California High Speed Rail officials and the Governor’s office seem to be suffering from selective hearing. Lawmakers and experts at the University of California’s Institute of Transportation continue to challenge the high-speed rail project’s viability due to precarious statistical projections on ridership and cost. One wonders if developers will reconsider upon hearing California treasurer Bill Lockyer’s recent criticisms. read more »
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University of California Report Calls Cambridge Systematics High-Speed Rail Ridership Forecast Unreliable
A just-released report by the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California-Berkeley finds that the ridership projections prepared by Cambridge Systematics (CS) for the California high speed rail system are "not reliable." read more »
The California State Auditor's report title says it all: High-Speed Rail Authority: It Risks Delays or an Incomplete System Because of Inadequate Planning, Weak Oversight, and Lax Contract Management.
The report, which can fairly be characterized as "damning," criticizes the California High Speed Rail Authority on a wide range of issues, some of which go to the very heart of the project itself. read more »
Forbes Magazine just released its "Best Places for Business and Careers" list and it's no surprise to me that Des Moines, Iowa just landed in the top spot. Nearly 5 years ago, I'd have said the same thing you may have just muttered. "Des Moines...that's fly over country...who'd want to live and work THERE?" I fully appreciate your logic with our cold winters, humid summers, and ag-centric heritage. read more »
President Obama has announced a special program of assistance for home owners in the five states that have been hit hardest by the housing crisis. The proposed program is targeted at California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada and Michigan, where house price declines are more than 20% from the peak of the bubble. read more »
Oregon’s voters will soon give their judgment on Measures 66 and 67, measures that will raise income and corporate taxes in the recession-ravaged state – with unemployment at 11.1 percent, the eighth highest in the nation. Besides leaving the state with the highest marginal rate in the country, tied with Hawaii, more insidiously measure 67 will impose a minimum tax based on sales, not profits, implying an infinite marginal tax rate for low-profit companies. read more »
After reading a recent article I wrote about growing unfunded liabilities for public employee pensions and health care, a reader told me that it made him want to “burn his eyes out with red hot pokers.” Yes, the current situation – expanding debt, growing government, excessive pay and special privileges for government workers, thanks to union power – is not fun to read about. It can be downright scary, when one considers the financial mess that already is looming. read more »
Northrop Grumman Corp started California’s New Year by announcing it is moving its headquarters to the Washington D.C. area. Unfortunately, they are neither the first nor the last major corporation to leave Southern California. It is a trend, one that may not last much longer, though since aren’t that many major corporations still headquartered in greater Los Angeles. read more »
The current economic recession has tarnished the Golden State’s employment opportunities in a major way.
A report released on Sunday by the California Budget Project says that two of five working-age Californians do not have a job. read more »