March 2, 2009 |
More than half of all Americans - about 160 million - think of themselves as middle class, according to a 2008 Pew survey. But recent events suggest officials in Washington have a much narrower definition, encompassing only the 16 million workers represented by a union. This definition gives new perspective to last week's first meeting of the Middle Class Working Families Task Force in Philadelphia. Headed by Vice President Biden, the task force certainly seems to be a high priority for the White House.
January 10, 2010 |
"I think it's an injustice. I'm a proud American who did the best I could for my country and this is how they reward me. " - Bradley Birkenfeld, a whistle-blower in a tax-evasion probe of UBS AG, as he reported to prison for helping clients hide hundreds of millions of dollars and evade U.S. taxes "Make no mistake about it, this case is about more than just hats. " - DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the National Football League Players Association, on the Supreme Court battle over who gets to make official NFL headgear logos "The Europeans should focus the conversation on the economic issues of climate change, the green jobs, the recovery.
March 17, 2009 |
MY TWO grandchildren are excited about celebrating the Irish part of their heritage today. Like millions of others, Dylan, who's 8, and Kaya, 5, want to paint the town green in commemoration of St. Patrick's Day, the celebration of the man who, according to legend, helped spread Christianity throughout Ireland near the end of the fourth century. I told the grandkids that although I'm donning green as well today, I will not be downing any green beer or green potatoes. Although I do have Irish in my bloodline, my reasons for going green have little to do with shamrocks and more to do with helping to save the environment.
January 29, 2016 |
THE JOB FAIR was unconventional. The applicants, mostly young black men, had all served time in prison for everything from robbery to cocaine sales. And yet, unlike most job fairs, more than half of the 50 or so participants were expected to walk away with a job in landscaping, perhaps even a promising career, a life of greener pastures. "What we have here today is contractors giving individuals a second chance at becoming productive citizens," said Terrell Bagby, interim director of RISE, a city reintegration program for so-called returning citizens.
November 3, 2009
A COMMUNITY COLLEGE is the setting for a sitcom on NBC, but the health and improvement of the nation's community colleges is no joke. In fact, if President Obama has his way, community colleges will be an engine of the economic recovery. It looks as if millions of students already have the same idea: About 40 percent of 18-24 year olds - a record - are in college, says a new study by the Pew Research Center. Recent gains are attributed to a surge in enrollment at community colleges.
April 21, 2008 |
During the last 10 years the prices of oil, natural gas and now coal have increased about 400 percent. Higher fossil-fuel prices are adding to our economic pain and soon will be reflected in electricity bills, since we make 70 percent of our electricity by burning fossil fuels. Electricity rate caps in Pennsylvania that capped prices at 1996 levels have ended in six electricity-service territories and will end throughout the state by January 2011. Gov. Rendell has been sounding the alarm since February 2007 on energy prices, urging swift passage of a package of energy bills that would create great green jobs and give consumers practical tools to cut their electricity bills.
June 19, 2010
Blame oil spill on lack of regulation I do not want to let BP off the hook for the Gulf disaster that will affect people, wildlife, and nature for years to come. But demonizing BP takes others off the hook. And they are equally responsible for this disaster. Those others? Our elected officials who, due to "campaign contributions," consistently have refused to enact tough laws and regulations governing offshore drilling operations. These never-enacted laws would not have allowed this massive leak to occur in the first place.
March 3, 2010 |
In his eighth and final budget address last month, Gov. Rendell repeatedly criticized "special interests" for stymieing his legislative proposals. He said, " ... the time has come to put stricter controls not simply on what they report, but on what they do. " And he called for a cap on special-interest groups' campaign contributions, implying that such limits would lower the hurdles for his policy proposals. So it was ironic when, just days after the governor hammered special interests, I heard from dozens of Rendell's fellow Democrats in the state House, who wanted me to contribute amounts ranging from $250 to $5,000 to their reelection campaigns.
January 13, 2012 |
Jobs, jobs, jobs. A green economy can bring them on. That was one focus of a sustainability forum Friday led by Mayor Nutter, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, and Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira. Nutter cited the replacement of 85,000 incandescent traffic signals with LEDs in the last year. Besides saving the city $1 million a year on energy costs, "someone had to make them, and someone had to install them. . . . It is about putting people to work.