My favorite analyst who is not named after a former Pirate and Braves ballplayer who broke all our hearts has taken me to task for my posting below about the Pennsylvania Transportation Funding & Reform Commission’s finding that the Port Authority bus driver wages are the “highest in the U.S. when accounting for cost of living.”

I won’t repeat my entire rebuttal, but I’ll provide one factoid and pose one question for folks who don’t want to click over and see two policy wonks go at it mano a mano.

First, the Factoid: The group that dared to criticize the lucrative Port Authority union contract and recommend that it be addressed in the current round of negotiations was a bi-partisan panel established by our Democratic governor (who also appointed five of the nine members) and which included two Democratic legislators and the president of SEPTA’s largest labor union. Hardly a group that would have an ax to grind against organized labor.

Now, the Question: Based on nothing more than how far your weekly paycheck would go toward buying stuff (mortgage, food, clothing, entertainment, etc.), would you rather make $55,000 a year in San Francisco (median housing price $700K) or $46,000 a year in Pittsburgh (median home price $125K)?

Posted by: Ken Zapinski

UPDATE: I realized I forgot to post a link to the PA Economy League of SW PA report that confirmed the findings of the Funding & Reform Commission regarding the Port Authority wages. It is available here.