09/21/2019

News

5 Myths about Income Inequality Debunked

The issue of economic inequality is all the rage these days. It encompasses numerous arguments about a wide range of topics. Let us review and rebut several common ones.

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One Nation, Two Economies

Almost all news coverage of the current election season has focused on cultural issues such as gender, race, and immigration. What the media have missed are deep socioeconomic trends driving parts of the country in divergent political directions. President Trump has overseen a significant transformation in the geography of the nation’s growth and prosperity. Instead […]

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Sweet contracts, tricky rules help California unions hold on after court loss

Most public sector union contracts have clauses that prevent workers from quitting until the month before the labor agreement ends. Some unions earlier this year released new agreements that compel members to commit to membership for at least one year. Both of those membership clauses are intended to buffer unions from extreme swings in membership […]

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U.S. Economy Grew at 3.5% Rate in Third Quarter

Strong consumer and government spending powered economic growth in the third quarter, although a warning sign about the outlook emerged in the form of weak business investment. Gross domestic product—the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S.—grew at a seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate of 3.5% from July through September, the Commerce […]

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California Feudalism

California was built by people with aspirations, many of them lacking cultural polish or elite educations, but dedicated to hard work, innovation, family and community. A large number came from other countries or poor backgrounds: sharecroppers from the South, campesinos from Mexico, people fleeing communism and poverty in Asia, escapees from Hitler’s Europe or Okies […]

Research & Studies
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Universal Basic Income Has Been Tried Before. It Didn’t Work.

The best available evidence about the potential effects of these programs comes from the federal government’s “negative income tax” experiment. The experiment, which ran from 1968 to 1980, consisted of four random, controlled trials across six states designed to test the negative income tax. Similar to the universal basic income, a negative income tax guarantees […]

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California Becoming More Feudal, With Ultra-Rich Lording Over Declining Middle Class

In the imaginations of its boosters, and for many outside the state, California is often seen as the role model for the future. But, sadly, California is also moving backward toward a more feudal society. Feudalism was about the concentration of wealth and power in a relative handful of people. Historically, California created fortunes for […]

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Far from fame, poverty blossoms in ‘forgotten California’

California may be famous for its wealth, but there is a distinctly different part of the state where poverty prevails: places like this one halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Central Valley has long been short on resources no matter which political party is in power. Democratic and Republican candidates for Congress have […]

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Some Rural Areas Are Better for Economic Mobility

When it comes to economic mobility, the image that comes to mind is one of savvy, ambitious kids from the cities and suburbs of large superstar metro areas like New York, Boston, and San Francisco getting ahead, while children from more isolated, rural areas fall further and further behind. But this narrative is not borne […]

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Amazon eliminates monthly bonuses and stock grants after minimum wage increase

Amazon garnered praise for raising the minimum wage for its hourly workers to $15 yesterday, but the widely-publicized move also came at the expense of monthly bonuses and stock options. The company explained its decision to shift to a new stock purchase program in the announcement blog post yesterday, citing that hourly employees preferred the […]

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Employer-Provided Health Insurance Approaches $20,000 a Year

The average cost of employer health coverage offered to workers rose to nearly $20,000 for a family plan this year, according to a new survey, capping years of increases that experts said are chiefly tied to rising prices paid for health services. Annual premiums rose 5% to $19,616 for an employer-provided family plan in 2018, […]

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California an Economic Model? Not Quite

A significant sub-theme of Gov. Jerry Brown’s climate change conference in San Francisco this month was that California is a living model of how a nation-state can go green while experiencing economic prosperity. Some Californians take it a step further, contending that going green is itself an economic spur. Certainly California’s current economy is, at […]

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CEOs’ Economic Outlook Eases on Trade Policy Uncertainty

The economic outlook among chief executives of America’s largest companies cooled slightly in the third quarter, as confrontational U.S. trade policies weighed on planning for capital spending and hiring. The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index, which measures company plans for capital investment, hiring and sales, declined to 109.3 from 111.1 in the second quarter. […]

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Forecast: California Economy Will Continue to Grow, But Pace Will Slow in 2020

California’s economy will continue to grow in the coming years but the pace is expected to slow alongside a slowing economy on the national level, according to the UCLA Anderson Forecast, which was released on Sept. 26. Economic growth at the state and national level are expected to weaken in 2020, according to UCLA Anderson […]

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Incomes Grew and the Official Poverty Rate Dropped in California in 2017, But Millions Still Struggle With Extremely Low Incomes

New Census figures released today show promising gains in income and employment for Californians, yet also show that millions of California residents are still struggling to get by on extremely low incomes. These data underscore the need for policymakers to ensure that the economy’s recent gains are shared among all Californians. The latest Census figures […]

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