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Eureka

What The New Governor Can Do To Honor California’s “Practical Majority”

by John Pimentelvia Eureka
Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Governor Newsom: With comfortable Democratic supermajorities in the Legislature and a healthy budget surplus, you are in a great position to improve the lives of all Californians.

Eureka

Newsom For President? Just Say No—For Now, At Least

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Wednesday, January 9, 2019

As he settles in to his new surroundings as California’s fortieth governor, Gavin Newsom will find it hard to escape Ronald Reagan, the last man to serve as both governor of California and president of the United States.

Economy

Gavin Newsom’s Expensive Promises Meet California’s Economic Realities

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, January 8, 2019

This week, California Governor Gavin Newsom begins the most liberal governorship in the state’s history, with a long list of campaign promises made to politically influential supporters. This includes the California Teachers Association, which has fought tooth and nail against charter schools and against teacher tenure and merit-based-pay reforms and which firmly expects the continuation of the state’s failed education status quo. It also includes the California Nurses Association, which is one of the most vocal supporters of a single-payer (“Medicare for All”) health care system in California, which would cost more than twice as much as the entire state budget.

Politics

Can California Republicans Rebrand And Rebuild—And Survive Another Trump Referendum?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, December 20, 2018

During the First World War, a top German military commander supposedly came up with these unflattering words—“shackled to a corpse”—to describe his country’s alliance with the faltering Austro-Hungarian empire.

Economy

Only In California: Taxing Texting, And Why This Is A Really Flawed Idea

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was scheduled to vote next month on levying a new tax on cell phone texting. Yes, the state that is constantly looking to increase tax revenue thinks it has found a new tax revenue base in our increasing reliance on cell phone texting. The motivation for this proposal is that revenue from voice calls is declining as texting is becoming an increasingly important form of communication, and the CPUC wants to restore at least part of that lost revenue.

Visas
The State

Will Newsom Choose To Be A Nuisance, A No-Show, Or A National Leader On Immigration?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, December 13, 2018

What does a California governor-elect do in the time between Election Day and the inauguration?

Economy

The Simple Analytics Of Why California Home Prices Will Soon Fall

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The median price of a single-family home in California has increased to about $546,000. This is a record high, and is more than 80 percent above the 2012 median of $300,000. California home prices are likely peaking now, and I expect that they will decline soon. 

Politics

The Latest California Fashion Craze: Tinfoil Hats

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, December 6, 2018

There’s something about close elections and unexpected results that breeds conspiracy theories.

Economy

After Spending $5.4 Billion, California’s Bullet Train Is Still Going Nowhere

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Governor Jerry Brown will leave office next month with a legacy of presiding over one of the biggest public policy failures in the state’s history. The California High-Speed Rail project began in 2008 at an estimated cost of about $39 billion to build high-speed train service between Northern California, Southern California, and the Central Valley. Despite the project having been significantly scaled back, the price tag for the down-sized system is likely approaching $100 billion.

Politics

Looking Over The Horizon: Could Newsom Ever Face A Veto Override?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, November 29, 2018

It’s been a week since Thanksgiving, yet somewhere in California, Governor-elect Gavin Newsom may still be voicing gratitude for his good fortune election-wise.

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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. ​