06/26/2022

News

Steven Pinker Critiques the Inequality Alarmism of Thomas Piketty

In Enlightenment Now, Pinker makes a crucial counterpoint—the distinction between relative and absolute prosperity: “Total wealth today is vastly greater than it was in 1910, so if the poorer half own the same proportion, they are far richer, not ‘as poor’.” Put simply, people can be much richer in absolute terms despite a relatively smaller […]

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Hardly Anyone Wants to Admit America Is Beating Poverty

Most liberal pundits argue that poverty is still a huge problem and that current programs are insufficient. Their conclusion: We shouldn’t change our welfare programs, except possibly to expand them. Those on the right, meanwhile, have argued that the U.S. has spent trillions to no effect. In fact, poverty has declined significantly over the past […]

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Location as an Asset

The location of individuals determines their job opportunities, living amenities, and housing costs. We argue that it is useful to conceptualize the location choice of individuals as a decision to invest in a ‘location asset.’ This asset has a cost equal to the location’s rent, and a payoff through better job opportunities and, potentially, more […]

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Judge allows suit accusing California of providing inadequate education to kids

A judge has given the go-ahead to a lawsuit accusing California of violating the rights of hundreds of thousands of minority and poor children to equal access to educational literacy. The suit was filed in December on behalf of elementary school students and their families in two districts in Los Angeles and Stockton and a […]

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The Hollowing-Out of the California Dream

Its political leaders and a credulous national media present California as the “woke” state, creating an economically just, post-racial reality. Yet in terms of opportunity, California is evolving into something more like apartheid South Africa or the pre-civil rights South. California simply does not measure up in delivering educational attainment, income growth, homeownership, and social […]

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Struggling To Stay Afloat, The Real Cost Measure in California 2018

Struggling to Stay Afloat seeks to measure the real costs of living in California’s communities and increase awareness and understanding of the hardships families face in meeting them. Among the questions this report seeks to answer are: What is the true rate of financially challenged households? How many are led by working adults? What do […]

Research & Studies
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California’s school war will have new political players

The Local Control Funding Formula that provides the extra money for what are termed “at-risk” kids is the handiwork of Gov. Jerry Brown. He not only boasts of allocating even more money to LCFF in his last budget, but counts it as a significant effort to combat California’s high poverty and income disparity rates. It’s […]

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San Francisco metro area has lost 31,000 home-owning families in 10 years

Looking at data from the U.S. Census Bureau, RentCafe found the number of families with children who own their homes in the San Francisco metro area has dropped dramatically, while an increasing number are renting. . . . Researchers at the apartment search site found a 10 percent decrease in homeowner families, meaning 31,000 fewer […]

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The Next Gov. Should Set Goals to Break California’s Dickensian Economy

Yes, California has much to celebrate. We are home to the most formidable tech companies on the planet with half of the world’s tech billionaires living in Silicon Valley. State coffers bulge with historic budget surpluses fed by unprecedented revenues. Our economy enjoys utopian levels of unemployment and is ranked as the world’s 5th largest. […]

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Opinion: Progressive California’s growing race challenge

Under these conditions, California cannot create a successful multi-cultural society. As environmentalist Michael Shellenberger has noted, the way the state applies its “green policies” has transformed California from “the most progressive state” to “the most racist.” Recently, a coalition of hundreds of veteran civil rights leaders sued CARB over selecting greenhouse gas reduction measures that […]

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California’s K–12 Test Scores: What Can the Available Data Tell Us?

Overall, 2016–17 scores changed little from 2015–16. This is quite different than in the previous year, when students made large gains. This pattern is consistent across the seven racial and ethnic groups reported by the CDE. The previous higher growth rate may have resulted in part from systemic factors, such as better understanding of the […]

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Marital Patterns and Income Inequality

We investigate the role of marital patterns in explaining rising income inequality using a structural marriage matching model with unobserved heterogeneity. This allows us to consider both the extensive and intensive margins of the marriage market, i.e. who remains single and who marries whom. Using US data from 1962 to 2017, we show that marital […]

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Growth in Retiring Baby Boomers Strains U.S. Entitlement Programs

The surge of retiring baby boomers is reshaping the U.S. into a country with fewer workers to support the elderly—a shift that will add to strains on retirement programs such as Social Security and sharpen the national debate on the role of immigration in the workforce. For most of the past few decades, the ratio […]

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Brownout

The growth that so impressed over the past five years has masked a multitude of policy sins, and as California’s economic engine slows down, the underlying problems are becoming harder to deny. People are moving out in greater numbers than they’re moving in. Rates of job creation—and the types of jobs being created—vary widely according […]

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Why Have Employment Rates in the United States Lagged Other Countries?

From 2007 to 2017 the fraction of Americans employed fell by 2.9 percentage points. As we discussed in a previous blog post coauthored with Harris Eppsteiner, the aging population has been driving the decline in the US employment-population ratio, or employment rate. (The employment-population ratio, or the employment rate, is the fraction of the overall […]

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