California Needs Career and Technical Education

Californians eagerly await Congressional implementation of President Trump’s recently released infrastructure proposal, a $1.5 trillion plan to rebuild our country’s neglected bridges, dams, schools, highways, streets and public transit. Even with funding, a lack of skilled construction workers presents a serious barrier to success. California’s lack of investment in career and technical education programs has […]

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PAGA Problem Mirrors Workers Comp Before Reform of 2004

For the business community, the difficulties of the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) are similar to what business faced under the burden of workers compensation costs over a decade ago. Small businesses particularly had to cope with workers comp costs that stood at twice the national average threatening the viability of many establishments. While workers […]

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Cap and trade is looking more and more like a tax

The money that’s paid to the state for these permits looks a lot like a tax. But a state appeals court ruled that it’s not a tax, because it’s not compulsory. Any business that doesn’t want to pay it, the court reasoned, could simply go out of business. Now you know why other states don’t […]

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What Can Go Wrong with Trump’s Infrastructure Plan? Look to California

To see how bad decisions can be, look at California, a state which once led in economically critical infrastructure but now striving to present the worst possible example. Over the past two decades, California has become among the states least committed to new infrastructure, despite absurdly high tax levels. And when the spigot has been […]

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The Myth About New Housing Law

Recently, a prominent periodical hailed last year’s housing legislation as a marvelous thing – that with it will soon come the end of California’s housing crisis. Similar statements have been made in the few months following the Governor’s signature – including by the Governor himself – on the passage of several new “housing” bills. “In […]

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New ZEV Bill Would Hurt the Least Well Off Californians

In effect, SB 1014 would force low income drivers into an unwinnable scenario in which they would be compelled to make a choice between plowing themselves into debt by purchasing a new vehicle, spending more than they otherwise would on a used conventional vehicle to purchase a used ZEV that effectively limits their ability to […]

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Prop 13 Change, Gas Tax Repeal in Trouble in PPIC Poll

In tax conscience California, a split in attitude: the granddaddy of taxpayer protections looks safe while a threatened new gas tax increase might feel the same way according to the latest Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll. Proposition 13, the nearly 40 year-old taxpayer shield, is being threatened with a proposal to split property […]

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Down in the Dumps Over Garbage Law

If you’re still steaming about L.A.’s new trash system – which so far has resulted in poorer service and much higher costs – just wait. The state is hitting businesses with a different plan next year: A new recycling mandate that calls on businesses to sort food waste and landscape trimmings from the rest of […]

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California’s OPEB Crisis

Everyone has heard about pension costs but few have heard about the other retirement cost that’s burdening California governments and schools. “OPEB” — “Other Post-Employment Benefits” — are a form of deferred compensation, just like pensions. The principal OPEB benefit is a promise to cover post-retirement health costs. Because government employees in California may retire […]

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Canada’s Health-Care Queues

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to impose a new fee on development to raise millions of dollars a year for affordable housing as the city copes with rising rents and surging homelessness

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U.S. Employers Hire at Healthy Rate in November

The economy appears to be on its firmest footing in at least a decade, with hiring picking up from earlier this year and the unemployment rate holding at a 17-year low in November.

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Low Food Prices Are Hurting Farm State Economies

Farmers are producing too much food, holding down prices and holding back economies in states with big agricultural industries.

South Dakota and Iowa are the only two states in the country where gross domestic product fell in the second quarter. Ultra-low crop and livestock prices stemming from a global oversupply have squeezed farm incomes, pulling down Iowa’s GDP 0.7% and South Dakota’s 0.3% from the prior quarter.

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Corporate CEOs Say Increased Capital Spending Rests on Tax Reform

Leaders of America’s largest companies expressed strengthening confidence in plans to ramp up capital investment and ultimately productivity over the next six months, contingent on Congress’s ability to pass tax reform.

Chief executives’ plans for capital investment rose to their highest level since the second quarter of 2011, according to the Business Roundtable’s fourth-quarter survey of CEOs.

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BuzzFeed Plans Job Cuts, Business Reorganization After Revenue Miss

Facing a significant revenue shortfall this year, BuzzFeed is laying off about 100 employees and reorganizing its advertising sales and business operations as it moves away from relying purely on native advertising. BuzzFeed plans to reduce its U.S. staff by 8%, with all the cuts coming from the business and sales side of the organization, the company said Wednesday. Some editorial staffers and business-side employees in the U.K. will also be let go. BuzzFeed employs about 1,700 people world-wide.

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U.S. Economy Reaches Its Potential Output for First Time in Decade

The U.S. economy is running at its full potential for the first time in a decade, a new milestone for an expansion now in its ninth year.

Total economic output in the third quarter was slightly above the maximum sustainable level of output as estimated by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

This is a measure of the economy’s potential to produce goods and services based on the supply of people working and how productive they are. 

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