Earth Day — and a Spectrum of Issues for the Environment
David OsterbergWhen we consider Earth Day, some folks think of polar bears, even though they might have seen one only in a zoo or a Coke commercial. You’re in Iowa. Think of monarch butterflies.
Read guest opinion by IPP's David Osterberg. 4/22/14 NEW!

Rapid growth of frac sand mining has sparked environmental and aesthetic concerns in Northeast Iowa.
Earth Day blog post. 4/22/14. NEW!
Policy brief by Aaron Kline and David Osterberg. 1/30/14.

Cost of Living vs med wage
Iowa JobWatch: Jobs Bump Up in February

A drop of 1,700 payroll jobs dampens the upbeat comments from Iowa Workforce Development about the March job numbers in Iowa.
Heather GibneyOur Iowa JobWatch by Heather Gibney. 4/18/14. LATEST!

“Looking at long-term trends, the job market in Iowa is better than a year ago. But we have lost jobs in two of the last three months.”

Many Iowa Families Struggle to Meet Basic Needs
The Cost of Living in Iowa, Part 2

Thousands of Iowa families do not earn enough to provide for a basic standard of living without public supports, despite one or more wage earners in the family.
New report, or a printable 6-page PDF.
News release, or a printable 2-page PDF.
Blog post by IPP's Peter Fisher.
Interview with Fisher on KVFD's "Devine Intervention" program.
KIMT TV news story.

“No one discussing issues such as the minimum wage, and eligibility for child-care assistance, can reasonably ignore the economic realities facing these families.” — IPP's Peter Fisher

The Cost of Living in Iowa, Part 1 — For Many Families, Even the Median Wage Would Not Be Enough
IPP's latest Cost of Living in Iowa report illustrates costs of a basic-needs, no-frills family budget — and higher costs of housing, food, transportation and child care.

Peter FisherLily French Full report by Peter Fisher and Lily French. 2/26/14 NEW!
22-pg PDF of full report, or see the news release.
Data by county or region:
Map with links to printable county tables, or Excel sheet.


Reducing the Cliff Effects in Iowa Child Care Assistance
Eligibility restrictions in Iowa’s Child Care Assistance program cement roadblocks to self-sufficiency for low-wage working parents, but could be reformed to increase both efficiency and access to child care. We illustrate how eligibility rules and cost-sharing by families could be adjusted to better meet family needs.
Full report. (5-page PDF) 3/13/14. NEW!
Appendix
News release

High Cost of Child Care in Iowa Now a Barrier to the Middle Class
Iowa’s child care assistance programs should encourage parents to further their education.
Policy brief by Lily French and Peter Fisher. 11/26/13.
Executive summary or 2-pg PDF.
News release.

Countering Big Myths in Iowa's Policy Debates
Wage Theft in Iowa — Real and Overlooked

A hot topic at the Iowa Statehouse this year has been wage theft. What is the reality behind this issue in Iowa?
See our Wage Theft page, with links to our research.
Hear David Osterberg's interview on “The Devine Intervention,” KVFD-1400 AM in Fort Dodge. 3/27/14

“Wage theft ... is abetted by weak and poorly enforced labor laws at the state and federal level. ” — IPP report

Why Foundations of Iowa, Many State Pension Systems are Strong

A stable and durable public pension system, efficiently managed and funded, is important to employees, employers, the state, and the economy.

Iowa‘s public pension systems are strong and healthy, working as intended to assure retirement security to thousands of Iowans.
Policy brief by Imran Farooqi, Peter Fisher and David Osterberg. (33 pages) 12/12/13.
Executive summary. (or 5-page PDF)
News release.

Peter Fisher’s guest opinion in the Iowa City Press-Citizen. 3/19/14.
David Osterberg's guest opinion in the Cedar Rapids Gazette 12/15/16
Osterberg on the Devine Intervention, KVFD-AM Fort Dodge 12/12/16

Few Seem to Notice, But Iowa’s Business Taxes are Low


Not that you're likely to hear it in what has become common political talk, but Iowa — again — is shown to have taxes on business that are in the middle of the pack or below the national average.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership backgrounder. 3/5/14. NEW!
Or 2-page PDF.