Economics

Report: Restoring the California Dream

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This newly released report examines how the California dream can be restored for California's middle- and working-class families. An excerpt follows:  read more »

California's Economy is Weaker Than it Looks

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Whisper it, but the $45 billion surplus Gavin Newsom has projected for California next year isn’t quite what it seems. In fact, the bulk of that surplus is largely due to the earnings of a few giants such as Google, Apple and Meta (formerly Facebook), as well as a handful of IPOs.  read more »

California is a Bastion of Innovation Marred by Deep Inequality. Is That America's Future?

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Everyone seems to be California dreaming these days. Much of America, particularly its red parts, see California as a hopeless dystopia best understood as everything the nation should avoid. Meanwhile, for the progressive Left and many around Joe Biden, California is the Mecca, a great role model being attacked by jealous reactionaries.  read more »

Ultimate Agglomeration Diseconomy: The Standard of Living

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Important new ground was broken by Judge Clark, Senior Director of and Research at the Cicero Institute in his Breakthrough Institute Journal essay. In “Sprawl is Good: The Environmental Case for Suburbia,“ he topples foundational assumptions underlying the planning battle against urban expansion (the ideological term is “urban sprawl”).  read more »

Class War is Just Beginning

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With the seeming deconstruction of the Biden Administration proceeding at a rapid clip, many on the right hope for an end to the conscious stoking of class resentments that has characterized progressive politics.  read more »

Subjects:

Nordic Lesson: Peripheral Regions Play a Key Role in Innovation

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Innovation does not occur in a vacuum, but rather through cooperation. This explains in part why innovation activities tend to be focused on specific regions. One such region is Stockholm, which has served as home for globally successful enterprises in different sectors, such as fintech, environmental technology, and communication.  read more »

Welcome to the End of Democracy

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We bemoan autocracies in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and China but largely ignore the more subtle authoritarian trend in the West. Don’t expect a crudely effective dictatorship out of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: we may remain, as we are now, nominally democratic, but be ruled by a technocratic class empowered by greater powers of surveillance than those enjoyed by even the nosiest of dictatorships.  read more »

Pandemic Cuts: Deepening the Higher Ed Divide

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American mythology promises upward mobility, and college can provide an important first step up the class ladder. With the rise of the “knowledge economy” and the decline of industrial jobs and unions, some insisted that education is the answer to economic displacement. If you can’t earn a stable, living wage as a steelworker, go to college and become a nurse or a computer programmer. And if you didn’t make that choice, it’s your own fault that you’re struggling. After all, college was affordable, accessible, and varied.  read more »

Trouble in Paradise: The Crumbling California Model

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Some horrified conservatives dismiss California as the progressive dystopia, bound for bankruptcy and, let’s hope, growing irrelevance.  read more »

Vehicle Miles Traveled vs. Pay-at-the-Pump Gas Tax

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For some years now, policy wonks have proposed replacing the pay-at-the-pump gas tax with a “vehicle miles traveled” system. The reasons take a few different paths but are mostly centered around the issue of the fairness of “user fees” compared to purchase taxation, an idea made more relevant by the proliferation of non-gas using electric cars.  read more »