11/16/2019

News

California Wildfire Plan Shows How We Can Adapt To Threat Of Natural Disasters

Climate change is rapidly becoming America’s biggest economic and business challenge, and no state is doing more to address it than California. The Golden State has not just led the way in challenging the do-nothing policies of the Trump administration by requiring its electric companies to switch to renewable energy sources and preserving higher fuel […]

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The debt is still out of control

At the start of every year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) publishes “The Budget and Economic Outlook,” a tome full of statistics, tables and charts.. . . What we have is an inherently unstable situation, though we do not know — and probably cannot know — how or when the possible dangers will materialize. The […]

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The myth of stagnant incomes

Unless you’ve been hibernating in the Himalayas, you must know of the recent surge in economic inequality. It’s not just that the rich are getting richer. The rest of us — say politicians, pundits and scholars — are stagnating. The top 1 percent have grabbed most income gains, while average Americans are stuck in the […]

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In East Palo Alto, residents say tech companies have created ‘a semi-feudal society’

This poor city is surrounded by the temples of the new American economy that has, in nearly every way imaginable, passed it by. Just outside the northern city limit, Facebook is expanding the blocks-long headquarters it built seven years ago. Google’s offices sit just outside the southern edge, and just a few miles to the […]

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Owning your own home doesn’t make you rich. Owning somebody else’s does.

In the United States more than almost anywhere else, wealth and income are concentrated among business owners and landlords. And that club, blessed by capitalism, is becoming increasingly difficult to join. Business owners and landlords tend to be about four times as wealthy as the average American. That’s more than almost any other country included […]

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Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in almost 50 years, but the labor market still isn’t completely over the recession

Maybe the most obvious shortcoming is that there still aren’t as many people looking for work as there “should” be. In particular, the share of 25- to 54-year-olds — who you’d think would be in the prime of their careers and are in fact working — is still 0.4 percentage points below where it was […]

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Machines will create 58 million more jobs than they displace by 2022, World Economic Forum says

In the next four years, more than 75 million jobs may be lost as companies shift to more automation, according to new estimates by the World Economic Forum. But the projections have an upside: 133 million new jobs will emerge during that period, as businesses develop a new division of labor between people and machines. […]

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At state level, GOP renews push to require ‘supermajorities’ for tax hikes, imperiling progressive agenda

At least 14 states already have supermajority tax requirements, according to a 2017 tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures. They include some states that Democrats are hoping to take back this year, such as Wisconsin and Michigan. In three additional states — Florida, Oregon and North Carolina — conservative lawmakers and business groups […]

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The world needs to store billions of tons of carbon. It could start in a surprising place.

The corn-based ethanol industry could become a surprising leader in a technology that the world needs to fight climate change, an economic analysis published Monday suggests — a development that could scramble the intense environmental politics of the ethanol issue. The technology in question is carbon capture and storage, or CCS — widely believed to […]

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A debt crisis is on the horizon

Unless Congress acts to reduce federal budget deficits, the outstanding public debt will reach $20 trillion a scant five years from now, up from its current level of $15 trillion. That amounts to almost a quarter of million dollars for a family of four, more than twice the median household wealth. . . .As is […]

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Countries made only modest climate-change promises in Paris. They’re falling short anyway.

The struggles of Germany, one of the globe’s most progressive nations when it comes to embracing renewable energy, illustrates the problem. The country’s “Energiewende,” or “energy transition,” aims to generate 80 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2050. The country also has set an aggressive near-term goal of cutting greenhouses gas emissions by 40 […]

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California has a plan to skirt the GOP tax law. IRS veterans say it is likely doomed.

California’s plan to shield residents from a tax hike under President Trump’s tax plan is likely to fail, said seven former high-ranking Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department officials. The proposal, passed by the state Senate last month, is seen as a test case for blue states trying to help their taxpayers avoid a giant […]

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A Calif. bill would jail people for handing out straws. It may be based on a child’s research.

The majority leader of the California State Assembly has introduced a bill that would, as written, impose jail sentences of up to six months if a restaurant worker hands out a single unsolicited plastic straw. . . . But repercussions have already spread beyond California, complicating a national movement to eliminate drinking straws. A report […]

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Minorities and Americans without college degrees showed greatest gains in wealth since 2013, new data says

Nearly all Americans have now emerged from the Great Recession with more money than before — with African American and Hispanic families and Americans without high school diplomas showing the greatest gains, according to new data released Wednesday from the Federal Reserve. It’s a sign that the recovery from the devastating Great Recession and financial crisis of 2008 is picking up as more people are able to get jobs, pay off debt and invest more. Household wealth for African-American and Hispanic families and Americans without high school diplomas rose the fastest from 2013 to 2016, according to the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances, which surveys over 6,000 households about their pay, debt and other finances.

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Middle-class income hit highest level on record in 2016, Census Bureau reports

Median household income in America was $59,039 last year, surpassing the previous high of $58,655 set in 1999, the Census Bureau said. The figure is adjusted for inflation and is one of the most closely watched indicators of how the middle class is faring financially, as the Census surveys nearly 100,000 homes. The Census said the uptick in earnings occurred because so many people found full-time jobs — or better-paying jobs — last year. America’s poverty rate also fell to 12.7 percent, the lowest since 2007, the year before the financial crisis hit. The percent of Americans without health insurance for the entire year also dropped in 2016 to just 8.8 percent, largely thanks to expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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