Archives for July 7, 2012

Job Fair Is Below Charlie Dent’s Pay Grade

The real reason to be annoyed at the Charlie Dent job fair is that it’s below his pay grade.

The reason the country has sustained +8% unemployment is not that people aren’t hearing about the jobs that are there. It is not a problem of matching employers and workers.

The real problem – the one that Charlie Dent has done absolutely nothing to fix – is that there is not enough demand in the economy. Too many people don’t have jobs, and they don’t have money to spend.

Getting people more money is not a hard problem for Congress to fix. We know how to give people more money: run a bigger short term deficit.

The actual problem – the real reason we don’t have full employment – is that Charlie Dent and the political party he belongs to don’t want full employment.

They’ve been doing everything they can to oppose full employment policies, because getting the economy back to full employment before November 2012 would mean no President Romney.

PA-15: Charlie Dent Job Fair Brought to You By the Democrats’ Stimulus

Igor Volsky catches Charlie Dent hosting a job fair with 6 companies that directly benefitted from President Obama and the Demcrats’ 2009 stimulus.

Of course Charlie Dent, along with all House Republicans, voted against the stimulus – a fact we should not forget now that he is trying to share in the political upside for the jobs it created:

On Saturday, July 14, Dent is hosting a Job Fair “open to anyone seeking a change in employment.” “This event aims to bring job seekers together with representatives from a wide range of employers from a variety of fields, seeking talented and capable workers for a diverse range of positions,” his website claims and lists 33 “employers and organizations that will be in attendance.” Six of those companies benefited from the stimulus, a ThinkProgress search of revealed, receiving a combined total of $6,252,576 from the Recovery Act:

– Lehigh Carbon Community College: $2,532,039 total funds awarded.

– Lehigh Career and Technical Institute: $75,256 total funds awarded.

– Sacred Heart Hospital: $2,011 total funds awarded.

– Simplex Grinnell: $175,567 total funds awarded.

– Devereux: $1,281,113 total funds awarded.

– Easton Coach Company: $2,186,570 total funds awarded.

End Municipally-Owned Parking

I don’t remember seeing anything about two parking garages as part of the Allentown arena complex. Thought it was a 7-story office building and a hotel:

The $220 million project to build an 8,500-seat hockey arena, seven-story office building and two parking garages has been held up since Hanover (Northampton County) and Bethlehem townships challenged the project’s ability to help fund the arena with earned income tax collections of township residents working in the 130-acre arena tax zone.

Cities seem to be constantly overestimating their parking needs when they build garages. That’s why you see so many parking authorities teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Governments are simply bad at forecasting parking demand, and they build way too much capacity.

The best way to get the cost of the arena complex down is to not build the two parking garages. By all accounts, Allentown has an oversupply of parking right now. The arena and offices will bring more parking demand, but nobody knows how much, and the city definitely does not know this.

The error people are making here is in thinking that parking is a public good. It is not. It does not meet either of the two criteria that define public goods. A parking space is neither nonrival nor nonexcludable.

Parking is a market good. As such, the case for government provision of structured parking is very weak.

It is especially weak in the NIZ district, where land is scarce, and the city’s goal is to have as much usable space occupied by productive EIT-generating activities as possible.

Parked cars do not produce EIT.

If someone thinks they can make a profit building and operating a parking garage in the NIZ – a pretty good bet – then they should do it with their own money. Allentown should only concern itself with pricing curb parking at market rates in the zone (since the city can’t avoid owning the roads and curb parking spaces), and let private companies open garages if they think there is a profitable opportunity there.

The NIZ land needs to be used efficiently, and thus should not feature any more, or any less, parking than people want to pay for.

(Thanks: Matt Assad)