Economics

Piketty discusses Capital and inequality in San Francisco

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French economist Thomas Piketty got a warm welcome in San Francisco last night [Tues/22] when nearly 200 people turned out to hear him discuss what is fast-becoming the defining book of this new Gilded Era of escalating disparities in wealth: Capital in the 21st Century.Read more »

Class divisions in SF (sorta)

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Richard Florida, who got famous creating the "creative class," has a new series of maps out charting class structure in American cities -- not on the basis of income or wealth but on the type of work people do. Sfist has a nice copy of the San Francisco version here. It shows, on the surface, that this city has virtually no "working class," some "service class" and lots of "creative class."Read more »

Will narrow business interests continue to dominate SF's political agenda?

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Will the narrow, deceptive, and disempowering “jobs” rhetoric of the last two years continue to dominate San Francisco politics in 2013? Or can San Franciscans find the will and organizing ability to create a broader political agenda that includes livability, sustainability, and affordability?Read more »

UC Berkeley has a new chancellor, but his raise is blasted by Gov. Brown

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The University of California Board of Regents today approved the hiring of Columbia University Faculty Dean Nicholas Dirks as the new chancellor of UC Berkeley, a widely lauded selection, but one whose $50,000 pay increase over his predecessor was opposed and criticized by Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.Read more »

No deal yet on business tax reform as competing measure are introduced

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Mayor Ed Lee and his business community allies failed to reach an agreement with labor and progressives by today's deadline for submitting fall ballot measures to the Board of Supervisors, leading progressive Sup. John Avalos to introduce a business tax reform measure that would compete with Lee's proposal.Read more »

Millionaires Tax merger is a risk and opportunity

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My first reaction to today’s news that the popular Millionaires Tax measure was merging with Gov. Jerry Brown’s broad-based tax measure was “What the fuck!?!?” Taxing millionaires had over two-thirds support in recent polls and seemed to clearly tap the tax-the-rich zeitgeist that animated and was amplified by the Occupy movement.Read more »

Bubbles, rising rents, and the politicians who fuel them

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After neither Mayor Ed Lee nor Sup. Jane Kim were willing to return my calls to discuss the implications of their economic development policies that favor big commercial landlords and tech companies – which I wrote about in this week's cover story – it was ironic to listen to their rhetorical concerns over local small businesses being hit with rising rents this week.Read more »

Will Obama bring the populist fire in tonight's speech?

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President Barack Obama has a choice for how he uses his State of the Union speech this evening. He could follow the advice of Blue Dog Democrats like Mark Penn, who wrote in The Hill today that Obama should avoid “rhetoric that could be interpreted as class warfare.” Or he can find his inner populist and give the speech that the 99 percent needs to hear by announcing that the rich and the Right have already declared that war, and now he intends to win it on behalf of the people.Read more »

End war, bring that money home -- a controversial proposition, even in SF?

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A substantial majority of Americans support ending the war in Afghanistan, decreasing the military budget, and redirecting that money to domestic needs, a position held even more strongly in liberal San Francisco. Read more »

The richest 1 percent get richer

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If there was any doubt in the message being sounded from the streets these days -- that the richest 1 percent has been taking a disproportionate and growing share of the nation’s wealth -- a long-awaited new study issued yesterday by the Congressional Budget Office makes it crystal clear.Read more »