Archive for the ‘Welfare State’ Category

Ridiculous Bureaucratic Compensation in the UK

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

It’s not just California. The bureaucratic apparatus has a way of feathering its own nests across the globe.

Take the “town hall tycoons” in the UK, for example:

  • There were at least 2,181 council employees who received total remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2012-13, a fall of 5 per cent on the previous year’s 2,295.

  • Despite this, 93 councils increased the number of staff who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2012-13.
  • Keep in mind that at current exchange rates, £100,000 is somewhere north of $180,000.

    Texas vs. California Roundup for July 30, 2014

    Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

    Another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • How Los Angeles is killing itself. (Hat tip: Karl Rehn.)
  • Texas places five cities on list of top 10 growing cities: Austin, Dallas, McAllen, Houston and San Antonio.

  • California school officials are still grossly overpaid. Including 31 janitors who make more than $100,000 each. (Hat tip (for this and a few more): Pension Tsunami.)
  • And many of these munificently compensated employees are double-dipping: “More than 1,000 retired instructors who had already begun receiving their state-funded pension continued to work and receive a salary from districts in 2013.”
  • Only in California could a bill that requires 32 years to catch up and fund parts of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s current $74 billion in unfunded liability be hailed as a major reform.”
  • Essential school services in California are about to be cut to pay for doubled pension payments.
  • San Francisco landlords are suing the city over a law that requires them to pay as much as two years rent for evicted tenants. Of course, many landlords were evicting people because insane rent control laws make it almost impossible to sell a building that actually has tenants…
  • How the Texas model supports job creation.
  • Evidently male students simply aren’t welcome in California colleges. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Actual headline: “LA Councilman Convicted Of Voter Fraud Will Continue To Collect $116K Annual Pension.”
  • What a conservative Texas budget should look like.
  • California retail apparel chain Love Culture files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Evidently summer bankruptcies for retail stories are very unusual, since this is the time they start stocking up for the holiday season.
  • Another California for-profit university chain shuts down.
  • Oakland Raiders to move to San Antonio?
  • Are inherited IRA’s exempt from bankruptcy hearings in California? It depends on which precedent the judge chooses to follow.
  • Not news: Houston ISD holds job fairs looking for teachers. News: In North Carolina.
  • LinkSwarm for July 11, 2014

    Friday, July 11th, 2014

    More news from inside the handbasket, including the dust-up in Gaza and the illegal alien surge at the border:

  • Israel hits Gaza for a third day in retaliation for yet another round of rocket attacks. Is there really anything left to say about this that hasn’t been said before? Hamas is the elected government of Gaza, they fire rockets indiscriminately against Israeli civilians and fire them from their own civilian areas to maximize civilian damage at both ends, making them legitimate military targets under international law.
  • And speaking of rockets, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system racks up a 90% success rate. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ, who adds “Suck It 1980s Lefties”.)
  • And Hamas might be receiving taxpayer money.
  • Also speaking of rockets, in Iraq ISIS seizes control of one of Saddam’s chemical weapons sites, filled with rockets full of nerve gas agents. You know, the ones liberals swore didn’t exist in 2004…
  • Food inflation costs overwhlem wage growth.
  • Get ready for the next round of ObamaCare rate shock.
  • Scabies outbreak at the border. Well, that’s just lovely. Thanks, Obama!
  • Even Democrats think Obama should visit the border.
  • Are veterans being turned away from appointments because treating illegal aliens takes precedence? Caveat: Twitter is not a source.
  • But the Obama Administration seems to be going to great lengths to prevent lawmakers from inspecting illegal alien holding facilities.
  • “We can medically treat non-citizens in a few days, maybe even hours, but not our own veterans.”
  • Planes full of illegal aliens landing in El Paso.
  • They’re even trying to house illegal aliens in Virginia.
  • The scale of the problem:

  • Important reminder: Not all Hispanic immigrants are in favor of unlimited illegal aliens coming to the country.
  • Greg Abbott criticizes Obama. “Whether it’s on the broken VA system, or our porous border, he is all talk and no action. He’s all hat and no cattle.”
  • Airlines reduce flights to Venezuela due to cash trapped in the country by currency controls. How’s that socialism working out for ya?
  • Hillary Clinton and Adultery. Then again, maybe Hillary is one of Ashley Madison’s fake profiles.
  • Hillary’s book drops off the Amazon 100 list. Evidently there are tens of millions of Democrats who found that not buying Hard Choices was, in fact, an easy choice…
  • Public employees union AFSCME severs ties with the United negro College Fund because they took money from the Koch brothers. So it’s more important to display their hate than to help black people go to college…
  • 50 colleges now charge more than $60,000 a year to attend, and Harvard, Yale and MIT are not among them. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Evidently former Merrill Lynch chairman Stan O’Neal wants this to disappear.
  • Texas vs. California Update for June 20, 2014

