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Introduction
Introduction

California’s (Political) Year In Review

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Thursday, December 16, 2021

We’re doing something different here at the Hoover Institution as we prepare to bid adieu to 2021: merging our biweekly column California on Your Mind and our periodical Eureka into one year-end product.

Featured Commentary
Featured Commentary

2021 In California Revealed The Failures Of Progressive Elites And Their Policies

by Lee Ohanianvia Eureka
Thursday, December 16, 2021

California’s 2021 started off with Governor Newsom reeling from his infamous dinner at the French Laundry in Napa Valley that took place in late 2020. After scolding nearly 40 million Californians to wear masks, maintain six feet of social distancing, and restrict Thanksgiving gatherings to no more than three households—and with no singing or chanting—the governor was photographed dining at the famous restaurant at a political fundraiser, sans mask, sans six feet of social distancing, flouting just about every COVID convention that he had established.

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California's Failed Response To COVID

by Jay Bhattacharya, Martin Kulldorffvia Eureka
Friday, March 12, 2021

Now that we’ve "celebrated" the first anniversary of COVID in California, it’s a good time to take stock of the state's response.

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Teacher Union Power In California: The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

by Michael T. Hartneyvia Eureka
Thursday, June 24, 2021

Charles Chapel, a California state assemblyman in the 1950s and 1960s, once said that he feared just three things: God, his redheaded wife, and the California Teachers Association (CTA).

California flag
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In This Recall Election, Why 2021 Is Not 2003

by Matt Rexroad via Eureka
Friday, September 10, 2021

I’ll never forget the moment back in 2003 when I heard about the pending recall of then California governor Gray Davis.

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Featured Commentary

Can California Save Itself From A Pension Disaster?

by Joshua D. Rauhvia Eureka
Thursday, January 25, 2018

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and other pension systems in the Golden State might be celebrating their recent investment returns, but don’t be fooled. Their problems are nowhere close to solved — and those problems are taxpayers’ problems.

Introduction

A New Year, A California Governor’s Final Year, A Lot Of Unknowns

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Thursday, January 25, 2018

California governors don’t make New Year’s resolutions – publicly, at least. The closest they come to vows of self-improvement is the annual State of the Address, delivered every January before a joint session of the State Legislature.

Featured Commentary

For Sacramento, Will This Be A Year Of Opportunities Taken Or Missed?

by Catharine Bakervia Eureka
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Now that the 2018 legislative session has begun and Governor Jerry Brown has delivered his last State of the State address, Capitol leaders are faced with a year of opportunities.

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.”

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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.