What's on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers? The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a better than expected jobs report on Friday, but not all the numbers were encouraging. States have continued to cut jobs even after the end of the "Great Recession," and the "sequester" federal budget cuts will lead to more public-sector job losses later this year. Disappearing state government jobs are a drag on the national economy.
Surprise, surprise: the Iowa Chamber Alliance thinks shoveling more taxpayer dollars to large corporations is the best way to create jobs. The Iowa Policy Project disagrees and points out that Iowa is already writing large subsidy checks to some companies that paid no income tax in 2012. UPDATE: Forgot to mention that Iowa just agreed to give the Principal Financial Group $22.5 million in tax credits for its $285 million renovation plan in downtown Des Moines. Why should Iowa taxpayers underwrite office remodeling for a profitable company? That's part of the cost of doing business.
Conservatives who think high tax rates can't coexist with economic prosperity should explain why "the average Canadian household is now richer than an average American household for the first time ever." My guess is the answer is related to Canada's efficient, single-payer health care system (no medical bankruptcies or huge out of pocket costs because of health problems).
Senator Tom Harkin has introduced a bill to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 over three years before "before indexing it to keep up with the rising cost of living." Indexing the minimum wage to inflation should have happened a long time ago.
This is an open thread.