President Trump is set to deliver his second State of the Union Address. Pundits are already guessing what will happen. Will the hour-long speech focus entirely on the nation’s southern border? Will the president extend an olive branch to the new Congress? How many audience members will fall asleep?
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first budget comes when California is the most challenging state in the country for low- and middle-income households: California has the highest poverty rate of any of the 50 states. California also ranks 49th in both housing affordability and cost of living. It ranks 50th in homelessness, 40th in the overall tax burden and 42nd in how well it is educating its kindergarten through high school-age young people.
Last month, newly elected California governor Gavin Newsom advised the state attorney general to file a lawsuit against the city of Huntington Beach, a California community that is about 35 miles south of Los Angeles and home to about 200,000 residents. Huntington Beach was once a sleepy beach community made famous in the 1960s by the Beach Boys for its remarkable surfing locations, but the city is now being sued by Newsom for not building enough housing.
Last week, I challenged Harvard economics professor Greg Mankiw’s interpretation of Mr. Potter in the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life. Greg has responded by email and given me permission to quote it. (By the way, he was a junior economist when I was a senior economist with President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers and, although we see each other rarely, get along well. He’s a genuinely good guy and so none of my criticism reflects any animus towards him.)
When you try to understand change, whether in economics or in the rest of life, one good rule is to ask what other factor or factors changed. To explain a change in one variable, we have to point to another variable that changed, not to one that stayed the same.
Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond breaks down Beijing’s efforts to direct “sharp power” against democratic institutions in the United States. The key battleground appears to be American educational institutions and China’s main instrument is its United Front Work Department, a critical part of the Communist Party apparatus that aims to enlist, coerce, and induce support for the party around the world.
A potential academic contretemps between some giants in the economics profession has emerged relating to the issue of the role that colleges play in promoting intergenerational income mobility --the ability of lower-income Americans to use education as a means of achieving prosperity and sharing in the American Dream. One remarkable thing about this dispute is that it is led largely by women and nonwhite males, not the white males who dominate most of modern economics.
When it comes to the threats to global democracy, the call is coming from inside the house. U.S.-based NGO Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World report, released Monday, found that for the 13th straight year, global freedom has declined. (The report scores countries on 25 indicators—factors like rule of law and freedom of the press—and categorizes them as “free,” “partly free,” or “not free.”)
Representing his home district in the Central Valley just over 30 miles east of campus, Josh Harder ’08 began his first term in Congress in January. His platform of Medicare for All and economic development for Central Valley helped the Stanford alum and former Silicon Valley venture capitalist edge out four-term incumbent Republican Jeff Denham in one of the tightest congressional races of the 2018 elections.