Wednesday, October 2, 2019


Boulder warfare in blue and ever more Hobbesian San Francisco

Seems the famed poop patrols of San Francisco aren't quite doing the job the press reported they would be doing in cleaning up the homeless-wracked, poop-filled, metropolis.
So, residents of a neighborhood near Mission Dolores, the area that borders the Castro on one side and the Mission district on the other, took matters into their own hands. They purchased and installed big boulders on the sidewalks to discourage tent encampments following the 300 complaints they made to the city about poop and tents and drug dealing, all of which got ignored. Call it boulder warfare. Call it the castle defense. They sure as heck weren't going to get any attention otherwise.
Residents of San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood are using boulders to deter the homeless from camping there, according to KTVU.
Neighbors purchased 25 boulders and placed them on the sidewalk of Clinton Park, a residential street west of Market and Dolores streets, in hopes of stopping people from setting up tents there.
"Since the rocks, it has helped," neighbor Ernesto Jerez told KTVU.
Naturally, they were excoriated for it by the left:
"There's actually a name for it. It's called anti-homeless architecture," Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, told KTVU on Monday.
Which calls to light that San Francisco's abundant homeless population is only there because of such rich and powerful NGO advocate lobbies, which have much stronger hooks into city hall than any mere taxpaying unhappy property owner.
That would explain why this time, the politically correct city was on the ball, rushing forward to clear the rocks in the name of 'safety' after originally saying they would live and let live. One homeless advocate complaint and off they go, running to accommodate.
And yes, sure enough, it is the same people who run the unresponsive poop patrols who had that get-go to clear the boulders -- the San Francisco Department of Public Works -- run by one Mohammed Nuru, quoted extensively in both the poop patrol pieces and the decision to remove the reactionary boulders. Same guy. He can't keep the neighborhood clean but oh, he's johnny-on-the-spot when it comes time to clear the anti-camping boulders.
It not only shows that taxpaying residents of the city are desperate for some kind of relief, it also shows that the city doesn't actually care, it's got a homeless empire to defend. So it's actually getting kind of Hobbesian as the city gets mired in special interest groups seeking to defend their interests and to heck with a public polity.
Maybe if the city had some rules about homeless camping, there'd be some civility. No such luck in a blue city, however.
Which ultimately raises questions about why these people keep voting Democrat in that solid blue cityy. With city officials bowing to only the most powerful political players anymore, that leave the taxpayers out on their ear. Maybe it's time for them to get to the root of their problem and start electing sane people who don't bow to the survival-of-the-fittest and most-monied now seen ruling San Francisco's poop strewn streets.
Image credit: Monica Showalter

The 50 most miserable cities in America

Business InsiderSeptember 28, 2019

East side of Detroit, Michigan.
Charles Ommanney / Getty

·         The most miserable city in the US is Gary, Indiana.
·         The state with the most miserable cities is California with 10.
·         New Jersey is close behind with nine, and Florida comes in third with six.
·         These cities have things in common — few opportunities, devastation from natural disasters, high crime and addiction rates, and often many abandoned houses.
Not the worst, just the most miserable.
We've identified the 50 most miserable cities in the US, using census data from 1,000 cities across the country, taking into consideration population change (because if people are leaving it's usually for a good reason), the percentage of people working, median household incomes, the percentage of people without healthcare, median commute times, and the number of people living in poverty.
Often, these cities have been devastated by natural disasters. They've had to deal with blight, and with high crime rates. Economies have struggled after industry has collapsed. These cities also tend to have high rates of addiction.
The state with the most miserable cities was California, with 10 in the top 50. New Jersey was second with nine, and Florida had six.

Here are the 50 most miserable cities in the US, based on US census data.

50. Lancaster, California

Lancaster, a desert town, has almost 160,000 people, 51% of whom work, and 23% of whom live in poverty. It's had crime problems, both with meth addiction and neo-Nazis. But Mayor R. Rex Parris is doing what he can to kickstart the city, including looking to China for investment.

49. St Louis, Missouri

Colter Peterson / St Louis Post-Dispatch / TNS / Getty
St. Louis has almost 303,000 people, but it lost 5% between 2010 and 2018. Sixty-five percent of people work and one quarter are living in poverty.
The city has had struggled with crime and gun violence. In 2015, killings rose 33% from the year before to 159 deaths. The city has relatively relaxed gun laws, including allowing people to carry loaded guns in cars without permits. Then-Mayor Francis Slay said crime was the No. 1 priority for the city.