    Friday, June 20th, 2014

    Believe it or not, there seem to be a few actual glimmers of sanity in California in the latest roundup:

  • Texas: Not just leading the nation in jobs, but doing it more equitably as well.
  • “The income gap between rich and poor tends to be wider in blue states than in red states.” More: “Texas has a lower Gini coefficient (.477) and a lower poverty rate (20.5%) than California (Gini coefficient .482, poverty rate 25.8%).” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Perhaps the biggest crack in the “Blue State” model this month was a state superior court judge ruling that California’s teacher protection laws were illegal, because they violated the equal protection clause for students. How the Vergara vs. California decision plays out on appeal is anyone’s guess, but just recognizing that union contracts that keep crummy teachers employed harms students is a huge step forward.
  • New California payroll and pensions numbers are now available. “The data shows that public compensation in California is growing more out of control, threatening the solvency of the state and local governments.” Let’s take a look at a few locales, shall we?
  • Will wonders never cease: CalWatchdog calls the just-passed California budget “fairly prudent.”
  • The legislature also passed a law almost doubling the amount of money school districts pay into CalSTARS.
  • But don’t let that fool you: California’s legislature is still crazy.
  • Especially since California Democrats just elected a new Senate leader guaranteed to pull them to the left.
  • But Republicans are poised to torpedo California Democrat’s Senate supermajority.
  • Desert Hot Springs is contemplating dissolving it’s police force to avoid bankruptcy. (By my count, 21 Desert Hot Springs police officers make more than $100,000 a year in total compensation. Including five officers who make more than the Police Chief…)
  • San Bernardino has evidently reached agreement with CalPERS in it’s ongoing bankruptcy case, but no details have been reported.
  • They also closed a gap in a yearly budget thanks to some union concessions. But one union is balking, and its members are threatening to join the SEIU instead.
  • The California town of Guadalupe considers bankruptcy. One problem is that the town has been illegally transfering money from dedicated funds (like water bills) to general funds. “If voters do not pass three new taxes in November, Guadalupe is expected to disband its police and fire departments, enter bankruptcy or disincorporate, meaning it would cease to exist as a city.”
  • Ventura County residents collection enough signatures to force a ballot measure on pension reform. Response? A lawsuit to keep it off the ballot.
  • Los Angeles 2020 Commission goes over what changes the city needs to avoid a future where “40% of the population lives in ‘what only can be called misery,’ ‘strangled by traffic’ and hamstrung by a ‘failing’ school system.” Response? “Meh.”
  • Sickout among San Francisco municipal bus drivers. Good thing poor people don’t depend on buses for transportation…
  • Huge growth in Texas apartment complexes.
  • California’s prison system illegally sterilizes female inmates against their will.
  • The Obama Administration Department of Education is driving the California-based Corinthian for-profit college chain out of business.
  • A Californian discusses why relocation to Texas might be attractive, and hears the pitch for Frisco, Texas.
  • “‘Building a business is tough. But I hear building a business in California is next to impossible,’ Perry says.”
  • California regulators can’t be arsed to come out and check flaming tap water.
  • California bill to add warning labels to soft drinks fails.
  • California-based nutritional supplement maker Natrol files for bankruptcy, mainly due to class action suits. I note this because I’ve found their 3mg Melatonin to be really effective as a sleep aid.
  • Texas vs. California Roundup for June 3, 2014

    Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

    Lots of news on the Texas vs. California front. An audit turns up $31 billion in California budget mistakes, Democrats hike the minimum wage there, Jerry Brown tries to do something about the growing CalSTARS pension deficit, and people and businesses continue to depart the “Golden State” for Texas…

  • You know how Democrats were crowing that California had a budget surplus? Forget about it:

    The California Bureau of State Audits set off a scandal on June 1st by disclosing that the State Controller’s Office made accounting misstatements amounting to $31.65 billion. The timing of the announcement may be devastating to the Democrats who expected to use their super-majority to pass billions of dollars in increased spending, but may now find the net effects of the accounting restatements are a $7 billion General Fund deficit.

