Larry Buhl

Larry Buhl is a writer and radio producer based in Los Angeles. He’s a regular contributor to Art & Understanding, ATTN:, and DeSmogBlog. He has produced for the BBC, Marketplace, Free Speech Radio News, and Pacifica radio.

Recent Articles

Can Vacancy Taxes Bring Down Housing Prices?

Some California cities may be willing to try them.

Capital & Main is an award-winning publication that reports from California on economic, political and social issues. The American Prospect is co-publishing this piece. The shortage of affordable housing in urban California is by now well known, and high-profile bills to deal with the crisis have repeatedly been shot down in Sacramento this year. With only three smaller statewide measures dealing with the issue still on the table in this legislative session, some municipal lawmakers in California are looking for new ways to attack unaffordability. One idea, an “empty homes penalty” or vacant-property tax, has passed in one city and is being considered in two others, though currently there is no push for such a tax statewide. The idea behind these taxes, supporters say, is to keep speculators from sitting on properties until they can rent them for a higher rate, or sell them at a greater profit when prices inevitably increase. Proponents say that such taxes represent...

New Legislation Aims to Clarify Who Is an Employee

California's AB 5 could be a gamechanger for millions of workers in the gig economy. 

Capital & Main is an award-winning publication that reports from California on economic, political and social issues. The American Prospect is co-publishing this piece. In 2018 California's Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court , siding with the drivers of a delivery company that had converted its workers from company employees to independent contractors who typically lack the job security and workplace benefits of traditional employees. The court’s groundbreaking decision established an “ABC test” that would classify a worker as an independent contractor only if that worker is: A) free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of such work and in fact. B) performs work outside the usual course of the hiring entity's business. C) customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the...

If the Census Asks, "Are You a Citizen?"

Immigrants won’t answer, and blue states—California especially—will lose representation.

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Capital & Main is an award-winning publication that reports from California on economic, political and social issues. The American Prospect is co-publishing this piece. The U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in December, asking that a citizenship question be added to the 2020 census because citizenship data was needed to protect minority populations from “racial discrimination in voting.” Advocates who know the difficulty of getting communities of color to participate in the census find the DOJ’s logic confounding. “It’s disingenuous,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO). He noted that the American Community Survey, the modern version of the census “long form,” asks whether the respondent is an immigrant (though it doesn’t ask about immigration status). “Not a single civil rights litigator has said the American...