Could Decades of Big Government Be Why Bay Area Residents Want to Leave?

Kerry Jackson
Kerry Jackson is a Fellow at the California Center for Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

Between 1850 and 1860, California’s population grew by 410 percent – a rapid expansion fueled by the Gold Rush.

The rush today, though, is more outbound than inbound.

From 2007 to 2016, 6 million people left the state while only 5 million moved in. One could argue that with a population of nearly 40 million, a deficit of 1 million over a decade isn’t terribly consequential. One could also argue that losing 1 million is just a start. A recent poll found that 46 percent of Bay Area residents said they are likely to leave the region within the next few years. Only 24 percent of those who want to leave wish to stay in California.

Clearly there is something rotten in San Francisco. Only 25 percent told EMC Research, which polled for the Bay Area Council, that the metro region was headed in the right direction. Fifty-five percent said it is on the “wrong track.”

Read comments Read more

Mass Transit Ridership Losses

Wendell Cox
Visiting Professor, Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, Paris

The Economist provides a useful perspective on the continuing decline of mass transit ridership in its current number. It starts with relating how Juana, a Guatemalan immigrant to Los Angeles, no longer takes the bus and now drives everywhere. She told The Economist that she had “two aspirations, to learn English and get a car,” which she did.

I heard a similar story a decade ago from a Gabonese student in Paris, who said that he needed a car “so that he could have feet.”

The Economist shows that the broad ridership decline occurring in US metropolitan areas (see graph) is also occurring in some of international cities, like London and Madrid.

Read comments Read more

Weaponizing the Initiative Process

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

Three ballot initiatives with enough signatures to qualify for the November election were pulled by the proponents when legislative deals were worked out satisfying the initiative sponsors. The initiatives were used as blunt instruments in forcing legislative compromise and in these three instances it worked. Expect to see more of that in the future.

An initiative to make it tougher to pass taxes was put aside when a bill signed by the governor prohibited soda taxes for a dozen years, satisfying the main financial sponsors of the initiative, the soda industry. A bill toughening privacy laws with data collected from Internet users prevented a tougher privacy measure from going forward. And the promise to scuttle three bills aimed at paint manufacturers persuaded those manufacturers to stop their initiative effort to place a bond on the ballot to clean up lead paint in homes.

Read comments Read more

Colluding With California’s Russian

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Take my guilty plea, Mr. Mueller. Because this Californian has been colluding with the Russians.

To be sure, I didn’t subvert any elections. But one recent week this spring, when my colleagues were out of the office, I snuck away to visit that most alluring of Russians, the Russian River, which seductively winds its way through Mendocino and Sonoma Counties on its way to the Pacific. Perhaps the special counsel, who knows the territory from a stint as U.S. Attorney for Northern California, will cut me some slack in sentencing.

To travel the length of the Russian—as I did at this moment of maximum paranoia about all things Russian—is to be reminded that California and Russia are too intertwined for scandal to keep us apart.

Read comments Read more

State Agency Should Return to its Roots

Timothy L. Coyle
Consultant specializing in housing issues

When the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) was created in 1975 – Governor Jerry Brown’s first term – its mission was simple:  to help low- and moderate-income families buy their first home.  More than 40 years later, in the midst of huge gaps between incomes and prevailing home prices, that goal is getting harder and harder to achieve.

But, just because federal rules allow higher-income individuals in California to use CalHFA financing to buy homes doesn’t mean the agency should stray from its original mission.  Unfortunately, the leadership at CalHFA doesn’t feel that way.

Read comments Read more

A Scandalous Abuse of the Legislative Process

Michele Hanisee
President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys

In a startling abuse of the legislative process, a budget clean-up bill has just been used to sneak in radical and never-debated changes in the criminal justice system. It allows a defendant suffering from a mental disorder to be granted pre-trial diversion and the charges later dismissed for any crime if a judge finds the disorder played a significant role in the crime and if a defendant has “substantially complied” with mental health treatment during the diversion period. In short, this new law allows diversion and the dismissal of charges for any crime, including those where a victim was killed or seriously injured.