    Snip.

    As the former Treasurer of Orange County, California it is my preliminary judgment that under state law the negative $7.847 billion impact from overstating general fund assets and revenues and overstating deferred tax revenues may create an “on-budget” deficit to the state’s $96.3 billion “General Fund Budget.”

  • From the same audit: “There was a deferred tax-revenue figure posted as $6.2 billion when it was actually $6.2 million.”
  • California Senate votes to hike minimum wage to $13 an hour. It’s like they want to export ALL their jobs to Texas.
  • Wealth continues to move from high tax states to low tax states. “The nine states without a personal income tax gained $146 billion in new wealth while the nine states with the highest income tax rates lost $107 billion.”

    Union-dominated states are sinking further into economic stagnation as Democratic politicians increasingly dominate the local political climate. In 2012, California Democrats won a supermajority in both houses of the legislature and proceeded to accelerate a tax and spending spree that has been ongoing for two decades. For example, California now has the nation’s top state income-tax rate, at 13.3 percent.

    Those kind of policies have consequences. The Manhattan Institute released a report in 2012 that found that since 1990, California had lost nearly 3.4 million residents to other states with lower tax rates.

    Snip.

    The U.S. is swiftly becoming a tale of two nations. States that are following the Reagan model of low taxes and incentives are booming while states that are opting for the Obama model of wealth redistribution and European welfare-state economics are stagnating.

  • Texas’ unemployment rate “has now been equal to or below the national average since January 2007 and below California’s rate—4th highest in the nation—for 93 consecutive months.”
  • A look at how many more billions per year California taxpayers will be coughing up for the inevitable CalSTARS bailout.
  • Alameda Unified’s pension costs could nearly triple and those of its teachers could rise by 25 percent under Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to reform the California State Teachers Retirement System.”
  • But even though its a step in the right direction, Brown’s proposals stretch out installments so far that they’re still not fiscally responsible. “Even with the higher rates, the debt would continue to grow until 2026. That’s because the amortization over 32 years means the payments would essentially not even cover the interest costs for the first 12.”
  • And the assumptions behind the repayment schedule sound like fantasy: “The state still faces a huge unfunded liability in the teachers’ pension fund—the governor’s proposal would increase employee’s contributions by 3 percent and increase school district’s by nearly 2 ½ times and it would still take 30 years to close the gap with a generously estimated 7.5 percent annual return.”
  • Judge rules CalPERS can be sued for mishandling a long-term insurance program.
  • Thanks to various legal rulings, there will be more felons on California streets. “Release on parole continues a steady climb in California. In just the past five years, over twice as many convicts serving life sentences have been paroled than in the last two decades combined.”
  • Cargo aviation firm Ameriflight is relocating from Burbank to Dallas/Ft. Worth.
  • Sony Pictures Imageworks visual effects house is relocating to Canada.
  • Tesla narrows down list of possible factory locations to Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. Not on the list: His home state of California. “The winning state will need to have all the necessary permits approved by the time Tesla plans to break ground next month. With the onerous requirements of the California Environmental Protection Act (CEQA) and other environmental regulations, Tesla would be lucky to break ground by 2017 – when its battery factory is scheduled to open.”
  • New effort to bring California’s underfunded health liabilities onto the books. “Legislation in the early 1990s created an investment fund for California state worker retiree health care, but lawmakers never put money in the fund.”
  • Remember the FBI agent who shot and killed a suspect connected with the Boston marathon bombing? Turns out he receives $50,000 a year in disability pay from the Oakland Police Department. And he’s been getting that since 2004, when he retired at age 31. “59% of Oakland Police Department retirees have received disability retirements.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Why people are moving to Texas:

    As a growing number of Americans choose to call Texas home, it is critical that policymakers not lose sight of the reasons why: low taxes, limited government, and personal responsibility. Liberty is popular. That’s a message that needs reinforcement, particularly at the local level where some of the macro level trends involving taxes, spending, and debt are moving in the wrong direction. We can keep Texas and our cities beacons of prosperity and flourishing — but to do that, we must understand the principles that got us here, and defend them in policy and the public square.

