Entries by Edward Ring

Huntington Beach denies pandemic reality, dispenses pay raises

On Monday, April 6 the Huntington Beach City Council voted to increase pay for its police officers and city employees. The cost for these raises over the next three years is estimated at $5 million. In a city that reported general revenues of $188 million in the fiscal year ended June 2019, this raise can accurately be described as […]

Suggested Executive Orders for Governor Gavin Newsom

Throughout the last several weeks, Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a number of executive orders to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Without criticizing the tremendous efforts that are already being made, I want to propose a few additional steps that California’s governor could further contain the damage this virus is wreaking. Some of […]

California Cities Hike Minimum Wage as Economy Falters

Until further notice, California’s economy is in free fall. As of April 6, California’s Employment Development Department reported receiving 1.9 million new unemployment insurance claims within barely three weeks. As reported in the San Jose Mercury, during the entire 2008 Great Recession, only 2.2. million unemployment claims were submitted. It’s impossible to know how long these unemployment claims […]

Plastic Bags and the Recycling and Reuse Scam

Back in 2014, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 207, which banned grocery stores from offering customers “single use” carryout bags. Permanent implementation was delayed by a November 2016 voter referendum, Prop. 67, that unsuccessfully attempted to repeal the measure. Today it is well established law. The only way SB 207 was sold to the grocery industry […]

Post-Coronapocalypse pension reform checklist for California

In a perfect world, California’s state and local public employees would receive exactly the same retirement benefits as federal employees. They would receive a modest defined benefit, a contributory 401K, and they would participate in Social Security. Unfortunately, in California, while some state and local public employees are offered 401Ks, and many participate in Social Security, all of […]

Black Swans and Super Bubbles

Black Swan: an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences.” – Investopedia For decades there have been so-called “permabears” claiming that investment returns in the stock market were unsustainable. When the internet bubble popped in 1999, the permabears felt vindicated. But then, starting around 2003, the […]

Venice Beach shut down except for homeless encampments

California’s 40 million residents have now been under house arrest for over a week. But in the homeless haven known as Venice Beach, the party hasn’t skipped a beat. Law abiding residents have deserted the Los Angeles coast after a crackdown by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who condemned people getting “too close together, too often” the previous weekend. […]

Time for California’s Government Unions to Get Serious About Pension Reform

It’s been a long time since California’s pension systems were responsibly managed. Back then, they made conservative investments, paid modest but fair benefits to retirees, and did not place an unreasonable financial burden on taxpayers. But a series of decisions and circumstances over the past thirty years put these pension systems on a collision course […]

California Cities in Critical Condition

The specter of California’s cities and counties becoming insolvent is nothing new. Three major California cities have already declared bankruptcy, Vallejo in 2008, Stockton and San Bernardino in 2012. In October 2019, the California State Auditor’s Office reported on the fiscal health of 471 California cities. On what the California State Auditor’s office describes as a “Local Government […]