Economy

How far will $10 an hour stretch in 2016?

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Earlier this week, just as media reports pointed out that America’s wealthiest 1 percent did better in 2012 than almost any other year in history, Gov. Jerry Brown came out in favor of a bill that would raise the state minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016.Read more »

California's refusal to reduce its prison population is a sign of deeper problems

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California just doesn’t get it when it comes to criminal justice. We have among the highest incarceration rates in the world (just below Russia's, and about four times the European average); our prisons eat up far too much of our state budget; they are shamefully overcrowded, secretive, and inhumane; yet politicians from Gov. Jerry Brown on down refuse to show the courage or leadership to try a different approach. Read more »

Opponents of City College takeover to march through SF

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Opponents of last week’s decision to revoke the accreditation of City College of San Francisco and place the district under state control until that death sentence becomes official in July 2014 plan to rally and march through San Francisco today [Tues/9] at 4pm.Read more »

BART contract negotiations resume

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Business and political leaders are urging a speedy resolution to the BART strike tonight as negotiations between Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 resume at 6pm.Read more »

Tech guru says Internet destroying middle class

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Jaron Lanier isn't a Luddite. He can't be dismissed as a crackpot, whiner critic who is jealous of the success of others. He virtually invented virtual reality; he was a tech guru when most of today's tech titans were still in diapers. So when he says that the Internet is destroying the middle class, maybe everyone ought to stop for a second and listen.Read more »

The right wing and same-sex marriage

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I had lunch with my old friend Johnny Angel Wendell, a musician, actor, and radio personality in LA, who was up here on vacation (and to hype his new vinyl, "My Lesbian Friend,") and we got to talking about the Supreme Court and same-sex marraige, and Johnny and I have agreed for years that this debate is essentially over. When 80 percent of people under 30 think same-sex marriage is fine, then it's really only a matter of time before it's legal and encouraged in every single state.Read more »

Public broadband works; why not here?

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There's a fascinating new map that the Institute for Local Self Reliance has put together that shows how 342 communities around the United States are now offering publicly owned, cheap, reliable broadband and cable service to local residents and businesses. Check it out here. Then check out why the fastest networks in the nation are built by local governments:Read more »

Why do Lee, Chiu, and others want to stifle economic growth?

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Why do Mayor Ed Lee, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, and San Francisco's two major daily newspapers want to punish success? Because that's exactly what their proposal to create a new gross receipts tax for businesses – in which corporations would be taxed more as they grow, thus encouraging economic stagnation – would do.Read more »

Suspended state

Californians lose extended unemployment benefits as recession lingers

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news@sfbg.com

In May, a rip appeared in the social safety net that catches many of the people whose careers have been derailed by the continuing economic crisis when Californians lost eligibility for federal relief money under the Fed-Ed portion of the federal unemployment insurance extension program.Read more »

May Day protests begin with ferry workers strike

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[Editor's Note: We'll be covering May Day events in San Francisco and Oakland throughout the day, so check back for regular updates.]

May Day activities have begun with a strike by ferry workers and Golden Gate Transit workers, halting parts of the morning commute.

About 100 ferry workers picketed at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, as well as the Larkspur Ferry Terminal. In anticipation of the strike, the Golden Gate Bridge District announced that they would cancel morning ferry service yesterday. Service should resume at 2:15.

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