Sacramento Needs to “Keep Its Hands Off Gig Economy”

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

Sacramento politicians cannot resist the urge to “regulate” the “gig economy” to impose arduous work rules, regulations, and a whole host of bureaucratic red tape on one of the most successful economic enterprises to surface in the past few years. People here in the Bay Area love Lyft and Uber, not the heavily regulated taxi […]

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Gov. Brown Caved Too Easily to Labor on Minimum Wage Increase, Should Have Forced Labor to Go to Voters



David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

Initially, it looked like Governor Jerry Brown (D) was going to drive a much harder bargain with the public sector labor unions, but in the end he gave in too easily by granting concessions that would primarily benefit his legacy but not the State of California, California businesses and California taxpayers. I know the polling […]

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Preliminary Report Pegs Pension and Retiree Health Care Problem at $1.2 Trillion

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

The Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIFER) estimated that California’s pension and retiree health care unfunded liabilities exceeded $1.2 trillion in 2013–significantly higher than all previous reports, according to preliminary figures obtained from SIFEF by Insolvent Film. The Stanford study the estimated total unfunded liabilities for pension and retiree health care (aka “other post employment benefits” […]

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California Counties Experience Huge Drop in Net Value Due to Unfunded Pension Liabilities, Several Counties Deemed “Balance Sheet Insolvent”

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

Many of the new financial reports are out for cities, counties and special districts in California and as expected they show a significant drop in the “net position” (aka “net value) of major California counties due to the inclusion of large unfunded pension liabilities. Several years ago the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) discovered a […]

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‘Hidden’ Public Employee Benefit Costs in California State and Local Governments

David Kersten
David Kersten is an independent political consultant who lives in the Bay Area. Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public budgeting at the University of San Francisco.

Most public agencies in California, including the State of California, are financially insolvent because their liabilities exceed their assets. This essentially means that they have a negative ‘net worth,’ or ‘net value’ (aka ‘net position’) in terms of public finance. What is far less understood is the roots cause(s) of this trend. From a financial […]

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