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Category: Economics

Bringing Jobs to South Jersey: Wind Turbine Production Plants

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

Wind TurbinesAtlantic, Cumberland and Cape May Counties have, historically, had the highest unemployment in the state. And now things are likely going from bad to worse with casino closures in Atlantic City. That’s the situation on paper. On the ground, living here, it pains me, every time, when I hear people my age and younger refer to this area as “a black hole”, and whose plans for a prosperous future start with them moving out of the area. All this means that in South Jersey, we need to figure out how to bring jobs back to the area. By writing a series of posts full of concrete, actionable ideas for job growth in South Jersey, it is my hope to inspire and influence key decision makers, in both the public and private sectors, to turn this “black hole” into a shining beacon.

This is part three of my “Bringing Jobs to South Jersey” series, Save Jerseyans. Read part one and part two if you haven’t already.

I think that South Jersey has the potential for becoming a manufacturing hub of offshore wind turbines. If we act now, that potential could result in a huge of infusion of jobs into the region.

Some background…

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Bringing Jobs to South Jersey Starts with Making Jersey Business Friendly

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

south jersey mapAtlantic, Cumberland and Cape May Counties have, historically, had the highest unemployment in the state. And now things are likely going from bad to worse with casino closures in Atlantic City. That’s the situation on paper. On the ground, living here, it pains me, every time, when I hear people my age and younger refer to this area as “a black hole,” and whose plans for a prosperous future start with them moving out of the area.  All this means that in South Jersey, we need to figure out how to bring jobs back to the area. By writing a series of posts full of concrete, actionable ideas for job growth in South Jersey, it is my hope to inspire and influence key decision makers, in both the public and private sectors, to turn this “black hole” into a shining beacon.

Here’s my first offering:

Before we can start to lobby companies to invest in South Jersey, we need to make sure the stage is set for such an endeavor. It be pointless to convince businesses to come here if we aren’t ready to accept them. So my first post will focus on New Jersey’s business environment.

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Lance Joins Estate Tax Repeal Fight

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

LanceLeonard Lance is trying to help advance the death tax repeal movement in D.C and back at home where he got started, in the N.J. State House, as members of both parties coalesce around a legislative effort.

“From state capitals to the halls of Congress, there is growing movement to bring an estate tax repeal bill up for a vote in U.S. House of Representatives,” said Lance who, at the moment, is joining 220 other cosponsors of the Death Tax Repeal Act (H.R. 2429).  “It’s been nine years since the U.S. House has passed a death tax repeal measure.  With more than a majority of the House co-sponsoring the Death Tax Repeal Act, it is time that we show our support for family business owners, employees, farmers and consumers and vote to kill the death tax.”

The text of the letter signed by Rep. Lance and twenty-nine other lawmakers, directed to the GOP leadership, is posted below the fold:

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Death Tax Repeal Supporters Rally at State House

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

death tax rallyYou don’t need me to remind you that New Jersey is one of the most heavily taxed states in the country, Save Jerseyans. It’s the primary reason why you’re a fan of this site.

And while it’s generally difficult for both sides of the aisle to come to an agreement on the all-important tax issue, at least in terms of getting anything constructive accomplished, a legislative effort was formally launched on the State House steps this Monday that’s got bipartisan sponsorship.

The cause capable of making this possible? Repealing the “death tax.”

The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by state senator Steve Oroho, (R-Sussex) and Paul Sarlo (D-Wood Ridge), would repeal the estate tax over a 5-year time span.

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Momentum Still Building for Death Tax Reform

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

cemetery_overview1It’s finally starting to look like Trenton might do something about our death tax dilemma, Save Jerseyans.

We’ve been grinding this ax for a long time; only two U.S. states impose both an estate tax AND an inheritance tax. Consequently, anyone who can still afford to live in New Jersey (a shrinking pool) finds themselves deathly afraid of dying here.

State Senator Ray Lesniak (D) proposed repealing the estate tax back during the summer (although he wanted to exchange it for a millionaire’ tax). Now, a broad coalition of Assembly Republicans and Democrats are championing a bill (A1281) to (1) repeal New Jersey’s inheritance tax and (2) increase the estate tax exemption so that it’s in-line with the feds.

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Van Drew Owes Fiocchi an Apology

By Irwin Fletcher | The Save Jersey Blog

State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1)

State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1)

So I’m back from summer vacation, Save Jerseyans, and I ain’t happy.

In fact, I’m angry.

I read about Senator Jeff Van Drew’s appointing 25 people to the 1st District Economic task force. About how Van Drew made himself chair. About how he made Assemblyman Fluff Andrzejczak vice-chair.

And how he snubbed Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi by not only excluding Fiocchi’s 30 plus years of private sector from the task force for purely political reasons, but with these wildly inaccurate statements regarding Fiocchi‘s shock at being excluded:

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Christie Vetoes Greenwald’s “Economic Opportunity Act”

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

christie smileCiting “special interests for part-time legislators,” Governor Chris Christie conditionally vetoed A-3213/S-1551 today, Save Jerseyans, otherwise known as the Economic Opportunity Act, Part 3.