48. Pasadena, Texas

Chris Graythen / Getty
Pasadena has 153,000 people, 65% of whom are working, and one-fifth live in poverty. While the median income is $50,207, nearly 29% of people don't have health insurance.
Mostly working-class, the city is based near petrochemical plants, and is known for its race issues. It used to be home to the Texas headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan. Now, it's divided. In the north it's primarily made up of Latino people and to the south it's mostly white people.

47. Macon-Bibb County, Georgia

Grant Blankenship / Macon Telegraph / MCT / Getty
Macon-Bibb County has 153,000 people, but it lost 1.7% of its population between 2010 and 2018. Fifty-six percent are working, and 26% live in poverty.
One of Macon-Bibb County's biggest problems is blight. Across the city there are about 3,700 unoccupied buildings, including dilapidated homes and overgrown yards.

46. Danville, Virginia

Michael Williamson / The Washington Post / Getty
Danville has 40,000 people, but its population fell by 5.5% between 2010 and 2018. Fifty-five percent of people are working and 21% live in poverty.
It used to be one of the richest cities in the Piedmont area. But it's struggled since its tobacco and textile mills shut down. However, the city is fighting for a comeback. It's set up solar farms, and its downtown is in the midst of a rehabilitation to turn abandoned warehouses into mixed-use developments.

45. Shreveport, Louisiana

Deputy Josh Cagle / Bossier Sheriff's Office / Handout / Reuters
Shreveport has about 189,000 people, and lost nearly 6% of its population between 2010 and 2018. Fifty-eight percent of people work, and 26% are living in poverty.
In 2015, it struggled with floods from the Red River. Its murder rate also doubled from 2015 to 2016, up to 42 murders, and the city also had an increase in other crimes, like rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

44. Hemet, California

Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times / Getty
Hemet has a population of 85,000 people and between 2010 and 2018, it grew by 8.5%. However, it's struggled since the 2008 recession. Twenty-three percent of people live in poverty, and crime rates are high. In 2016, 623 cars were stolen, 170 robberies were reported, and police logged 398 aggravated assaults — the most this century.

43. Mansfield, Ohio

Eric Thayer / Reuters
Mansfield has 46,000 residents, but lost 2.7% between 2010 and 2018. Forty-eight percent of people are working, and 24% are living in poverty.
It used to have lots of industrial work, with people making things like steel, machinery, and stoves, but that dried up in the 1970s and 1980s. More recently, in 2010, a GM factory closed its doors, leading to more job losses. It's also had a surge in crime, and between 2012 and 2017, violent crimes rose by 37%.

42. San Bernardino, California

AP Photo/Reed Saxon
Of San Bernardino's 216,000 residents, 57% are employed, and 30% live in poverty.
It's 60 miles east of Los Angeles, and has an interesting history. It's where McDonalds began, as well as the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. Along with a tough recession, it had a steel plant and an Air Force base close down, meaning even fewer jobs.

41. Compton, California

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
Compton has 96,000 people, 40% of whom aren't working, and 23% live in poverty.
The city struggles with poverty and unemployment. But it's no longer as dangerous as the way it was portrayed in the film "Straight Outta Compton." In 1991 there were 87 murders, and in 2014, it was down to 17.

40. Montebello, California

Frederick J. Brown / AFP / Getty
Of Montebello's 62,632 people, 60% are working, and 14% live in poverty. The average commute time is 33 minutes, and 19% of people don't have health insurance.
A big issue is affordable housing. A home-ownership counselor told the New York Times in 2019 that prospects for first-time buyers weren't good, and that opportunities to live there weren't growing.

39. Harlingen, Texas

Harlingen has 65,000 residents; 56% are working, and 30% live in poverty.
It's a hot city, with little rainfall, although recently, it's been dealing with flooding. It's also one of three cities where 2,000 immigrants were released in 2019, putting pressure on the city to help them.

38. Reading, Pennsylvania

Michael Williamson / The Washington Post / Getty
Reading has 88,495 residents, where almost 62% of people are working, and 36% live in poverty. In 2011, The New York Times said it was the poorest city in the US.
Its economy struggled after factories closed down or downsized, laying people off. An estimated 44% of households are on food stamps, among the most in the country.

37. Hallandale Beach, Florida

Hallandale Beach has about 40,000 people, 60% of whom are working; 20% live in poverty. More than 29% of people are without health insurance.
Halfway between Miami beach and Fort Lauderdale, it's been called a "once scruffy beach town," by the Wall Street Journal. It also has plenty of strip clubs and has been nicknamed "Hound-ale Beach."

