California Expenses Putting a Strain on Business

Cross-posted at

Is it any wonder why California’s economy has been so sluggish during the recession? According to the 2010 Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey, one-third of the nation’s forty most expensive cities are located in California, deterring businesses from setting up shop in the state. The increases in sales, income, and vehicle taxes in 2009 further depressed the business climate and exacerbated the problem of unemployment. Though local governments are trying to cut costs and boost local businesses, they have not been able to reverse the effects of outrageous taxes and fees.

As one would predict, the ten most expensive cities in California in 2010 are located almost exclusively in the Bay Area or Los Angeles Area. Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco round out the Bay Area localities with San Francisco actually making the top ten national rankings as well. Beverly Hills, Culver City, Inglewood, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Santa Monica all represent Los Angeles County while Rancho Santa Margarita fills the final spot. However, none of these cities joined San Francisco on the national list.

California’s New Grassroots Movement: High-Speed Rail on the Peninsula

Cross-posted at

In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 1A to allocate $9.95
billion of the state’s money to a high-speed rail system. Just two
years later, many of these same voters are yelling and screaming at the
High-Speed Rail Authority to revise their plans. Why have Californians
turned against this project so quickly?

Initially High Speed Rail seemed like a wise investment. The California
High-Speed Rail Authority posts a video on its website of President
Obama outlining the benefits of high-speed rail systems. However, by now
this video seems a bit dated. In this April 2009 speech, Obama claims
that not only would high-speed reduce travel time and emissions, but it
would also decrease gridlock and save or create 150,000 jobs. It would
be faster, cheaper, and easier. As if that were not enough to convince
you, he goes on to say that the project is "on schedule and under