Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

>Unemployed in Arizona: State suffers largest job losses

>The US economy has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the past year. Businesses of all sizes have closed their doors. In Tucson, signs of the recession are everywhere; empty auto dealership lots, vacant storefronts, and going-out-of-business signs abound.

One of the most telling signs of Arizona’s weak economy is reflected in the job loss statistics. According to statistics released by the Economic Policy Institute, Arizona has lost the highest proportion of jobs in the US. Other states have lost more jobs, but their losses constitute a smaller percentage of their state’s total economy.

As reported in the East Valley Tribune, Arizona has lost 9.9% of its jobs or 265,000. Most of the job loss has been in construction, which is down by 45%. These figures clearly reflect Arizona’s dependence upon boom and bust cycles in the housing industry.

The statistics also reflect shortsightedness on the part of Arizona’s political leaders–especially in state government. Rather than invest in education, job creation, and home-grown industries– like solar power– during boom times, the Republican-controlled state legislature offers tax cuts to businesses. In bust times, what do they do? They cut education (making Arizona less competitive in the long term). Cut social services. Cut financial support to cities. And cut anything else they can think of in order to avoid raising revenue. The thought of increasing revenue by relinquishing previous tax cuts is not even on their radar.

Last week, a Phoenix legislator was interviewed by John C. Scott, a Tucson radio talk show host. When asked about the state’s financial crisis, including the job losses. His only suggestion was to offer further tax cuts to business–particularly homebuilders and developers to incentivize them to build more homes, which will create some construction jobs– at least temporarily. (Scott should have asked who was going to buy these houses with so many Arizonans out of work.)

The myopia in the state legislature is frightening. The Republican ideologues continue to cling to Reaganomics. The trickle down theory– giving tax cuts to the wealthy and thus incentivizing them to invest and create jobs– has proven to be a failed economic policy. George Bush the First was right when he called it “voodoo economics.” When will the Arizona legislature wake up?

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About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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