California on Your Mind

Subscribe to receive California Publications. Subscribe »

Explore Research

Filter By:






Enter comma-separated IDs of authors
Enter comma-separated IDs of contributors

Support the Hoover Institution

Join the Hoover Institution's community of supporters in advancing ideas defining a free society.

Support Hoover


California Legislators Spend $200 Billion And Taxpayers Get Less And Less

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

California’s 2020–21 $202 billion state budget spends about three times as much per state resident, adjusted for inflation, compared to California’s 1990–91 budget. And this is after $20 billion of COVID-19 related budget cuts. But as you look around the state, you will not see this much higher spending at work. You will instead observe public schools that are falling apart and potholes on major streets that are large enough and deep enough to take out your rear axle.

The State

As July 4th Approaches, Does California Freedom Have a Hollow Ring?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, July 2, 2020

As circumstance would have it, for the second consecutive year this column precedes America’s Fourth of July weekend. As such, it seems like the proper moment to discuss California and liberty.


Progressive Lawmakers Decry Racism, But Their Policies Devastate People Of Color

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

California politicians are promising to address racism with new policies, including a potential state constitutional amendment, ACA 5, that would restore racial, ethnic, and gender-based preferential hiring and college admissions. As one lawmaker remarked, “It is time to eliminate the systemic racism that permeates our society. We will not stand for anything less.”


Do California’s Future Travel Plans Include Planes, Trains . . . And More Automobiles?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

There’s plenty to observe in California these days.


Kamala Harris’s Rise And The California GOP’s Tumble: It’s An LA Story

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Ordinarily, I’m cautious when it comes to “short lists” of possible vice presidential nominees.


Where Have You Gone, Jack Kemp?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, June 11, 2020

As a product of the East Coast, here’s one way that I’ve come to process what’s occurred in California in recent weeks: cicadas.


Will Proposition 13 Become A COVID-Related Casualty?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Not that it’s to be confused with a criminal act, but California governor Gavin Newsom’s decision last month to issue November mail-in ballots to all registered voters in the Golden State raises the question of motive.


Restoring Racial Preferences Will Harm Many Who Are Supposed To Be Helped

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

California’s 1996 constitutional amendment that prohibits public institutions from preferentially discriminating by race, sex, and ethnicity may be reversed later this year to restore explicit affirmative-action policies.


Signs Of Intelligent Life In The California GOP’s Existence?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, May 28, 2020

When considering the present-day struggles of California Republicans keep in mid the Chinese adage “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” (1,000 miles, by the way, a little further than the Golden State’s 840-mile coastline).


Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste —And A Governor Didn’t, As California Voters Will Discover This Fall

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, May 21, 2020

If you’re searching for an example of what ails California, look no further than the State Capitol—more to the point, the crumbling annex attached to the more historic structure where laws are decided.


Download the Full Document (.pdf)

Related Content


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. ​