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 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.
February 21, 2016 |
TRENTON - New Jersey's top two elected Democrats said Friday that they would introduce legislation to phase in an increase in the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour, and vowed to put the question to voters if Gov. Christie rejects their proposal. Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D., Hudson), whose relationship appeared to sour in recent months amid a fight over casino gaming, had previously proposed competing plans. But on Friday, they held a rare joint news conference to announce their compromise, which would initially increase the minimum wage from $8.38 to $10.10 an hour.
February 19, 2016
By Michael Saltsman Gov. Wolf proposed raising Pennsylvania's minimum wage by 41 percent, to $10.15, last week as part of his 2016-17 budget. Perhaps he's thinking second time lucky. Last year, as part of his first budget, he proposed raising the minimum wage to $10.10. While the nickel-higher proposal is new, the economics of it remain the same. In 2014, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analyzed the effects of a $10.10 minimum wage applied nationally. It concluded that 500,000 jobs would be lost nationwide if it took effect.
February 19, 2016
By Kia Hinton and Shymara Jones Today, about halfway through Mayor Kenney's first 99 days in office, it is clear that the city has moved in a positive direction - but plenty of work remains to be done. Most critically, the mayor can make the next 50 days even better by adopting a $15 minimum wage for all city government employees, a bold move that would follow in the footsteps of big-city mayors like Bill de Blasio in New York and set the bar higher for other elected officials still on the fence.