March 24, 2016 |
Even as the job market tightens and unemployment declines, the recent recession has yet another blow to deliver to the labor economy - one that may not be felt for several years. "We may not be able to provide a good number of jobs for highly skilled people," said economist Efua Afful at Moody's Analytics in West Chester. That is because research-and-development investment, which leads to innovation and employment for highly skilled workers, plummeted during the recession and has yet to rebound, she said.
March 23, 2016
ISSUE | RIDE-SHARING Creative destruction Ride-sharing companies like Uber are similar to direct marketing companies like Avon. Their "representatives" (in this case drivers) are self-employed individuals who earn commissions based entirely on how many hours they freely choose to work; they are not employees. To talk about their having the right to join a union or be paid a minimum wage is absurd. Most drivers treat ride-sharing as part-time work to supplement their income and may also enjoy the social contact and fun of doing something entirely different.
March 22, 2016
The public outcry 11 years ago after Pennsylvania legislators met to give themselves a pay raise in the dead of night included complaints that the state's minimum wage had not been raised since 1995. Ironically, 1995 was also when legislators voted to give themselves annual cost-of-living increases, which have helped boost their current salaries to $85,340 annually. That's about $32,000 above the median income in the state and more than five times what minimum-wage workers are paid.
March 22, 2016
ISSUE | MINIMUM WAGE Increases are needed The Jewish Social Policy Action Network applauds Gov. Wolf for increasing the minimum wage of state workers and those on contract with the state to $10.15 an hour ("Wolf raises state workers' minimum wage," March 8). An across-the-board increase for all workers in the state would be even more laudable. Even $10.15 is inadequate. In a 40-hour workweek, gross salaries would top out at $406 a week. A 2014 survey by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that minimum-wage workers in Pennsylvania (making $7.25 an hour)
March 16, 2016
ISSUE | RIDE-SHARING Leaders, shun Uber Consider how many of Philadelphia's progressive Democrtats and elected officials oppose discriminatory practices, want companies to pay at least the minimum wage, believe multinational corporations have too much power, and support the right of collective bargaining for wages and benefits. Then consider how many of those people support the ride-sharing services UberX, Uber Pool, and Lyft. Here are some facts about Uber and Lyft: They are multinational corporations.
March 11, 2016
NOT MANY would ever accuse Pennsylvania of being a progressive state - either politically or practically. On measures such as funding for education, safety-net spending, tax policy and other points, we often end up in the bottom half of national lists. But this week, Gov. Wolf signed an executive order to increase the minimum wage for state workers from the state minimum of $7.25 to $10.15 an hour. This is progress, plain and simple. Predictably, some Republican lawmakers and conservative thinkers criticized the move, saying that the state can't afford the price tag for moving people from $7.25-an-hour poverty wages.
March 9, 2016
ISSUE | MINIMUM WAGE Pa. raise is overdue Raising the Pennsylvania minimum wage to $10.10 an hour will help fund the 2016-17 state budget while providing a sorely needed assist to hundreds of thousands of working poor. Raising the minimum wage would generate increased revenue and program savings of $225 million for the upcoming state budget. The Keystone Research Center has estimated that the the increase in wages would generate $121.5 million through increased income and sales taxes.
March 7, 2016
Well, Super Tuesday has come and gone, and the likely presidential candidates for each party look even more likely. No matter who wins the nominations, we need to start thinking about how to evaluate the candidates' economic strategies. Right now, those policies consist of not being a lightweight and not being a socialist. But eventually, policy will be discussed, and judging the validity of the ideas is not as easy as our political "leaders" imply. What seems logical may be nothing more than faulty thinking.
February 24, 2016
ISSUE | MINIMUM WAGE More real income In his commentary opposing a $10.10 minimum wage ("Raises reduce job opportunities," Thursday), Michael Saltsman of the Employment Policies Institute highlighted a 2014 Congressional Budget Office report that said that such an increase in the minimum wage would eliminate 500,000 jobs nationwide. The commentary neglected to mention that the same report also said that with a $10.10 minimum wage, "Real income would increase, on net, by $5 billion for families whose income will be below the poverty threshold under current law, boosting their average family income by about 3 percent and moving about 900,000 people, on net, above the poverty threshold.
February 23, 2016 |
Fresh off recent successes rallying urban Jewish, Muslim, and Christian congregations to enter the political fray, one of Philadelphia's largest interfaith coalitions has now set its sights on the region. On Sunday, Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER) welcomed members from 16 congregations in Montgomery and Delaware Counties to publicly launch POWER Metro - a new chapter of the social advocacy group out to prove that problems of poverty, crime, homelessness, and poorly funded public education are not just the concerns of city dwellers.