Are Economic Elites Awaking to the Need to Do Something About Inequality?

The first in an occasional series on reducing inequality

Are American opinion leaders and policymakers finally ready for a serious effort to reduce economic inequality and rebuild opportunity in America?

In a series of blog posts, we will point to growing evidence that they might be, thanks to a powerful mix of unrelenting data on economic polarizations and worker campaigns demanding a change. Better late than never.

In this first entry, I want to set up the series with some context.

Newt to Blame for the Obamacare Website (?) and the Closing of the Office of Technology Assessment

One of my standard phrases since I came to Pennsylvania in December 1995 to launch Keystone Research Center is that "Newt Gingrich eliminated my old job and created my new job."

Many Core Drilling Jobs Existed Before Emergence of Hydrofracking

It’s been nearly two weeks since we released a report with the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative finding that drilling in the six states that span the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations has produced far fewer new jobs than the industry and its supporters claim.

Celebrate #GivingTuesday With Us

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Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that was started last year as an opportunity at the start of the Giving Season to support important causes that help create a better world.

On this #GivingTuesday, please consider the Keystone Research Center (KRC) and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) in your donation dollars.

California Conservative Proposes $12 Per Hour Minimum Wage

Last week, The New York Times reported that Ron Unz, a conservative Silicon Valley millionaire and past Editor of The American Conservative, favors increasing California's minimum wage to $12 per hour.

The arguments he is making explain why a much higher minimum wage strengthens the economy and benefits taxpayers, and progressives should capitalize on his support to amplify these arguments in their own advocacy.

In Case You Missed It: A Dose of Reality on Shale-Related Employment, PA Jobs Update, and School Funding

Third and State is taking a break for the holiday. We will return on December 2. Happy Thanksgiving.

In recent weeks, we blogged about a new report on the jobs impact of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus and Utica Shale formation. We also had the latest on Pennsylvania jobs, a report on a day of action in support of expanding Medicaid, and a letter to the editor setting the record straight about school funding in Pennsylvania.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT AT THIRD AND STATE:

  • On the Marcellus Shale, Chris Lilienthal blogged about a new report finding that shale drilling in the six states spanning the Marcellus and Utica Shale has produced far fewer new jobs than the industry and its supporters claim. The report was the first released by the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative — a group of research organizations, including the Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, tracking the impacts of shale drilling. Chris also highlighted other findings from the report: that shale drilling is highly sensitive to price fluctuations, and that since 2012 shale drilling has shifted from Pennsylvania to Ohio and other areas with growth in more lucrative shale oil production.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price wrote that there was little good job news for Pennsylvania in the September and October employment reports released last week.
  • On education and the state budget, Sharon Ward shared her letter to the editor in The Patriot-News and PennLive.com setting the record straight about funding cuts to Pennsylvania schools in recent years.
  • And on health care, Chris Lilienthal highlighted a recent statewide day of action calling on Pennsylvania lawmakers to expand Medicaid health coverage in 2014 under the health reform law.

SHALE EMPLOYMENT REPORT

  • Drilling in the six states that span the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations has produced far fewer new jobs than the industry and its supporters claim. Read the new report or a press release on it from the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative

WATCH PBPC'S LATEST WEBINAR

Watch the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's latest webinar for a look at proven strategies to provide property tax relief to those who most need it — while protecting critical investments in public education.

A Shift in Drilling from Pennsylvania to Ohio

To follow up on my blog post Monday, here is a look at how shale drilling has shifted from Pennsylvania to Ohio and other areas with growth in shale oil production beginning in 2012.
A Shift in Drilling from PA to OH

Webinar: Property Tax Relief that Works

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Some states have developed effective policies to address the challenges faced by some seniors and working families in paying their property taxes. What can Pennsylvania learn from them?

Watch the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's latest webinar for a closer look at proven strategies to provide property tax relief to those who most need it — while protecting critical investments in public education. Get more resources from the webinar, including a PDF of the presentation.

Meg Wiehe, State Tax Policy Director for the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), and Frank Mauro, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute in New York, joined PBPC Research Director Michael Wood to highlight property tax relief plans that work.

Shale Drilling Highly Sensitive to Price, Meaning Job Gains May Not Be Lasting

Natural gas drilling in the six states spanning the Marcellus Shale is highly sensitive to price fluctuations. High prices fueled shale development from 2000 to 2008. As prices have declined, gas drilling activity has slowed while development of higher-priced oil has accelerated.
Drilling for Natural Gas Fluctuates with Natural Gas Price

Little Good News for PA Jobs in September and October

One of the many lingering side effects of the shutdown of the federal government in October was a delay in the release of Pennsylvania jobs data for September. Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics gives us our first look at the September jobs numbers along with preliminary numbers for October. (The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has yet to release its own summary.)

The job numbers were all around disappointing.

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