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The StateFeatured

Let Freedom Ring—Though It Doesn’t Fully Flourish In California

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, July 3, 2019

California’s brightest minds obviously didn’t have a seat at the table in the early days of July 1776, when the Founding Fathers (how long before that term’s deemed politically incorrect?) were putting the final touches on that generation’s “Brexit.”

One wonders what the Founders would make of today’s Golden State, which didn’t join the union until seventy-four years and two months after those fateful moments in Philadelphia. 


The Backwards Economics Of San Francisco’s Homeless Policies

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors just approved a plan to build a homeless shelter. The problem is that the location of the shelter is on the city’s waterfront Embarcadero, which happens to be the most expensive neighborhood in San Francisco, where home sales have averaged nearly $1,200 per square foot. The ground leasing rights for the city’s Ferry Building, just down the street and on a similar size parcel, sold for $291 million earlier this year.

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

A Newsom Recall? Let’s First Recall How It Happened To Gray Davis

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, June 27, 2019

For a guy whose plate of weighty concerns (unfunded pension liabilities, an inability to get housing legislation passed, and a slowing state job engine) evokes the image of John Belushi’s top-heavy lunch tray in Animal House, California governor Gavin Newsom is feeling pretty cocky these days.

Analysis and Commentary

Gerrymandering Reform Shouldn’t Be About Politics

by Charles Blahousvia North State Journal
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering two cases pertaining to gerrymandering, anits rulings are eagerly awaited by those concerned about the practice. Many commentators take it as axiomatic that gerrymandering is an ongoing scandalbut how problematic is it? The case is not as straightforward as it may first appear.  


Californians Are Losing Their Supermajority Protection Over Tax Increases

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, June 25, 2019

For the last forty years, California has required that new taxes earmarked for a specific purpose be approved by a two-thirds supermajority in a general election to pass. But the state’s supreme court has thrown out this protection for new tax initiatives that are brought forward by a citizens’ group, rather than by government directly. Predictably, new and expensive tax initiatives are now being brought by citizens’ groups and are passing by simple majority when they would not pass by the previous supermajority rule.

In the News

My Turn: John Adams: China Infiltrates The MBTA

quoting Andrew Grottovia Providence Journal
Sunday, June 23, 2019

Rhode Islanders and the state’s congressional delegation would do well to take note of recent headlines about transit agencies like the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) granting rail contracts to the Chinese Government. The MBTA has dangerously put Rhode Island passenger safety and regional security in the hands of the Chinese state-owned railcar manufacturer CRRC, granting it exclusive contracts to source the new T line. With thousands of Rhode Islanders commuting to Boston for work and recreation, the issue hits entirely too close to home to ignore.

In the News

'Wages And Benefits' Make Up Almost 3/4 Of The Fiscal Year 2019-2020 General Fund Budget

quoting Lee Ohanianvia The Sanger Herald
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The council took very little time at its June 13 meeting to approve an overall city budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 of about $47 million with a general fund budget of a little more than $13.6 million.

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California
Analysis and Commentary

Ominous News From The San Francisco Fed

by David R. Hendersonvia EconLog
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

And you thought the Fed was just about monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco wants banks to get extra credit for making loans that help communities adapt to climate change and prepare for future natural disasters.


The Economics Of Why Homelessness Worsens As Governments Spend Even More On The Problem

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

California’s homeless population is rising rapidly despite substantially higher government spending on the problem.


Why A Tax Vote Last Week In Los Angeles Is A Preview Of 2020’s Coming Attractions

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Baseball has spring training, Broadway its tech rehearsals, and software engineers their beta tests.