Working Harder, Falling Farther Behind

August 31, 2012 by

Mainers lucky enough to have a job are working harder than ever, but still finding it hard to make ends meet. A typical Maine family works over 3,500 hours in a year. That’s 500 hours more than they worked 30 years ago. Happy Labor Day.

Part of the reason Mainers are working harder is that wage growth is weak for most folks. Inflation-adjusted hourly wages are lower than they were … Read the rest

Social Security Turns 77: It Works for Maine’s Residents and Economy

August 14, 2012 by

Imagine if one out of every two Maine residents over the age of 65 lived in poverty.

That’s what would happen if we had no Social Security.

Without Social Security, the elderly poverty rate in Maine would be nearly half (47.9%) rather than the 8.8% (1 out of 11) that it is today.

One in four Maine residents received Social Security benefits in 2010. Social Security is not a … Read the rest

Double-up Food Bucks: Double the Return, Double the Economic Impact

August 13, 2012 by

Blogger’s Note: This blog post has been corrected. The original version contained an error. It shoud read and now does, “The House version of the farm bill (H.R. 6083) reduces the amount families and seniors receive by an alarming $16.5 billion nationwide over the next 10 years.”

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In Maine and other states a pilot program is underway which enables SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) families to … Read the rest

Right To Rent: A Simple Way to Avoid the Costs of Foreclosure

August 3, 2012 by

$79,443.

That’s the nationwide estimated cost of a single foreclosure.

And with lenders saddled with $50,000 of the cost it was no surprise that in March, Bank of America launched one of the first commercial “Right to Rent” pilot programs (or as they called it, “Mortgage to Lease”) that forgave any outstanding mortgage debt and allowed homeowners to rent their home from Bank of America in order to … Read the rest

National KIDS COUNT Index Tells a Positive, Yet Cautionary Tale

August 1, 2012 by

In light of recent press around Maine’s Hunger Initiative, pioneered by Preble Street, it is timely to take a look at child well-being indicators as researched by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

In their 23rd KIDS COUNT Data Book, the foundation painted a more comprehensive and detailed portrait of states’ rankings. Maine ranked 13th out of the 50 states in a composite index across four domains: … Read the rest