April 12, 2017
It may turn out that the widespread belief that most Americans' incomes have stagnated for years is, well, false or at least overstated. . . In a provocative new study, economist Bruce Sacerdote of Dartmouth College reviewed the material well-being of the poorest 50% and 25% of Americans. What he concluded was that even these families had achieved a "meaningful growth in consumption ... (despite) a prolonged period of increasing income inequality ... and a decreasing share of national income accruing to labor."
Feb. 16, 2017
The unaffordability problem affecting the Bay Area-Silicon Valley region of California is a serious statewide crisis that Sacramento isn’t taking seriously. But this problem isn’t the Bay Area’s alone. California’s most populous region – Greater Los Angeles – is also plagued with unaffordable homes and rentals. And March 2017’s consolidated Los Angeles election has housing affordability front and center.
Jan. 19, 2017
But Brown’s fiscal restraint posturing is more talk than action. His first enacted budget since re-election in 2010 totaled $128.3 billion (June 2016 dollars) in General and Special Fund expenditures. By 2016-2017, the budget had ballooned 30 percent to $167.1 billion. Overall, Brown has increased real General and Special Fund spending by an average of 5 percent per year.
Oct. 23, 2016
The federal government subsidizes the fossil-fuel industry to the tune of about $3 to $5 billion dollars per year (the exact amount depends on whose numbers you believe). . . According to the apolitical U.S. Energy Information Agency, the federal government spends about $3.5 billion per year subsidizing the coal, petroleum and natural gas industries. By contrast, the Feds dole out about $15 billion every year in subsidies to the renewable energy industry (mainly to support new wind and solar projects) and $20 billion per year for agricultural subsidies and insurance.
June 23, 2016
It's simple arithmetic, writes Mark Warshawsky of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, author of the study. Paying for expensive health insurance squeezes what's left for wage and salary raises. Economic inequality increases, because health insurance typically represents a larger share of total compensation for lower-paid than higher-paid workers. Their wages are squeezed the most.