36. Palmdale, California

Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times / Getty
Palmdale has 156,667 people — 59% are in the workforce, and 19% live in poverty.
It also has a median commute time of 42.7 minutes, which is the highest on the list. It was at one point called "the foreclosure capital of California."

35. Anderson, Indiana

Anderson has 55,000 residents, but lost 2% between 2010 and 2018. Fifty-six percent of people are employed, and one-quarter live in poverty.
Formerly a thriving GM city with 24 factories, things deteriorated when the carmaker closed factories and 23,000 people lost their jobs. It's also been a city that has been dealing with blight. In 2015, the city was given $2.8 million to tear down 100 abandoned homes, and there were hundreds more that could have qualified.

34. Fort Pierce, Florida

Michael S. Williamson / The Washington Post / Getty
Fort Pierce has 46,000 people, and grew by almost 10% between 2010 and 2018. Just over half of people there are employed, and almost 36% of people in poverty.
This city used to have an economy based around citrus farming, but struggled with diseases and the effects of trade deals. It also has to replenish the sand on its beaches every few years, because of ocean erosion.

33. North Miami Beach, Florida

North Miami Beach has almost 46,000 people; 65% are working, and just under 20% are living in poverty. But 32% of residents don't have healthcare, and the average commute time is 31 minutes.
Another issue for living in this area could be the tumultuous politics — two recent mayors have faced criminal charges for their spending.

32. Jackson, Mississippi

Jonathon Bachman / Reuters
Jackson has almost 165,000 residents, but between 2010 and 2018 it lost more than 5% of its population. Sixty-two percent of the population is working, and almost 29% live in poverty.
In February, the city threatened to cut off water for 20,000 people, because $45 million worth of bills hadn't been paid. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, elected in 2017, said his goal was to make the city the "most radical" on Earth, by taking on issues like poverty in new ways.

31. Saginaw, Michigan

Saginaw has 48,000 people, and between 2010 and 2018 it lost 6% of its population. Fifty-five percent of people are working and nearly 34% are living in poverty.
Like many other cities on this list, it used to have a lot of manufacturing jobs — at one point around 25,000 with General Motors. But they didn't last.
Some locals reportedly refer to the city as "sag-nasty" because of its issues with crime. In May 2019, violent crime had fallen in the city, with 16 shootings to date, compared to 30 at that point in 2018.

30. Plainfield, New Jersey

Plainfield has 50,693 people, 70% of whom are working, and one-fifth of whom live in poverty. Nearly one-third are without health insurance, and the median commute time is 31 minutes.
It used to be a violent city — in 1990 there were 719 violent crimes, but since then things have improved, although in 2016 there were 12 murders.

29. West New York, New Jersey

Eduardo Munoz / Reuters
West New York has nearly 53,000 people, and it grew by 6.6% between 2010 and 2018. Almost 70% are working, and 22% are living in poverty.
Cleanliness and parking are meant to be two of the biggest issues for its new mayor. The median commute time is 37 minutes.

28. Miami Gardens, Florida

Joe Skipper / Reuters
Miami Gardens has 113,000 people — 60% are working, while about 22% live in poverty.
In 2014, it was called the "stop and frisk capital of America," after an investigation showed nearly 57,000 people had been frisked since 2008.
Another issue in the area is the cost of water. Because it comes from a plant owned by the City of North Miami Beach, the cost of living is a little bit higher. In March, the city was suing to fight the extra 25% surcharge.

27. Cleveland, Ohio

Benjamin Lowy / Getty
Cleveland, sometimes called the "mistake by the lake", has 384,000 people. Its population fell 3% between 2010 and 2018. Nearly 59% of the population is working, and 35% live in poverty. An August 2019 report found that half of those living in poverty are working.
The city has struggled for years since losing the bulk of its manufacturing industry. In 2010, Forbes said it was the most miserable city in the US. It also had a bad year for gun violence in 2015, with 85 gun homicides.

26. Youngstown, Ohio

Brian Snyder / Reuters
Youngstown has about 65,000 people, and lost 3% of its population between 2010 and 2018. Just over half of its population is working and nearly 37% of people live in poverty.
It used to have a population of 170,000, and was the third biggest steel producer in the United States, until the factory began downsizing from 1977 onward. It was also recorded as having some of the worst air pollution in Ohio in 2017.

