The LePage Case against Medicaid Expansion: A House of Cards Built on Fallacies, Contradictions, and Ideology

April 18, 2014 by

 “We cannot go grab federal money without understanding just how much Maine taxpayers will wind up paying. Furthermore, it is incredibly irresponsible to put taxpayers on the hook when federal health care subsidies are available that would provide virtually free health care for low-income Mainers.”

– Governor LePage, Press Statement, April 17, 2014

Last night Maine lawmakers passed an amended proposal to accept federal funds and provide health coverage to … Read the rest

Maine’s Jobs Report: A Bad Case of Déjà vu

March 17, 2014 by

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report and, like in his State of the State address, Governor LePage continues to tout a jobs record that is severely lacking.

In a release from the governor’s office, the subtitle reads, “15,000 private sector jobs created since 2011.” Once again, the governor would do well to keep these claims in perspective. Based on data the governor cites, Maine … Read the rest

The Truth about Governor LePage’s Own Jobs Claim

February 19, 2014 by

In Governor LePage’s recent State of the State address he touted his economic performance stating “Almost 13,000 new private-sector jobs have been created since we took office.”

Taken in isolation, this sounds pretty good. But compared with how other states have fared, Maine’s job creation performance leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, based on MECEP’s analysis of the most recent jobs data from the Bureau of Labor StatisticsRead the rest

Let’s remove obstacles to needed economic investments

January 8, 2014 by

bonds_smallThe legislature’s appropriations committee today is listening to the public’s opinion on two bills that, if passed, would direct the governor to carry out the will of Maine voters.

The proposed bills are: An Act to Amend the Laws Governing the Issuance of Bonds That Have Been Ratified by the Citizens of the State (L.D. 138) and An Act to Clarify When Bonds May Be Issued (L.D. 904).  … Read the rest

The State of Working Maine in 2013: An Ever Deepening Income Divide (Part 2)

December 13, 2013 by

In my last post, I discussed how MECEP’s recently released report, The State of Working Maine in 2013, delves beyond the official monthly employment reports for more revealing data about how many Maine workers continue to struggle to find full time jobs. But having a job is only part of the equation. Since most people work because they need wages to support themselves and their families, a closer … Read the rest

The State of Working Maine in 2013: Beyond the Official Unemployment Report (Part 1)

December 11, 2013 by

On the first Friday of each month (unless there’s a government shutdown), the Department of Labor releases the official national unemployment report. The results often lead the nightly news and provide headlines in the next day’s newspapers. Financial markets and political polls rise and fall on these findings. In Maine, there is a similar, if more subdued, reaction around the middle of the month upon release of the official state … Read the rest

When small is mighty BIG!

October 18, 2013 by

IFA poster 10-18-2013Robert Reich is short, four feet, eleven inches to be precise. I mention his height because the former labor secretary and current professor at the University of California Berkeley makes it an integral part of the presentation in his thought provoking new documentary, Inequality for All, currently showing at Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville.

When Reich speaks about the ever-widening income gap in America between the uber-rich … Read the rest

Western Maine’s promising tourism economy needs a boost

October 15, 2013 by

As the leaf peepers flock to Maine this week, the Western Mountains region, where the forests are ablaze with color, is prime foliage viewing country.

800px-The_Horn_(R)_from_Saddleback_Mt_Maine

These tourists bolster western Maine’s economy. In a report released today, MECEP Read the rest

Low-Income Mainers Left Behind in GED Privatization

June 17, 2013 by

Mainers without a high school diploma do not fare well in the economy. They are stuck in low-paying jobs with little opportunity for advancement. For many working adults, the first step in climbing out of a low-wage job is to obtain a high school equivalency diploma. But that possibility just got harder.

Recent changes to the General Educational Development (GED®) test pose new obstacles for adult learners who want to … Read the rest

Broken Bootstraps

February 28, 2013 by

We all know the saying, “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps”. It means that you improve your situation by your own efforts. It is lauded; if you pull yourself up by your bootstraps (your shoe laces), that is a good thing. You are hardworking and you persevere. It is the definitive expression of American self-reliance and individualism.

It is also impossible to do.

That’s what a new report tells us … Read the rest

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