  • Some California cities have hidden taxes just to fund government worker pensions. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Lawsuit over California teacher’s union seniority rules to go to trial.
  • Jerry Brown may let California commit more Kelo-like eminent domain abuses.
  • Sriracha followup: The Irwindale City Council voted Wednesday night to drop its declaration that the hot sauce plant was a public nuisance.
  • Just so I’m not accused of glossing over the occasional bit of bad Texas economic news, Motorola Mobility (which is owned by Google) is closing their Texas smartphone assembly plant. But I think this says more about Motorola Mobility’s viability in a smart phone market dominated by Apple and Samsung than about Texas’ economy…
  • More EU Election Fallout

    Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

    It’s hard to know just how much weight to put in widespread gains by Eurosceptic parties in EU elections, mainly because the EU decision-making process seems so opaque to outsiders. Even if Eurosceptic Parties had won significant majorities, you get the impression that they would be like Patrick McGoohan’s character on The Prisoner after he got elected #2, issuing orders and flipping switches to no effect whatsoever:

    Even were the Eurosceptics to form a coalition, power would still lie in the Council, or, some feel, in the permanent unelected EU bureaucracy. The entire apparatus seems designed specifically to thwart popular will and keep all power in the hands of the continental elite.

    More reactions to the election:

    Roger Kimball:

    The architects of the EU envision a European superstate in which national identity is subordinated to the abstraction of “Europe.” The regime would be internationalist but only titularly democratic: the real power (as has been traditional on the continent) would reside in a technocratic elite, not the people. But the people, it seems, have just awakened to this reality and it turns out they don’t like it.

    One take-away from yesterday’s election is this: when conservative parties cease providing a natural home for the community-binding sentiments of patriotism and national identity—when, that is to say, conservative parties cease being conservative—those parts of the population not indentured to the apparatus of dependency look elsewhere.

    John O’Sullivan in National Review:

    These results are merely the latest evolution of a very ominous long-term trend for the Tories. As Anthony Scholefield and Gerald Frost pointed out in their 2011 study Too Nice to Be Tories, the Conservative Party has been steadily losing one region of the United Kingdom after another in the last 40 years. It used to be able to depend on nine to twelve Unionist votes from Northern Ireland for its parliamentary majority; it gets none now. It won half the Scottish seats in 1955; the last three general elections each returned one Scottish Tory to Parliament. It wins eight seats out of 40 in Wales. And from the 158 MPs elected from the North of England, the Tories got 53.

    This is a dreadful record, but it could get worse. UKIP is now starting to replace the Tories as the main challenger to Labour in northern working-class constituencies. The new party takes votes in particular from culturally conservative and patriotic working-class men whom both major parties have abandoned in their pursuit of urban middle-class progressives. UKIP may therefore be a threat to both parties, but the local elections suggest that it is a bigger threat to the Conservative party.

    All this leaves Cameron with difficult choices:

    Either he does the electoral deal with UKIP that he now says he won’t do, in which the Tories agree to support UKIP candidates in a given number of seats in return for UKIP’s not fielding candidates elsewhere. In London, for instance, that would give UKIP an electoral base of something just above 40 percent — in Britain as a whole an even larger one.

    Or he contrives to lose the Scottish referendum on independence, which would remove only one Tory from the House of Commons but 41 Labourites and 11 Lib-Dems.

    France’s ruling class are in a panic following the strong showing of Le Pen’s National Front.

    Here’s a piece from the Jewish magazine Tablet in 2011 suggesting that Marine Le Pen has worked to purge the party of the antisemitism her father exhibited. Maybe.

    Could UKIP and Eurosceptic parties even form a majority coalition in the European parliament? Possible but doubtful.

    Then there’s the question of who would lead such a coalition, Nigel Farage or Marine Le Pen. Anglo-French rivalry is not exactly unknown…

    LinkSwarm for May 27, 2014

    Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

    Texans: Don’t forget to vote in the runoff today!

    Now a LinkSwarm to follow the Memorial Day weekend.

  • Hillary 2008: “Forget a new campaign managers[sic], she needed a Feng Shui consultant—or an exorcist.”
  • How ObamaCare screws black doctors.
  • One of the first polls of doctor’s offices dealing with ObamaCare patients. Tidbits:

    “We are going to have to hire additional staff just to manage the insurance verification process.”

    “Identification of ACA plans has been an administrative nightmare.”

    “Patients have been very confused about benefits and their portion of the cost. Once the patients find out their deductible, they’ve cancelled appointments and procedures.”

