11/13/2019

News

Universal Basic Income Doesn’t Work. Let’s Boost The Public Realm Instead

A study published this week sheds doubt on ambitious claims made for universal basic income (UBI), the scheme that would give everyone regular, unconditional cash payments that are enough to live on. Its advocates claim it would help to reduce poverty, narrow inequalities and tackle the effects of automation on jobs and income. Research conducted […]

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The Methuselah Annuity

The second-longest bull market in American history hasn’t stopped the deterioration of state and local pension funds, whose unfunded debt has almost quadrupled—by their own accounting—from about $360 billion in 2007 to $1.4 trillion today. Having relied on overly optimistic and inaccurate financial assumptions for decades, public pension administrators are now forced to acknowledge that […]

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Dan Walters: Could California pension system be underwater?

Very quietly, CalPERS officials told its governing board last month that the trust fund actually lost 3.9 percent during 2018, apparently due to the sharp stock market decline late in the year, pushing its funded level back down to about 67 percent. Having just two-thirds of the assets needed to cover pension promises should be […]

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Report: California’s creative economy generates $604.9 billion annually, but wage gaps persist

The 2019 report, prepared by Beacon Economics, shows that creative industries throughout the state support 2.6 million jobs, $227.8 billion in labor income and $604.9 billion in annual economic output. One million of those jobs represent workers directly employed in creative industries and the other 1.6 million are jobs indirectly generated by those sectors. When […]

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Workers waiting ‘on call’ must be paid, court rules

Employees who are required to stay “on call” before the start of a possible work shift — phoning their employer two hours before the shift to learn whether they’re needed — are entitled to be paid for that two-hour period regardless of whether they’re called in to work, a state appeals court ruled Monday. In […]

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White-Collar Robots Are Coming for Jobs

Until recently, most white-collar, service-sector and professional jobs were shielded from automation by humans’ cognitive monopoly. Computers couldn’t think, so jobs that required any type of thinking—nuclear physics professor, florist and everything in between—required a human. But a form of artificial intelligence called “machine learning” has given computers skills like reading, writing, speaking and recognizing […]

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U.S. Employment Costs Rose 0.7% in the Fourth Quarter

Compensation for American workers grew more slowly in the fourth quarter than the third. The employment-cost index, a measure of wages and benefits for civilian workers, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7% from October through December, the Labor Department said Thursday. The gain was slightly short of expectations of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal […]

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Gov. Newsom’s budget shows pension fixes failed

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to use some of the state’s budget surplus to pay down unfunded liabilities in the state’s two giant government employee pension funds drew praise from an unexpected source – the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which otherwise had a low opinion of the new governor’s 2019-20 spending plan. Next fiscal year, Newsom […]

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Borenstein: Is Gov. Newsom serious about taming pension costs?

Gavin Newsom deserves credit for his unprecedented proposal to pay down California’s pension debt. But don’t kid yourself: The amount is a pittance compared to the overall shortfall of the state’s retirement funds. The real test will be whether the new governor supports fundamental and essential pension law changes sought by his predecessor, Jerry Brown, […]

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That Newsom proposal for six-month paid family leave? It’s bold—but less so than it seems

Californians who like the idea of getting more paid time off work to care for a new baby may find good news and bad news in the details of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget. The bad news: The proposal is not quite as generous as it initially seemed. It doesn’t call for each worker to […]

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Los Angeles Teachers Begin Strike

Teachers in America’s second-largest school district began to strike Monday, pushing this city into the nationwide wave of growing educator activism and raising the pressure on a district already under financial strain. The strike comes after nearly two years of contract bargaining between the Los Angeles Unified School District and the United Teachers Los Angeles […]

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Beige Book – January 16, 2019

[12th District] Conditions in the labor market remained tight. Contacts reported that worker shortages persisted across industries and skill levels. Nonetheless, several contacts reported an uptick in the pace of hiring. A major shipping and logistics business in Northern California hired more seasonal workers than usual in response to strong holiday demand. In the restaurant […]

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Newsom wants extra pension payments as retirement liability tops $256B

Following Jerry Brown’s footsteps, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday he wants to make extra pension payments even as California’s retirement liabilities for state workers and teachers top $256 billion. In unveiling his first budget, flush with a surprisingly large surplus from a robust economy, Newsom said he wants to put an extra $3 billion into […]

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The Financial Context of the Imminent California Supreme Court Decision on the “California Rule”

Any day now, the California Supreme Court will rule on what may be one of the most significant cases affecting pension reform in California history. The case, CalFire Local 2881 vs. CalPERS, challenges one of the provisions of PEPRA(Public Employee Pension Reform Act) Governor Brown’s 2013 pension reform legislation. The plaintiffs argue that PEPRA’s abolition […]

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Some L.A. pensions are so huge they exceed IRS limits, costing taxpayers millions extra

Dozens of retired Los Angeles employees are collecting such generous retirement pay that they exceed pension fund limits set by the Internal Revenue Service, saddling taxpayers with additional costs, a Times data analysis has found. Their lavish pensions forced the city to establish an “Excess Benefit Plan” to pay what the pension system cannot legally […]

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