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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: The State of Working Pennsylvania

Written by Rich Copeland, Smart Talk Producer | Sep 12, 2016 9:30 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk for Tuesday, September 13th, with guest host Ben Allen:

In a recent report issued by the Keystone Research Center, researchers found Pennsylvania's wages for all workers, regardless of gender, race, age or other factors, have stagnated or declined. Traditionally the gateway to prosperity has been found in secondary education, but the findings within the report, The State of Working Pennsylvania, determine that wages for college educated Pennsylvanians have been in decline since the early 2000's.

The report also identifies a growing resentment towards what Keystone Research Center economist Mark Price refers to as " . . . some 'other' group [that] is unfairly receiving more of the economic benefits of a growing economy . . ."

Many suggestions are offered to offset this disparity in pay, from raising the wages of care-givers and truckers to regulating worker's schedules and strengthening of organized labor.

The report ultimately concludes "The economy has not been deliberately organized in a way that favors hard-working families.  At the federal and state level, it has been 'rigged' so that economic gains flow to the top."  The Keystone Center recommendation is to create an economy that has a wider breadth of economic distribution. 

We'll speak with one of the authors of the report, Keystone Research Center Executive Director Stephan Herzenberg as well as James Paul, Senior Policy Analyst with the Commonwealth Foundationabout ideas to help elevate and equalize worker pay in Pennsylvania.

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Stephan Herzenberg, Executive Director, Keystone Research Center and James Paul, Senior Policy Analyst, Commonwealth Foundation

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