Good Life

OLLI: Program outlines facts of the life of Pennsylvania‘s economy

In your private moments, do you ever wonder how jobs and income are created?

This question is whispered in homes, schools and workplaces, and discussed in hushed tones. Answers are conveyed to the youth of our community with delicacy and metaphoric reserve.

We have direct, no-holds-barred answers to this question for ... ahem, wink-wink ... consenting adults.

In brief — and without using anatomical terms — jobs and income exist in Pennsylvania because households, governments, businesses, and areas outside Pennsylvania and our country demand the goods and services that our economy produces. No demand? Simple: No jobs or income.

The process of buying and selling Pennsylvania goods and services creates jobs and income for Pennsylvanians in three ways.

First, Pennsylvania firms directly hire and pay workers to produce the goods and services they make to fulfill economic demand. Second, these Pennsylvania firms, in turn, must buy goods and services that are required to make their products, indirectly generating even more jobs and income among Pennsylvania suppliers. And, third, the pay earned by workers in Pennsylvania firms and their suppliers often is spent in Pennsylvania communities on consumer items such as bread, milk, autos, refrigerators, health care and fuel, creating even more jobs and income for Pennsylvanians.

On Oct. 8, we will discuss the three ways Pennsylvania jobs and income are created during the program, “Sex Life of the Economy: Where Jobs and Income Come From.” We promise that our program is not like that 8 a.m. macroeconomics class you slept through or skipped. No jargon. No math. No “on one hand and on the other hand” conundrums, riddles and mental puzzles, just plain and simple discussion, punctuated by economic situations affecting Pennsylvanians. Some possible topics include Marcellus shale natural gas activity; the Marcellus Shale Impact Fee; changes in Pennsylvania manufacturing; offshoring Pennsylvania jobs; and unemployment and underemployment. However, participants can drive the discussion toward topics that interest them.

We invite you to join us to discuss the economic facts of life in Pennsylvania.

OLLI gears programs toward adults who are 50 or older, but programs are open to any adult who loves to learn. The OLLI fall term catalog of courses and activities is available at