BHI Weekly Dispatch: On the road in Malden, Tax Foundation podcast, Malkin on PLAs & more


BHI Executive Director David G. Tuerck addressed approximately 25 members of the Malden Rotary last week at its luncheon meeting at Anthony's of Malden. Tuerck offered a far-reaching exposition of the Institute's research agenda. He also commented on current U.S., state and local economic conditions. He was pleased to report that Malden benefits from one of the lowest unemployment rates (6.1% in February 2012) in the state according to a BHI analysis, which also showed that Middlesex County is coming out of the recession in good shape. 

To illustrate the lackluster economic recovery across the nation, Tuerck offered the Rotarians a calculation identifying just how many jobs the U.S. economy needs to generate in order to get back on track. In March 2012, the U.S. created only 120,000 jobs. Nationally unemployment is 12,673,000, representing an unemployment rate of 8.2%. If one were to add the number of discouraged workers (6,500,000) to the unemployment number the total would be 19,181,000. To get the unemployment rate back to 5% would require the creation of 300,000 per month over the next three years. The administration, with its current policy, is not getting the job done. Tuerck noted that the administration's tax and budget policies will fail.  What's really needed are Reagan era growth rates. Coming out of the recession of 1981-1982, the U.S. economy was able to generate on average 300,000 jobs per months, Tuerck noted. 

Meanwhile, Frank Conte, project manager for the Institute's State Competitiveness Project spoke before the April 18, meeting of the Merrimack Tea Party.  More than 75 people got an inside view of the Institute's index of economic growth and personal income and projects.

Recently, Richard Morrison of the the renown Tax Foundation interviewed David Tuerck on the Massachusetts tax climate and recent efforts to review tax expenditures. The podcast can be found here

The Institute's work on Project Labor Agreements continued to draw national attention. This week nationally-syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin cited BHI's PLA studies. She wrote: 

“The adoption of a PLA amounts, in effect, to the conferral of monopoly power on a select group of construction unions over the supply of construction labor.” The mandate serves “one purpose: to discourage competition from non-union contractors (and, in some instances, union contractors) to the end of shoring up declining union power, along with union-mandated wages and benefits, against competitive pressures.” The institute’s studies show that PLAs have added between 12 and 18 percent to school-construction costs in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The name of the article was entitled, “The Real GSA Scandal.”

In other media news, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper recently signed legislation “that will position Colorado to capitalize on significant new opportunities in commercial space transportation” In signing the bill the administration noted Colorado's strong third place ranking on the BHI Competitiveness Index. 

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About Beacon Hill Institute

The Beacon Hill Institute engages in rigorous economic research and conducts educational programs for the purpose of producing and disseminating readable analyses of current public policy issues to voters, taxpayers, opinion leaders and policy makers.