THE PIONEER BLOG

How would a tax increase impact the MA economy?

Pioneer’s Charlie Chieppo explains how an income tax hike in Massachusetts will impact retirees and small business owners – not just “the super rich.”

Globe columnist Shirley Leung makes our argument on the tax hike amendment

In today’s Boston Globe, business columnist Shirley Leung raises important questions about who exactly will be impacted by the tax hike amendment that will appear on the Massachusetts ballot in November. The answer is retirees and small business owners – and we have the data to prove it.

Is this PBM tactic blocking healthcare access?

Utilization Management (UM) was originally a strategy designed to improve the safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness of physician prescribing. However, UM has grown exponentially over the last decade, becoming more a tactic for Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) to manage costs to benefit their bottom line.

Gargantuan Graduation Gift: Biden Writes Check From Taxpayers To College Grads

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Dr. Beth Akers, AEI Senior Fellow, about the recent presidential executive order to cancel an estimated $500 billion in outstanding student debt. They explore who benefits, who pays, and the likely effects on tuition and the borrowing habits of future students.

Public Comment on Allston Multimodal Project

We remain pleased with the decision of MassDOT to concentrate its efforts on the all at-grade option for the throat area of the Allston Multimodal Project as recommend by Pioneer Institute and others. However, we are deeply concerned that the construction will negatively impact commuters coming into Boston from points west.  With turnpike lane reductions and work-zone slow orders, congestion during the multi-year project will no doubt cause extreme delays for drivers. Therefore, reliable, on-time commuter rail is a necessity as the project moves forward.

MBTA’s Runaway Crisis: Legacy of Neglect Demands Comprehensive Reform

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Andrew Bagley, Vice President for Policy and Research at Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, about their recent report entitled, The MBTA Crisis is Complicated – Fixing It Will Be Too, diving into the details on why the T is in crisis and what the public must demand of policy makers to get it back on track.

Massachusetts Needs a Comprehensive Performance Management Framework

Massachusetts tried making a performance structure, but in 2014 it was discontinued. Today, the state lacks a comprehensive structure to track progress.

The Realities Behind US Healthcare Spending

Healthcare policy is an all-encompassing term. It plays a role in every individual’s life; how it is curated, developed, and maintained has a significant long-term impact on the quality of life of any given community. It is critical that policymakers consistently adapt and amend healthcare policies in the ever-changing global pricing and affordability environment while providing funding support for optimal quality of care.

Cures for Patients, Not Health Plan Profits, Make Drugs Valuable

To the astonishment of many observers, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) recently concluded that a $2.1 million gene therapy for a life-threatening blood disorder called beta thalassemia, is priced cost-effectively. The surprise was especially pleasant, given that ICER’s methodology had, in the past, displayed bias against rare disease treatments and undervalued the lives of people living with disabilities.

School-Age Population Remains Steady, but Boston Struggles With Declining Enrollment

Hopefully, new leadership will ensure that the system makes the changes necessary to improve public education in Boston. Otherwise, enrollment declines will continue. 

Is a Universal Basic Income the future? You decide.

  With the cost of living on the rise, inflation eating away at the average American’s paycheck, and an economy that’s generated fierce debates about inequality and poverty, many have called for systemic reforms and even more radical  changes.  Some have embraced what’s called a universal basic income; others not so much. So what is UBI? How does it work in practice? What do the researchers think of it?  Here’s the general overview.  What’s the purpose? First proposed by Thomas Spence in the 18th century, UBI is a redistribution program in which all adults receive a regularly occurring stipend; think of an earned income credit for everybody. The concept drew attention in England during the 1920s, resurfaced in Western Europe […]

After 7 years, Massachusetts is still one of the least financially transparent states

In 48 states, elected officials are required to submit annual public financial disclosures. Among these states, Pioneer Institute ranks Massachusetts lowest in terms of the transparency of those financial disclosures.  Statements of Financial Interests (SFI’s) are designed to provide government transparency by giving the public some visibility into the financial information of public officials.  They allow voters to see if officials’ actions could be viewed as being in their personal interest rather than the public’s interest.  The SFIs are available to the public for inspection upon request.  Seven years ago, Pioneer identified three problems with the commonwealth’s financial disclosure system in its study Weak and Out of Reach, and recommended ways to improve the disclosures. In the years since, we […]

Where Are Massachusetts Residents Moving To?

A blog published earlier this month by Pioneer shined a light on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ growing dilemma in the past decade: having more people emigrating from the state than migrating into the state.     We know Florida is receiving the most in adjusted gross income (AGI) from residents leaving MA and MA is receiving the most AGI from migrants from New York. But what specific counties are people moving from and moving to? According to Pioneer’s Massachusetts IRA Data Discovery website, the top two counties people emigrated from in 2020 were Middlesex, with 26,920 residents leaving, and Suffolk, which lost 17,208 residents.    The counties that most people moved to in 2020 from MA are Providence County, RI at […]

What’s going on with the economy in Cambridge?

Dubbed the city of squares, Cambridge, a leading innovation center, is home to some of the world’s most recognized technology companies and educational institutions. With an educated population and a knowledge-based economy, a lot has changed and a lot has remained the same for the city in the last decade.   Government revenue According to 2010 estimates, Cambridge reported per capita revenue at $4,030 in 2010. In 2020, that figure was $5,839; a 44.8 percent increase in a decade.  Additionally, the city brought in total revenue of $691,306,502 in 2020; far higher than any city in Middlesex County and third highest in the state.    According to the graphs above, total revenue in Cambridge has seen consistent and significant growth […]

The Second Largest Public Construction Project in MA is to give Logan International Airport a New Look

According to Pioneer Institute’s MassOpenBooks, the two construction companies that have been paid the most by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are first, GLX contractors, which you can learn more about here: https://pioneerinstitute.org/blog/blog-better-government/blog-transparency/the-green-line-extension-project-progress-and-finances/.  Second is Suffolk Construction Contractors. Suffolk is a construction contracting company founded and based in Boston that has a current contract with the Massachusetts Port Authority for the renovation of Boston’s Logan International Airport.    In 2014, Massport began planning renovations for Logan Airport because of increasing passenger demand. More gates are being added to allow more jets. Logan was originally built in 1923, before the wide body jets that Logan now accommodates on a daily basis were invented. Terminal E, which serves international flights, will expand by […]