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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Issue 2001: Free Advice

Introduction
Introduction

Advice For The Governor: Fix A Bad Labor Law, Beware Of Tax Increases—And Focus On Narrowing The State’s Social Divide

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

If the first month of the first year of the century’s second decade is an indication, Californians are in for a long 2020.

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

Advice For The Governor: Clean Up A Made-In-California Mess

by John Kabateckvia Eureka
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dear Governor Newsom, Some escaped while others were left behind. As a result, workers in nearly forty independent contractor classifications can continue to enjoy the freedom of being their own boss while those formerly free independent contractors in nearly fifty classifications will either be forced to be an employee of someone else or, much more likely, simply lose work altogether.

Featured Commentary

A Suggestion For The Governor: The Best Way To Raise Revenue Is To Allow Businesses To Create New Jobs, Not To Support The Largest Tax Increase In State History

by Rob Lapsleyvia Eureka
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dear Governor Newsom, In early January, you released your proposed state budget for the next fiscal year. Thanks to a sustained economic recovery within the business community, the state has near-full employment and $78 billion more in total budget tax revenue since 2010–11.

Featured Commentary

Advice For The Governor: Build Up The Affection Between Californians And Their Regions

by Joe Matthewsvia Eureka
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dear Governor Newsom, Back in December, the high school football team in El Monte, a working-class immigrant suburb in the San Gabriel Valley, rode buses 13 hours and 750 miles to Crescent City, a poor town in California’s northwestern corner. Until the last minute, there had been doubt whether the team could make the trip. 

Featured Commentary

Advice for the Governor: Don’t Overplay Your Trump Card

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dear Governor Newsom: First, I’d like to wish you a productive and prosperous 2020. It’s your second year in office; you have an ambitious agenda and, thanks to a strong economy and a generous revenue stream, the resources to make some of that vision a reality. Good luck making that so.

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Featured Commentary

While Other Nations Fear The “Silver Tsunami,” The Golden State Should Learn To Surf The Coming Aging Wave

by Greg Lucasvia Eureka
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

It’s time to finally ditch the “Silver Tsunami” label about longevity.  By 2020 one in five Californians—about 8 million residents of America’s nation-state—will be aged sixty years or older.  That ratio will climb to one in four by 2030. 

Featured Commentary

Jerry Brown Meets Doc Brown: Has California Gone “Back To The Future” On Taxes And Crime?

by Joel Foxvia Eureka
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Despite changing demographics and a sharp veer to the ideological left, is it possible that California could take a political trip back to the future as two staples resurface that drove the state’s politics in the more conservative 1980s and 1990s? Look around and you’ll see indications that even in this liberal bastion on the left coast, the issues of taxes and crime are stirring again.

Immigration Reform
Featured Commentary

California, The Rhetoric Of Illegal Immigration, And The Perils Of Ignoring Thucydides’s Warning

by Victor Davis Hansonvia Eureka
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Vocabulary changes always reflect the agendas of a political debate. The fight over illegal immigration plays out by altering words and their meanings. Take the traditional rubric “illegal alien.” The English has been clear and exact for nearly a century: illegal alien (cf. Latin alienus) was a descriptive term for any foreigner who crossed the US border without coming through customs to obtain proper legal sanction.

Featured Commentary

California Dreamin’: Of Bolder Leaders Unafraid To Challenge The Vested Interests Running The Golden State—And Ruining Its Future

by Michael J. Boskinvia Eureka
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Californians long led an idyllic version of the American Dream: lots of sunshine, jobs, upward mobility, home and automobile ownership, inviting ample space and tremendous mobility.  Long a harbinger of national trends and an incubator of innovation, the Golden State used to be home to steadily rising standards of living, outstanding public schools and universities, and enviable infrastructure.

Introduction

Joke All You Want About California—But The Mounting Problems Are No Laughing Matter

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

To know California is to appreciate America’s nation-state as grist for comedians’ mills. Jack Benny’s radio show liked to titillate audiences with city names (an announcer would declare “Train now leaving on five for Anaheim, Azusa, and Cuc . . . amonga”).

Featured Commentary

Blame California’s Elected Leaders, Not Its Teachers, For What Ails The State’s Public Schools

by Marshall Tuckvia Eureka
Thursday, August 17, 2017

A few days from now, 6.2 million children will return to public schools in California. Three million of them can’t read or write at grade level (the number is especially tragic among male African American kids). In reading, California fourth-graders rank among the lowest: forty-eighth in the nation. This isn’t a recent development: twenty-five years ago, we ranked forty-ninth.

Featured Commentary

The New Pro-Charter LA School Board Means A Chance To Treat Students As Individuals, Not Assembly-Line Products

by Caprice Youngvia Eureka
Thursday, August 17, 2017

The fundamental obstacle to meaningful change for the students in the Los Angeles region can best be summed up by a statement we hear all the time from former students: “I am a proud product of LAUSD.”

Featured Commentary

The Future Of Teacher Quality In California Is In Doubt--And That Also Puts California’s Economic Outlook In Jeopardy

by Eric Hanushekvia Eureka
Thursday, August 17, 2017

California’s economy–on a pace this year to potentially surpass the United Kingdom as the world’s fifth largest–will likely become more and more dependent on the quality of its home-produced labor force. In that regard storm clouds are on the horizon.

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. 

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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.