Mounting evidence reinforces the case for accepting federal funds to improve health care access and affordability in Maine

September 6, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

Several recent studies and analyses of the 31 states that have accepted federal money to increase access to health care demonstrate the continued benefits of doing so. The research confirms that Medicaid expansion is a win-win-win – good for patients, good for the states, and good for everyone with private health insurance.

An August 8 study by researchers at the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard Read the rest

Faster internet speeds, wider availability would boost Maine’s economy

August 31, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

If it took a while for your internet service provider (ISP) to load this page onto your computer, you’re not alone. Maine has some of the slowest broadband connections in the nation.

High-speed internet is rapidly becoming a key driver of economic growth, nurturing high-tech jobs, allowing individuals to telecommute, and opening up new opportunities in health care and education. With Maine standing at, or near, the bottom … Read the rest

Augusta’s adherence to austerity holds Maine back

August 15, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

Conservative fiscal policies at the state and national level have been a key cause of the lackluster economic recovery following the Great Recession, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). EPI’s findings are especially relevant for Maine; while EPI cites the post-2009 recovery as one of the longest on record, Maine’s recovery has been even slower. The U.S. economy recovered its pre-Recession employment levels … Read the rest

Immigrants, including refugees, are good for Maine

August 5, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

In a visit to Maine on Thursday, Donald Trump suggested that the presence of Somali refugees in the state was a security risk and an economic drag. However, the data do not bear this assertion out. No member of Maine’s refugee or Somali communities has been convicted of a terrorist offense.  Furthermore, New America, a non-partisan think tank specializing in international security issues, reports that of 539 Read the rest

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

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