Skip to content

Obamacare and Family Values: Parents Get to Stay Home With Children

By Dean Baker

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was pushed primarily as a way to extend health insurance coverage. This was and is an important goal.  However another important aspect of the ACA is its impact on the labor market. The vast majority of people who are below Medicare age get their insurance through their job. This meant that tens of millions of people felt tied to a job because this was the only way they could get insurance for themselves and their families.

A key feature of Obamacare is that by allowing people to get insurance through the exchanges, workers would no longer feel tied to their jobs in the same way. Workers that wanted to look for jobs that may be a better fit, or wanted to try to start their own business, or just hated their boss, could now take this step without worrying about losing insurance for themselves and their families.

Read more
multicolored eyes

Policy Watch: Your weekly tip sheet for what’s going on in your community

By The Left Hook


 Reed, Liccardo, Khamis plan to delay Measure B

 As outlined in the memo from Reed/Liccardo/Khamis & recommended by Rules on Sept. 10, direct the City Manager to begin negotiations with the Police Officers Association and other applicable bargaining units to:

(a)    Enter into a stipulation to defer the implementation of the portion of Measure B that calls for employees to make an additional 4% contribution of salary to the Police & Fire and Federated retirement plans or take a 4% reduction in pay, for at least an additional year beyond July 1, 2015, the expiration of the existing stipulation; and

Read more

Former Police Chiefs Sound the Alarm On SJ Public Safety

By The Left Hook

ICYMI: Four former San Jose Police chiefs are speaking out about the need for strong public safety leadership in San Jose, condemning the current city administration for its lack of responsibility in dealing with the San Jose Police Department. Bill Lansdowne, Chris Moore, Rob Davis and Tom Wheatley are calling for the city to do more to support its police department and improve on the declining state of public safety in a city that used to be known as the “safest big city in America.”
ABC7′s Vic Lee was among several Bay Area reporters who covered the story.


Parks Should be a Priority in San Jose

By Helen Chapman

With all of the new worries we’ve had in San Jose in recent years…the police exodus, the rise in crime, the poor relationships between city employees and their bosses…it’s easy to lose sight of other “quality of life” issues that are really just as important.  In fact, some of the issues that are getting left on the back burner, cold and unattended, are the reason so many people love San Jose and strive to make their home here, and we need to heat those issues up once again.

Read more

Recent Articles

jumping fishv2 copy

Whopper of the Week: George Will and Extremism

By Bob Brownstein

This week we have a Galactic Whopper from George Will in the Washington Post. His column is titled “Senate Democrats Extremism on Display.” It contends that the effort by Senate Democrats to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision by a proposed constitutional amendment constitutes true extremism – an effort to radically shrink First Amendment protection of political speech. In fact, he claims the measure menaces “the constitution’s architecture of ordered liberty.”

There are, however, a few noteworthy problems with Will’s shrill and hysterical assertions. Read more »


Policy Watch: Your weekly tip sheet for what’s going on in your community

By The Left Hook

Santa Clara County

Living Wage Forum results

The Human Relations Commission will take action on a recommendation to present the final report on the “Price We Pay to Live in Santa Clara County” Public Forum to the Santa Clara County administration and the Finance and Government Operations Committee.  Hundreds of people turned out to testify on the state of income inequality in Santa Clara County and the difficulty in making ends meet in the most expensive region in America. Read more »

censored piccropped#2


By Mia White

Journalism hit a new low Wednesday. The cover of this week’s issue of the Metro is a selfie of Jennifer Lawrence. A picture that was stolen from her personal property and posted on the internet without her permission.

First, let’s lay down the obvious. This isn’t a “sex scandal” or “leaked photos”. A criminal (or group of criminals) used sophisticated hacking techniques to steal data from the devices of hundreds of women in hopes of making a profit on selling their personal information. Experts believe this was not a one-time incident but that the data breach has been on-going and only recently released.  This is a sex crime and not a small incident to be brushed aside. These women were victimized and now being shamed for expressing their sexuality in the way that they chose in the privacy of their own homes. Read more »


Policy Watch: Your weekly tip sheet for what’s going on in your community

By The Left Hook

San Jose

When San Jose City Councilmembers meet next week (today’s council meeting was cancelled because of yesterday’s holiday) there may be another chance to revive the effort to crack down on Wage Theft in San Jose.  The need for an ordinance to keep unscrupulous employers from cheating their workers has the support of a few of our more fair minded San Jose leaders.  When Mayor Reed’s allies refused to approve the discussion on Wage Theft in a summer Rules Committee meeting, the issue was tossed over to the priority setting session on September 9.

