery

Morning Must Reads: Another Austerity Budget, Blue-Collar Layoffs in Philly & More Paperwork!

Vacations are great, but it is good to be back! While I was away, European leaders met to take what they hoped was decisive action to stem rising borrowing costs for Spain. 

And once again borrowing costs in Spain were on the rise Monday (paywall). With the Spanish economy once again shrinking, European leaders are giving the country more time to reduce its budget deficit but are still insisting on spending reductions in the face of a shrinking economy. 

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: An Education Priorities Problem, Payday Lending, and a Bait and Switch

All of us at Third and State hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend. Before heading to your weekend barbecues, check out our blog wrap. We wrote this week about a statewide day of action for education, a new survey of school districts squeezed by budget cuts, and a bait and switch approach to tax credit programs for private school scholarships. We also had posts on payday lending, the prevailing wage and more. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On education and the state budget, Mark Price summed up the news coverage from the statewide day of action to mark Education Advocacy Week and explained why the state's approach to school funding is more a priorities problem than a revenue problem. Chris Lilienthal blogged about a new survey of school districts indicating that more cuts to the classroom are on the way thanks in part to state funding cuts. And Stephen Herzenberg wrote that the political marketing of private school scholarship tax credits as alternatives for students in distressed communities is a bait and switch.
  • On federal tax policy and the economy, Chris Lilienthal shared a Marketplace interview with wealthy venture capitalist Nick Hanauer who said that investing in the middle class, rather than tax breaks for the wealthy, is the key to future and shared prosperity.
  • And in Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted an editorial on why legalizing predatory payday loans would be bad for Pennsylvania, and passed on a letter to the editor showing that actual Pennsylvania job creators support the state's prevailing wage law.

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

Third and State This Week: PA Jobs Report, Uncompensated Care Costs at Hospitals & Alcohol-Related Traffic Deaths

This week at Third and State, we blogged about Pennsylvania's April jobs numbers and state revenue report, a new report on uncompensated care costs at hospitals in the commonwealth, rates of alcohol-related traffic deaths in alcohol control states, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price blogged about Pennsylvania’s April jobs report and an effort to undermine the state’s unemployment insurance system.
  • On health care, Chris Lilienthal wrote about a new report from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council finding that uncompensated care costs at hospitals rose 11% in 2010-11, the same year the state ended the adultBasic program.
  • On the privatization of alcohol distribution, Mark Price shared a new Keystone Research Center analysis finding that states with tighter control over the sale and distribution of alcohol have lower alcohol-related traffic deaths than states that take a more hands off approach.
  • On state taxes, Michael Wood wrote about the April state revenue report, which marked the third straight month of collections exceeding monthly estimates.
  • And in Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news coverage of an effort to legalize predatory payday lending in Pennsylvania and what that has to do with motor vehicle fatalities among oil and gas workers; stories on Governor Tom Corbett’s question-and-answer session at a Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce event; the Governor’s “Do as I say, not as I do” message to school districts; and the importance of training programs targeted to the needs of employers as the economy recovers.

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

Morning Must Reads: PA Job Numbers Out, The War On Unemployment Insurance, and Inequality

Happy Sunny Friday, people! Now for the not so good news. The job numbers for Pennsylvania came out Thursday, and the overall picture was somewhat disappointing. The unemployment rate edged down slightly to 7.4% and nonfarm payrolls declined by 600 jobs.

Morning Must Reads: Governor to School Districts: Do As I Say Not As I Do

The Associated Press reports this morning that Governor Corbett believes reductions in access to kindergarten and music or arts programs could be avoided if more school districts would spend down their reserves. This is the same Governor Corbett who left nearly half a billion in revenue unspent in last year's budget and the same Governor arguing that the new budget should again leave unspent hundreds of millions in better-than-expected state tax revenues.

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. 

Morning Must Reads: The Impact of Economic Austerity, Student Loans and the Geography of Manufacturing

The U.S. economy is growing, albeit too slowly to make a substantial and badly needed dent in the unemployment rate. Growth in the U.S. economy will almost certainly mean continued growth in the Pennsylvania economy.

The most important risk to Pennsylvania's job growth in 2012 remains job losses among teachers, nurses and other public servants caused by federal and state budget cuts. 

Third and State This Week: Closing Loopholes on Tax Day, Angry Shareholders and PA Job Numbers

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a call to close tax loopholes on Tax Day, shareholders unhappy with big CEO paydays, Equal Pay Day, new state job numbers and more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On tax and budget issues, Chris Lilienthal highlighted where our tax dollars are invested, while Sharon Ward blogged about a Tax Day call to close corporate tax loopholes in Harrisburg. Chris also passed on the Top 10 Tax Facts from Demos and The American Prospect.
  • On income inequality, Michael Wood wrote about a couple of recent instances of CEOs being taken to task by shareholders over excessive pay.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price broke down the new Pennsylvania job numbers, and told us all about Equal Pay Day.
  • Finally, on higher education, Mark blogged about news stories on falling state support for higher ed and rising student loan debt.

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

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