This massive change in law was slipped into AB 1810, the “Omnibus Health Trailer Budget Bill” for 2018. The purpose of trailer bills is supposed to be to implement provisions in the budget bill, not to write substantive new policy. However, as columnist George Skelton explained last year, these trailer bills are “created in the dark without much legislative or public scrutiny” and “mostly used now by Democrats for slipping through touchy new policy.”

Read comments Read more

The First Democratic Governor Since Pat Brown

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Newsom Would Be The First Democratic Governor Since Pat Brown

People are missing the real import of the June election results. California may be about to get its first Democratic governor since Pat Brown.

I say that partly as provocation, and partly as truth. Yes, Jerry Brown and Gray Davis were registered Democrats when they served as governor. But neither governed particularly like Democrats. Both sought the political middle—and both portrayed themselves as tough on crime, and both were cheap. Very cheap.

California has had cheap Republican governors, too – Schwarzenegger and Wilson certainly qualify as such.

Read comments Read more

Larry Thomas: Remembering a Decent Man in Indecent Times

Eric Beach
Co-chair of the pro-Trump Great America PAC, along with Republican strategist Ed Rollins, and the son-in-law of Larry Thomas.

If White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ weekend ordeal at The Red Hen exposed anything, it’s the erosion of American civil discourse.

In our most polarized corners, we become members of competing political factions—the other is not to be trusted, for their motives are impure. Gone are the days of respectful disagreement, when a difference in opinion had to do with ideas, not intention. Today, we assume the worst in our “enemy.”

In many ways, the Republican Party’s relationship with the left-leaning mainstream media is a microcosm of America’s hyper-polarization writ large.

A staggering 14 percent of Republicans believe the “news media get the facts straight.” A similar percentage of Trump supporters trust the liberal media at least “a fair amount.”

Read comments Read more

How Government Unions Will Attack the Janus Ruling 

Ed Ring
Ed Ring is the vice president of research policy for the California Policy Center.

Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued their decision in the landmark case Janus vs. AFSCME, ruling that public sector unions can no longer force public employees to pay union dues. Janus argued that even so-called “agency fees,” which unions claim are only for collective bargaining and are therefore non-political, are, in fact, inherently political. As a result, Janus argued that mandatory collection of agency fees violated his first amendment right to free speech.

The court agreed, writing “union speech covers critically important and public matters such as the State’s budget crisis, taxes, and collective bargaining issues related to education, child welfare, healthcare, and minority rights.” We might add that public sector collective bargaining also affects work rules, hirings, terminations and promotions, ‘non-political’ lobbying, get-out-the-vote efforts, funding for educational public relations and academic studies; the list goes on.

Public sector union spending is indeed inherently political, and it is also intensely partisan, overwhelmingly supporting the party of bigger government.

Read comments Read more

Maxine Waters, You Are Taking The Wrong Approach

Tom Manzo
President, Timely Prefinished Steel Door Frames and President and Chairman of the Board at California Business and Industrial Alliance

When it comes to political debate and protest, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who considers herself a California “progressive,” actually exhibits behavior that should be labeled “regressive.”

The definition of progressive is a person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas. Maxine Waters seems to be more regressive defined as becoming less advanced, returning to a former or less developed state.

What I find the most troubling is her most recent statements as reported in Real Clear Politics. “She said cabinet members and highly visible Trump enablers should expect harassment at restaurants, gas stations, shopping places, and even their homes, ‘Already you have members of your cabinet that are being booed out of restaurants. We have protesters taking up at their house who are saying, ‘No peace, no sleep. No peace, no sleep …’ Waters finished with a call to action: ‘If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. You push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!’” 

Read comments Read more

Please note, statements and opinions expressed on the Fox&Hounds Blog are solely those of their respective authors and may not represent the views of Fox&Hounds Daily or its employees thereof. Fox&Hounds Daily is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the site's bloggers.