Sep 05

PCDP Campaign Office GRAND OPENING Saturday September 13th from 1-7 pm Roseville

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Saturday, September 13th the Placer County Democratic Party (PCDP) is holding a GRAND OPENING of their 2014 mid-term election campaign office at 313 Riverside Avenue, Roseville.  The Grand Opening will be from 1-7 pm and all Democratic candidates running in the mid-term elections in Placer County will be available to meet with the public.  JOIN US!

Aug 24

Opinion piece by vonKaenel of News & Review: “We need to fight back”

 

Greenlight

 We need to fight back: Thoughts on Capital in the Twenty-First Century

The pendulum has swung toward income inequality, so what’s next?
This article was published on .

Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review newspapers in Sacramento, Chico and Reno.

Read Paul Krugman’s New York Review of Books article about Capital in the Twenty-First Century athttp://tinyurl.com/KrugmanCapital.

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Three little words: Follow the money. Many human activities—including politics, health care, business, law and economics—can only be understood if you follow the money. While people do not always act in their own self-interest, this is certainly a better predictor than their stated interests.

In a remarkable book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, French economist Thomas Piketty has followed the money over the last 400 years in both Europe and America. This book has not only received high praise from economists such as Nobel Prize winner and columnist Paul Krugman, but this tome has made The New York Times Best Sellers list.

When an economic textbook takes the spot normally reserved for a book by a movie star describing their tough childhood, we should take notice.

Piketty writes about the obvious but often ignored truth that in every financial transaction, there is a negotiated price. And this price reflects the parties’ relative power. As far back as the 18th century, during the period of Jane Austen, a certain amount of money went to the person doing the farming and a certain amount went to the person that owned the land. That percentage, to a very large extent, determined the quality of life for each.

Now, 400 years later, these same negotiated transactions are going on, except now it is bankers and business owners instead of landholders. And clearly, Americans as well as Europeans are returning to an era of extreme income inequality not experienced in the last 100 years.

Piketty explains that the period between 1914 and 1945, which included two world wars and a major depression, wiped out so much wealth that it changed the power of the wealthy, and they temporarily lost their ability to dominate negotiations. But since 1945, the pendulum has swung back in favor of the rich. The tax rate on the wealthy has been reduced, the financial sector has been deregulated, and the power of unions has been reduced. These changes have all increased wealth inequality.

For us, though, living in the last 100 years, it seemed natural to believe that with the expansion of the middle class, increased wage equality would follow. We believed that each new American generation would do better than the previous one. Piketty explains why this is not true.

He predicts that wage and income inequality will continue to grow, just as they did in the centuries before World War I, unless there is a strong political and social movement that overcomes the ability of the wealthy to use their stronger bargaining position to negotiate a larger and larger percentage of the pie.

When looking at issues such as the minimum wage, taxes on the wealthy, tax loopholes, overseas tax havens, banking regulations and political-campaign donation laws, it is important to think about who will benefit. Rest assured that those who expect to benefit are hiring their lobbyists, preparing their lawsuits, making their campaign donations and girding for battle.

We need to fight back.

Aug 04

Governor Signs Bill to Strengthen “Unsafe Handgun” Law

Governor Jerry Brown today signed AB 1964, legislation that will close a loophole that has allowed gun dealers to skirt California law and sell handguns without safety features. This legislation was a top priority of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2015.

The new law will ensure that handguns purchased through a dealer in California meet all safety and firing tests as mandated by the state’s “Unsafe Handgun” law. The existing law requires handguns sold and manufactured in California be determined to be “safe” by the California Department of Justice. This includes having child safety features like loaded chamber indicators and magazine disconnects, meeting specified firing and drop safety tests, and containing microstamping technology that puts intentional marks on bullet casings to help solve gun crimes.

“Gun dealers in California have been skirting the law and selling handguns without child safety features, putting profits over the safety of Californians,” said Nick and Amanda Wilcox, legislation and policy chairs of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “We applaud Governor Brown and the California legislature for taking action to make new handguns sold in the state safer.”

Since 2010, there has been an explosion of semi-automatic handguns being modified into single-shot handguns to get around California’s “Unsafe Handgun” law, thereby eroding the law’s intent. For example, in 2013, more than 18,000 of these altered weapons were purchased in the state, up from just 1,100 in 2009, according to the bill’s author, Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento).

“Safety should not be an option or an upgrade when it comes to firearms. The Unsafe Handgun Act was passed in 1999 to make sure all handguns were safety compliant. Today the governor restored the intent of the original law by making new handguns safer,” added Nick and Amanda Wilcox.

 AB 1964 was a Top Priority of California Brady Campaign

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