Ben Bergman Senior Reporter, Southern California Economy
Ben Bergman is KPCC's Senior Reporter on the Southern California Economy, the 16th largest economy in the world.
He’s also a frequent contributor to NPR and Marketplace, and is a regular fill-in host on Southern California Pubic Radio’s daily two-hour newsmagazine, Take Two.
Bergman has reported extensively on L.A.’s housing affordability problem, the city’s consideration of a higher minimum wage, the NFL’s possible return to the area, and the cable dispute that has kept most of Southern California unable to see games on TV.
He was previously KPCC's Orange County Reporter, where he covered the closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant and the Christopher Dorner manhunt.
Before joining KPCC in 2012, Bergman was a producer for NPR’s Morning Edition, both in Washington D.C., and at NPR West in Culver City.
He has been a producer for some of the most recognizable voices in radio — Renee Montagne, Steve Inskeep, Susan Stamberg, and Linda Wertheimer. He has produced interviews with everyone from The Dalai Lama (three times) to Ben Stiller to Ben Affleck. Bergman was also the Morning Edition anchor at Aspen Public Radio in Colorado.
Bergman has also written for "Time Magazine" and "The New York Times" and was a reporting intern at "The Times."
Originally from Seattle, Bergman graduated cum laude from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in politics.
In his free time, Bergman enjoys tennis, fitness, skiing, travelling to new places, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.
Bergman is based at NPR West in Culver City.
Stories by Ben Bergman
Pasadena’s new mayor, Terry Tornek, has expressed strong support for a $15 wage, though he doesn’t know if that support is shared by his colleagues.
"We're getting more and more attentive to the projections," said Tom Holsman, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of California.
County supervisors followed L.A. city leaders in increasing the county's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. The decision will affect those who work in unincorporated areas of the county.
The credit agency Moody's says the drought has primarily hurt farmers, but agriculture only represents a tiny part of the state’s overall economy.
L.A.'s gasoline supply is low because fewer petroleum tankers have docked at local ports recently. One analyst says we should bank gasoline to weather these times.
Since a refinery explosion in Torrance in February, Southern California has been more reliant on imported gasoline, but last week tankers bypassed local ports.
Power outages in Long Beach are an inconvenience residents, but for local businesses, they can bring thousands of dollars in losses.
A gallon of gas in Southern California climbed 67 cents in the past week to $4.22, according to the site GasBuddy, which blames stalled ships that import fuel.
State rebates have spurred locals to replace their lawns with drought-tolerant plants. It's been big business for landscapers, but now the money has dried up.
"We may see what is already an established presence of Chinese investment in Southern California continue to grow,” said one economist.
Economists say Disney has a huge economic impact on Southern California, though that doesn't necessarily mean it should not be subject to an admissions tax.
The obscure bank's sudden shutdown is already being felt in California, where Ex-Im Bank supported 702 businesses between 2009-2014 with loans of $18.6 billion.
Even if L.A. County bumps up wages in unincorporated areas, in some cases, what you get paid could depend on what side of the street you work on.
Updating the convention center has been a high priority for city leaders because L.A. has fallen behind other cities in the competition for big conventions.
The TPP has also created a rift in the apparel industry - between big, national companies and smaller ones in Southern California.