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A California Rebate? What A Gas!

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, March 31, 2022

Let’s begin this column by doing something unusual in this space: giving credit to the powers that be in Sacramento for hearing their constituents’ suffering.


Will California Eliminate Public Golf Courses?

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 29, 2022

To address California’s housing shortage, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D–Bell Gardens) wants to tear up California’s public golf courses and use the land to build new housing. Assembly Bill 672 would provide subsidies, along with an exemption from California’s environmental quality regulations to replace municipal golf fairways with new housing, provided 25 percent of the new construction is for low-income households.

The State

California’s Rush To Russian Judgment?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, March 24, 2022

Ukraine may lie 6,400 miles to the east and nine hours ahead of California, but that doesn’t mean the nation’s present struggles with an invading Russia haven’t had an impact back in the Golden State.


California’s Socialist K–12 Math Proposal, Take Two

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 22, 2022

“Mathematics education in the United States was initially structured . . . to prepare privileged, young, white men for entrance into elite colleges.” 

The State

State Of The Unstated—As Stated By The Unthreatened

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, March 17, 2022

On this, Saint Patrick’s Day, I think it only fitting to appropriate a line from the poet Marianne Moore—“I am troubled, I’m dissatisfied, I’m Irish”—and pick up where my colleague Lee Ohanian left off earlier this week with regard to Governor Newsom’s dissatisfying State of the State Address (and, by the way, my ancestors came to America from Ireland’s County Kilkenny).


Gavin Newsom’s State Of The State Speech Highlights What Is Wrong With California

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 15, 2022

The “California Way” was the theme of Gavin Newsom’s State of the State address as the governor tried to draw parallels between California today and the state’s remarkable history of economic success and growth. 


Oh Say, Can Cal-Berkeley See Its Way Past CEQA?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, March 10, 2022

Regions of America have their collegiate rivalries, Northern California—the home to Stanford University and the University of California–Berkeley—being no exception. 


California Returns To A Divisive And Highly Politicized Ethnic Studies Curriculum

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 8, 2022

California high school students will soon be required by state law to take courses in ethnic studies. The state’s Department of Education (CDE) oversaw the development of a model curriculum, one that took four drafts and was years in the making before approval. 


California Redistricting: New Rules, Same Outcome?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, March 3, 2022

I’ve given enough orations on politics and policy in my time to know that certain words can cloud an otherwise good address.


Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Could Teach California A Thing Or Two About Affordable Housing

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 1, 2022

My good friend and Hoover colleague John Cochrane gave me the following idea for a brain teaser. Take the numbers 8, 3, and 7 and assemble them in any order you like to create a three-digit number. For example, 837. Next, add as many zeroes as you think are needed at the end of your number to estimate the average cost of building a housing unit (around 600 square feet, based on a recently completed complex) for a homeless person in Los Angeles. Think of this as a 21st-century version of the old TV game show, "The Price Is Right."


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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. ​