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Government Can’t Save Us, But, Don’t Hurt Us: Philly to Harrisburg

April 10, 2024 Category: Op-ed

In a world where government is often seen as the ultimate solution to social woes, it’s time to confront a harsh reality: no single entity holds all the answers. We tend to look at government as the holy grail of some sort, the reality is, every system has its limitations. Government does not have all the answers, resources or money to fix our problems; However, they can be a major deal maker or breaker to forge the pathway for those solutions.

 

In order for Philadelphia to move out of the  #1 city with the highest poverty rate, we need to take 15,000 working Philadelphians making poor people pay and provide them with opportunities for better-paying jobs. It really is that simple. The question we have now is: How does the government along with other stakeholders accomplish this? Wages and effective partnerships.

 

How can anyone representing Philadelphia, Pennsylvania find a $7.25 wage acceptable?

Twenty-two states raised their minimum wage effective on January 1st. The only reason Pennsylvania is at $7.25 is due to the wonderful federal mandate that pushed all states to require a minimum wage of $7.25; To think we needed more government to tell other government to get it together *mind blowing*. Time and time again I hear, “well no one actually makes that nowadays, Jude”, so let’s raise the wage to what is the perceived benchmark, $15.00/hr since no one besides over 300,000 individuals working, making less than $8.25 and tens of thousands more who make even less than that. Before anyone comes at me with, “It will hurt small businesses”, or “neighbors will lose their benefits cliff”; FALSE & FALSE. There is very little information that supports the claim that small businesses will hurt, in fact it puts all businesses at the same playing field to recruit talent. When people make more, they spend more and what do we think that does? That’s right, it supports the local economy. Neighbors will not lose their benefits, due to the expansion of certain programs this will not impact neighbors when the minimum wage is raised.

From our Partners

 

Thanks for sticking this one out with our mini myth busting lesson.

 

Up next, government bureaucracy.

Can it get any more difficult to navigate government systems to get anything done, let alone try to contribute to the economy? Try being on the line with one agency to figure out how to file for a permit, to be rerouted 5 times and then hung up on without an answer. Government needs to be open to collaborating with the private sector and other public entities; The pretty walls of City Hall and the Capitol cannot cannot solve the City’s poverty issue alone. Collaboration and effective partnerships are key for neighbors to receive the greatest resources for a quality life. We need employers to have access to speak to the government, the same way the government calls on employers for their needs. Government does not have all the answers – call on those who do and not just when we hit a recession or have a special interest.

 

Local, state and federal governments can make greater investments with broader reach to support incubators and accelerators. This then empowers home grown talent (back to that pipeline) entrepreneurs to feel confident pursuing creative, innovative and scale ideas that can bring attention and dollars to the region. Take our Life and Sciences industry, where Philadelphia ranks 6th among 25 other marketplaces in the United States. The ROI (return on investment, I can get used to these acronyms, y’all) is evident when we invest in our city, in our people, and open the doors for productive conversations with stakeholders we can go from #6 to #1 in this industry and take ourselves out of #1 city with the highest poverty rate. That’s a conversion that I’m fond of.

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