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Politics

Going Off The Rails On California’s Crazy Train

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

Before the train leaves the station (pun intended) and we detail California’s misadventures in imagining, financing, and constructing a high-speed rail system, I’d like to make a confession.

Housing

Does California Need 770 New Laws? No. Will Any Move The Needle On What Needs Fixing? No.

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Governor Newsom just finished signing 770 laws into the books, about 92 percent of those hitting his desk. Talk about writers’ cramp. But does the state really need so many new laws? 

Business

Leaving California: Elon Musk Moves To Texas And Takes Tesla With Him

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, October 14, 2021

At one time, California was a “big tent” state, inclusive and welcoming to all, particularly to innovators with big ideas. Once established in California, those innovators would stay. But California’s welcoming spirit has faded, as has its ability to economically compete with other states. And this is a major reason why California is losing unique businesses and transformational entrepreneurs.

Environment

There Will Be Oil In California?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Among the many movies depicting life in a bygone California: There Will Be Blood, a 2007 sprawling epic that earned Daniel Day Lewis an Oscar statuette for his portrayal of a silver prospector who comes to the Golden State and strikes it rich in the Los Angeles oil patch of the early 20th century.

Politics

Woke Isn’t Broke—And The Recall Didn’t Change Newsom

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, October 7, 2021

One way to understand the ebb and flow of politics in Sacramento is by dividing the year into quarters.

Economy

How Does A Single State Agency Lose $31 Billion? No Accountability

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, September 30, 2021

Bungled. BlunderBlasted. This is how some of the news media has described the management by California’s Employment and Development Department (EDD) of the enormous unemployment benefit fraud that began last year, and which was harshly criticized by the state auditor. And this was when the amount of fraud was reported to be in the $2 billion to $6 billion range.

Politics

A Revolving Door For Sirhan?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Now that the recall election is in the rear-view mirror and the California governor enjoys job security for at least another year (if not more, assuming he’s safely re-elected next November), it’s back to business as usual for Gavin Newsom.

Politics

Requiem For California’s Governor Recall Election

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

All the political stars fell into alignment for Gavin Newsom as the state recall proposal failed by about a 2-to-1 margin. Less than two months ago, recall polls were evenly split as Newsom was fighting for his political life. 

Politics

Takeaways From The Recall Vote

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, September 16, 2021

Now that the dust has settled and (most of) the ballots counted, a few thoughts on what transpired in California earlier this week and a recall election that failed to oust Governor Gavin Newsom from office.

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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. ​