Will all the door knocking and pixie dust be enough to secure a win for Biden in Florida?
The pandemic shines a spotlight on a system in need of a makeover.
Many of these struggling metropolitan areas are in states that could determine the 2020 election.
The state’s broken benefits system could see voters turn on Republicans as hundreds of thousands struggle to file claims.
More than a third of Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression, a 300 percent increase over last year.
Gov. Newsom’s revised budget puts programs aimed at addressing disparities in access to vital services on the chopping block.
The Mayor’s Fund has raised $20 million to fund debit cards for impoverished residents hit hard by the COVID-19 economic crisis.
There are signs that another foreclosure crisis may be looming in this swing state.
Food insecurity skyrockets in the key battleground state.
SB 943 would expand the state’s Paid Family Leave program, extending benefits to parents impacted by school closures.
For homeless workers, earning a paycheck can take second place to finding a safe place to sleep at night.
The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) held a town hall meeting February 6 to discuss its new Fix Unemployment Now campaign, which aims to make unemployment insurance more accessible in light of recent problems with California’s Employment Development Department (EDD). The meeting, which took place at Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 721’s headquarters in Los Angeles, drew members of ACCE and SEIU, EDD employees and members of the community. (Full Disclosure: The author of this article has previously volunteered for ACCE.)
Fix Unemployment Now primarily addresses EDD’s failure to provide unemployment checks on time and to answer claimants’ questions and concerns. According to ACCE, these problems are related to EDD’s decision to outsource a computer upgrade to Deloitte Consulting, a company that has been fired by other public contractors in the past. According to the Los Angeles Times, EDD is so unresponsive that it answers only a fraction of the phone calls it receives.
Last week, the U.K. publication The Guardian used an interesting anecdote to describe the key finding of an Oxfam report on global inequality: The world’s 85 richest people now own more wealth than the planet’s poorest 3.5 billion people. All of the world’s wealthiest individuals, Guardian writer Graeme Wearden noted, “could squeeze onto a single double-decker” bus.
The ironic image of the super-rich riding a humble public bus is an apt metaphor for the socioeconomic quandary facing America before President Obama makes his 2014 State of the Union address tonight. Underinvestment in job creation, training, education and public services like transportation put middle-class success out of reach for many Americans, while at the other end of the spectrum, wealth has been concentrated in very few hands.
President Obama’s speech ought to address the central problems of economic inequality and deficit of opportunities and services for many Americans.
The number of families with children and at least one unemployed parent jumped by 33 percent in recent years, going from 2.4 million to 3.2 million households between 2005 and 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.
The Great Recession – the nation’s worst in decades – caused much of the increase, the Census Bureau said in an Aug. 27 statement, adding that some states, such as Florida, Nevada, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Jersey, California and North Carolina had growth rates higher than the national average.
Those states had a range of 54 percent for North Carolina to 148 percent for Nevada. Florida, for example, had a 93 percent increase in families with at least one unemployed parent and California had a rate of 61 percent, the Census Bureau said, citing its America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012 report.
“During the recession, economic well-being worsened for families with children,” Jamie Lewis,
Last week President Obama gave a speech at Knox College in Illinois in which he announced plans to return his focus to the economy. The agenda he outlined centered on policies to rebuild the middle class leading to growth from the middle out as he put it.
The basic idea sounds good. There are few who would take issue with the focus of his policies: improving the nation’s infrastructure, better school to work transitions, high quality pre-school for everyone. These ideas all score very high in opinion polls and focus groups, although there might be serious differences on what they mean concretely.
But even if we can agree on the best way to rebuild our infrastructure, better our schools, and guarantee high quality pre-school education we will still face serious economic problems well into the future for the simple reason that the economy lacks demand. Generating demand has to be issue one,
It is widely recognized that economists are not very good at economics. That is why we are looking at a decade of economic stagnation with tens of millions of people being unemployed or underemployed in Europe and the United States.
If economists were better at economics, central banks in the United States and Europe would have recognized the housing bubbles that were driving economies in the last decade. They would have taken steps to rein them in before they grew so large that their inevitable collapse would sink the world economy.
We recently had the opportunity to see that economists are no better at moral philosophy than economics. In a recent paper, Harvard economics professor Greg Mankiw, the former chief economist to President Bush and one of the country’s most prominent conservative economists, compared progressive taxation to forcefully removing a person’s kidney for a transplant.
That is probably not how most people would view imposing a high tax rate on rich people.
My friend pastors a vibrant congregation in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles. Her people reflect the neighborhood and the church worships in both Spanish and English. In a conversation this week I asked her how her folks were doing. Her voice dropped, and she shook her head. “There are no jobs,” she said, “and the ones who work can only get part-time hours.” With dismay, she said, “I don’t know how they are making it.”
I don’t either. At one extreme, high-end properties – homes that sell for several millions of dollars – had a banner year in 2012. Sales of super-expensive automobiles reached record levels. Exotic vacation destinations are packed. The number of jobs in Los Angeles County has reached about 4.3 million, almost the number we had before the Great Recession began five years ago, although there are now also more people looking for work than then.
We have experienced a change in attitude across the country, demonstrated by many of the Tea Party politicians losing their seats and more progressive Democrats winning seats. But we need to stay vigilant. The end of the year did not bring major tax increases for working people and spending cuts, but everything could change in the coming months. The fight hasn’t ended.
I don’t mind the Bush tax cuts expiring for everyone if that is what it takes for the richest One Percent to start contributing more to our economy. But I strongly disagree with the cutting of essential benefits, especially Social Security, Medicare and Medi-Cal. I also reject the notion that there must be a “balanced approach”
It seems like a hopeless conundrum. We need our government – federal state and local – to stimulate the economy and help create jobs. But our government has no money. Or at least less money. So does that mean that it’s foolish – or unfair – to insist that our local, state and governments do “something” to create more and better jobs for people who desperately need them?
Well, no. In fact, there is a lot that our government can do to double or triple the number of jobs that are being created in the U.S. with the same or similar amounts of money. We just have to do things in a smarter and more strategic way to get much better results.
Here’s what I mean. As people may imagine, local, state and the federal governments buy billions of dollars worth of goods and services every year. Think about all of the buses,
Not so, argues Professor Robert Pollin in his new book, Back to Full Employment. In fact, Pollin (who uses the standard definition of full employment as four percent or less unemployment) suggests that the ongoing jobs crisis offers the perfect opportunity for us to pursue what was once a cornerstone of national economic policy.
Pollin, co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is no stranger to controversy. Beginning in 1996, when he was asked by living wage proponents in L.A. to conduct a study on how such a policy would affect the city, he has regularly incurred the wrath of free market diehards with his findings that modest mandated wage increases do not wreak havoc on business.