By Murtaza Baxamusa | Published in VoiceofSanDiego.org | December 1, 2010 |
I am quite amazed by the hullabaloo over the need for a report to justify that approval of superstores in the city will indeed bring economic value to San Diegans. The origin of this nonsense comes from the city’s Independent Budget Analyst (IBA), which hypothesized that the findings of a development permit “may constitute a de facto ban on superstore development.” An illustration of this concern by the IBA is the following finding in the proposed superstore ordinance: “The superstore will not adversely affect the city’s neighborhood and small businesses.” Read More
By Murtaza Baxamusa | Published in VoiceofSanDiego.org | November 2, 2010 |
Update: The San Diego City Council passed this ordinance on a five-three vote.
San Diego is often identified as a “City of Villages.” It derives its character from local business districts and diverse neighbors tied together through a filigree of natural resources. Our beaches, canyons, deserts and mountains encase our identity, and we loathe being the southern California expansion of Los Angeles. Read More
By Murtaza Baxamusa | Published in VoiceofSanDiego.org | October 13, 2010 |
There were very few people in this town that were paying attention to the “cap” thing downtown when it came up earlier this year. I was one of them, a policy wonk that cared about plans filled with esoteric planning jargon, who has been following this for a decade.
I have been skeptical about the authority the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) had in approving development in downtown, and their record in implementing redevelopment and economic development. I have been a vocal critic of large publicly funded projects that do not benefit the community. In fact, I firmly believe that downtown is for everybody. Read More
By Donald Cohen | Published in The Huffington Post | October 9, 2010 |
Gregory Mankiw, Chairman between 2003 and 2005 of George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors, is back.
On Dec. 31, the Bush tax cuts will expire unless Congress acts. President Obama wants to extend the cuts for middle class families but let the tax on the wealthy revert to pre-2003 levels. Mankiw along with congressional Republicans and the conservative message (i.e. not fact) machine are in full gear calling the tax on wealthy Americans everything from a Job Killer to bad economics. Read More
Your second-grader has been up half the night with a hacking cough. Do you call in to say you can’t go to work – and risk losing a whole day’s paycheck? Or do you pack some tissues in his lunch box and hope that he makes it through the school day without getting worse or infecting half the class?
No working parent should face such a choice. But for thousands of New York City’s public school parents, this is a very real dilemma. It doesn’t need to be. Read More
By Jake Blumgart | Published in The Huffington Post | October 5, 2010 |
Six months ago, on April 5th, 29 miners were killed by an immense explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. They didn’t have to die. Mine owners, government officials, and union safety experts have known how to prevent such explosions for decades. Some operators take the necessary steps to prevent such occurrences, but others are willing to put short-term profits above worker safety. Read More
By Murtaza Baxamusa | Published in VoiceofSanDiego.org | October 1, 2010 |
The good news about the poverty data is that this is likely as bad as it gets. There are some observations from the last economic cycle that we need to pay attention to, as we warily embark on a new economic journey.
First, the poverty rates are just a symptom of a structural problem of low-wage jobs in the region. The latest figures from the 2009 American Community Survey show that poverty rate in the San Diego region increased in the two-year period from 11.1 percent in the pre-recession 2007 to 12.6 percent in 2009. This is about 50,000 additional San Diegans slipping below the federal poverty threshold. Read More
By Donald Cohen | Published in LA Progressive | September 29, 2010 |
Without doubt, history books will remember the sweeping health care reform law passed exactly six months ago as a major historic milestone and President Barack Obama’s most significant achievement. But the reform bill hasn’t yet won the hearts and minds of most Americans, who don’t understand it, or who, depending on their political views, think that it doesn’t go far enough, or goes too far.
Lots of reporters and pundits – all of whom, of course, have good, employer-provided health insurance plans – now say that Obama invested too much political capital getting the Affordable Care Act through Congress when he should have been concentrating on fixing the economy. Some House and Senate Democrats are worried that their support for reform will hurt their re-election chances in November. Even Obama has been gun-shy about hyping the law as he travels around the country giving speeches and trying to help Democrats keep their majority in Congress. Read More
The toll of the Great Recession on working families is severe. We are seeing the highest rates in poverty on record, the highest unemployment for decades, and falling incomes.
In these times of economic uncertainty, there is only the certainty that our need for clean and safe neighborhoods and accessible public amenities will be evermore pressing. The structural problem is how we can continue to support these services that maintain the quality of life for our working families, as well as strengthen the foundation for a robust recovery. Read More
By Murtaza Baxamusa | September 10, 2010 |
The ranks of poor Americans grew by 3.7 million last year, with the highest number of Americans living in poverty in the last 50 years (“Nation’s poverty rate rises to 14.3%, state’s higher,” SignOn San Diego, Sept. 16). Meanwhile, the number of millionaires also grew by 1.1 million. The income distribution makes a teardrop-shaped economy, where the middle-class is being pushed downward into a bulging bottom, and the few rich are rising upward beyond the charts. We now have one in three Americans struggling to make ends meet, whilst Wall Street continues to give opulent bonuses to its executives. A disparity between prosperity and poverty has been taking shape through the past three decades, even beyond the current recession. Read More