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The State

Will The Padres—All California Kids—Get A Sporting Chance?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, March 4, 2021

One of the challenges for a politician in trying to pull out of a skid is not to overdo the course correction.


The Capitalists Who Sell Ethnic Studies

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

After circulating two widely criticized drafts of an ethnic studies curriculum, the California Department of Education must now determine whether to accept a third widely criticized draft this month. The common denominator across all three drafts is that they are based on “critical ethnic studies,” which holds that capitalism is a form of power and oppression and is related to imperialism, White supremacy, and racism. 

The State

Paging Charlotte Brown

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

As we’re about to close the books on Black History Month in America, I’d like to offer a few thoughts on the African American existence in present-day California.


Who Was That Masked Woman?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, February 18, 2021

Move past the shiny object that was the second Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump and what was the most intriguing visual in the nation’s capital last week?

Economic Policy

The Economic Unraveling Of California’s Governor

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Gavin Newsom was riding high last fall, with 64 percent job approval. Fast forward a few months later and Newsom is now scrambling to salvage his first term, with just 48 percent approval, as a grassroots effort to recall his governorship is on track for qualifying for November’s state ballot, with nearly 1.5 million signatures.


The Iger Sanction?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, February 10, 2021

California’s gubernatorial recall election hasn’t yet materialized—much less been certified or scheduled for a vote—and we already have a casualty: Chamath Palihapitiya, a Silicon Valley billionaire who has sunk $100,000 into the effort to force a referendum on California governor Gavin Newson and who reportedly has flirted with the idea of throwing his hat in the ring, only to inform a podcast audience last week that his heart (and his business sense) just wasn’t in it.


California’s School Daze Drags On

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, February 4, 2021

I’d like you to circle two dates on your calendar: February 16 and April 29.


The Governor Who Would Be King

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Much to everyone’s surprise, California lifted its latest COVID stay-at-home order, permitting previously shuttered restaurants, barber shops, salons, and many other businesses to reopen. This move caught virtually everyone off guard, because California governor Gavin Newsom, who promised to be the model of transparency, is unilaterally making pandemic policy for the world’s fifth largest economy while keeping nearly all other 40 million Californians in the dark. 


Jerry-Mandering The Biden Presidency?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

During the build-up to, and realization of, a new political order in the nation’s capital, I stumbled upon one story that amused me—and another that kept me up at night.


Is The Biden Administration The Cure For What Ails California’s COVID Strategy?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Californians this morning greeted the dawn of a new day—a day like most any other in late January on the West Coast with one notable difference: a new political alignment in the nation’s capital that potentially bodes well for the Golden State in terms of attention and federal largesse.


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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. ​