25. North Miami, Florida

Carlo Allegri / Reuters
North Miami has about 63,000 people, 65% of whom are working, while 23% in poverty.
One of the big issues it faces is flooding, even when it doesn't rain. Sometimes, all that's necessary for flooding is a full moon. It is also facing problems around septic tanks (the city has 2,780) that soon might not be able to operate properly, because of rising sea levels. This could result in wastewater ending up in yards and other places it's not meant to be.

24. Huntington, West Virginia

Lexi Browning / Reuters
Huntington has 46,000 people, and it lost 6.4% of its population between 2010 and 2018. Just over half are working, and about a third live in poverty.
Formerly a thriving coal mining town with 90,000 people in 1950, it has since fallen on harder times. In 2008, the city was described as the unhealthiest in America. The severe opioid crisis has led Huntington to be named America's overdose capital. But overdoses have fallen since 2017.

23. Hammond, Indiana

Scott Olson / Getty
Hammond has about 76,000 people, and  its population fell by 6.2% between 2010 and 2018, Sixty-one percent of people are in the labor force, and 22% live in poverty.
A 2014 study found the city was one of the most industrial in the state, and as a result had problems with air and water pollutionLead contamination has been a particular concern for residents.

22. El Monte, California

El Monte has 115,000 residents; 58% of its population is working, and 22% live in poverty. The average commute time is a half hour.
The city, which is located near two freeways and close to Los Angeles, had a lot of revenue coming in from car dealerships, but struggled during the recession, when three dealerships closed, and the city's tax revenue fell. It's continued to have issues with finances, and the city is now divided over the future of marijuana production — one large facility in particular.

21. Lynwood, California

Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / Getty
Lynwood has 70,500 residents — 60% work and 23% are impoverished. It was once called "the best place to live best." But things didn't stay that way.
The construction of Interstate 105, which cut right through the city, caused many to leave their homes, and 1,000 homes and businesses to be knocked down. More recently, officials have struggled to manage the city's finances, resulting in losses that could have been used to help the city.

20. Huntsville, Texas

Richard Carson / Reuters
Huntsville has 41,500 residents; 39% of its people are working, and almost 35% live in poverty. However, the low employment is in part because those living in prisons are counted in the city's population.
The Department of Criminal Justice is the city's biggest employer, providing nearly 7,000 jobs. Since 1999, Texas' executions have been done exclusively out of Huntsville.

19. Paterson, New Jersey

Eric Thayer / Reuters
Paterson has 145,000 residents, 57.5% of its population is working, and 29% live in poverty.
It used to produce silk in the 19th century, but it's since struggled. In a cruel twist of fate, the Great Falls, which was used to power factories, ended up flooding the city after Hurricane Irene in 2011.
Between 2009 and 2016, the city's tax revenue fell by 38%. It's also had problems with blight — at one point it had 1,250 abandoned homes, but that dropped to 770 in 2016.

18. Albany, Georgia

Tami Chappell / Reuters
Nicknamed "the good life city," Albany has 75,000 people, although its population fell by almost 3% between 2010 and 2018. Nearly 58% of the population is working, and a third live in poverty.
Along with poverty and crime, it also has been dealing with severe damage and ruined crops from a severe tornado and Hurricane Irma in the last few years.

17. Trenton, New Jersey

Eduardo Munoz / Reuters
Trenton has a population of 84,000. Almost 60% of people are working, and 27% are living in poverty.
It used to be an industrial city with a catchphrase, "Trenton makes, the world takes," but has since fallen on harder times. Its violent crime isn't increasing, but neighborhood gangs have been known to fight each other, and gun violence is a problem.

16. Cicero, Illinois

Scott Olson / Getty
Cicero has 81,500 residents, but that fell by 3% between 2010 and 2018. Two-thirds of people are working and just under 20% live in poverty. The median commute time is 31 minutes.
It's known for being Al Capone's "private playground" back in the 1920s, and since then, the city has fought the nickname and crime. In 1999, the city even voted to make gang members leave within 60 days, or face a daily $500 fine.

15. Union City, New Jersey

Eduardo Munoz / Reuters
Union City has 68,500 residents, almost 70% are working, while 23% live in poverty. The average commute time is 33 minutes long.
The city is known by some as "Havana on the Hudson," due to 80% of its residents identifying as Hispanic, many of whom fled from Cuba. It's only 1.28 square miles, making it one of the most densely populated areas in the US.

14. Bell Gardens, California

Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / Getty
Bell Gardens has 42,300 residents; 63% of people working, and almost 30% are living in poverty.
According to a city official in 1991, the problem with the city was too many people. The city has had to depend on a casino for much of its tax revenue — in 2002, it provided more than half.