Link to item:
Link to agenda: Read more »


Great Bastion of Journalism…No More

By Brett Bymaster

The San Jose Mercury News has become a victim of its own ideological homogeneity. The San Jose Mercury news was once a great bastion of journalism.  Described in the 90′s as “a middle-of-the-road political cast slightly tilted to the Democratic side”, the paper more recently leans decidedly right.  Throughout the 80′s, 90′s and early 2000′s, the paper reigned as one of the best in the country.  It won two Pulitzers, first in 1986, again in 1995, and then it scored three Pulitzer finalists between 2001 and 2005.  But the awards stop there, as the paper slid from balanced journalism to become the de facto Chuck Reed / Sam Liccardo political campaign vehicle.  Reed took office in 2006, the year after the newspaper’s accolades ceased. Read more »


Speaking Out for a Living Wage

By Khanh Weinberg

One by one, they lined up and waited for their turn at the microphone.   Santa Clara County is weighing what it can do to help lift the working class of Silicon Valley out of poverty wages and these people had come with their stories – backed with powerful statistics:

  • 30% of county residents fall below the self-sufficiency standard for basic costs of  living
  • 260,024 private-sector Silicon Valley jobs don’t provide earned sick leave

In voices raw, poignant, some at times thundering, the people of Santa Clara County publicly petitioned their government to pass a countywide living wage ordinance. Read more »


The Rising American Electorate Wants Reproductive Justice

By Lupe Rodriguez

Pop quiz: What demographic  trait do millions of unmarried women, adults under 30 and people of color have in common? You might guess it’s their relative lack of power and influence. In fact it’s exactly the opposite – potentially.  This group, known as the Rising American Electorate (RAE), could prove to be the most powerful voting bloc in the country if the majority goes to the polls.

Consider the numbers:  The RAE has accounted for 81 percent of the growth in the U.S. population from 2000 – 2010 and a spectacular 95 percent between 2008 and 2010. The population of unmarried women and Latinos in the country has grown by 8 million over that decade. Read more »

janitorat techcompany

Tech’s Diversity Problem: More Than Meets the Eye

By The Left Hook

While tech workers reap high salaries and lavish benefits, the people who cook and serve their food, maintain their offices and provide workplace security often live in poverty – and for every tech job created, four service workers are needed to support it, creating a large and growing underclass of “invisible workers” in Silicon Valley.  The issue — and startling statistics on the racial and ethnic segregation of Silicon valley — was laid out in an analysis of the Valley workforce by Working Partnerships USA, a public policy and research institute based in San Jose.   Workers who share a campus with the tech elite,  are forced to live in poverty by the high cost of living in the region. Community leaders are alarmed by the disappearance of jobs that pay a living wage, and experts in the field of social science and workforce economics, speak to the startling evidence of Silicon Valley’s economic and occupational segregation. Read more »

Congressional Candidate Ro Khanna Interview

Ro Khanna is “right-of-center on tech and business issues”…And Who Am I to Disagree.

By GlenThePlumber

Last week when the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce PAC announced their endorsement of Democratic candidate Ro Khanna, praising him as “right-of-center on tech and business issues”, it couldn’t have been a surprise to those watching the race for California’s 17th congressional district that Khanna would be “honored” by what most Democrats would see as an insult. Since taking the number two spot in the “top-two” primary election against the sitting Democratic Congressman and member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Mike Honda, Khanna has gratefully accepted conservative endorsements that would have hampered him in the primary. Read more »


Policy Watch: Your weekly tip sheet for what’s going on in your community

By The Left Hook

Santa Clara County

Living Wage Ordinance

Thursday, August 29,Supervisors will accept a report from the Office of the County Executive relating to the feasibility and recommended framework for a County living-wage Ordinance and a Worker-Friendly Employer Certification Program, including progress on the compilation of an inventory of current County contracts greater than $50,000 per vendor.   Read more »


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: