blog

27
Jul

A GDP Reality Check

The 4.1% growth rate in U.S. Gross Domestic Product in the 2nd quarter (announced today) was not a surprise to anyone looking at the monthly numbers. In fact, it came in a bit below the consensus prediction of 4.5%. But that won’t stop the accolades the current administration will be handing itself over the coming months. This number will surely

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17
Jul

We Have Nothing To Fear But the Fear of Inflation Itself

‘Inflation expectation disorder’ seems to have become a full pandemic lately. News story after news story is discussing accelerating price growth not as a possible new trend, but as a current reality. “Consumer Inflation Hits 6 Year High” read one headline after the June CPI release. Inflation expectations are also on the rise according to the New York branch of the Federal Reserve,

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12
Jun

Is California’s Economy Really All About the Bay Area?

This era of regular and ongoing political “whoppers” coming out of Washington DC, seems to have ushered in an increased willingness outside the beltway to declare pretty much anything, regardless of having evidence to support said claim, or even worse, saying it in the face of contrary evidence. Deeply misleading comments about the economy can be particularly dangerous in my

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23
Apr

Amazon Headquarters Sweepstakes is Bad for Cities

Co-Authored by Christopher Thornberg, PhD Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Zocalo Public Square on May 2, 2018. Envious of Silicon Valley’s success, more than 80 places throughout the world have renamed one of their neighborhoods “Silicon-something,” including “Silicon Beach” in Los Angeles, “Silicon Bayou” in New Orleans, and “Silicon Roundabout” in London, as if the very word works an

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28
Feb

Immigration and Economic Growth

Our elected officials in Washington DC continue to struggle over the issue of immigration policy reform. The Trump administration has already made its views known, with its Muslim Ban, mixed signals on the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, and more recently, its immigration reform proposal, a plan that reflects a much more restrictive stance toward immigrants than previous

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1
Dec

California Growth and the Construction Paradox

It is often said that generals always fight the last war—and this applies to that still highly overused and abused political catch phrase “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Such rhetoric about creating new jobs continues to be attached to the rollout of almost any new government policy, regardless of the veracity or relevance of the claim. Times change, as do economic realities

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10
Aug

Fix California’s Tax Structure To Help Solve Its Housing Shortage

For years, Proposition 13 (Prop 13) has been viewed as the third rail of California politics. While Prop 13 is responsible for capping annual property tax assessment increases at 2%, it also required that future tax increases face a two-thirds vote for passage, making it very difficult for elected officials to tinker with the tax code. In 2012, voters approved

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11
Jul

Stop Dissin’ the Housing Market—Set it Free!

Editors Note: This posting was originally published on the Opinion Page of the Los Angeles Daily News. High housing costs continue to be at the center of policy debates in Los Angeles—and across much of the state. This intensifying focus is warranted now more than ever given how the crisis has moved from simply eating up the disposable income of residents

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21
Mar

Economic Development: Is The Doctor In?

Here it is, 2018, and the Inland Empire is yet again an economy on the move. In fact, it is currently the fastest growing major economy in the state in terms of employment. The 3.2% annual job growth rate as of December is higher than San Francisco (2%), San Jose (1.7%), and Orange County (.8%). Yet despite all this growth,

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16
Mar

Trump on Trade… and the Consequences

President Donald Trump has promised to radically change the trade relationship between the United States and the rest of the world. He has already pulled the nation out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), has promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and intends to penalize China for unfair trade practices. President Trump argues that the United States

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