Posts by mark price

The Not Sharing Economy: Lyft and Uber take aim at Pennsylvania

The companies Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. offer smart phone apps that allow you to find drivers available for hire. The companies have expanded rapidly in the last year and are just now hitting the City of Pittsburgh. 

Investigators from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission responsible for regulating taxi cabs caught the companies operating in Pittsburgh and two judges have issued orders for the companies to stop offering their services in the city.

As Josh Eidelson in Business Week notes, the conflict in Pittsburgh is not a new experience for the companies. They have also met with resistance in some other states and localities in which the firms began offering services without first obtaining regulatory approval.

This is what the business lobby looks like on drugs

I just read this Mother Jones story on a letter from the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) that focuses on whether or not auto insurance is affordable for low income consumers.  In making the case for the affordability of the auto insurance products of its members, NAMIC quoted statistics from the Consumer Expenditures Survey:

Exploiting People Down on Their Luck To Make A Buck

The House Commerce Committee is set to vote on June 17th on SB 622 the Debt Settlement Services Act.  This legislation covers the licensing and regulation of debt settlement companies in Pennsylvania. 

Debt settlement services run television commercials in which companies with comforting names that include words like free, freedom, and relief offer consumers a chance to cut their debt by up to 50%!

Seattle has adopted a city minimum wage of $15 an hour.

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As you may have heard by now, Seattle has adopted a city minimum wage of $15 an hour. As with all minimum wage increases, this one will be phased in over three to seven years depending on the size of the business

Arindrajit Dube, a rising star in labor economics has an excellent editorial on the proposal that I would encourage you all to read.

Is yet another vehicle to expand payday lending in the hopper in Harrisburg?

First there was HB2191 in 2012, followed by SB975 in 2013 and now Senator Jake Corman is soliciting his colleagues for co-sponsorship of a bill that would create a “90 Day Consumer Loan Program”.  With short term lending products the devil is always in the details and we don’t yet have the language of the bill.  

An update on the campaign to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania

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Here is a quick audio update (mp3) on the campaign to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania.

Those of you that prefer not to hear my voice can read the update here.

Putting the April Jobs Report in Context

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that nonfarm payrolls grew by 10,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 5.7% in April.

Resident Unemployment

Over the month, the labor force was essentially unchanged as the number of residents reporting employment rose by 0.4% and the number reporting they were unemployed fell by 5.6%.

Pocket money for a business lobbyist is real money for working families

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On Wednesday ABC27 did a story on proposals to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania which attributed the following to an anonymous Pennsylvania business lobbyist:

Pennsylvania business leaders and lobbyists argue the minimum wage increase would benefit only workers in entry-level positions or those earning pocket money.

On Thursday join an event near you to advocate for a higher minimum wage in Pennsylvania.

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Today we released a new report "Living on the Edge: Where Very Low Wage Workers Live in Pennsylvania". This comes in advance of Thursday's statewide day of action organized by a diverse coalition of faith, labor and community groups urging lawmakers to take action to raise the minimum wage in Pennsylvania (see http://raisethewagepa.org/ for more information on local events).