Government Pensions Are Dividing Americans and Damaging the Economy

Now that financial markets around the world are experiencing a long-overdue correction, the best we can hope for is that we hit bottom before a deflationary cascade causes a worldwide depression. Those economists who believe in the long-term debt cycle may claim that this time the end has arrived, and they may be right. COVID-19, oil price […]

Sustainable Megacities

Modern urban centers around the world now have neighborhoods that house well over 100,000 people per square mile. The Choa Chu Kang district in Singapore, defined by boulevards lined with 10 to 12 story mid-rise residential buildings, has a population density of over 125,000 per square mile. The entire borough of Manhattan has an average population density of over 70,000 per square […]

Californians reject new taxes and borrowing

The preliminary election returns reported on March 4th indicate that California’s voters delivered a stunning rejection of new taxes and borrowing. It’s about time. At the state level, Prop.13 which would have authorized $15 billion in general obligation bonds for schools and colleges, required a simple majority for approval. But as of March 9th the […]

Gathered for the feast at the Hotel California

Welcome to the Hotel California, such a lovely place… Plenty of room at the Hotel California, any time of year, you can find it here… – “Hotel California,” by the Eagles, 1977 For decades California’s aristocracy has engaged in unsustainable feasting, as they consume the leviathan carcasses of what were for a time the world’s the […]

The Wondrous, Magnificent Cities of the 21st Century

The American Conservative recently laid an egg. They published a misanthropic, pessimistically aggressive Malthusian screed, written by James Howard Kunstler. Kunstler’s “Why America’s Urban Dreams Went Wrong” attacks pretty much every urban amenity Americans have built since the invention of the automobile. And his reasoning, all of it, reflects a dismal lack of faith in human creativity […]

California’s K-12 spending exceeds $20,000 per pupil

“It’s not enough. We’re still 41st in the nation in per pupil funding. Something needs to change. We need to have an honest conversation about how we fund our schools at a state and local level,” –  California Governor Gavin Newsom, State of the State Address, February 12, 2020 It should come as no surprise that Governor […]

The Premises of California’s Dysfunction

Anyone unfamiliar with what is really going on in California would have listened to Governor Newsom’s State of the State address on February 12 and gotten the impression that things have never been better. Newsom’s opening set the tone for the rest of his 4,400 word monologue: “By every traditional measure, the state of our state is […]

Public Safety Compensation and Public Safety

Public sector unions are by far the most powerful special interest in California. And they are united in their goal to pay themselves as much or more than public agencies can afford, which shields unionized public servants from the worst effects of the laws (which they almost always support) that have made California’s cost-of-living the […]

California’s Progressive War on Suburbia

For three years in a row, California’s progressive lawmakers have attempted to legislate high density housing by taking away the ability of cities and counties to enforce local zoning laws. And for the third year in a row, the proposed law, Senate Bill 50, was narrowly defeated. But eventually something like SB 50 is going to […]

Fighting the One-Party State at the Local Level in California

It isn’t a partisan observation to say that California is a one-party state. It’s just stating a fact. The Democratic Party controls all the levers of political power in California. Consider the evidence: GOP registration is down to 23 percent of registered voters. There is a Democratic “mega-majority” (75% or more) in both chambers of the […]