Kenneth Arrow, Nobel prize winning economist, passed away February 21, 2017 at the age of 95 at his home near Stanford University where he was Professor Emeritus. He was the youngest person ever to win the Nobel prize. Dr. Arrow made many academic contributions, but chief among them was his Impossibility Theorem. [Read more…]
Profits Can Stay In State, Provide Local Funding
Alarmed by the corruption and greed of Wall Street, many US cities and states are studying the feasibility of establishing public banks. Public banks are owned by cities, states or other jurisdictions and serve to keep funds local instead of being deposited on Wall Street. The funds are then used to support local economic activities like small business loans and student loans.
Washington state has already cut its ties with Wells Fargo because they funded DAPL. Now they want to get rid of Wall Street as a place to park their money making use of the local economy and profiting the people of Washington instead of the bankers of Wall Street. Bills were introduced on January 18 in both the House and Senate of the Washington State Legislature that add Washington to the growing number of states now actively moving to create public banking facilities. [Read more…]
By Murtaza Baxamusa / UrbDeZine
Having invested a billion and a half dollars of public funds in downtown redevelopment, it is worth asking if it helped or hindered in solving the affordable housing crisis that San Diego faces. From the catalytic start of downtown’s boom with the construction of the ballpark to the unceremonious demise of tax increment financing under Governor Brown, there has been a lot of change.
Census data shows that from 2000 to 2015, downtown’s housing stock doubled. About half of downtown’s current stock of 25 thousand housing units has been built during this time frame. About 5 thousand renter-occupied housing units were added to the stock. Of the total housing stock almost 18 percent (over 4 thousand units) are vacant, compared to 9 percent vacancy back in 2000. This indicates a greater share of investor-owned units or second homes that are not occupied. [Read more…]
By Dan Bacher / Daily Kos
On February 17, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) officials announced they are joining over 100 fellow investors asking major U.S. and international banks backing the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to address the concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota.
The statement endorsed by CalPERS supports a rerouting of the pipeline, but doesn’t call for halting DAPL, a project that poses enormous harm to the drinking water supply for 17 million people and to many fish and wildlife species on the Missouri River.
The announcement came four days after 150 people from a coalition of environmental and Native American Groups held a march and rally in front of the CalPERS office in Sacramento to tell the retirement fund to divest from its investments in banks backing the Dakota Access Pipeline. [Read more…]
While most of us were busy watching the Trump administration and their crack team of “populist” millionaires light the world on fire, a new study released by Thomas Piketty, Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, and Emmanuel Saez underlined the fact that the steep costs of our historic level of economic inequality are being borne by those at the bottom of the economic system, particularly here in the United States. As the Market Watch story on this new research outlined:
In the U.S., between 1978 and 2015, the income share of the bottom 50% fell to 12% from 20%. Total real income for that group fell 1% during that time period. [Read more…]
By Murtaza Baxamusa
There were about 185 thousand union members in San Diego, based on surveys by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016. About 110 thousand of these workers are in the private sector. There are additionally 20 thousand workers covered by union contracts in the region. The continuing employment recovery in the last two years contributed to an increase in union membership.
Union density is the share of workers that are union members. It is an important measure of union prevalence that determines the impact of collective bargaining agreements on area-wide labor wages and benefits. In 2016, union density was 12.9 percent for all workers in San Diego. It was about 6.2 percent in the private sector and 45.5 in the public sector in San Diego. Union membership rate in California stayed almost constant at 15.9 percent since membership grew by 65,000 members at the same pace as the overall employment. [Read more…]
There is a nation-wide group that is organizing a boycott of companies that carry Trump products, or are owned by Trump or have other relationships with him. It’s call #GrabYourWallet and they believe economic push-back by American citizens and others is a very valid form of protest.
Their campaign has already been going on for nearly 4 months now and it has achieved some successes. Here is how they describe themselves and their history:
The #GrabYourWallet movement tracks & boycotts retailers that sell Trump family products as well as corporate leaders who enabled the political rise of the Trump family through fundraising and/or endorsements.
Latest data shows more than 1 million people living in families with incomes too low for expenses
Center on Policy Initiatives
A new report from the Center on Policy Initiatives finds that a third (33%) of all household in San Diego County have incomes below the level needed to cover basic living expenses.
Women and children are most impacted, largely because employed women throughout the county earn 74 cents for every $1 paid to men. Among households headed by single mothers, 69% have incomes below the bare-bones level known as the Self-Sufficiency Standard. [Read more…]
State of the State Address / Office of the Governor
This is California, the sixth most powerful economy in the world. One out of every eight Americans lives right here and 27 percent – almost eleven million – were born in a foreign land.
When California does well, America does well. And when California hurts, America hurts.
As the English poet, John Donne, said almost 400 years ago: “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
A few moments ago, I swore into office our new attorney general. Like so many others, he is the son of immigrants who saw California as a place where, through grit and determination, they could realize their dreams. And they are not alone, millions of Californians have come here from Mexico and a hundred other countries, making our state what it is today: vibrant, even turbulent, and a beacon of hope to the rest of the world.
We don’t have a Statue of Liberty with its inscription: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” But we do have the Golden Gate and a spirit of adventure and openness that has welcomed – since the Gold Rush of 1848 – one wave of immigration after another. [Read more…]
By Erik Loomis / Lawyers, Guns & Money
Emperor Tangerine invited the building trade union leaders in for a meeting yesterday and boy were they excited.
At a meeting with the leaders of several construction and building trade unions, President Trump reiterated on Monday his interest in directing hundreds of billions of dollars to infrastructure investments, some of it from the federal government, union officials said.
“That was the impression I was taken away with,” said Sean McGarvey, the president of North America’s Building Trades Unions, an umbrella group, on a call with reporters after the meeting. “That the American citizenry and the American Treasury will be invested in building public infrastructure.”
Mr. McGarvey added that Mr. Trump clearly felt that much of the money should come from the private sector and that some of the investments could take the form of public-private partnerships, an idea the president floated as a candidate.
By John Loughlin
Restaurateurs make a political statement by adding a surcharge to ‘cover’ the cost of paying the poorest workers a higher wage.
The Union-Tribune article helpfully provides a list of restaurants to boycott as well as some to support.
Back in May 2016, David Cohn speaking at a CREW event “It is so easy to vote for that [minimum wage] increase, but it is going to really raise your cost of entertainment and spark a new round of inflation that we haven’t seen since the 1970s.” He was reported as predicting that the results could lead to menu prices increasing a minimum of 30% over the next few years. From Jan 1, 2017 the Cohn Restaurant Group is adding a 3% surcharge to cover ‘mandated’ cost increases. [Read more…]
The Safety Net Will Soon be in Shreds
The Trump administration will take over in a couple weeks. Essential benefits for tens of millions of low-and moderate-income Americans are in danger of being phased out or canceled immediately. These include the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid health-insurance program for the poor and further reduction of already squeezed funding for scores of other important programs serving the most vulnerable Americans such as rental vouchers for low-income families, programs to fight homelessness, job training, funding for poor school districts, Head Start for young children and Pell grants to help low-income students afford college.
Republicans are all about cutting non-defense discretionary spending, and that means any program that helps the poor and middle class. After Trump showers tax cuts on the rich and corporations, the Republican Congress will attempt to balance the budget on the backs of the poor. It’s what they’ve been trying to do for years, but Obama stood in their way. Now they have a green light. In the House GOP’s most recent budget plan, 62 percent of a stunning $6 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years would come from programs to help the poor. [Read more…]