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Introduction
Introduction

California’s 2018 Election: Tax Repeal—Maybe; Political Reform—Not This Year?

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Spoiler alert: there’s not much drama at the top of the California ballot this year.

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

The Argument Against Proposition 6: Don’t Jettison Road And Bridge Safety Projects

by Loren Kayevia Eureka
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

California practically invented the modern transportation system. Without our historic highway and road network, connecting farm and city, factories and ports, California would be Albania—a pretty coastline with an underperforming economy.

Featured Commentary

The Argument For Proposition 6: Ease Families’ Tax Burden, Start A Political Earthquake

by Carl DeMaiovia Eureka
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

California’s Proposition 6, if approved by voters, will repeal the recently imposed gas and car tax hikes.

Featured Commentary

When A Venture Capitalist Enters California’s Political Matrix: Innovation Meets The Status Quo

by Tim Drapervia Eureka
Monday, October 22, 2018

I wonder if we still have a democracy in California.

Featured Commentary

Political Reform In California Begins With Convincing The Next Generation Of California Leaders To Vote

by Dan Schnur via Eureka
Friday, October 26, 2018

This November’s election will almost certainly continue a longtime trend in which young people vote in significantly smaller numbers than their parents and grandparents. The millennials and post-millennials did not originate this trend but they have intensified it, as the rate with which they are withdrawing from most forms of traditional political participation are accelerating.

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E.g., 12 / 14 / 2018
E.g., 12 / 14 / 2018
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Issue 1504 California’s Drought Conundrum

Introduction

by Bill Whalen Tuesday, September 29, 2015
article

Golden State Poll Analysis

by Carson Bruno Tuesday, September 22, 2015
article

Featured Commentary

by Cathy Green Tuesday, September 29, 2015
article
by Victor Davis Hanson Tuesday, September 29, 2015
article
by Newsha Ajami Tuesday, September 29, 2015
article

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Featured Commentary

California’s Board Of Education Ignores Teacher Effectiveness– But One In Ten Teachers Are Ineffective, Claim Fellow Instructors

by Paul E. Petersonvia Eureka
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ever since a California superior court determined three years ago that teacher tenure and seniority rights concentrated inexperienced teachers in disadvantaged communities (Vergara v. California), the state’s Board of Education has been trying hard not to think about teacher effectiveness. An appeals court overturned the lower court decision, but the state board remains worried about other legal and political attacks.

Introduction

Back To School In California—And Back To This Question: Does The State’s K–12 System Deserve A Passing Grade?

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Thursday, August 17, 2017

If you’re looking to grade public education in California, pass-fail probably isn’t the way to go but make sure to leave plenty of room in the “comments” section of your report card. On the one hand, the system has bred success. The late Steve Jobs was a product of California’s K12 system. 

Featured Commentary

California’s History Curriculum–Objectionable, Not Objective

by Williamson M. Eversvia Eureka
Thursday, August 17, 2017

By law, textbooks and other teaching materials in California’s public schools are supposed to be up-to-date. Yet history textbooks that are currently in the schools are twelve-years old.

Featured Commentary

Driving Californians Out Of Their Cars: Painful, Inconvenient–And Perhaps Downright Undemocratic

by Loren Kayevia Eureka
Thursday, May 25, 2017

In a state whose locals are obsessed not only with curbing waste but trimming their waistlines, it should come as no surprise some lawmakers in Sacramento want to put California on a “road diet.”

Featured Commentary

Crisis Management For California Infrastructure: Fifty Years After The Last Big Buildup, Time To Envision The Next Fifty Years

by Kevin Klowdenvia Eureka
Thursday, May 25, 2017

If Governor Edmund “Pat” Brown’s greatest legacy is the physical and intellectual infrastructure of highways, water systems, and universities that transformed California to a nation-state and a global economic force, his son, Governor Jerry Brown, may be remembered best as the guy who tried to fix it all after decades of neglect.

Featured Commentary

The California Economy Needs Tax Reform–Not More Special Tax Breaks

by Daniel Heilvia Eureka
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Soon before his presidency reached its 100-day mark, Trump addressed a major campaign promise by offering his vision for tax reform. The Trump plan promises to cut rates, slash loopholes, and simplify the tax code. As more details of the plan emerge, however, the president will learn a lesson familiar to countless would-be reformers: tax reform is easy on paper and nearly impossible in reality.

Introduction

California’s Economy–Lots of Zeroes, Lots of Contradictions Having to Do with Wealth, Opportunity, and Livability

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Good luck trying to get your arms–and your head–around the enormity of California’s economy. Last month, the state’s 2015 gross domestic product (GDP: a measure of goods and services) was calculated at $2.46 trillion. That’s trillions, folks, with nine zeros–as in nine shutout innings from Clayton Kershaw, nine Oscar losses suffered by Peter O’Toole and Harrison Ford, or nine months without rain in an area that not so long ago was mired in a historic drought.

Golden State Poll Analysis

Californians On The California Economy: Results From The May 2017 Golden State Poll

by Tammy Frisbyvia Eureka
Thursday, May 25, 2017

This spring saw the routine preparations for the annual May Revision of California’s proposed state budget disrupted by the political bargaining required to raise the gas tax for the first time in 23 years. In the midst of that unusual political scene, the Hoover Institution’s Golden State Poll surveyed Californians about their economic well-being and their opinions on economic policies that impact the nation-state’s global-sized GDP including infrastructure spending and a possible revisit of the property-tax limiting Proposition 13.

Golden State Poll Analysis

Voters’s Views On Sacramento And What A Trump White House Means For California

by Tammy Frisbyvia Eureka
Thursday, January 19, 2017

The most recent Golden State Poll had a lot of ground to cover. For the fourth January in a row, we asked Californians to reflect on the state’s government, public policy, and politics just as the governor is about to do the same in his yearly address to the state at the end of the month. 

Featured Commentary

That Impossibly Divided California You’ve Read About? Actually It’s Far More Politically Diverse And Competitive

by Samuel J. Abramsvia Eureka
Thursday, January 19, 2017

With the votes tallied, the 2016 electoral map of the Golden State once again appears to be deeply divided. The old north-south divide of earlier decades has given way to an east-west divide with narratives regularly speaking of a liberal, prosperous coast and a conservative and impoverished inland: two politically distinct “Californias.”

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California On Your Mind

Eureka was created to serve as an occasional discussion of the policy, political and economic issues confronting California. Like the Golden State motto from which this forum’s title was borrowed, the goal here is one of discovery – identifying underlying problems and offering reasonable and common-sense reforms for America’s great nation-state.

Ever since Archimedes supposedly first uttered the word, eureka has meant joy, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Drawing on the combined wisdom of Hoover’s policy experts and leading California thinkers, we hope that you’ll find enlightenment in these pages. Hoover research fellow Bill Whalen, who has nearly two decades of experience in California politics and public policy, serves as this forum’s editor.