Economic Forecast 2017: Social Issues

Nominate a Top Woman in Business. Click here. Nominate an NEPA business professional under 40. Click here.

20 Under 40: JenniferDessoye

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:17 11:10:02

Dr. Jennifer Dessoye is assistant professor of occupational therapy at Misericordia University and owner of Bright Beginnings Early Learning Academy (BBELA). Discontent with the early education curriculum and understanding of human development and neurolo (read more)

20 Under 40: Amy Hlavaty Belcher

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:09 13:55:46

Amy Hlavaty Belcher, 39, owner and artistic director of Abrabesque Academy of Dancing, believes that for those who have been given much, much is expected. “I just try hard to do my best,” she said. I have been blessed with many opportunities and many gift (read more)

20 Under 40: Christopher Hetro

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 11:21:35

Chris Hetro, 33, works hard and plays hard. “A strong work ethic is important, but finding balance outside of work is important because life is too short and you need to enjoy it,” he explained. As an electrical engineer and project manager at Borton-Laws (read more)

20 Under 40: C. David Pedri

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 15:19:17

For attorney C. David Pedri, 37, it’s all about a combination of qualities that contribute to success. “My philosophy is simple: be open and honest, treat people the way you would want to be treated, with respect, and work hard to attain your dreams. The (read more)

20 Under 40: Ed Frable

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:09 11:13:04

Ed Frable, 28, believes “if I work hard and stick to my word, good things will happen. My crew will not be deterred. We will re-evaluate our game plan and not give up until the job is complete,” explained Frable, the owner/operator of Ed Frable Constructi (read more)

20 Under 40: William H. Bender II

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:16 13:11:08

William H. Bender II, CFP, CIMA, CRPC, loves what he does. “I’m lucky. I come to work every day excited to help the people and institutions we work with,” explained Bender, 34, first vice president at Bender Wealth Management Group, Merrill Lynch. The fam (read more)

20 Under 40: Angelo Venditti

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 16:09:11

Angelo Venditti, 38, heard a call to the helping professions early on. Geisinger Northeast’s chief nursing officer answer was to volunteer for his local fire company. After high school, he became a paramedic, then enrolled in nursing school. Three years a (read more)

20 Under 40: Donald Mammano

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:17 12:38:37

At 20, Donald Mammano began his own company, while attending the University of Scranton. Mammano, now 33, and president of DFM Properties, recalls, as a youngster, holding a flashlight while his father fixed the kitchen sink. “From that point on I was fas (read more)

20 Under 40: William J. Fennie III

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:15 09:50:19

William J. Fennie III, 27, is always knocking on the proverbial door, because he knows one day, one will open. As an investment specialist with Integrated Capital Management (iCM) he cannot take “no” for an answer. “I make cold calls every day to invite f (read more)

20 Under 40: Marcus Magyar

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 13:25:24

As an advisor at CAPTRUST Financial Advisors, Marcus N. Magyar, CFP, 30, provides comprehensive wealth management and investment portfolio services to business owners, executives, families and high-net worth individuals. His multi-disciplinary team of pro (read more)

20 Under 40: Heather Davis

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:10 13:34:44

Heather M. Davis, 33, director of marketing and communication, is responsible for creating, overseeing and implementing a strategic marketing and comprehensive communications plan for The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC). She is also responsible for pr (read more)

20 Under 40: Alexandria Duffney

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 14:24:50

Alexandria Duffney, 30, is competitive by nature and loves a good challenge. These qualities have led her to her position as associate director of graduate admission at Wilkes University. Here she works with prospective students interested in enrolling in (read more)

20 Under 40: John Culkin

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:07 17:18:26

John Culkin’s tenets inform: “Less haste equal more speed; the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg, it is all about what you are made of, not the circumstances surrounding you; and don’t ask someone to walk a mile in your shoes, bef (read more)

20 Under 40: Conor O'Brien

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 17:19:58

“What could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it,” mused Conor O’Brien.” As co-founder and executive director of the Scranton Fringe Festival, O’Brien, 25, is responsible for leading the development of the overal (read more)

20 Under 40: Jessica Siegfried

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:10 14:12:08

Jessica Siegfried, 38, is senior designer with BlackOut Design Inc., where she is responsible for all creative design at the full-service agency, from traditional branding and print to collateral and front end web design. “I’ve always had an interest in t (read more)

20 Under 40: David Johns

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:08 10:15:37

David Johns’ career path has been shaped by his diverse experiences. As director of structural engineering at Greenman-Pedersen Inc., Moosic, Johns, 39, ensures that his engineering and consultant teams provide clients with their best effort. “We complete (read more)

20 Under 40: Robyn Jones

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 12:41:32

Robyn Jones, 38, president of ReferLocal LLC, has learned just as many lessons from her business successes as she’s had from her failures — and she believes it’s important to share that knowledge with her employees. After graduating from American Universi (read more)

20 Under 40: Nisha Arora

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:14 10:02:06

Nisha Arora, 36, tries to be the best version of herself every day. As general counsel for ERA One Source Realty Inc., she realized she cannot control other’s behavior so “I try to focus on myself and how I can be better,” she explained. Arora’s responsib (read more)

20 Under 40: Justin Sandy

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:10 14:59:27

Starting at a young age in Hazleton, Justin C. Sandy, 33, found a passion for running. He became a member then a coach for Misericordia University’s cross country and track and field programs. “It was at Misericordia that I also garnered the profound sati (read more)

20 Under 40: Dr. Ariane Conaboy

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2016:11:16 09:38:07

As a doctor of internal medicine at Physicians Health Alliance, Dr. Ariane M. Conaboy, 34, realizes the importance of human life and how fragile it can be at times. Conaboy graduated from Scranton Prep and the University of Scranton with a double major in (read more)

Find us on Facebook!