This legislation was sponsored by Christie arch-critic Lou Greenwald in the Assembly and Ray Lesniak and Shavonda Sumter in the State Senate. The original package cleared the state house last fall. Things are different now, in terms of both political and economic realities. The latter point is expressly argued in the Governor’s statement.

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The Math Behind Your Property Tax Bill

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

When more than 50% of New Jersey state aid is dedicated to 5% of our schools, Save Jerseyans, thanks largely to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s interference, then no one should be surprised when New Jersey’s property taxes are the highest in the nation. It’s simple math… something that they’re not doing a particularly good job of teaching in those 5%-districts! Or many of the rest of them, too, if we’re being honest.

School funding is one of our favorite topics at Save Jersey; if you’re a visual learner, here’s a particularly excellent explanatory video dropped by the Assembly GOP on Tuesday. It’s hard to ignore the problem when the numbers are staring right back at you…

Christie OK’s Sports Wagering

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

meadowlandsracetrackGovernor Chris Christie is continuing the fight to legalize sports wagering in New Jersey ahead of Monday afternoon’s Atlantic City summit, Save Jerseyans.

For starters, the Administration is issuing a directive declaring that, effective immediately, New Jersey casinos and racetracks may operate a sports pool. Confused? put another way, the state will no longer prosecute sports betting as of today.

He is also filing a motion in federal court asking for clarification or modification of the February 2013 injunction.

Here’s the motion & brief, proposed order and directive for your review. Do you agree with today’s decision? Let’s hear from you in the comments…

Bergen Race Driven By Vehicle Cost Convo

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

The Bridgegate scandal. County worker fleets. Armored personnel carriers

There’s a common transportation theme in this year’s Bergen County Executive race, Save Jerseyans, and truth be told, it’s better than another “blue law” traffic debate. In case you missed it, the incumbent doubled-down on the vehicle cost-cutting theme during last week’s state of the county address:

We Could Use a Lil’ Voodoo, Mr. Senator!

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Liberal 'Simpsons' writers parody "voodoo" economics... even though it worked.

Liberal ‘Simpsons’ writers parody “voodoo” economics… even though it worked.

Cory Booker (D-Twitter) launched his U.S. Senate reelection campaign last week, Save Jerseyans, but the man who prides himself on being a post-partisan and supremely hip leader chose to rely on some antiquated hyper-political rhetoric.

Specifically? For starters, he accused the GOP nominee Jeff Bell of peddling “voodoo economics.”

How retro! Now, Cory was just 11-years old when George Bush coined the phrase back in 1980 during the GOP primary campaign (I wasn’t yet born). So maybe he simply doesn’t know any better?

Background for Cory’s benefit: Bush Sr. was referring to Ronald Reagan’s strong support for supply-side economics.

Reagan won. Bush took the Veep spot. And the Reagan Revolution ushered in the largest peacetime economic expansion in the history of the United States of America.

 

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No One Under the Dome is Going to Save Us

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

trenton domeSkip the black coffee today, Save Jerseyans.

All you should need to wake up this morning is the fine print of Fitch’s latest New Jersey credit downgrade, this time from A+ to A:

The downgrade to ‘A’ of New Jersey’s GO bonds incorporates the absence of long-term, fiscally sustainable solutions to close identified budget gaps in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Following significant revenue underperformance, the state relied upon the repudiation of its statutory contribution requirements to the pension systems to return to budgetary balance, exacerbating a key credit weakness. The resurgence of sizable one-time measures to balance its operating budgets at a time of economic recovery, driven by past overly optimistic revenue forecasts and maintenance of extremely narrow financial reserves, illustrates the fiscal pressure the state faces. New Jersey’s economic performance continues to lag that of the nation and a multitude of long-term spending demands are expected to prolong the achievement of sound financial operations.

How’s that for a kick in the chops?

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Lonegan, Forbes Launch “Fix the Dollar”

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Steve Lonegan kicked off the next stage of his political career on Wednesday in NYC, Save Jerseyans, with long-time friend Steve Forbes at his side for the “Fix the Dollar” launch at Trinity Place Restaurant, a former bank. The scenery was appropriate.

Here’s what you missed:

Sick Pay? Sick in the Head!

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

SneezeTrenton’s mistakes aren’t what make it remarkable, Save Jerseyans.

It’s Trenton’s penchant for doubling-down on clearly perceptible, unambiguously disastrous decisions which produce the jaw-drop effect in those of us with a brain!

The example on mind: sick leave pay.

Sick leave pay is another cost-driver in our state’s fiscally-unstable public sector. You may’ve seen a new report concerning the approximately $85,000 payout to a former Asbury Park police chief down at the Shore and, a little further up the Garden State Parkway, an equally mind-blowing $188,000 payout for a former Union City school superintendent. There are examples like this up and down the state. Untold millions of dollars are wasted, annually, to pay public workers extra for time that they were doing what they were already paid to do… work. For us.

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