Thursday, February 02, 2006

Litttle Value For Workers in Tennessee?

"Something is setting Tennessee apart from the rest of the nation, and that something is state-level policies that fail to value the hard work of average Tennesseans..."

The comment above comes in response to a new study that shows the state's income gap between income growth for the poorest and wealthiest is among the largest in the nation. Analysis indicates a few key reasons:

Trudi Renwick, an economist with the union-backed Fiscal Policy Institute in New York, said wages at the bottom and middle of the scale had grown only minimally over the past two decades while wages of the best-compensated employees had grown significantly. She said globalization, the decline of manufacturing jobs, the expansion of low-wage service jobs, immigration and the weakening of unions had hurt those on the lower end of the economic scale."

This week's State of the Union address provided the president a platform to call for a bigger push in tech-related jobs and improving efforts to change the nation to alternate forms of energy. Both tech and energy fields should be priority one in state economic development. Blogger Atomic Tumor has some thoughts on what has been and could be done to boost development in both tech and energy research.

The challenge is here - how will the state respond?

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