13. Hialeah, Florida

C. M. Guerrero / Miami Herald / TNS / Getty
Hialeah has 239,000 residents — 56% of whom are working, while almost 26% live in poverty. Nearly 31% don't have health insurance.
With a primarily Hispanic population, it's one of the least diverse cities in the country. It's also been rated as the worst city in the US for having an active lifestyle.

12. Brownsville, Texas

Sergio Flores / AFP / Getty
Brownsville has 183,000 residents, 56% of people are working, and more than 31% of people are living in poverty. More than 35% don't have health insurance.
The city is on the Mexican border, and often has unauthorized immigrants passing through, making it one of the most patrolled places in the country. According to locals, three different types of helicopter fly overhead. Concern around immigration has also made it difficult for some residents to sell their properties.

11. New Brunswick, New Jersey

New Brunswick has 56,000 residents, 54% of people are working, and 35% are living in poverty. It has had problems with crime – In 2017, the city's assaults with guns rose 64%.

10. Huntington Park, California

Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / Getty
Huntington Park, the 10th most miserable city in the US, has 58,000 residents, 63% of people are working, and 28% of people live in poverty. The median commute time is 31 minutes.
It has a checkered history with waste management. A former waste disposal facility situated in the community is being cleaned up, but work was suspended after residents complained about dust and the smell.

9. Warren, Ohio

Alan Freed / Reuters
Warren has 38,000 residents, and its population fell by 7.7% between 2010 and 2018. About half of people are working, and two-thirds live in poverty.
It's had a slow economy for a while, but things weren't helped when General Motors announced in 2018 it would stop work in a plant nearby, meaning people had to leave the city to find work. Along with Youngstown, Warren has the second highest rate of people struggling to find enough food in the country.

8. Camden, New Jersey

Spencer Platt / Getty
Camden has 74,000 residents, and its population fell by 4% between 2010 and 2018. Nearly 57% of people are in the work force, and 37% live in poverty. The average household income is $26,105 — the lowest on this list.
It used to be a manufacturing city, but that fell to pieces between the 1950s and 1970s. It's had a high crime rate and been known as one of the most dangerous cities in the country, but it is improving. In 2017, there were 22 murders, which was the lowest number since 1987, thanks in part to new police procedures.

7. Flint, Michigan

Rebecca Cook / Reuters
Flint has 96,000 residents, and it's fallen by 6% between 2010 and 2018. Just over half of people are working, and 41% of people are living in poverty — the highest on this list.
The city has struggled with a decline in manufacturing. By 1990, General Motors had downsized in the area, leaving many without jobs.
Flint is perhaps best-known for the water crisis it's been facing since 2014, where residents were being poisoned with lead. On top of that, it's got 20,000 abandoned properties to deal with, a consistently high murder rate, and an opioid problem.

6. Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Pine Bluff has 42,000 residents, and between 2010 and 2018, it lost nearly 14% of its population — the biggest loss on this list. Fifty-two percent of people are working, and 30% are living in poverty.
People have been leaving due to the state losing almost 3,000 manufacturing jobs between 2016 and 2017. In 2019, things deteriorated further when the Arkansas River flooded the city.

5. Newark, New Jersey

Kathy Willens/AP Photo
Newark has 282,000 residents, 62% are working, and 28% are living in poverty. The median commute time is over 35 minutes long.
Like Flint, it's had problems with lead poisoning its water supply. The city has also struggled with race relations, which bubbled up in violent riots in 1967, and has it's fair share of violent crimes, particularly in 2013.

4. Passaic, New Jersey

Mark Makela / Getty
Passaic has 70,000 residents — 58% of people working, and a third are living in poverty.

3. Detroit, Michigan

Joshua Lott / Reuters
Detroit has 672,000 people, and between 2010 and 2018, it lost nearly 6%. While 54% of people are working, 38% live in poverty. The median household income is $27,838.
The city already lost many of its residents between 1950 and 1980, when 600,000 people left after the manufacturing industry collapsed. With 43,000 abandoned homes, it's been struggling with blight, and is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the United States.

2. Port Arthur, Texas

Michael S. Williamson / The Washington Post / Getty
Port Arthur, a city surrounded by oil refineries, has 55,000 residents. Fifty-three percent are working and 30% are living in poverty.
The city was hit by hurricanes in 2005, 2008, and 2017. Harvey, the latest, caused $1.3 billion in damage. Officials fear that if people keep leaving, Port Arthur will fall below 50,000 people and make it ineligible for federal grants.

