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Old 06-08-2017, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
6,668 posts, read 7,491,919 times
Reputation: 8215

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercerme View Post
Put that together with a very broken and non uniform and often entirely wrong property tax situation that PA legislature continues to hide from. Why would a business want to open in most PA localities? Too many unknown variables and fighting for the limited dollars of often lower to aspiring middle income wage earners - many of those via inflation and years of wage stagnation find themselves without extra money to buy anything and struggling to make monthly necessity bills.

If you spent enough time in Pennsylvania, you will also discover that in so many counties the major employment / income source tends to be government (lots of union and pensions) and Walmart (pays so little and forces their workers to collect from the public dole).

The pensions and 401(k) plans that all comes from tax chip ins and continued Wall Street gambling - which encourages more market manipulation and volatility that doesn't math out to anyone with have of any IQ point to apply.

Economy remains a big problem in Pennsylvania. There is plenty of productivity there, but it isn't 1960 with workers sharing in the bounty. More and more the income is driven to owners and corporate brass instead. Much of the employed workforce is employed under service sector which is broad but often low pay - especially when inflation is taken into consideration.
I agree with much of what you are saying here.

The property tax system has to change. I served on a county board to hear appeals of new reassessments. There is no way to make this system fair.

It is true that in many counties, the major employer is government. This includes people employed in education, PennDOT, State Police, prisons, and all local government agencies.

Regarding Walmart, do you want to force them to raise their wages?

You are correct about Wall Street gambling, market manipulation, and income driven to owners and corporate brass. This is probably the biggest economic issue that is hurting the entire US economy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craziaskowboi View Post
Pennsylvania has the sixth-fewest local and state government workers per 10,000 population of any state in the U.S. As for Walmart, it's the largest private employer in the United States.

I don't have the time to refute any more of your post this morning, but I had to highlight that paragraph of yours specifically because I had resources at my fingertips that made it incredibly easy to refute. It makes me wonder what else you got blatantly wrong in your diatribe, to be honest.
I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you. While Pennsylvania has the the 6th fewest local and state government workers per 10,000 population, the comparison is not that simple. What will distort these comparisons are outsourcing, the use of private contractors, and whether organizations such as hospitals are government owned or private. There are few government owned hospitals in PA. PA also has less students enrolled in private and charter schools. The employees of these organizations are not counted in as government employees. I would also be curious if this survey counted employees of Pitt and Penn State as government employees. Employees of state schools such as Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities would obviously be counted.
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Old 06-11-2017, 06:58 AM
 
Location: The Allegheny
1,318 posts, read 1,560,406 times
Reputation: 1540
Someone mentioned how there is a flat 3.07% income tax, which is good. ...Until you factor in the local wage tax with at least 1% with cities approaching 4%(lookin' at you Philthy); so it's almost a wash. The jobs in the private sector are lacking throughout and the salaries aren't impressive. No wonder Phoenix surpassed Philthy.
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
8,321 posts, read 4,075,296 times
Reputation: 5411
Quote:
Originally Posted by BPP1999 View Post
Regarding your 2nd paragraph, you are correct that PA's corporate net income tax is the 2nd highest in the country, and it has to come down. However, PA does not have the beautiful sunny weather and Hollywood, which together allow CA get away with murder (in this case, murder is a bracketed individual income tax rate system that taxes a middle class family at 9.3% and higher income people at rates of up to 13.3%). Compare this with PA's flat 3.07% bracket. So I wouldn't suggest that PA is expensive compared to CA, because a company and its workers located in San Diego or San Francisco will pay, in total, significantly more for business expenses, taxes, and housing vs. a company setting up shop in Greater Philadelphia. It's not even close.

PA's problems run deeper than taxes, that's for sure. Part of the problem is that from a geographic standpoint, 90% of the state is inhabited by working class people (even though there's not enough working class jobs left to go around). These areas are often remote and sparsely populated. Higher-end industries such as software, solar, pharma, etc. aren't going to open up shop in a place like Lock Haven, PA. So those areas drag down the rest of the state from an economic and population standpoint. The Philadelphia area, and the Pittsburgh area, and even places like the Lehigh Valley and Lancaster aren't doing so bad; it's the very rural and remote post-industrial places that are dying.
I forget who it was who moaned about Pennsylvania's high gas taxes, but the truth really is that they're not high enough, either here or anywhere else in the country.

Had they been simply indexed for inflation around the time of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, they'd be about two or three times what they are now.

Back in the 1990s, a number of states that had toll roads leased them to private operators in exchange for huge cash infusions (and smaller annual payments for up to 99 years) that were hailed as saviors of state infrastructure budgets. Indiana in particular was touted as a model, and that state did do a pretty good job of bringing its roads and bridges back up to snuff after handing the Indiana Toll Road over to Macquarie (I think it was). But it turned out to be making hay while the sun shines, for the state has run through the pot of cash, the lease payments aren't anywhere near enough to fill it, and there's still work to be done.

