Navigation

Mobilizing Capital for Individuals and Communities

State Job Creation Strategies for 2011

The fundamental challenge in this recession is that the growth that preceded it was a mirage. Bubble era borrowing created a network of financial jobs, real estate jobs and construction jobs that collapsed with the end of the bubble. Many of those jobs will never return.

An extremely high proportion (75%) of job losses in this recession are permanent rather than temporary. States will need to nurture completely new industry sectors and the infrastructure to support those jobs, while the jobless will need retraining in new skills to participate in those sectors.

Reducing Military Spending to Spur Economic Growth at Home

The Senate struggled to approve a $15 billion jobs bill and has yet to enact additional fiscal relief for the states, but lawmakers continue to approve trillions of dollars for wars and defense appropriations.  In fact, ignoring the almost $1 trillion spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, military spending has grown 41 percent since 1998.  If progressive leaders intend to reduce long-term deficits and ensure a robust economic recovery, cutting inefficient and costly areas of the defense budget should be a top priority.

Move Your Money: Investing Public Money in Local Banks and Credit Unions to Spur Growth

In an effort to stimulate local economic growth and free up credit markets, New Mexico Sen. Tim Keller and Rep. Brian Egolf introduced HB66, which would require the state to give preference to community banks and credit unions to manage the state's general fund operating cash depository account.  Currently, Bank of America holds the $1.4 billion account. 

State Job Creation Strategies Part II: Supporting Innovation, Industrial Clusters and Green Job Creation

As we described last week in State Job Creation Strategies Part I: Finding the Money and Investing in Human Capital and Physical Infrastructure, competing globally for jobs starts with policy makers instituting fundamental investments in education, human capital and physical infrastructure that make their state a productive environment for economic innovation. The next step, as this Dispatch will describe, is helping the private sector leverage opportunities for job creation and technological innovation. 

RELEASE: Obama concession on emissions standards highlights states' role as leaders on regulation

NEW YORK — Today, Progressive States Network (PSN) lauded President Obama's decision to accept California's tough new 35.5 miles-per-gallon fuel emissions standards. The group hailed today's victory as a landmark example of states' power to set national policy by outpacing federal legislation.

Said PSN's Interim Executive Director, Nathan Newman, "The spin from auto industry executives is that Obama's decision demonstrates the wisdom of letting the federal government set a unified national standard instead of a 'patchwork' of state regulations. In fact, the complete opposite is true. If it weren't for California pushing to set standards that outpaced the Bush Administration's pitifully low ones, there would be no new regulatory framework to enact today."

Transportation Infrastructure Fueled by Gas Tax Increases

One of the biggest topics of conversation in Massachusetts these days is the proposed additional 19 cent gas tax which would go toward roads, bridges, regional transit authorities and public transit improvements throughout the state. More than half of state and local bridges of 20 feet or longer are structurally deficient, while 82 percent of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority's (MBTA) rapid transit rail cars are in poor or marginal condition, according to a report by TRIP. Furthermore, a 2007 report by the Massachusetts Transportation Finance Commission found that “the condition of our roads, bridges and transit systems are all in broad decline”¦we have no money for transit or highway enhancements or expansions without further sacrificing our existing systems and exacerbating our problems.”