1. Gary, Indiana

Eric Thayer / Reuters
Gary has 75,000 residents, but lost 6% between 2010 and 2018. Just over half of the population works, and 36% live in poverty. The most miserable city in the US was once a manufacturing mecca, but those days are over.
A drug enforcement agent who grew up in the area told The Guardian in 2017: "We used to be the murder capital of the US, but there is hardly anybody left to kill. We used to be the drug capital of the US, but for that you need money, and there aren't jobs or things to steal here."
When the jobs dried up, most white people left, and now 84% of people living in Gary are African American. The city is experimenting with number of plans to try and revitalize the area, including selling abandoned homes for $1.

Report: California’s Middle-Class Wages Rise by 1 Percent in 40 Years

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
3 Sep 2019172

Middle-class wages in progressive California have risen by 1 percent in the last 40 years, says a study by the establishment California Budget and Policy Center.

“Earnings for California’s workers at the low end and middle of the wage scale have generally declined or stagnated for decades,” says the report, titled “California’s Workers Are Increasingly Locked Out of the State’s Prosperity.” The report continued:
In 2018, the median hourly earnings for workers ages 25 to 64 was $21.79, just 1% higher than in 1979, after adjusting for inflation ($21.50, in 2018 dollars) (Figure 1). Inflation-adjusted hourly earnings for low-wage workers, those at the 10th percentile, increased only slightly more, by 4%, from $10.71 in 1979 to $11.12 in 2018.
The report admits that the state’s progressive economy is delivering more to investors and less to wage-earners. “Since 2001, the share of state private-sector [annual new income] that has gone to worker compensation has fallen by 5.6 percentage points — from 52.9% to 47.3%.”
In 2016, California’s Gross Domestic Product was $2.6 trillion, so the 5.6 percent drop shifted $146 billion away from wages. That is roughly $3,625 per person in 2016.
The report notes that wages finally exceeded 1979 levels around 2017, and it splits the credit between the Democrats’ minimum-wage boosts and President Donald Trump’s go-go economy.
The 40 years of flat wages are partly hidden by a wave of new products and services. They include almost-free entertainment and information on the Internet, cheap imported coffee in supermarkets, and reliable, low-pollution autos in garages.
But the impact of California’s flat wages is made worse by California’s rising housing costs, the report says, even though it also ignores the rent-spiking impact of the establishment’s pro-immigration policies:
 In just the last decade alone, the increase in the typical household’s rent far outpaced the rise in the typical full-time worker’s annual earnings, suggesting that working families and individuals are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. In fact, the basic cost of living in many parts of the state is more than many single individuals or families can expect to earn, even if all adults are working full-time.
Specifically, inflation-adjusted median household rent rose by 16% between 2006 and 2017, while inflation-adjusted median annual earnings for individuals working at least 35 hours per week and 50 weeks per year rose by just 2%, according to a Budget Center analysis of US Census Bureau, American Community Survey data.
The wage and housing problems are made worse — especially for families — by the loss of employment benefits as companies and investors spike stock prices by cutting costs. The report says:
Many workers are being paid little more today than workers were in 1979 even as worker productivity has risen. Fewer employees have access to retirement plans sponsored by their employers, leaving individual workers on their own to stretch limited dollars and resources to plan how they’ll spend their later years affording the high cost of living and health care in California. And as union representation has declined, most workers today cannot negotiate collectively for better working conditions, higher pay, and benefits, such as retirement and health care, like their parents and grandparents did. On top of all this, workers who take on contingent and independent work (often referred to as “gig work”), which in many cases appears to be motivated by the need to supplement their primary job or fill gaps in their employment, are rarely granted the same rights and legal protections as traditional employees.
The center’s report tries to blame the four-decade stretch of flat wages on the declining clout of unions. But unions’ decline was impacted by the bipartisan elites’ policy of mass-migration and imposed diversity.
In 2018, Breitbart reported how Progressives for Immigration Reform interviewed Blaine Taylor, a union carpenter, about the economic impact of migration:
TAYLOR: If I hired a framer to do a small addition [in 1988], his wage would have been $45 an hour. That was the minimum for a framing contractor, a good carpenter. For a helper, it was about $25 an hour, for a master who could run a complete job, it was about $45 an hour. That was the going wage for plumbers as well. His helpers typically got $25 an hour.
Now, the average wage in Los Angeles for construction workers is less than $11 an hour. They can’t go lower than the minimum wage. And much of that, if they’re not being paid by the hour at less than $11 an hour, they’re being paid per piece — per piece of plywood that’s installed, per piece of drywall that’s installed. Now, the subcontractor can circumvent paying them as an hourly wage and are now being paid by 1099, which means that no taxes are being taken out. [Emphasis added]
Diversity also damaged the unions by shredding California’s civic solidarity. In 2007, the progressive Southern Poverty Law Center posted a report with the title “Latino Gang Members in Southern California are Terrorizing and Killing Blacks.” In the same year, an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times described another murder by Latino gangs as “a manifestation of an increasingly common trend: Latino ethnic cleansing of African Americans from multiracial neighborhoods.”
The center’s board members include the executive director of the state’s SEIU union, a professor from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and the research director at the “Program for Environmental and Regional Equity” at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Outside California, President Donald Trump’s low-immigration policies are pressuring employers to raise Americans’ wages in a hot economy. The Wall Street Journal reportedAugust 29:
Overall, median weekly earnings rose 5% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the same quarter in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For workers between the ages of 25 and 34, that increase was 7.6%.