Gov. Ed Rendell (yes, a Democratic Governor) pushed the same approach here, but the General Assembly balked. I ascribed the reluctance at the time to the fact that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission was and remains the parking lot of choice for friends and relatives of state legislators seeking work with no heavy lifting, and I suspect that this was the real reason, but it turns out now that it may well have been a foresighted move NOT to lease the Turnpike system. Unfortunately, we managed to wreck things anyway with that ill-advised Act 44, which proposed to slap tolls on I-80 (which would have been a toll road had the Interstate Highway Act not intervened) in order to pay for the entire state transportation program, a move the Feds said the law allowing tolls on Interstates forbade but our brilliant solons kept trying to work around anyway, three times. So now we have a debt-ridden Turnpike Commission, high tolls and a gas tax hike all at the same time, and we could still use more to keep our highways and transit systems in good shape.

(I'm going to pause here to interject that one of the gripes about these various transportation machinations in the T especially was that all of this money was going to pay for SEPTA. Never mind that the Port Authority needed funding too, or that the state's 30-odd other mass transit agencies were going to see something from this, but I will grant that SEPTA got, and gets under the current setup, the lion's share of money for transit infrastructure under the various plans. Given that it carries two of every three mass transit users in the state, shouldn't it?)

And good infrastructure will mean more for our economy than low taxes will: Duderino beat me to this, but if taxes were everything, the Sunflower State's economy should be roaring ahead and firing on all cylinders. Instead, its highly regarded educational system is nearing a crisis state, especially at the K-12 level in its largest metropolitan area (that would be the Kansas portion of the Kansas City MSA), the legislature just had to pass a large tax hike to keep the state budget from cratering, period, and businesses aren't flocking to set up shop in Kansas without large bribes used mainly to lure Missouri firms across State Line Road.

The news from the Southeast is improving: the rate of job growth in the city of Philadelphia has now passed that of New York and there's the promise that the city may finally be able to recover some of the 25 percent of total employment it's lost since 1970. Some of the growth in South Central Pennsylvania is Baltimore spillover, but no matter: the Southeast and South Central regions, but the Southeast especially, are the state's main economic engine, and it's the Southeast that has attracted the most younger residents to the state (I don't have the research right at hand, but I've seen stats that show that Philadelphia had the largest increase in Millennials as a share of the total population of any U.S. city).

Allegheny County is an island of growth marooned in a sea of decline, which may explain why Mayor Peduto is scratching his head. However, if Pittsburgh continues on its tear, eventually it will pull its region back up with it again, so whatever you all are doing right over there, keep at it.

Oh, and: Pennsylvania isn't blue, it's purplish and has been for decades. The two parties have historically been closely matched in strength statewide, the Governorship has up until Wolf's election regularly changed parties at the end of the incumbent's second and last term in office, and its Congressional delegation would probably be more evenly balanced were it not for some gerrymandering. Not to mention that its governors have traditionally come from the centrist wings of their respective parties; even Gov. Corbett was to the left of his more fiercely partisan colleagues in the legislature. And recall that Trump won this state by the narrowest of margins in the national election just passed.
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:26 PM
Status: "Living in Pandemica." (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: North by Northwest
7,566 posts, read 10,670,533 times
Reputation: 4823
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv95 View Post
Someone mentioned how there is a flat 3.07% income tax, which is good. ...Until you factor in the local wage tax with at least 1% with cities approaching 4%(lookin' at you Philthy); so it's almost a wash. The jobs in the private sector are lacking throughout and the salaries aren't impressive. No wonder Phoenix surpassed Philthy.
Hey, that's some clever wordplay! How are things over in Dreading?
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Montco PA
2,090 posts, read 4,446,566 times
Reputation: 1548
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElijahAstin View Post
Hey, that's some clever wordplay! How are things over in Dreading?
Or simply "Reading, where a very small minority of the population can read."

Or, "The Greater Reading area - low incomes, low educational attainment, and low job prospects, oh my."

Or, why even try to be catchy? How about "Reading and its suburbs: putting the swamp in economic swamp for at least five decades and counting."
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Old 06-17-2017, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Chambersburg, PA
199 posts, read 101,535 times
Reputation: 114
I thought I remembered reading somewhere that all the states except West Virginia gained in population when they did the last census and the only reason states are losing representatives is because other state populations are growing at a faster rate.
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Old 06-17-2017, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
8,321 posts, read 4,075,296 times
Reputation: 5411
Quote:
Originally Posted by jate88 View Post
I thought I remembered reading somewhere that all the states except West Virginia gained in population when they did the last census and the only reason states are losing representatives is because other state populations are growing at a faster rate.
That's usually the case when seats are reallocated.

States losing population from one decennial Census to the next are rare phenomena.
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Chambersburg, PA
199 posts, read 101,535 times
Reputation: 114
So if the state isn't losing people then what is the problem?
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
8,321 posts, read 4,075,296 times
Reputation: 5411
Quote:
Originally Posted by jate88 View Post
So if the state isn't losing people then what is the problem?
According to this year's Census estimates, Pennsylvania did lose population last year.

This has been a slowly growing state (population-wise) for as long as I've lived here (34 years). To shift out of that pattern would be significant.

Congressional seats won't be reassigned until the 2020 Census.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Chambersburg, PA
199 posts, read 101,535 times
Reputation: 114
Maybe if Pennsylvania's population doesn't drop below what it was in 2010 we'll be fine.
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