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Politics

Why A Tax Vote Last Week In Los Angeles Is A Preview Of 2020’s Coming Attractions

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Baseball has spring training, Broadway its tech rehearsals, and software engineers their beta tests.

Politics

2020 Democratic Candidates Visit California And Show Just How Much The Party Has Changed

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

California’s decision to move its 2020 primary from June to early March suddenly makes the state more important for choosing the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee than in past elections.

The State

Sacramento’s Attitude Toward Santa Cruz: The Opposite Of “Fear And Loathing"

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, June 6, 2019

For some American cities, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery—New York City, for example, wanting to to be in the same sentence as Paris and London as cultured, cosmopolitan hubs for world travel and commerce.

Housing

How Long Does It Take To Build A New Community In California? 25 Years And Still Counting

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The year is 1994. Only about one in four American homes has a personal computer. The internet is virtually unknown. Blockbuster Video rentals are the go-to source for home entertainment. And a development group submits plans to California regulators for a new 22,000-home planned community about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles. With luck, now that all lawsuits have been resolved, the first homes will go on sale in 2021—27 years after the application process started.

Politics

Why Would “Uncle Joe” Resist The Land Of The “Resistance”?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, May 30, 2019

Call it a coincidence, but only a few days after California state senators voted unanimously to outlaw the use of circus performing animals in the Golden State, presidential hopefuls will be pouring into San Francisco to take part in this weekend’s California Democratic Party convention.

Housing

Regulations And Failed Governance Are The Root Causes Of California’s Housing Crisis

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

State and local governments claim they desperately want more residential construction to increase housing affordability. But what politicians say and what they do are two very different things. This is the only explanation for why a San Franciscan recently spent over six years and paid $1.2 million in legal fees and application costs before finally obtaining approval to build an apartment building. I can think of no better example that showcases how badly-designed regulations and remarkably poor governance have created California’s housing crisis.

The State

The California Way To Celebrate The Memorial Day Weekend?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, May 23, 2019

If you haven’t mapped out your Memorial Day weekend plans, the good folks at CNN have this list of possible destinations.

Business

California’s Proposition 13: Do Likely Changes Forebode Higher Business Property Taxes?

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Proposition 13, which has defined the rules for California property taxation for forty years, will likely change for businesses, and perhaps as soon as 2021. A ballot measure will appear on California’s November 2020 ballot that would fundamentally change property taxes on non-agricultural businesses with more than fifty employees.

Housing

Why California May Be The Cure For What Ails Harry And Meghan

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, May 16, 2019

This December marks 52 years since a British queen made Southern California her new home—not an actual monarch, mind you, but the legendary ocean liner Queen Mary that remains to this day a tourist attraction in Long Beach.

Housing

How Government Extortion Is Driving California Housing Costs Higher

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Nearly $50,000. About $60 per square foot. That is the city fee that a San Jose developer was asked to pay to obtain a permit to convert a recreation room in an existing apartment building into two small studio apartments. These “pay to build” schemes are now commonplace in California as municipalities face increasingly severe budget pressures and look to developers for the deep pockets that can fill in the gaps between municipal spending and tax revenue.

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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. ​