25 Nov 2013

Six-State Study Finds Industry Supporters Exaggerated Jobs Impact of Shale Drilling

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State 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

07 Nov 2013

Foodstamp Cuts Impact Families and Children in Every PA County

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State A major funding cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) took effect November 1, impacting 1.8 million Pennsylvanians. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is our nation’s first line of defense against hunger and a powerful tool to help keep families out of

30 Oct 2013

Video: Don’t Let Property Tax Plan Derail PA Schools

  By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State The future of Pennsylvania schools — and the quality of education every child receives — is at stake in a property tax proposal in Harrisburg. The plan to swap property taxes for higher state levies will drain billions from Pennsylvania classrooms within a

28 Oct 2013

Death of an Adjunct

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State Appearing earlier this month on a radio program in Pittsburgh with labor historian Charles McCollester, I heard for the first time the story of Margaret Mary Vojtko, a 25-year adjunct faculty member at Duquesne University who died recently in poverty at the age of

25 Oct 2013

More Fun With Shale Jobs Numbers in Pennsylvania

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State Last week, the Marcellus Shale Coalition trumpeted a new claim on the shale drilling industry’s positive impact on Pennsylvania jobs: Raymond James analysts crunched the numbers, and between 2005 and 2012 almost 90 percent of the job growth in Pennsylvania at that time came

17 Oct 2013

What’s at Stake for PA Schools in Property Tax Debate?

By Michael Wood, Third and State The latest proposal to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania would leave school districts with $2.6 billion less in overall funding within five years, according to an analysis from the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office. Matthew Knittel of the IFO presented the findingsduring a Pennsylvania Senate

07 Aug 2013

Health Law Saves Consumers by Requiring Insurers to Spend Premium Dollars on Medical Care

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State A key reform in the Affordable Care Act requires health insurers to spend 80% to 85% of premium dollars directly on medical care or quality improvement expenses as opposed to other administrative costs, marketing, or profits. If an insurer does not meet the standard,

05 Aug 2013

Nearly 1.8 Million in PA Will See Food Assistance Cut

By Chris Lilienthal, Third and State Nutrition assistance is our nation’s first line of defense against hunger and a powerful tool to help keep families out of poverty. Come November, this critical federal assistance will be cut, making it that much more difficult for 1.8 million Pennsylvanians to put food

01 Aug 2013

‘This Is What the Middle Class Looks Like’

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State “This is what democracy looks like.” Even though this chant originated with the Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO), which haven’t yet led to major reforms, the phrase nonetheless captures the idea of a social movement that has crystallized its demands and

24 Jul 2013

Diversion Politics and Factual Errors with ‘Americans for a Tiny Sliver of Rich People’

Jennifer Stefano, the Pennsylvania director of Americans for Prosperity, published an op-ed in the Harrisburg Patriot-News Friday — the latest salvo in an organized right-wing assault on nutrition assistance and other safety net spending. The op-ed claims that the number of Americans who receive some kind of subsidized food assistance