The New York Times laments that reduced immigration does force wages upwards and also does force companies to buy labor-saving, wage-boosting machinery. Instead, NYT prioritizes "ideas about America’s identity and culture.” 

NYT Admits Fewer Immigrants Means Higher Wages, More Labor-Saving Machines

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.S

"In the decade following the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the capitalist class has delivered powerful blows to the social position of the working class. As a result, the working class in the US, the world’s “richest country,” faces levels of economic hardship not seen since the 1930s."

"Inequality has reached unprecedented levels: the wealth of America’s three richest people now equals the net worth of the poorest half of the US population."

Warren's core insight was fascinating: She argued that massive expansion of the labor force had actually created more stressful living and driven down median wages. BEN SHAPIRO




How the Quest For Power Corrupted Elizabeth Warren

I first met Elizabeth Warren when she was a professor at Harvard Law School, in 2004. She was fresh off the publication of her bestselling book, "The Two-Income Trap." There's no doubt she was politically liberal -- our only face-to-face meeting involved a recruitment visit at the W Hotel in Los Angeles, where she immediately made some sort of disparaging remark about Rush Limbaugh -- but at the time, Warren was making waves for her iconoclastic views. She wasn't a doctrinaire leftist, spewing Big Government nostrums. She was a creative thinker.
That creative thinking is obvious in "The Two-Income Trap," which discusses the rising number of bankruptcies among middle-class parents, particularly women with children. The book posits that women entered the workforce figuring that by doing so, they could have double household income. But so many women entered the workforce that they actually inflated prices for basic goods like housing, thus driving debt skyward and leading to bankruptcies for two-income families. The book argued that families with one income might actually be better off, since families with two incomes spent nearly the full combined income and then fell behind if one spouse lost a job. Families with one income, by contrast, spent to the limit for one income, and if a spouse was fired, the unemployed spouse would then look for work to replace that single income.
Warren's core insight was fascinating: She argued that massive expansion of the labor force had actually created more stressful living and driven down median wages. But her policy recommendations were even more fascinating. She explicitly argued against "more government regulation of the housing market," slamming "complex regulations," since they "might actually worsen the situation by diminishing the incentive to build new houses or improve older ones." Instead, she argued in favor of school choice, since pressure on housing prices came largely from families seeking to escape badly run government school districts: "A well-designed voucher program would fit the bill neatly."
Her heterodox policy proposals didn't stop there. She refused to "join the chorus calling for taxpayer-funded day care" on its own, calling it a "sacred cow." At the very least, she suggested that "government-subsidized day care would add one more indirect pressure on mothers to join the workforce." She instead sought a more comprehensive educational solution that would include "tax credits for stay-at-home parents."
She ardently opposed additional taxpayer subsidization of college loans, too, or more taxpayer spending on higher education directly. Instead, she called for a tuition freeze from state schools. She recommended tax incentives for families to save rather than spend. She opposed radical solutions wholesale: "We haven't suggested a complete overhaul of the tax structure, and we haven't demanded that businesses cease and desist from ever closing another plant or firing another worker. Nor have we suggested that the United States should build a quasi-socialist safety net to rival the European model."
So, what happened to Warren?
The other half of iconoclastic Warren was typical progressive, anti-financial industry Warren. In "The Two-Income Trap," she proposes reinstating state usury laws, cutting off access to payday lenders and heavily regulating the banking industry -- all in the name of protecting Americans from themselves. While her position castigating the credit industry for deliberate obfuscation of clients was praiseworthy, her quest to "protect consumers" quickly morphed into a quest to create the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau -- an independent agency without any serious checks or balances. But despite her best efforts, she never became head of the CFPB, failing to woo Republican senators. The result: an emboldened Warren who saw her popularity as tied to her Big Government agenda. No more reaching across the aisle; no more iconoclastic policies. Instead, she would be Ralph Nader II, with a feminist narrative to boot.
And so, she's gaining ground in the 2020 presidential race as a Bernie Sanders knockoff. Ironically, her great failing could be her lack of moderation -- the moderation she abandoned in her quest for progressive power. If Elizabeth Warren circa 2003 were running, she'd be the odds-on favorite for president. But Warren circa 2019 would hate Warren circa 2003.
Ben Shapiro, 35, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show" and editor-in-chief of He is the author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller "The Right Side Of History." He lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles.