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

"Like" us on Facebook for all of the latest news! (read more)

Follow us on Twitter!

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Follow us for constant updates! (read more)

Value of inherited Caddy is dubious

Q: I am now the owner of a 1978 Cadillac Seville Grand Opera Coupe. This was my grandmother’s car and one of a few hundred made of this model. It is not running, but I believe that is due to it sitting. It is all original and has very few miles. What is t (read more)

Article Tools

Font size
Share This

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2011:04:04 06:38:27


Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2010:09:09 09:07:57


By Dave Gardner

Investigation of a few key details reveals that President-elect Donald Trump will undoubtedly face some tough financial challenges involving his domestic spending promises and Washington’s availability of cold, hard cash.

During the campaign, Trump promised to, transform America’s crumbling infrastructure. He has pledged to massively increase defense spending and fix the Social Security system without cutting benefits.

One of Trump’s most popular pledges involves building a 1,200-mile-long wall along America’s southern border. it. In addition, he will round up and deport the almost 11 million immigrants illegally living in the United States.

Satyajit Ghosh, Ph.D., professor of economics and finance at the University of Scranton, noted that mass infrastructure spending usually flows from the Democratic side of the political aisle. This spending is popular with economists because infrastructure improvements have a great “multiplier” effect among tax expenditures.

However, in view of Trump’s multiple pledges to raise spending on infrastructure and national defense while also cutting taxes, massive budget deficits would occur. According to Ghosh, all of Trump’s spending promises would raise the cumulative national debt by at least $30 trillion.

“I have no idea what congressional reaction to these proposals will be, with both houses now dominated by Republicans,” Ghosh said.

Immigration costs?

Fred Croop, MBA, dean of the college of professional studies and social sciences at Misericordia University, sees trouble coming for Trump with his immigration-related proposals. Croop said the vast majority of Latino immigrants he has encountered are hard workers with a religious faith and a history of survival in tough times.

This survivor mentality is the reason these immigrants will do difficult jobs, such as farm harvesting, for very low pay. Replacing immigrants with American workers would require vastly higher pay and in the process destroy farm profitability.

“I picked when I was younger, and believe me it is hot and hard work,” Croop said. “Excluding Latinos from these types of jobs is not the solution to employment problems for our citizens, who need family sustaining work in large numbers.”

Leonard Champney, Ph.D., professor of political science with the University of Scranton, noted that virtually all domestic commerce flows through the nation’s infrastructure, and problems with roads, bridges and rail inhibit business. He believes congressional Republicans will fall into line with Trump’s spending plans, and with the 2018 midterms looming big deficits from infrastructure improvement will become acceptable.

Champney has also noticed that Trump appears to be backing off on almost every campaign promise he made. The huge wall may wind up being simply a fence and other challenges remain such as the fact that most of border land where the fence would be located is private and often held by anti-Trump landowners who would legally fight seizure by eminent domain.

“I suspect Trump just threw red meat to his base and it wouldn’t surprise me if he never believed in the wall concept,” Champney said. “He’s smart and pragmatic and backing off the immigration roundup because he must know how expensive it would be to identify and deport these people.

According to Champney, Trump has another related challenge he will be forced to deal with. His campaign legitimatized racism from the private to public arenas and the consequences for American society, and its costs, are unknown.

Global retreat?

According to Christopher Stevens, Ph.D., assistant professor with the department of history and government at Misericordia University, Trump has promised to be less of an internationalist than predecessors and gives the impression he is only interested only in American security and not its global implications. The Trump campaign featured an undefined agenda in rhetoric, but Stevens forecasts that the presidency will force the real Trump to stand up and reveal his true belief systems.

“Everything he speaks about seems to be a cost-benefit analysis from business,” Stevens said. “Business and politics are very different, and I have suspicions about Trump’s longevity.”

The financial costs for Trump’s plans, such as the illegal alien roundup and the wall construction, could be Trump’s undoing. Business interests will also fight back because hotels and agriculture all depend on the work they do, for profitability.

“Trump may find himself blaming all his problems on Congress, creating a very bad spot for himself,” Stevens said.

Kyle Kreider, Ph.D., associate professor of political science with Wilkes University, said it is not yet clear what Trump will actually push for. Many congressional Republicans have gerrymandered safe seats on long leashes and their voters will give these representatives lots of room to comply with Trump’s supply-side economics and resultant deficits.

“The massive tax changes will undoubtedly create new cash reserves for business, and if Trump is successful in obtaining private dollars for his infrastructure spending he may remain very popular,” Kreider said. “However, legislation such as the ban on Muslim immigration will require heavy congressional support.”

Supply-side system?

Rodney Ridley, Ph.D., director of the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University, called Trump a true follower of Ronald Reagan-era supply-side tax cuts for business. In theory, making business rich with cash will inspire management to expand the company and create jobs.

“Nobody I know has ever created a job from a tax cut,” Ridley said. “There is no evidence this works. Jobs are only created as needed. Even if a mom-and-pop store added a job from a tax cut it would be a mid-to-low wage position.”

William Parente, Ph.D., professor of political science with The University of Scranton, sums up Trump’s domestic situation by noting that he has already backed down on many campaign promises and the public should never have taken him seriously. Trump was simply pandering to conservative voters and as president he’ll be accommodating and compromise.

Some problems will call out for attention. Parente identifies the upcoming social security fiscal problems to be among these, because Americans are living longer and therefore taking out more than they paid in, while fewer numbers of young people are available to submit revenues.

“The people surrounding Trump will also discourage the campaign rhetoric,” Parente said. “Nothing extreme is going to happen.”

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.