Morning Must Reads: Hard Bargaining in Philadelphia and Regulation

Talk about hard bargaining. The Philadelphia School District's New Year offer in negotiations over a new contract for support staff includes layoff notices to all of the bus drivers and janitors the school district now employs unless the union agrees to $16 million in wage concessions. You, the bus drivers and janitors all remember this is the same district that offered up a CEO style golden parachute of nearly $1 million to former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.

A major theme of 2011 for much of the local and national business lobby was to blame the high level of unemployment on regulation. For this to be true, there would have to be a sudden outburst of regulation in the economy coinciding with the collapse of the housing bubble. Of course, as most people remember, the bubble economy was itself fed by a wave of deregulation as well as regulators refusing to use the powers they had. The Economic Policy Institute has a review of what we know about the impact of regulations on the economy.

This morning, The Associated Press (via The Philadelphia Inquirer) as well as the Harrisburg Patriot-News report on a new study evaluating the job impact of environmental regulations designed to restore the Chesapeake Bay. The study finds efforts to limit environmental damage to the Bay has created jobs. Whatever the merits of the study, it is important to remember that regulations have costs AND benefits.

 Did somebody say clean water and regulation?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined Exco Resources $159,624 for a leaking underground pipe at its Irvin drilling wastewater disposal well in a remote, forested area of Clearfield County that the company failed to report for four months.

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