“The decision is an important step to vindicate the principle that the public has a right to access the California coast regardless of their wealth and resources,” Buescher told The Post, calling the gate and use of guards a “defacto privatization of what is an incredibly valuable public resource.” The decision also ordered Khosla to pay nearly $500,000 in attorney costs.
.. The suit came after community members and Surfriders sought an amicable solution, Howe and Buescher said. Protests and letter-writing campaigns to apply public pressure failed. The situation escalated in October 2012, when the San Mateo County sheriff cited a group of five surfers on the beach for trespassing. The charges were dropped in 2013... In 2014, the state lands commission sought to end the legal battle by paying to create road or sidewalk access to the beach on Khosla’s property, or to use a portion of the road. Surveyors estimated a price of $300,000. Khosla countered with an offer of about $30 million.
A well-known team of inequality researchers — Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman — has been getting some attention recently for a chart it produced. It shows the change in income between 1980 and 2014 for every point on the distribution, and it neatly summarizes the recent soaring of inequality.
The racial wealth gap is much larger than the wage or income gap by race. Average wealth for white families is seven times higher than average wealth for black families. Worse still, median white wealth (wealth for the family in the exact middle of the overall distribution—wealthier than half of all families and less-wealthy than half) is twelve times higher than median black wealth.
.. The typical black family with a head of household working full time has less wealth than the typical white family whose head of household is unemployed. This outcome holds for black families regardless of the time and money spent on educational upgrading. Median wealth for black families whose head has a college degree, for example, has only one-eighth the wealth of the median white family whose head has a college degree. Even the typical black family with a graduate or professional degree had more than $200,000 less wealth than a comparable white family.
What are the realistic options to tackle the scourge of crass inequality in rich welfare states?
Taxing the high-income earners
How about higher taxation, especially of incomes from capital? Globalization makes increased taxation of one of the most significant contributors to inequality — very difficult.
It may be conceivable only with a fully coordinated action from most advanced countries — but that does not seem even remotely possible today.
Two factors are at work here: First, the cross-country mobility of capital makes it very difficult to tax. Second, the countries that benefit from this regime have no incentive to help those who lose.
.. A stunning 66 out 100 of “most wanted” persons accused of economic crimes by the Chinese government are thought to hide in the United States and Canada. Likewise, London brokers are all too eager to accept Russian money, regardless of its origin.
.. Even high-income earners are becoming more difficult to tax. These individuals can easily move from one country to another. There are no obvious reasons why a top executive may not be able to do his job in low tax Singapore or Hong Kong — rather than in higher-tax London or New York.
.. Those who are not as mobile as the top earners perhaps feel that they are taxed enough. More likely, citizens have lost the trust that the government will use their moneys wisely. Skepticism about government probity and efficiency is much greater today than a half-century ago.
.. This means that the only promising avenue to reduce inequality is interventions that are undertaken before taxes and transfers kick in.
These include a reduction in the inequality of endowments, especially inequality in education and the ownership of assets.
Once such endowments are less unequally distributed, market incomes (i.e. incomes before taxes and transfers) will also be distributed much more equally than they are today.