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The State

Why Drug Addicts Outnumber High School Students In San Francisco

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

San Francisco is one the most productive cities in the world and is the headquarters for several remarkably innovative and creative businesses, including Twitter, Uber, Lyft, and Fitbit, among others. But drug abusers have taken over several of its most densely populated neighborhoods and much of its central business district.

Politics

Trump, California—And Kipling: Will Ever The Twain Meet?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, September 26, 2019

A  funny thing happens in my world when President Trump makes a trip to California, which he did last week.

Housing

Statewide Rent Control Will Make California’s Housing Crisis Even Worse

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

One of Governor Gavin Newsom’s major campaign promises was to build 3.5 million new homes in California by 2025. But new building permits this year are 80% below Newsom’s annualized target and are even below last year’s extremely low level. California’s economic policies, which raise the cost of building and which can even block development, are the reason why California’s housing crisis is so severe.  

Politics

Why Not A Presidential Debate In California?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, September 19, 2019

Unless the mother of all earthquakes strikes and the largest of the West Coast states tumbles into the sea (Steely Dan said it would happen, but it hasn’t), California is not an island.

Politics

The Economic Blowback If California’s Independent Contractors Are Eliminated

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Last week, the California Senate passed a new bill that will cause somewhere between one million to two million workers, perhaps even more, to lose their status as independent contractors. If California governor Gavin Newsom signs the bill, an independent contractor will have to satisfy the following legally binding criteria:

1. Be free from the “control and direction” of their employer
2. Be performing work that is “outside the course” of the company’s usual business
3. Have their own independently established trade, occupation, or business

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.

Economy

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.

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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. ​