Brown has, instead, continued the recent practice of giving big projects with heavyweight support – especially major sports venues – full or partial exemptions from CEQA procedures. The current session, in fact, has still another proposed CEQA break for a proposed arena in Inglewood for the Los Angeles Clippers, which were recently purchased by Steve Ballmer, the billionaire former Microsoft CEO. Meanwhile, another bill would prohibit developers who run afoul of CEQA red tape from seeking project approvals via local ballot measures, as many have done. Tellingly, construction unions that use CEQA as a bludgeon are prime sponsors of the bill. It’s another indication that instead of fiddling with CEQA, and probably making it worse, Brown and the Legislature should overhaul it. If, as Brown says, it is truly “the Lord’s work,” then why aren’t they doing it?
Caldeira says studies show reaching 80 percent renewable energy is well within reach. Even hitting 100 percent is technically possible. “We could do it,” he says. “It would just be very expensive.”
The Nixon episode shows, says Mr. Cogan, that entitlements have been the main cause of America’s rising national debt since the early 1970s. Mr. Trump’s pact with the Democrats is part of a pattern: “The debt ceiling has to be raised this year because elected representatives have again failed to take action to control entitlement spending.” . . . Can an entitlement expansion, once granted, ever be taken back? Mr. Cogan refuses to say “never,” but says such rescindments “occur under rather extraordinary circumstances.” He offers a remarkable example: “You might ask, ‘Who achieved the largest reduction in any entitlement in the history of the country?’ Well, surprisingly, it was FDR, a person whom we normally associate with launching the modern era of entitlements.”
Government statistics paint an excessively grim picture of what is happening to real wages and the growth of real national income. Although most households’ take-home cash has been rising very slowly for decades, their standard of living is increasing more rapidly because those wages can now buy new and better products at little or no extra cost. The government’s measure of real incomes gives too little weight to this increase in what take-home pay can buy. The common assertion that middle-class households have seen no increase in real incomes for 30 years is simply not true. And contrary to a common fear, most members of the younger generation will have higher real incomes as adults than their parents had at the same age. The government’s growth estimates are excessively pessimistic for two reasons. First, government statisticians grossly understate the value of improvements in the quality of existing goods and services. More important, the government doesn’t even try to measure the full contribution of new goods and services.
Female college students aren’t more likely than male students to take bad grades as a sign they should switch their majors – unless they’re studying male-dominated STEM subjects like computer science and physics, according to a new study. Three Georgetown University researchers – economists Adriana Kugler and Olga Ukhaneva and management professor Catherine Tinsley – wrote in a recent working paper that receiving low grades in a stereotypical male discipline where men already are overrepresented may present a potent combination of disincentives for women to continue their studies in that field.