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After Five Years Of Forced Unionization, Farmworkers Are Now Free To Negotiate On Their Own

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Imagine hiring an organization to represent you in negotiations, but after hiring them you find out that their representation is unsatisfactory. So you fire them.


Gas Tax Repeal Proves Why California Needs This Election Reform

by Bill Whalenvia The Sacramento Bee
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Imagine my surprise when, while reading California’s official voter information guide, I discovered that Proposition 6, which seeks to repeal last year’s gasoline tax increase, doesn’t run on petrol.


Thanks To California’s “Earthquake Drought,” The Next Governor Will Be On Shaky Ground

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, October 4, 2018

To appreciate what awaits the man who’ll replace Jerry Brown, take a time-out from politics and watch the movie Match Point.

The State

$541,800 And Climbing: California Policy Makers Drive Up Housing Costs Yet Again

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

In June, the California Energy Commission voted to require that almost all new California housing construction (beginning in 2020) have rooftop solar panels, as well as expensive energy-efficient appliances, windows, insulation, and lighting. 


Feinstein Runs For A Fifth Term—And Runs Away From A High Note

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, September 27, 2018

To fully appreciate California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s struggles over the past couple of weeks, start with any photo of the Senate Judiciary Committee that features the trio of Feinstein, committee chair Charles Grassley, and her fellow Democrat Patrick Leahy.

The State

How The California Supreme Court Is Eliminating Many Of The State’s Independent Contractors

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court reclassified what it means to be an independent contractor in the state.


Oh Say Can You Reform CEQA? Not On Jerry Brown’s Watch

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, September 20, 2018

After spending more time online researching than I care to admit, I’m ready to admit defeat: I still don’t know if California Governor Jerry Brown is a sportsman.


David Versus Goliath: A School Reformer Takes On The Democratic Party And Unions

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A few months ago Marshall Tuck, a Democratic candidate who is running for the state office of California Superintendent of School Instruction, went to the California Democratic Party Convention to speak to his party about how to create better K–12 education in California. He went to the podium, but didn’t get a word out.


Is California A Nation-State Lost In Space?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, September 16, 2018

For a governor who denies that he has any interest in discussing his legacy, Jerry Brown has a funny way of coming full circle.


The Sweet Spot In California Politics? It Comes With Fries And A Beverage

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, September 13, 2018

While you were merrily spending your August on a well-deserved vacation, here’s how John Cox spent his time: toiling away in the California Division of Motor Vehicle offices.


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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 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. ​