The Prescription for Prosperity

Publication Date: 
January 1, 2007

Link to KRC Briefing Paper: Wages Still Flat Despite Strong Economic Growth in 2006

Link to Speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

Read the component parts of the backgrounder:

The Problem

In America and in Pennsylvania, the rising tide of a strong economy once lifted most boats. Today, a strong economy lifts only a few boats. The broken link between a strong economy and the well-being of most of the population threatens core Pennsylvania values—the belief that hard work should pay enough to support a family; the American dream of upward mobility and the idea that Americans are not separated by class; the notion that all children should grow up in safe communities and receive a quality education; even democracy itself, which becomes less responsive to ordinary Pennsylvanians as gaps in economic and political resources grow.

Most Pennsylvanians know that the link between a strong economy and the well-being of the many has been broken. They also understand why. The economic world has changed, most visibly due to globalization and the fall in manufacturing jobs. Many families have been the victims of these changes.

The Solution

In response, Pennsylvanians want from their political leaders a commonsense and long-term economic plan, not short-term gimmicks. They know that this plan must accomplish two goals:

  • It must enable Pennsylvania to have a strong and globally competitive economy that delivers an expanding economic pie.
  • It must ensure that that the benefits of an expanding economic pie are more broadly distributed, leading to a better quality of life for all Pennsylvanians.

The Prescription for Prosperity would accomplish these goals through initiatives in five areas:

  1. Ensure that Pennsylvania makes the transition to the global economy through investment in education and skills development and in good jobs
  2. Support the long-term security of the middle class and strengthen our economy through comprehensive health care reform and retirement security for all
  3. Bring more Pennsylvanians into the middle class by indexing the minimum wage to inflation, by improving jobs and career advancement in low-wage industries, and by providing a refundable income tax credit for low-wage workers
  4. Reform Pennsylvania’s taxes for the 21st century by lowering taxes on the middle class and raising revenues to invest in the future from those who can most afford to pay
  5. Develop a “Business Plan for Pennsylvania’s Future”—and plans for rural Pennsylvania and for each metropolitan area—so that Pennsylvania has a long-term road map for achieving growth and opportunity.

Read the Full Agenda

To read the full agenda with complete specific policy proposals in the areas listed above download the PDF.

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