In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama urged Congress to raise the federal minimum wage, which has wallowed at $7.25 since 2007. But Congress didn’t budge, sidestepping the issue that has long been staunchly opposed by the Republican leadership.
It wasn’t always about hot dogs and cornhole.
In fact, the poolside serenity of this three-day weekend masks the often forgotten turbulent history that led to Labor Day’s creation. Continue reading
Relative calm seems to have been restored in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo, where the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black male shot by a white police officer, sparked nearly two weeks of fierce protest and rioting. But the underlying racial and economic tensions in the community that helped create such a powder keg have not gone away. And with increasing poverty in a growing number of suburban communities across the country — including several in the Bay Area — Ferguson’s issues certainly aren’t unique.
Click on different points on the map below to see which counties would be part of each one of California’s six new states, as outlined in a proposed ballot initiative. Per capita income and population figures are listed for each “state,” based on an analysis by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office. The new jurisdictions underscore California’s extreme wealth disparities.
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Think California’s just too darn big for its own good? Well now there’s a strong likelihood you’ll get to vote on it.
A Silicon Valley venture capitalist today submitted what he claims are enough petition signatures to get his initiative, to split California into six states, on the 2016 statewide ballot.
And no, this is not a joke. Continue reading
Inflation. We hear about it an awful lot. But what’s it actually mean? What causes it? And why is grandpa always complaining about stuff getting more expensive? Stop motion guru Josh Kurz explains it all in this two-part video (you can also watch the whole thing as a single video here).
The Supreme Court this week dealt a blow to the nation’s struggling labor unions. In a 5-4 decision along ideological lines, the court ruled that some government workers who decline membership in the unions that represent them can’t be forced to pay collective bargaining fees.
Just over 11 percent of the U.S. workforce belongs to a union today, the lowest rate in more than 70 years. Continue reading
It’s nearly 700 pages. It covers dense economic theory. And it’s written by a French guy you’ve probably never heard of.
So why is “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” Thomas Piketty’s far-reaching economic analysis of global inequality, flying off the shelves faster than a new Beyoncé album?
For some, May Day is a time to prance like a wood nymph around a flower-wreathed pole. But that’s probably not what thousands of workers around the world have in mind when they take to the streets today. Continue reading
A few years ago, Occupy Wall Street protests spread like wildfire in cities across the country, forcing a focus on America’s gaping income gaps. The issue took center stage for a time, making headlines, grabbing the attention of elected leaders and sparking some hope that real change was within reach. But when the protest camps were dismantled and the media crews packed up their equipment, the nation’s attention quickly shifted elsewhere. In the end not much had changed. Today the income divide remains as steep as it was the day the protests began. Cartoon journalist Andy Warner explains just how deep America’s economic divide really is. (Sources listed below graphic)
When Benjamin Franklin wrote that “in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,” he left out a third inevitability: fierce disagreements over tax rates and spending.
As long as our government spends a lot more than it takes in, taxation will continue to be a cause of strife between conservatives and liberals, the former fighting for lower taxes and smaller government; the latter for higher taxes on the wealthy and increased revenue for public services. It’s like a boring version of the NeverEnding Story (without cool flying animals). Continue reading