California

California's Low-wage Jobs Crisis

ucla-job-fair.jpg

Media, the political class and policy wonks have identified the “housing crisis” as California’s existential challenge.

Yet, in reality, more critical may be a “jobs crisis” that is condemning ever more Californians to permanent low-wage purgatory.

Viewed in aggregate, California employment growth in the past decade has outperformed the rest of the country, although the state lags its prime competitors Utah, Florida, Texas, Colorado, Nevada. In more recent years the state has remained ahead of the national average, although clearly losing momentum.  read more »

California Preening: Golden State on Path to High-Tech Feudalism

Newsom-by-Charlie-Nguyen_sm.jpg

“We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta. California has the ideas of Athens and the power of Sparta,” declared then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007. “Not only can we lead California into the future . . . we can show the nation and the world how to get there.” When a movie star who once played Hercules says so who’s to disagree?  read more »

Afterburn

rural-house.jpg

Here in California we’ve just received our first rain since last winter after another brutal round of massive forest fires. Our Mediterranean style climate cycles from a long dry hot period to a few short cool wet winter months. October is our most fire prone time of year. It’s hot, the earth is bone dry, the vegetation is brittle, and windstorms stir up fires like a giant hair dryer. Cyclical burns are part of the ecosystem here and are normal and necessary.  read more »

Report: California Getting In Its Own Way

CEQA-Petitions_2018.jpg

Although Governor Gavin Newsom promised to deliver 3.5 million new housing units in eight years, California severely missed this mark: as reported by the Public Policy Institute of California, housing production actually decreased during each of the past 2 years, and in 2019 is on track to fall about 80% short of the annual mark required to build 3.5 million new homes in 8 years. At this pace, it will take 39.6 years for the Governor to achieve his 8-year goal.  read more »

California High-Speed Rail Leadership and Project Direction Being Challenged

Fresno_River_Viaduct_construction_2016b.jpg

The Assembly Transportation Committee High Speed Rail oversight hearing of Tuesday (11-12-2019) exposed a regional funding war.

The project’s leadership, Brian Kelly (CEO) and Board Chair Lenny Mendonca, are pushing the present “spend all existing funds in the Central Valley (CV) agenda”.  Governor Newsom, who “flip/flops” with his position on HSR depending on the season of the year, right now does endorse Kelly’s leadership and the present plans.  read more »

Charles Schwab Moving San Francisco HQ to Texas

California-Exit.jpg

Nov. 25, 2019: The brokerage firm Charles Schwab announced today it would acquire TD Ameritrade in a $26 billion deal and as part of the transaction Schwab will move its headquarters to the Dallas-Forth Worth area.  read more »

CalEPA Studying Ways to Sunset the California Economy

diablo-power-plant.jpg

California is about to take one giant step toward following Germany’s failed climate goals, which should be a wake-up call for governments everywhere. Yes, you guessed it, our legislatures have authorized CalEPA in the 2019 - 2020 California State budget and Assembly Bill AB 74 to conduct studies and identify strategies to manage the decline of in-state crude oil production and decrease demand and supply of fossil fuel.  read more »

Message to California’s Newsom – Blame Fires on Uncleared Fuel, Not the Utility Company

forestfire.jpg

California fires continue to rage, yet no one wants to take responsibility for the unlimited “fuel” for the fires. Rather than addressing ways to reduce the amount of “fuel” awaiting the next spark, homeless campfire, or lightning strike, California Governor Newsom’s solution to prevent devastating wildfires is more litigation and reorganization of a utility company.  read more »

Will Garland-to-Ueberroth-to-Wasserman Work for LA’s Latest Olympian Effort?

Olympics-dreamer-schemers_LA.jpg

The name sounds like something a screenwriter might contrive – but not even Hollywood would buy a character as unlikely as William May “Billy “Garland.

Maybe that’s why so few of us have heard of Garland despite his role as one of the self-made SoCal aristocrats of the early 20th century who helped define the LA we inhabit today.

There’s a “truth-is-stranger-than-fiction” quality to Garland’s life story – from a New Englander with ailing lungs to omnipresent power broker in the City of Angels.

Or maybe it’s an “only-in-LA” tale.  read more »

Unsustainable California

La_Tuna_fire_and_LA_cityscape.jpg

The recent rash of fires, like the drought that preceded it, has sparked a new wave of pessimism about the state’s future. But the natural disasters have also obscured the fact the greatest challenge facing the state comes not from burning forests or lack of precipitation but from an increasingly dysfunctional society divided between a small but influential wealthy class and an ever-expanding poverty population.  read more »