March 28, 2013 |
More jobs! More money! So say the people backing Gov. Corbett's plans to turn the Pennsylvania Lottery and the State Store system over to private operators. As I noted in this space in January, the lottery-sale plan - currently on hiatus - is designed so the promised jobs and revenue are added only if private managers persuade Pennsylvanians to bet more, through new games like keno (bingo, sort of) in new locations like bars and restaurants. As the pro-privatization Commonwealth Foundation said in a report last week, State Store opponents promise that: "ending the state-run monopoly will create thousands of additional jobs across the state and unleash millions of dollars in new business investment.
March 19, 2013 |
When the Philadelphia Electric Co. hired my father as an engineer in 1946, little did the freshly minted graduate of Tufts University and the Navy V-12 program realize that he had hit the jackpot. For the next 41 years, he and his wife would prosper from a rarity today: remarkable job stability, regular salary increases, and gold-standard benefits that enabled them - on a single "family wage" - to raise five children and send them to college. Moreover, his coveted compensation package was graced with a defined-benefit pension and health-care coverage at retirement for him and my mom, including survivor's benefits after he passed away.
December 24, 2012 |
Just a rocket's throw from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli desert town of Netivot has struggled for years with economic-development and safety concerns when missiles fall. Since 1997, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, under a program of U.S.-Israel community partnerships, has donated about $500,000 a year to the city of 30,000. A new link in that partnership - to be highlighted on Monday at a conference in Netivot - compounds traditional checkbook charity with innovative venture philanthropy.
November 10, 2012 |
When Shake Shack took over the space Dom's Shoe Repair Service had occupied since 1994, Dom's owner Leandro Montalto found a storefront down the street. The Roxborough native made very few modifications to the former dry cleaner's space. He ripped up wall-to-wall carpeting in favor of laminate hardwood flooring, and changed the color of the faux-wood wainscoting from blue to white. Why? "It's a little more appealing," Montalto says, shrugging. It's fair to say he put less thought into designing interactions with his customers than Shake Shack did. There, the order-taker asks your name before handing you a buzzer so when you go to pick up your food, the server can thank you personally.
November 5, 2012 |
Though it's not fashionable to look favorably on the 1950s, voters today might want to consider the choices people faced 60 years ago, the leader they elected, and the stability and prosperity that resulted. In 1952, Americans wanted change. The previous 12 years had been exhausting, marked by wars and recessions and scandals. As the Democrats were in charge, and had been for two decades, it seemed likely that the GOP would benefit from the hopes for new leadership. And with a nickname like "Mr. Republican," U.S. Sen. Robert A. Taft of Ohio had the edge.
September 24, 2012 |
He was the ultimate lawyer role model, a valiant fighter for human rights who battled against steep odds. The fondest hope of many young lawyers a generation ago was to be like the dashing Gregory Peck as he played Atticus Finch in the film To Kill a Mockingbird . Such was the case for Michael Fitts, dean of the University of Pennsylvania law school, who saw Finch as the embodiment of lawyerly ideals. To Fitts, Finch was a lawyer of incomparable decency, courage, and sure-handedness, as fine a lawyer prototype as you might want.
September 18, 2012
By James Gwartney, Robert Lawson, and Joshua Hall As the country enters the final months of the presidential election season, candidates from both parties will promise policies that they claim will improve our standards of living. While the focus of the political debate will be on short-term economic recovery and jobs, the source of long-term prosperity is economic freedom. Economic freedom means people are free to choose, trade, compete, invest, and have the fruits of their labor protected against aggressors within a legal framework of equal treatment and minimal interference from government.
May 25, 2012 |
Waving small plastic shovels, a crowd of 100 well-wishers broke symbolic ground Thursday on a new performing arts center for Norristown that officials hope will help bring cultural revival and economic prosperity back to the beleaguered Montgomery County seat. I'm so thrilled," said Erin Reilly, cofounder of Theatre Horizon, Norristown's professional drama company. "Today is the day when dreams come true. It's an auspicious beginning. " While the renovation to the first floor of the former Bell Telephone Building will provide permanent digs for the drama company for the first time, a lot more is riding on the $1 million project.
May 2, 2012 |
In proposing his state budget for the coming fiscal year, Gov. Corbett emphasized the need to "sort through the must-haves and the nice-to-haves, and compress government into its core functions. ... " He went on to note, "If we believe in society, we must accept that we have a duty to care for and protect those among us who cannot fend for themselves. " Sadly, though, the governor's budget proposal does not match this rhetoric. In fact, his spending plan would weaken the health-care safety net for the most vulnerable among us. By cutting funding for community-based services for those who have health conditions that prevent them from working or obtaining health insurance, for example, the budget would force more people to go without care or turn to hospital emergency rooms for the care they need.
March 7, 2012 |
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The first at-bat of the bottom of the first inning in an otherwise forgettable Grapefruit League game between the Nationals and Braves yesterday actually had longstanding connections to the Phillies' past - and possible ripple effects on the franchise's future. Gio Gonzalez took the mound for the Nationals. Michael Bourn stepped in the batter's box for the Braves. Both are former Phillies farmhands who developed into All-Stars for other clubs, and both are central figures in the National League East race this season.