06/18/2018

News

One welfare boost for the poor, another for the rich

Carried by Sen. Holly Mitchell, a Los Angeles Democrat, SB 982 would reverse many years of stagnation, and even cuts, in family support grants under California’s version of welfare, dubbed CalWORKs. . . . SB 982 would incrementally, over three years, increase “maximum family grants,” which are based both on poverty and the size of […]

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California has billions in extra money. Why don’t taxpayers get a refund?

California state government has so much money this year that it’s opening two new savings accounts so it can keep socking away even more cash for the rainy day that Gov. Jerry Brown says is just over the horizon. That tactic — setting a course to pile up $16 billion in savings over the next […]

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Renewable Energy Mandates Are Making Poor People Poorer

Escalating electricity prices are regressive—poorer people pay a higher proportion of their incomes heating and cooling their houses than do richer people. Low-income folks also tend to live in draftier dwellings and retain older, less energy-efficient appliances and climate-control systems. Consequently, anything that raises the price of power will impose bigger relative costs on the […]

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Social Security Expected to Dip Into Its Reserves This Year

The Social Security program’s costs will exceed its income this year for the first time since 1982, forcing the program to dip into its nearly $3 trillion trust fund to cover benefits. This is three years sooner than expected a year ago, partly due to lower economic growth projections, according to the latest annual report […]

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The Minimum Wage, Fringe Benefits, and Worker Welfare

This paper explores the relationship between the minimum wage, the structure of employee compensation, and worker welfare. We advance a conceptual framework that describes the conditions under which a minimum wage increase will alter the provision of fringe benefits, alter employment outcomes, and either increase or decrease worker welfare. Using American Community Survey data from […]

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The Complicated Taxation of America’s Retirement Accounts

Personal saving, the setting aside of resources today to get benefits in the future, is taxed in a variety of ways in the United States. Ordinary income tax treatment taxes income when first earned, and, if saved, taxes the returns on the saving (the reward one “buys” by saving). By contrast, income used for immediate […]

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A Better Alternative to Payday Loans

More than 50 million Americans in low-income working families struggle to manage everyday cash flow. That means they have the resources to pay monthly bills but can’t handle small financial shocks or timing mismatches because they lack the savings buffer the more affluent take for granted. Most lack access to reasonably priced credit and can’t […]

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California’s economy now globe’s 5th largest

However, it’s just as important to keep the new economic rankings in perspective, to wit: —We’ve been there before. As the state Department of Finance points out, we were 5th in 2002, only to decline as the Great Recession struck a few years later, and we were in 10th place as recently as 2012. —While […]

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Putting America’s enormous $19.4T economy into perspective by comparing US state GDPs to entire countries

The map above (click to enlarge) was created (with assistance from AEI’s graphic design director Olivier Ballou) by matching the economic output (Gross Domestic Product) for each US state (and the District of Columbia) in 2017 to a foreign country with a comparable nominal GDP last year, using data from the BEA for GDP by […]

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Looking beyond one-party rule in California

As in the 1960s, California’s economy appears relatively buoyant. Yet the state’s post-recession resurgence has been greatly skewed to one region — the Bay Area — and benefited a relatively small group of people. The rest of the state largely has stagnated economically, with no appreciable income growth adjusted for costs. With weakness in higher-paying […]

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With no letup in home prices, the California exodus surges

Over a million more people moved out of California from 2006 to 2016 than moved in, according to a new report, due mainly to the high cost of housing that hits lower-income people the hardest. “A strong economy can also be dysfunctional,” noted the report, a project of Next 10 and Beacon Economics. Housing costs […]

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California not the model for America it thinks it is

Today in the Trump era, California remains a frontier, but increasingly one that appeals largely to progressives. “California,” recently suggested progressive journalists Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira, “today provides a model for America as a whole.” To them, California remains the “harbinger” of “new America” and “the most active front” in the battle to exterminate […]

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Why Millions of Californians Eligible for Food Stamps Don’t Get Them

Millions of low-income Californians eligible for food stamps are not receiving the benefit, earning the state one of the lowest rankings in the nation for its participation in the program. Just three states — Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming — have lower rates of participation, according to the latest available federal data released this year. […]

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California now has world’s 5th largest economy

California has surpassed the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth largest economy. Federal data released Friday show California’s gross domestic product rose by $127 billion from 2016 to 2017, surpassing $2.7 trillion. The UK’s economic output slightly shrunk over that time as it prepared to leave the European Union.

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U.S. Jobless Rate Falls Below 4% For First Time Since Late 2000

Unemployment in the U.S. has fallen to one of the lowest levels of the post-World War II era, the result of a historically long jobs expansion that shows little evidence of slowing. The jobless rate fell to 3.9% in April from 4.1% a month earlier, hitting the lowest level since December 2000, the Labor Department […]

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