Policy

A Corporate Wealth Tax: Making the Oligarchs Pay

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It may be en vogue among a certain group to express concern about the influence of Russian oligarchs within our political system, but perhaps we should all be a bit more concerned about the home-grown variety, the Silicon Valley and tech billionaires. Given their huge wealth, influence and control over information, we need to start having serious discussions about how best to deal with their impact on our democracy, which they increasingly seem to want to co-opt with their money and power.  read more »

The West Is In The Midst Of A Migration And Identity Crisis

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As the economy has improved, popular concern, both here and abroad, has shifted to issues of migration and identity. Just last year, immigration, according to Gallup, was seen as the most important issue by barely 5 percent of the population, while the economy was cited by more than four times as many. But now, immigration and undocumented aliens is now the biggest concern to 15 percent of the population, equal to that of the economy.  read more »

Watch Out! Here Come the ‘Woke’ Tech Oligarchs

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Once the rich protected themselves by aligning with Republicans who would protect their property from high taxes and their firms from regulation.

Some still do—notably the Koch brothers—but this breed of right-winger is gradually losing out to more progressive tilted plutocrats.  read more »

California’s Climate Extremism

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Environmental extremism increasingly dominates California. The state is making a concerted attack on energy companies in the courts; a bill is pending in the legislature to fine waiters $1,000—or jail them—if they offer people plastic straws; and UCLA issued a report describing pets as a climate threat.  read more »

Progressive California’s Growing Race Challenge

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No state in the union has been more adamant in opposing President Trump’s policy on immigration than California. The Golden State widely sees itself — and is widely seen in progressive circles — as the harbinger of America’s multi-cultural future, a “sanctuary state” that epitomizes ethnic ascendency.  read more »

Backyard Rental House Zoning Threatens Trees, Breezes, Birds and Neighborhoods

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The Dallas city manager and housing director are proposing a devastating blanket zoning change: allowing ADUs (additional dwelling units), better known as backyard rental houses, in single-family zoned neighborhoods. This change would allow a 44-foot wide by 30-foot tall rental house to be built on the back of a standard 50‑foot wide by 150-foot deep lot. Backyard rental houses would deforest the older neighborhoods, undermine neighborhood stability, accelerate gentrification, reduce diversity of housing, and diminish attainably priced opportunities for homebuyers.  read more »

California, Greenhouse Gas Regulation, and Climate Change

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This is an excerpt of a new report, California, Greenhouse Gas Regulation, and Climate Change, from Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy. The report is authored by David Friedman and Jennifer Hernandez, and edited by Joel Kotkin. Read the full report (pdf) using the attachment below.  read more »

Which Downzoning Is Evil?

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Another day, another story about how evil single-family zoning makes housing expensive. This one is from Seattle, whose urban-growth boundary was drawn more than 30 years ago and, as far as I know, has never been changed.  read more »

Vermont Subsidizes Remote Workers to Move to the State

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Vermont, like many states, is suffering from demographic challenges. It has the fourth slowest population growth of any state since 2000. It has the lowest share of its population who are children under 18 (if you exclude the District of Columbia, a “city-state” from the figures). Vermont is also impeccably progressive, has many quaint cities and towns, and is known for natural beauty. None of these factors has driven population growth there.  read more »

In California, the “Jungle” Is Predictable

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One doesn’t expect the unexpected in California elections. A progressive Democrat will become governor; Dianne Feinstein will return to the Senate yet again; and so on. Nuances still matter, particularly at the congressional level, in part due to the “jungle primary” system, but nothing much has changed. Statewide, the ideological die, at least for now, is cast.  read more »