04/19/2018

News

Warning – Global Economies are Betting the Farm on Next Gen Batteries Not Yet Commercially Viable!

As governments, including California’s, join the electric vehicle (EV) crusade, new public policies are advancing that ultimately would ban the sale and registration of light-duty vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. . . . The unintended consequences of banning internal combustion engine cars is that manufactured aviation, gasoline and diesel fuels from crude oil are […]

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The March of the Price Fixers

California is an expensive place to live so many activists inside and outside government want the government to do something about it. Enter the price fixers. The newest price control effort is on health care in California but that occurs at the same time of an on-going attempt to establish rules for broader rent control. […]

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Burdensome Licensing Law Turns Shampooers into Criminals

Under California’s Business and Professions Code, a shampooer (or anyone who does any sort of work on people’s hair, such as curling) needs to get a license. That only costs $125. But to get that license, you’ll need to spend 1,500 hours in training at a state-approved barbering school. That’s a year of part-time schooling. […]

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Where the New School Money Really Goes

School funding in California is at record levels: But school districts are cutting staff and holding down raises. That’s largely because they are subsidizing retirees at the expense of active employees. Eg, San Francisco Unified School District will spend >$40 million this year to subsidize health care spending by retirees and divert nearly $100 million […]

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A Way Up, for All of Us

There’s only one solution for many of the challenges facing California — education, and not just for children, but especially for adults. Fully 75 percent of prison inmates failed to finish high school. The children of parents with low literacy skills are 72 percent more likely to be illiterate themselves, get poor grades, disrupt classrooms, […]

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Will the California Supreme Court Reform the “California Rule?”

Most pension experts believe that without additional reform, pension payments are destined to put an unsustainable burden on California’s state and local governments. Even if pension fund investments meet their performance objectives over the next several years, California’s major pension funds have already announced that payments required from participating agencies are going to roughly double […]

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Legislature Not Serious About Fixing Health Care

California’s largest health care system is a single-payer system (“Medi-Cal”) that covers the state’s 13 million poorest residents, a population greater than all but four states. Service is terrible. Despite spending of $100 billion per year, appointments are hard to get, emergency room visits are up, there’s little indication of greater healthiness, and there’s even […]

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CEQA Abuse Confirmed

Hernandez relates the current “exclusionary zoning” effects of CEQA lawsuits to past practices of land-use discrimination – like when the City of Milpitas and Santa Clara County used zoning laws and high development fees back in the ‘40’s and ‘50’s to discourage African-American families from moving there after the Ford Motor Company relocated a Richmond-based […]

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California’s Got a New Plan to Hit its 2030 Emissions Target – But are we Aiming at the Right Target?

The governor and legislative leaders like to point out that market-based programs like cap and trade reduced emissions over the last decade while growing the economy. But, Borenstein found that “…the impact of variation in economic growth on emissions is much greater than any predictable response to a price on emissions, at least to a […]

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The Underrecognized, Undervalued, Underpaid, Unfunded Pension Liabilities

According to CalPERS own data, California’s cities that are part of the CalPERS system will make “normal” contributions this year totaling $1.3 billion. Their “unfunded” contributions will be 41% greater, $1.8 billion. As for counties that participate in CalPERS, this year their “normal” contributions will total $586 million, and their “unfunded” contributions will be 36% […]

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Who’s Really to Blame for OC’s Housing Affordability Crisis?

So who’s to blame? Homebuilders — in an industry that has fueled California’s economy for more than half a century — are as eager as ever to build the American Dream in the Golden State. But here’s the problem: lawmakers, regulators, local governments and anti-development activists — who already own their own home — won’t […]

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“Strategic Misrepresentation” to Get Voters’ Money

Unfortunately, cost overruns on government projects are hardly a new phenomenon. According to a CATO Institute paper, as far back as 1836, a congressional Ways and Means Committee examination found that 25 out of 25 federal projects suffered a cost overrun. The paper included other interesting items such as the construction of the Erie Canal […]

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Federal Tax Reform Means More Business Taxes for California

California’s corporate tax base may increase by up to 12 percent as a result of federal tax reform legislation, according to a study recently released by the State Tax Research Center. This means that revenues from California’s corporate income tax could increase by as much as $1.3 billion – without any action by state lawmakers […]

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Biz Execs Down on CA

A survey of business executives in highly sought after industries such as clean tech and research & development conclude that California has a number of problems that prevent businesses from locating or expanding in the state. The Pacific Research Institute survey discovered that housing and real estate costs, a poor quality education system, and taxes […]

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Tell the Truth SF Unified

In June San Francisco’s school board wants voters to approve a new “parcel tax” of $298 per parcel of real property. They claim the money — $50 million per year — is needed to provide teachers with living wages. That’s a worthy objective but it’s not the real reason behind the proposed tax. The real reason is buried deep […]

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