June 21, 2022
Testimony before the:
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Majority Policy Committee
Public Hearing on Inflation
David N. Taylor
President & CEO
Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association
Thank you, Chairman Causer and members of the committee, for the privilege of testifying today. I am David N. Taylor, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association (PMA), the statewide non-profit trade organization representing the people who make things here in the commonwealth.
Today’s topic is especially urgent: how can state government help fight inflation.
Let me please explain the best way forward, both in what to do and what NOT to do.
End all economic stimulus. There are a number of bad ideas in circulation that should be resisted, like $2,000.00 stimulus checks or $250 per vehicle gasoline checks. Payments of that type will only make the inflation problem worse, as inflation is fed by too many dollars chasing too few goods.
Don’t interfere in the wage market. When convenience stores are offering employees $18 per hour, it would be counterproductive to inflate wages further with a hike in the state-mandated minimum wage. Instead of focusing on entry-level jobs, Pennsylvania’s decision-makers should help workers gain the skills needed to fill the thousands of high-paying, family-sustaining manufacturing jobs that are open. Building out the workforce and helping people achieve employment would lessen the inflationary pressures that are worsened by our current labor shortage.
Pay down debt and limit new spending. We are headed for hard times. The U.S. economy is likely already in recession. Just as the public could not imagine what a pandemic would be like, many Pennsylvanians do not remember the stagflation of the 1970s and are unprepared for the economic realities that are about to overtake us.