All posts by John Haskell

John Haskell

About John Haskell

John graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a degree in Political Science, and from the University of Maine School of Law. He has worked in both the public and private sectors, and currently, works with a small business services company in the Mid-Coast area.

The story of the boy who cried ‘STEM Labor Shortage’

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It is no generally conceded that the current economic environment is qualitatively different from that which prevailed little more than a decade ago.  That is, we are in the midst of a “new economy” . . . . . . Clearly Maine has a significant challenge in amassing the highly skilled human resources that are […]

In Maine, Coincident Index slows, but job growth remains strong

From the Philadelphia Fed: The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released the coincident indexes for the 50 states for September 2014. In the past month, the indexes increased in 43 states, decreased in four, and remained stable in three, for a one-month diffusion index of 78. Over the past three months, the indexes increased in […]

Business-targeted tax cuts do not improve state economies

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FROM a London School of Economics and Political Science paper by Soledad Artiz Prillaman and Kenneth J Meier (my emphasis): Studying the 50 U.S. states over the past four decades, we find that tax incentives to businesses prove unhelpful in stimulating economic growth and may even be harmful to state economies. Over the past 30 […]

Infrastructure Spending and Tax Incentives

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FROM a recent Bloomberg article on the issue of infrastructure spending: Last week, Larry Summers repeated his plea for the U.S. to invest more in its crumbling infrastructure. He—and the latest World Economic Outlook (PDF) from the International Monetary Fund—are imploring governments to issue additional debt to finance roads, bridges, water treatment, and extension of power grids. Even the […]

Do Colleges and Universities Increase Their Region’s Human Capital?

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TO follow up two previous posts regarding job growth and educational attainment.  Succinctly, increasing the educational attainment of a workforce alone will not boost job growth unless there is adequate demand for labor is there.  To reinforce that, the following is the abstract from a 2011 paper authored by Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz (my emphasis): […]

What we know and what we (should) know that we don’t know about minimum wage increases

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FROM a piece in the in the BDN regarding the minimum wage debate: Democratic candidates for Maine governor and the U.S. Senate joined former Ohio governor and U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland and Portland Mayor Michael Brennan on Tuesday to call for an increase in the minimum wage, expansion of health care benefits and other steps […]

Advanced Degrees and Job Growth

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THERE’S been some discussion in Maine about the need to increase educational attainment of the state’s workforce to boost job growth.  While such discussions garner support, and the notion that Maine’s job growth would accelerate with a more educated workforce, there are some questions about the efficacy of education as an engine for economic growth. […]