Mainers’ personal income growth third slowest in the nation; are big businesses to blame?

August 3, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

Since the Great Recession, Mainers’ personal incomes have grown at a slower rate than residents of nearly every other state, according to a new Pew Research Center study.  The Pew analysis of data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that the personal income of Mainers grew by an average of just 1.0% each year from October 2007 through March 2016.  That’s the third slowest rate … Read the rest

Leaked memo confirms Governor’s priorities remain the same – tax breaks for the wealthy, cuts in crucially important investments in our communities

July 28, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

An internal memo leaked from a member of Governor LePage’s administration to the Portland Press Herald reveals LePage’s plans for the upcoming legislative session and the 2018-19 biennial budget. For his final two-year proposal, the governor plans to pursue the same priorities that Mainers and legislators have rejected over and over again – tax breaks for the wealthy, funded by reductions in education, health care, and other services … Read the rest

Maine May jobs numbers contain mixed news

June 17, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today released state employment numbers for May, revealing that Maine was among the majority of states which experienced no statistically-significant change since April in the number of people employed in the state.  Unlike residents of most states, however, Mainers are still waiting for employment levels to recover to pre-recession levels. The estimated number of individuals employed in Maine technically fell by … Read the rest

Report on “America’s Shrinking Middle Class” offers some bright spots for Maine, Lewiston-Auburn

May 27, 2016 by
James Myall 4-26-2016 website

James Myall

The Pew Research Center recently released a report, America’s Shrinking Middle Class, examining the relative proportion of lower-, middle-, and upper-income populations in 229 of the nation’s metro areas.[1] Their findings make for gloomy reading — between 2000 and 2014, the proportion of urban Americans in middle-income[2] households shrank from 55% to 51%. This is a troubling trend, as middle-class Americans are a foundation of … Read the rest

LePage administration’s crusade against food stamps hurts the economy; does nothing to help the poor

May 4, 2016 by

James Myall 4-26-2016 websiteA new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) provides further confirmation of a depressing trend—hundreds of thousands of Mainers remain impoverished and food insecure. The LePage administration’s solution? To deny these individuals access to important programs like the federally-funded Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). In 2014, Maine began imposing strict work requirements on SNAP recipients, which reduced the number of enrolled adultsRead the rest

Maine solar legislation is nothing like Chinese energy policy – which is a pity

April 25, 2016 by

“It sounds absurd, but the Chinese plan is more sensible, more cost-effective and much less draconian than the Legislature’s bill for solar power.” 

Governor Paul LePage radio address, April 20, 2016

James Myall 4-26-2016 websiteGovernor Paul LePage’s most recent attack on solar energy in Maine invoked an unlikely partner for the conservative chief executive – the Chinese Communist Party.  The governor cited China’s plan for carbon emissions reduction following his veto of a … Read the rest

Income inequality and provision of public services a matter of life and death

April 20, 2016 by

James Myall 4-26-2016 websiteA new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association offers further evidence of the effects of income inequality on health and well-being.  Using data from the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service, a team of economists tracked the life expectancy of US residents from 2001 through 2014, and found that, of adults over 40, the bottom 1% of earners had a life expectancy almost 15 … Read the rest

Maine continues to lag behind in job creation

April 15, 2016 by

James Myall 4-26-2016 websiteThe latest State & Local Area Unemployment Statistics are in from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the difference between the Maine and national economies couldn’t be clearer.  While the White House announced its 73rd month of straight job growth, Maine still hasn’t recovered all the jobs lost during the recession.

Since 2010, the number of people employed in the private sector in the US has risen … Read the rest

Economic Data Tell Consistent Story that Maine’s Recovery is Far From Complete

April 1, 2016 by

James Myall 4-26-2016 websiteDespite the recent fanfare about Maine’s low headline employment rate, the state’s economy has still not fully recovered from the effects of the Great Recession, some eight years on. A variety of economic data demonstrates that Maine’s economy is smaller than it was in 2007, and while some of these data are consistent with the slow recovery in the U.S. as a whole, Maine’s picture is particularly troubling. The policies … Read the rest

Distressed Community Index Highlights Administration’s Failure to Provide for Rural Mainers

March 8, 2016 by

James Myall websiteA recent study by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) reveals that 52,000 Mainers live in distressed communities and demonstrates the extent of the LePage administration’s failed economic policies in the wake of the Great Recession.

For a project called The Distressed Communities Index, EIG identified the zip codes with the greatest levels of economic distress using a series of economic indicators. The indicators, which were measured in 2013, include: … Read the rest

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