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.
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.
Last week, The New York Timesreported 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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. In fact, in Pennsylvania, shale-related employment accounted for less than half a percent of total nonfarm employment in 2012 (as the figure to the right shows).