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Politics

The California Legislature’s Approach To #MeToo: Better You Than Us

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, September 12, 2019

Come the time President Trump faces the electorate next year, he’ll have some explaining to do for promises unmet—for openers, not cancelling all funding of “sanctuary” cities, not pushing for congressional term limits, not bringing back waterboarding.

Economic Policy

California On Verge Of Passing Enormous Job-Killing Bill

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

California legislators are close to voting on a bill that would reclassify hundreds of thousands of independent contractors as employees. If passed, this bill will destroy many very productive economic opportunities, and substantially restrict free choice for individuals.

Politics

Proposition 13 Revisited: Is California Looking At Howard’s (Jarvis) End In 2020?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Here are three clichés that surface in California policy discussions:

Cliché no. 1: The notion of the Golden State as a “nation-state.” It’s a valid descriptor given that California has a population (nearly 40 million residents) that’s larger than all but 35 countries (California would fall between Sudan and Iraq), the fifth largest economy in the world (ahead of India’s and behind Germany’s), plus remarkable diversity (92 languages other than English are spoken in the Los Angeles public school system).

Politics

A 2020 Recession May Be The Only Roadblock To Trump’s Reelection

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Even though the 2020 election is more than a year away, President Trump’s reelection appears likely unless the economy turns down sharply next year. One reason why Trump is likely to win is that sitting presidents are almost always reelected if the economy is performing well. Like him or not, the current US economy is one of the best in a long time, and this strongly suggests a Trump reelection.

Politics

Misses Almost 45% Of Votes And Still Earns A Full Salary: Why Would Kamala Harris Ever Want To Leave The Senate?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, August 29, 2019

We know that California senator Kamala Harris, as a Democratic presidential contender, is no stranger to the backroads of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

Economy

How A California Corporation Creates More Social Good Than Any Government

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

There is growing pressure on corporations to stop prioritizing profits and to act in “the best interest of society.” Elizabeth Warren started the ball rolling last year with the Accountable Capitalism Act. If passed, this would dramatically change corporate governance and decision making. Its requirements include that at least 40 percent of board directors be elected by employees and that corporate decisions create a “general public benefit” rather than narrowly benefiting shareholders.

Politics

For Pete’s Sake: Tough Times In California Will Call For A Tougher Governor

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, August 22, 2019

This column begins with birthday felicitations for my former boss, Pete Wilson, who turns 86 later this week.

Eureka

More Money, But More Or Fewer Problems? The State Of The Golden State’s Public Schools

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

By this month’s end, an annual California migration will have occurred—a mass movement that, in sheer numbers, puts the swallows of San Juan Capistrano to shame.

Teachers picket in La Habra last December
Eureka

Teacher Strikes Are Not Going To Help California’s Students

by Eric Hanushekvia Eureka
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

When teachers in Los Angeles and Oakland went on strike earlier this year, they got a considerable amount of public support. This support is not too surprising, because there is widespread belief that teachers are underpaid. Now that the strikes have been settled, how should we view these actions?

Eureka

California Can Reform K–12 And Medi-Cal, Or Face A Future Of Perpetual Tax Hikes

by David Cranevia Eureka
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Here’s another way to look at the complicated question of California’s commitment to public education in these flush economic times, with some compelling illustration of the state’s finances. And an unsettling conclusion: more and more tax increases will be the Golden State’s fate unless lawmakers get serious about reforming two large portions of California’s budget—K–12 schools and Medi-Cal, which account for more than one-half of California’s General Fund spending.

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California on Your Mind is a twice weekly journal about California politics and economic policies, and how they affect California’s economy. At one time, California policies helped create the “California Dream” by fostering affordable housing, creating high quality schools, and facilitating substantial infrastructure investments. These policies helped make California the 20th century destination for thousands of businesses, and for tens of millions of Americans who moved to California from other parts of the country. Today, a very different set of state and local policies is contributing to rapidly increasing housing prices, growing homelessness, lower quality schools, and insufficient public investments.

This journal discusses California political and policy developments in real time, describes how they will affect the California economy, and analyzes how reasonable policy reforms can reduce California’s cost of living, improve California schools, increase public investment, and help restore the “California Dream”.

 

About the Authors

Lee Ohanian

Lee E. Ohanian is Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Economics at UCLA. He is an adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and previously has advised other Federal Reserve Banks, Foreign Central Banks, and the National Science Foundation. He has been an economic adviser to state and national political campaigns and has testified to the U.S. Senate and the California State Legislative Assembly on economic policy issues. His research, which recently has been discussed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other media sources, focuses on economic policies and economic growth, and as been published widely in a number of peer-reviewed journals. He is a frequent columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Rochester.

 

Bill Whalen, a Hoover Institution research fellow since 1999, writes and comments on California and America’s political landscapes. Whalen is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee and Forbes.com and also writes frequently for Real Clear Politics, The Hill and the Washington Times. He is also the host of Hoover’s Area 45 podcast that explores policymaking and politics as they pertain to the Trump presidency. Prior to joining the Hoover Institution, Whalen served as chief speechwriter and director of public affairs for former California governor Pete Wilson. He’s also served as a strategist for numerous California political hopefuls, including former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. A native of Washington, D.C., Whalen received a B.A. in journalism from Washington & Lee University. ​