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The State

Even Professional Athletes Find California Unaffordable

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Leading professional athletes are paid enormously. But for those plying their trades in California, don’t be surprised to see them shopping at Costco after paying taxes and buying a home. Or moving out of the state, as so many other of the most productive Californians have done, including Tesla’s Elon Musk, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, and Shutterstock’s billionaire founder Jonathan Oringer.


Harris’s Vice Presidency: More Yucca Than Yuks

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, June 10, 2021

For several decades now, dating back to the latter days of the Reagan presidency, the good people of Nevada have fought the federal government over the latter’s proposed use of Yucca Mountain—a facility about 100 miles north of Las Vegas and not too far from Death Valley National Park and the California border—as a dumping ground for radioactive waste.


Man Bites Dog: California Union President To End Union Political Contributions

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, June 8, 2021

The newly elected president of the largest chapter of California’s powerful Service Employees International Union (SEIU), with nearly 100,000 members, will end the chapter’s political contributions.


California’s Governor: The Monopoly Money Man

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, June 2, 2021

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then California has paid Ohio a major compliment.


LA Teacher Union Prioritizes Hamas Over Reopening Schools

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, May 27, 2021

Two months ago, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky remarked, “My son is back in school. CDC believes schools should be the last place to close and the first place to open.” Lucky for Walensky that she doesn’t live in California, which is among the worst states in returning students to their classrooms.


Nothing Funny Happening On The Way To The Forum

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, May 25, 2021

California’s governor is an elected official—as such, not to be confused with a monarch. But when facing a recall election and serving as the Golden State’s chief executive, it’s good to be the king, as it were.


Facing Recall, California’s Governor Blows Out The State Budget

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, May 20, 2021

Santa has already arrived in California for 2021, dressed as Governor Gavin Newsom, who is awash in new cash arising from much higher tax revenues than anticipated, plus bailout funds from the federal Santa Clauses in Washington, DC.

oakland flag
The State

An Oakland Riddle: What’s Green And Gold . . . And Short On Green?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Arguably the most famous thing ever said about Oakland, California’s eighth most populous city, comes from author and native daughter Gertrude Stein, who acidly observed: “there is no there there.”


Before The Recall, A California Spin Cycle

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

It’s not officially campaign season in California—that’ll begin in full force once the date for the gubernatorial recall vote is officially set—but already it’s open season for odd political spin.


Once Again, California Battles Census and Sensibility

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, May 6, 2021

The debate over California’s popular migration goes something like this: one side decries a mass exodus while the other claims any such Golden State emigration is vastly overstated; San Francisco is held up as a case-in-point of a population loss that began last year, which in turn is dismissed as a temporary occurrence—the rebuttal stating that folks are returning to the crown jewel of the Bay Area as society gradually reopens.


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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. ​