Munro: Cornell Study Shows Stagnant Wages Hurting Marriage in U.S.

Getty Images
 6 Sep 2019334

Fewer women get married when fewer men earn a decent salary in an unstable economy, says a study from Cornell University.

“Most American women hope to marry but current shortages of marriageable men—men with a stable job and a good income—make this increasingly difficult, especially in the current gig economy of unstable low-paying service jobs,” said lead author Daniel Lichter, a professor at Cornell University. He continued:
Marriage is still based on love, but it also is fundamentally an economic transaction. Many young men today have little to bring to the marriage bargain, especially as young women’s educational levels on average now exceed their male suitors.
The study looked at wages and marriage rates from 2008 to 2017, and concluded that “promoting good jobs may ultimately be the best marriage promotion policy,” says the study, which is titled “Mismatches in the Marriage Market,” and was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.
The study is useful for the populist wing of the GOP, because it shows that rising wages for men in President Donald Trump’s low-immigration economy is good for women’s romantic aspirations and marriage rates. Other data shows that married people — especially women — are far more likely to vote GOP than single people.
Correspondingly, the bad news about wages and marriage is good news for the Democratic Party, which will get extra votes from women if federal policies continue to suppress wages for American men.
The study did not try to show how marriage rates have been impacted by the various federal policies which have flatlined men’s wages for 40 years.
For example, the federal policy of flooding the labor market with immigrants has flatlined wages nationwide for at least two decades. Also, President Barack Obama’s failure to curb opioids — and his reluctance to favor American workers over ‘DACA’ illegals — helped to push millions of Americans out of the workforce and many into their graves.
The Cornell study validated conservatives’ view that women are different from men, and prefer to marry men who earn a higher wage or salary. The press statement said:
The study’s authors developed estimates of the sociodemographic characteristics of unmarried women’s potential spouses who resemble the husbands of otherwise comparable married women. These estimates were compared with the actual distribution of unmarried men at the national, state, and local levels.
Women’s potential husbands had an average income that was about 58% higher than the actual unmarried men currently available to unmarried women. They also were 30% more likely to be employed and 19% more likely to have a college degree.
Middle-class women have the best chance of finding a man who earns more money, the study says.
Low-income women live among men with very little income, partly because they are in jail or are suffering from drugs. And the many women who earn above $40,000 a year face intense competition for the relatively fewer number of men who make more than $65,000 a year.
This shortage of prosperous men means that many high-income women must marry down, the study said. “Women may instead ‘settle’ for a marital match that falls short of their aspirations in a spouse ... This will be expressed in new patterns of marital hypogamy or downward marital mobility,” the study said. 
The problem is worse for women who seek husbands later in life, for example, after spending years in university education:
For example, older women on average were much less likely a suitable marital match ... This is especially true among women who were highly educated ... A 10% increase in age among women with a college degree was associated with a 24.48 percentage point decrease in the likelihood of a suitable match. In contrast, age mattered much less among the least-educated women—those with a high school degree or less who had only a 4.47  percentage point decrease in finding a match. One implication was that delaying marriage, for whatever reason but perhaps especially if pursuing college degrees, had the effect of reducing women’s local-area access to demographically suited marital partners.
Future studies will examine divorce rates among marriages where women recognize that they earn more than their husbands. 

Young Americans got a pay raise of 7.6 percent from late 2017 to late 2018 -- bigger than other groups -- b/c they are more likely to switch jobs in Trump's low-immigration economy. 

Job-Hopping Young Workers Getting Huge Wage Gains, Says Business Center | Breitbart

No comments: