Study: Legislators Must Answer Key Questions Before Setting Policy for App-Based Rideshare/Delivery Workers

After Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court declared an initiative that was to appear on the November ballot unconstitutional, the issue of how to classify app-based rideshare/delivery workers is back in the hands of the state Legislature.  A new study published by Pioneer Institute distills from the research literature eight questions legislators must answer before determining how to address this fast-growing industry.

WSJ op-ed: Don’t Make Massachusetts ‘Taxachusetts’ Again

Unlike many blue states, Massachusetts has resisted the temptation to raise taxes on high earners. That antitax fortitude is about to be tested. In November, state legislators will ask voters to approve an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution adding a 4% surcharge to annual income over $1 million.

Patrick Anquetil on America’s Freedom to Innovate

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Dr. Patrick Anquetil, immigrant from France and co-founder and CEO of Portal Instruments in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a clinical stage medical device company developing a needle-free drug delivery platform. As Patrick shares, there was no way he could have started a business like this in his home country.

Liya Palagashvili on the Security Threat from Losing Skilled Immigrants

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Dr. Liya Palagashvili, immigrant from the former Soviet Union, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and affiliated research fellow at NYU Law. Dr. Palagashvili shares findings from research she co-authored on the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, which fills the gap for international students between studying in the U.S. and being employed here through a work visa.

Josh Smith on Immigrants’ Role in Economic Recovery

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Josh Smith, research manager at The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, about his work to demonstrate the outsized impact immigrants have on the economy and our culture. Josh describes some of the the negative narratives and the "othering" of immigrants, even though they’re part of our communities. Despite repeated fears that each new migrant group would never assimilate, America remains a “nation of immigrants,” and this is its not-so-secret sauce - as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers.

Khamzat Asabaev Wants to Put a Smile on Your Face

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Khamzat Asabaev, refugee from Chechnya and cofounder of SoftSmile, a software tool that helps dentists provide affordable, quality orthodontic treatment. Khamzat pursued entrepreneurship to make basic services accessible to all, after experiencing a lack of access to basic care as a refugee and a minority. Refugees like Khamzat face terrible circumstances, but through resilience and fortitude, often make significant contributions to their adopted homeland, with higher rates of employment and entrepreneurship. That means they give back far more than we gave them, as you’ll discover in this week’s JobMakers.

Other People’s Money: Fair Share’s Populist Promises and Problems

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby about November’s Massachusetts Ballot Question 1, the so-called Fair Share Amendment. They examine both the merits and timing of a graduated state income tax, as well as the effects on society of creating separate categories of taxpayers, and the dangers of setting the many against the few.

Pioneer Institute Expects That Massachusetts Taxpayers Will Be Refunded $3.2B Due To State Revenue Cap

Pioneer Institute projects that the state will refund approximately $3.2 billion to taxpayers due to a state law sponsored by Citizens for Limited Taxation and voted on by taxpayers in 1986 that caps the amount of revenue the state can collect in any given year.

April Ryan Paints Her Way to Success

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with April Ryan, immigrant from Russia, founder and CEO of Red Iguana nail art products, and influencer to hundreds of thousands. April came to the U.S. from a poor town, speaking no English, but through tenacity and inventiveness, she achieved success by creating video tutorials of nail art, and developing a breakthrough product that became a bestseller in 19 countries.

What’s going on with the economy in Cambridge?

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Dubbed the city of squares, Cambridge, a leading innovation center,…

Aki Balogh on How U.S. Diversity Drives Business

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Aki Balogh, immigrant from Hungary and cofounder of MarketMuse, which created an artificial intelligence powered content intelligence and strategy platform; and cofounder of dlc.link, which aims to decentralize Bitcoin. Moving to the U.S. after fleeing post-communist Hungary, Aki and his family did whatever they could do to survive, and that included delivering newspapers and phone books, and even starting a computer repair business at 15, as a young teen.  Today, Aki is a pioneer in content intelligence technology and has created more than 90 jobs in the past eight years.

Chet Manikantan: Innovation Machine

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Chet Manikantan, immigrant from India and founder of Aegis Studios, which builds crypto games. Chet was founder of a string of companies and a partner at two venture firms, but he was almost denied the opportunity to innovate and create jobs in the U.S. by our outdated immigration system, if not for a chance encounter that led to a workaround for select foreign-born entrepreneurs. And he’s keenly aware and grateful that this country gave him what he needed to succeed, as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers podcast. 

Pedro Zamora on Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Kansas City

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Pedro Zamora, executive director of the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation of Greater Kansas City. Pedro and his organization work on initiatives that are crucial to the economic vitality of the area, and they’ve helped more than 4,700 businesses. Immigrants there are having an outsized economic and cultural impact, and so Kansas City is yet another example of how localities can bounce back and benefit from immigrants and refugees, as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers podcast.

Survey of Business Sentiment: MA Income Tax Hike Would Lead to Employer Exodus

Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of Massachusetts business leaders think business associates will leave the state if a constitutional amendment appearing on the November ballot to hike taxes is successful, according to a survey conducted by Pioneer Institute.

Looming Budget Crisis Reveals MBTA’s Dependency on Federal Funds

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The MBTA is about to lose federal funding at a critical moment when ridership has not yet recovered. Will the state make up the difference?

Mei Xu on the Slow Burn to Success

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Mei Xu, immigrant from China and founder of Chesapeake Bay Candle, which was acquired by Yankee Candle parent company Newell Brands for $75 million. Mei describes the journey to entrepreneurship, including a rough start, with dashed dreams and miserable timing that forced her to create opportunities for herself. Today, she seeks to empower women business owners around the world, to show them that they too can expand economies and horizons with a little guidance.

Cris Ramón on How to Build Up Immigrant Businesses

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Cris Ramón, son of immigrants from El Salvador, immigration policy analyst, and coauthor of the new report, Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Economic Potential and Obstacles to Success published by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Taxation Without Legislation: Exploring Inflation’s Causes, Curses & Cures

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Bloomberg Columnist and National Review Editor Ramesh Ponnuru about the reasons for the sustained spike in inflation, its impact on savers and consumers, the possible policy remedies, and the likely intensity and duration of this cycle.

Hubwonk360 Video: If we tax them, will they leave?

In this brief, six-minute video, Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios and Director of Government Transparency, Mary Z. Connaughton, walk through an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution that could dramatically increase the income tax on retirees and small businesses.

Julie King Brings Authentic Mexican Cuisine to Boston

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Julie King, immigrant from Mexico and founder of Villa Mexico Café in the financial district of Boston. They discuss the challenges of re-launching a career in a new country. It’s not atypical for an immigrant to start at a lower rung of the economic and social ladder than they previously enjoyed - but it’s a win when they persevere despite the pains, and thrive.

Lifelines for the Untethered: Research to Reach and Recover Homeless Americans

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Stephen Eide, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute about his newly released book, Homelessness in America: The History and Tragedy of an Intractable Social Problem, in which he asserts that a better understanding of the many challenges facing each homeless individual can lead to a tailored and more durable policy solution to this enduring societal problem.

As States Compete for Talent and Families, Massachusetts Experienced a Six-Fold Increase in Lost Wealth Compared to a Decade Earlier

With competition for businesses and talent heating up across the country, in 2020 Massachusetts shed taxpayers and wealth at a clip six times faster than even just a decade ago. Between 2010 to 2020, Massachusetts’ net loss of adjusted gross Income (AGI) to other states due to migration grew from $422 million to $2.6 billion, according to recently released IRS data now available on Pioneer Institute’s Massachusetts IRS Data Discovery website. Over 71 percent of the loss was to Florida and New Hampshire, both no income tax states.

Empowered or Exploited Entrepreneurs: Voters Determine Rideshare Drivers’ Fate on November Ballot

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Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with communications expert and cofounder of South & Hill Strategies Lizzy Guyton about what the research on the profiles and preferences of rideshare drivers tells us about the industry, and the possible effects of designating independent contractors as employees.

Daniel Perez Takes Tenacity to Transport

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Daniel Perez, immigrant from Colombia and founder, president and CEO of DPV Transportation Worldwide, based in Everett, Massachusetts. Daniel shares what it meant to tap into his entrepreneurial spirit and become a success, pivoting into healthcare and community service when the transportation sector was impacted by the pandemic, and finding a way to use his fleet for good.

Searching For Space: Massachusetts Real Estate in a Time of Covid

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with real estate expert and broker/owner Pauline Donnelly about the disruption and trends created by the Covid-19 pandemic and steps buyers and renters can take to become more informed, prudent, and competitive in the frenzied market of Greater Boston and Martha’s Vineyard.

Mariam Nusrat Takes Gaming to New Heights

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Mariam Nusrat, immigrant from Pakistan and founder and CEO of both the venture-backed Gaming Revolution for International Development and the not-for-profit Gaming Revolution for Inspiring Development, both with the acronym GRID.

Book Reveals How Tax Hike Amendment Would Damage Commonwealth’s Economic Competitiveness

If adopted, a constitutional amendment to hike state taxes that will appear on the ballot in November could erase the hard-earned progress Massachusetts has achieved toward economic competitiveness over the last 25 years and may not result in any additional education and transportation funding, according to a new book from Pioneer Institute, entitled Back to Taxachusetts?: How the proposed tax amendment would upend one of the nation’s best economies, which is a distillation of two dozen academic studies.

Forsaking Massachusetts’s Miracle: Risking Our Future With Past Mistakes

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Greg Sullivan, Research Director at Pioneer Institute and author of Back to Taxachusetts?, about the link between Massachusetts’s decision to reduce tax rates and a generation-long economic renaissance - and the reasons why new taxes such as the proposed, so-called "Fair Share Amendment" risk taking us back to economic stagnation or decline.  

Massachusetts Tax Revenues Surpass Pre-Pandemic Levels

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Pandemic recovery and then some! Massachusetts revenues are higher than anyone was expecting, but where is all the money coming from? And what does this mean for the Massachusetts economy?

Yuliya Tarasava Invests In Americans Who Need It Most

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Yuliya Tarasava, immigrant from Belarus and cofounder and chief operating officer at CNote, a platform that helps facilitate investment in financially underserved communities across America.