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Economic Policy

California’s Minimum Wage Hike Debate…Or Debacle?

April 21, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

A few weeks ago Governor Jerry Brown suddenly, and seemingly without warning, reached a deal with union groups under which California’s minimum wage will be sharply raised to $15 per hour by 2022. The measure was quickly rubber-stamped by the state legislature and puts California firmly on a path to one of the highest wage floors in the nation.

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CATEGORY: Economic Policy



A Crisis Too Good To Waste

July 29, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Between California’s odd summer storm, rising seawater temperatures, and muggy summer, it’s pretty clear that the El Nino weather phenomena is starting to form out in the Pacific Ocean.

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Taxing Services: A Step In The Right Direction

January 21, 2015
By: Dustin Schrader

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was co-authored by Christopher Thornberg

Much noise has been made over the years about California’s unfriendly tax environment. But an ongoing mantra at Beacon Economics is that California is not so much a ‘high’ tax state as a ‘dumb’ tax state.

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Statistician, Heal Thyself

October 09, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

It’s a cliché to point out that we live in the era of big data – from piles of personal data collected by the web geniuses at Google and Facebook to financial data compiled by credit rating agencies to the new government sponsored economic databases open to use by any number of firms including Beacon Economics.

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What’s So Bad About Inequality? A Lot, Actually

February 10, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Wealth and income inequality has been in the news a lot this past week. Why an issue that has been a growing problem for so long has suddenly become the topic du jour in Washington DC is unclear to me—but I am glad it is finally rearing its head so publicly. 

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California’s Affordable Housing Problem: If You Don’t Like What You’re Reaping, Stop Sowing It

December 06, 2013
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

You may not have noticed, but California managed to dodge another regulatory bullet when Governor Brown recently decided to veto AB1229—a bill by Assemblymember Toni Atkins that would have made “inclusionary housing” part of the entire California housing landscape.

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Finally… CEQA Reform Gaining Traction

July 31, 2013
By: Vedran Kaluderovic

Although long overdue, moves to reform the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) are finally gaining traction among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

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Presidential Politics: The Folly of Economic Promises

November 06, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Why do we allow empty promises of economic gain and preposterous assignment of business cycle blame to cloud the issues that are truly important in the race for the White House?

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CATEGORY: Economic Policy



The Difference Between Accuracy and Bias - Part 2

October 31, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

In the short time since I last posted an insight, the issue of ‘accuracy vs. bias’ has raised its head yet again. Last time it was about something as broad as a debate on the national unemployment rate. This time it is very specific—namely an attack on Beacon Economics’ study of the potential economic impact of raising the minimum wage in the City of San Jose.

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CATEGORY: Economic Policy



Diving Into The Political Trees

January 31, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Last week Ener1, a U.S. car battery manufacturer, filed for bankruptcy protection. This would not normally make headlines, except for the fact that a subsidiary of the company received funds from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009 – and of course, it’s an election year.

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CATEGORY: Economic Policy



Political Negotiations You SHOULD Worry About

November 29, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

After months of deliberation, the Congressional super committee created to reduce the Federal deficit over 10 years finally acknowledged its failure to reach an agreement at the time the deadline was reached last week.

Gee... this had to be one of the least surprising political outcomes in quite some time.

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CATEGORY: Economic Policy



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