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California’s Staged Response Invites Stages Of Grief For Its Governor

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, May 7, 2020

The word that defines California for the next several weeks: “stage.”


At $700 Per Square Foot, New Homeless Sheds Top Luxury Housing Costs

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

San Jose recently completed 40 “tiny houses” that will provide temporary housing for 40 homeless people at a cost of $2.2 million, or about $55,000 per 8-by-10-foot prefabricated tiny house. Each unit, which appears to be a gussied-up storage shed, has a single bed, a desk and chair, and a couple of shelves. Communal bathroom and kitchen facilities are nearby, along with a computer room, a lounge, and a dog park.


Assuming Julia Louis-Dreyfus Doesn’t Want The Job, Kamala Harris Likely Does

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, April 30, 2020

To the adage “it’s good to be king,” don’t forget the queen—in this case, California senator Kamala Harris, who may be the current ruling monarch of Democratic possibilities.


California’s Coming Tax Tsunami

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A tax tidal wave is coming to California. And almost certainly to most other states. The only questions are how soon and how big. For California, it will be sooner rather than later, and bigger rather than smaller. And if you think California taxes are high now, just wait.


Is The Script For California’s Economic Recovery Already Written?

by Bill Whalen mentioning Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, April 23, 2020

In case you’ve wondered what a bad week looks like for a California governor, it goes something like this.


California Cannot Sustain Great Depression 2.0 Much Longer

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Between mid-March and mid-April, California obliterated all its job growth of the last decade. More than 3.1 million California workers filed for unemployment over this four-week period, which has increased the state’s unemployment rate to at least 17 percent. Continued job loss over the last week may have pushed it up to 20 percent or more. California, and nearly all other states, are experiencing economic declines that we have not seen since the 1930s.


The Playboy Mansion And Catwoman’s Lair: Building Blocks Of California’s COVID-19 Economy?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Rest assured that William Shakespeare is alive and kicking in coronavirus-stricken California.


Coronavirus And The Cost Of Progressivism

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

California is the most politically progressive state in the country, but even the most fervent progressives are finding out that progressivism is extraordinarily costly, and even deadly.


California’s UC System Suspends Board Scores, But Not The Spirit To Undo Proposition 209

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, April 9, 2020

The California education development receiving the most attention these days? That would be the state’s K–12 public schools closing down for the remainder of the 2019–20 academic year due to fears of spreading the COVID-19 virus—an early “summer vacation” for nearly 6.2 million teens and minors enrolled in more than 10,500 schools statewide (a student population roughly the size of Missouri, America’s 18th-largest state).


California Lawmakers Unwittingly Make Surgery Much More Dangerous

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

California’s population of nearly 40 million is served by just 8,500 anesthesiologists, 2,200 of whom are certified registered nurse anesthesiologists (CRNAs). California’s recent anti–independent contractor bill, AB5, is making this shortage much worse and making anesthesiology more dangerous for patients.


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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. ​