06/18/2018

News

The Union Effect in California #2: Gains for Women, Workers of Color, and Immigrants

There are multiple reasons for this union effect. Collective bargaining agreements often standardize wage rates across similar occupations doing similar tasks, and establish objective procedures for hiring and awarding raises and promotions. Unions can narrow the wage gap between workers with different skills; they can also increase skill levels by providing high-quality apprenticeships and other […]

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The Union Effect in California #1: Wages, Benefits, and Use of Public Safety Net Programs

Unions have historically played a role in improving wages and benefits by enabling workers to join together to negotiate with employers. Recent research finds a persistent positive effect of unions on members’ wages and household income (Farber et al. 2018). On their own, individual workers have little bargaining power with employers. When bargaining together, workers […]

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One symptom of California’s housing crisis? One state agency says someone making $200K deserves help buying a house.

When the California Housing Finance Agency was created in 1975 in Governor Jerry Brown’s first term, the mission was simple: help low- and moderate-income families buy their first home. More than 40 years later, amid skyrocketing housing prices and near-record low homeownership rates, that goal is getting harder and harder to attain. So much so […]

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Nonprofit to train workers for future of manufacturing

The Bay Area’s growing manufacturing sector is often portrayed as the region’s last best chance to bring back some of the well-paying, blue-collar jobs that have been disappearing for decades. But entrepreneurs at the forefront of the so-called “modern maker” movement — nimble boutique companies crafting everything from robots and drones to custom eyeglasses and […]

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What You Have to Earn to Rent a Modest 2-Bedroom, Mapped

For most Americans, access to decent, affordable rental housing remains cruelly beyond reach. Only in 22 counties in the United States is a one-bedroom home affordable to someone working 40 hours per week at federal minimum wage. That’s from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) report, which outlines the mismatch between wages and rent […]

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How would Gavin Newsom pay for his promises?

Even assuming that California avoids a long-overdue economic downturn, where would Newsom get the immense sums of money that he’d need to deliver his agenda? Just providing “guaranteed health care for all” would cost at least $100 billion more in taxes on someone, according to analyses of a single-payer measure that passed the Senate before […]

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Electric-Vehicle Frenzy Sweeps Up Once-Unloved Metal: Nickel

The speculative fever for electric-car metals is pushing to nearly four-year highs prices for nickel—a key ingredient in stainless steel. Nickel is the top industrial metal and among the best-performing assets of 2018, with futures contracts on the London Metal Exchange up 21%, as battery manufacturers, mostly in China, and investors across the world hoard […]

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Global Investment in Wind and Solar Energy Is Outshining Fossil Fuels

Global spending on renewable energy is outpacing investment in electricity from coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants, driven by falling costs of producing wind and solar power. More than half of the power-generating capacity added around the world in recent years has been in renewable sources such as wind and solar, according to the […]

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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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Politicians give voters a double dose of sneakiness

Senate Bill 863 is a double dose of sneakiness—combining, in just 17 words, two separate efforts to block Californians from knowing what their elected officials are doing. First of all, it continues the unseemly practice of misusing “budget trailer bills” for purposes that are unrelated to the budget. . . . In this particular case, […]

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California drinking water tax dies in budget compromise

A proposed tax on California’s drinking water, designed to clean up contaminated water for thousands of Californians, was abandoned by Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders Friday as part of the compromise on the state budget. Lawmakers and Brown’s office scrapped the “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Act,” which would have taxed residents 95 cents […]

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New Bang for a Michigan Buck

In Michigan the roads are so bad they’re a joke on social media. “BREAKING NEWS: lost city of atlantis found in detroit pothole,” local YouTube star Demetrius Harmon quipped on Twitter in February, garnering thousands of likes. “I don’t always dodge potholes,” another Michigan meme says, “but when I do, I hit four more.” So […]

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Domino’s Is Fixing Potholes Because They’re Ruining Pizza

America’s infrastructure is in a sorry state. Bridges are crumbling, airports and seaports are falling into disrepair, and our roads are covered in potholes. This sucks for everyone, but especially Domino’s, which is so tired of potholes ruining its pizzas that it has taken to fixing them itself. The pizza chain said in a press […]

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Garcetti wants to fix some of L.A.’s worst roads. But repairs could hinge on a big fee hike

Garcetti called for the city to more than double the amount of money it spends on repairs to D- and F-ranked streets, where pavement is so damaged that it frequently needs to be rebuilt — typically at a cost of $1 million or more per lane mile. Yet a major portion of that work cannot […]

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Seattle reverses course on business tax after Amazon pressure

Just weeks after passing a new tax on big businesses, Seattle political leaders signaled late Monday they would reverse course and repeal it. Mayor Jenny Durkan and city council President Bruce Harrell said in statements that they would end the tax, initially meant to combat rising homelessness in a city where housing prices have soared. […]

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