  • ObamaCare is also sowing union/management discord and threatening to cause strikes across the nation.
  • “Such dealings as I have had with the New York Times suggest to me very strongly that condescending is the house style.”
  • Nothing says “open-minded” quite like comparing NRA members to supporters of Hitler.
  • Liberal publications: The whitest guys in the room.
  • More examples of that voting fraud Democrats swear doesn’t exit. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • South Carolina replaces Gender Studies with Constitutional Studies.

  • “Journalists feel particularly underpaid with regard to their self-assessed status.” You don’t say…
  • I’m sure an MSNBC host dismissing the Holocaust is precisely the image General Electric wants to convey to shareholders.
  • Terrorist associate given pass by Obama Administration.
  • The EUrocrats are visibly miffed that members of the peasantry still think they’re allowed to hold opinions contrary to their betters.
  • More on the victories of UKIP and other Euroskeptic parties: “Populism is a favourite Eurocrat word, meaning ‘when politicians do what their constituents want’ — or, as we call it in English, ‘democracy’.”
  • Why did John Kerry work so hard to save the life of an illegal alien cop killer?
  • Getting press accreditation in Fredonia the “People’s Republic of Donetsk.”
  • Speaking of Donetsk, Ukraine launched an airstrike to retake the airport there.
  • Another day, another 27 people killed by Jihad in Yemen.
  • In Thailand, a mountain of rice builds up, thanks to an ill-advised agricultural subsidy scheme.
  • Mexican drug cartel threatens U.S. law enforcement via billboard.
  • “Amazon vows 10,000 robots in warehouses by year’s end.” Robots don’t need ObamaCare, or a $15 an hour minimum wage… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • You deserve a fake today.
  • All-female J-Pop group AKB48 attacked by a man with a folding saw. When oh when will Japan institute “common sense” saw control? (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Mark Steyn reviews Hotel Rwanda.
  • Dear NASA: they’re on to you!

  • Acid-dropping LARP-er guy puts on a clinic of what not to say in an interview when you’re facing felony charges.
  • Finally, two tweets on the VA hospital scandal:

  • Texas vs. California Update for April 29, 2014

    Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

    Big news, as one of the world’s largest car makers decides to abandon tax-and-spend California for the Lone Star State:

  • Toyota is moving U.S. sales and marketing operations from Torrence, California to Plano, Texas.

    California has become infamous with business executives and owners there not only for high tax rates and complex taxing schemes but also for overzealous regulations and regulators that have managed to stifle the entrepreneurial energy of thousands of companies.

  • “Criminal activity is the extreme manifestation of California’s institutionalized progressive hypocrisy.”
  • ZeroHedge (quoting a certain gun-grabbers business news service) offers up the most and least taxing states in America. Once again, California tops the list for most taxing. Plus a handy visual representation:

  • “California doesn’t just have the highest state income tax in the nation. It leads the rest of the country in almost every category of taxation: the highest state sales tax, the highest taxes on gasoline at the pump, and the highest corporate tax west of the Mississippi. And the taxes aren’t doing much for the people of the state, rich or poor. For the first time in history, the Census Bureau reports that California is also the poorest state in the nation, with 23.8% of the population living in poverty, in large part because of California’s high cost of living (which is not helped by all the sky-high consumption taxes the Democrats have enacted and the poor must pay to survive.)”
  • If that weren’t bad enough, a new bill (SB 1372) threatens to levy a class-war tax on CEO salaries. “Their bill would change the state’s fixed tax rate on publicly traded corporations to a sliding levy that’s pegged to the earnings gap between the top-paid executive and the median worker.” Evidently Democrats want all publicly traded corporations in California to move their headquarters to Texas…
  • The Pension Tsunami is going to wreck California sooner rather than later. “State and local governments in the Golden State have underfunded their golden-parachute pension promises by a terrifying half a trillion dollars. Twenty thousand public employees now collect yearly pensions of $100,000 or more.”
  • Some of the money those “public servants” are raking in is pretty staggering: “In 2012, more than 100 individuals took home more than $500,000 in total compensation; 8,248 raked in more than $250,000; 28,844 cashed in to the tune of $200,000 or more.”
  • Superintendent in a California school district who oversees 6,600 students pulled down a cool $674,559 last year. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Evidently CalPERS and San Bernardino are still negotiating.
  • If you think CalPERS is going broke now, just wait to California’s bankrupt cities start writing down debts owed.
  • Everyone knows San Francisco is as liberal as liberal can be. Yet even there voters have voted down green energy mandates.
  • California hot sauce maker Sriracha is still mulling relocation offers. Texas is still a possibility.
  • California’s tax bureaucracy will continue suing you after 20 years, even if they’ve lost in court.
  • Poll of residents shows that Texas is one of the five most popular states to live in. “Texans rank high on standard of living and trust in their state government, and they are less negative than others are about the state taxes they pay.”
  • Texas isn’t immune from California’s troubles when big city officials start spending like California Democrats. Big-spending Texas cities should learn from bankrupt Detroit’s example.
  • Texas vs. California Update for April 15, 2014

    Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

    Today sucks if you still have to finish your taxes. It sucks more in California than Texas, since you have to pay state income taxes as well. That includes a marginal tax rate of 9.3% for all those millionaires making more than $49,774 a year. As opposed to Texas’ marginal rate of 0.0% for all…

  • Rich Californians don’t seem to mind that their green fantasies are screwing the poor.
  • California Democrats are trying to write racial quotas into the state Constitution. Oddly enough, Asian Americans are actually objecting to their children getting screwed out of college admissions. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “A combination of unfriendly tax policies, military budget cuts and cutthroat competition is wreaking havoc on California’s storied aerospace industry, a new study cautions.” ​​More here, which notes that:

    Texas and Washington offer low corporate income tax and no personal income tax, while providing a stable business climate and skilled work force. Many high-profile corporations have relocated their operations to new states. Recent examples include Northrop Grumman, which moved its headquarters to Northern Virginia; Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, which moved its headquarters to McKinney, Texas; and Boeing, which moved two aircraft modernization programs, for the C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft and the B-1 bomber, from Long Beach to Oklahoma City.

  • CalPERS latest report proves conclusively that the fund spontaneously generates unicorns, rainbows and jobs. The Wall Street Journal examines the claims, wipes the vaguely yellow liquid off their legs and concludes “This political report offers one more reason why taxpayers and public workers shouldn’t trust Calpers with their money and would be better served by defined-contribution retirement plans that employees own and control.”
  • The California State Teachers’ Retirement System announced it faces $73.7 billion in long-term liabilities. “CalSTRS has a $71 billion unfunded pension liability.”
  • Both CalPERS and CalSTARS are desperately in need of reform.

    The state teacher pension fund, CalSTRS, needs an extra $4.5 billion each year for 30 years to pay off its unfunded liabilities. CalPERS’ local government members will see costs increase by 50 percent during the next six years. And the state needs to contribute $1 billion more per year for retiree health care benefits.

    These obligations for benefits already earned must be paid, and over the next decade, they will continue to drain funding from essential services such as education, public safety, transportation and health care.

    Yet, powerful interests remain all too eager to kick the can down the road and push our pension problems onto future generations.

  • Why California has an affordable housing crisis.
  • Is there a way out of Taxifornia? As such a solution would require liberals to stop acting like liberals, the answer is: probably not.
  • Bell’s corrupt officials agree to plea bargain deal. Bonus: Robert “Ratso” Rizzo gets 33 months on federal tax evasion charges. (Hat tip: Dwight, who has been all over the Bell story.)
  • At least 60 companies have relocated from California to Texas. But Elk Grove, California is striking back, trying to lure Texas companies to California. “The slogan: ‘Don’t wait for high taxes and stifling regulation to come to you, end the suspense and move to California’ just doesn’t seem too appealing to me.”
  • Continuing troubles with California’s high speed rail boondoggle.
  • Sports equipment maker MonkeySports is relocating from Corona, California to Allen, Texas, adding up to some 225 Texas jobs over two years.
  • A closer look at relocations to the Austin area.
  • Texas vs. California Update for March 24, 2014

    Monday, March 24th, 2014

    In California, I would say that March Madness is ignoring the looming pension crisis, except that madness extends to every other month as well…

  • Where is income inequality worst in the U.S.? Well, for one thing, in California:

    Perhaps no place is inequality more evident than in the rural reaches of California, the nation’s richest agricultural state. The Golden State is now home to 111 billionaires, by far the most of any state; California billionaires personally hold assets worth $485 billion, more than the entire GDP of all but 24 countries in the world. Yet the state also suffers the highest poverty rate in the country (adjusted for housing costs), above 23%, and a leviathan welfare state. As of 2012, with roughly 12% of the population, California accounted for roughly one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients.

    With the farm economy increasingly mechanized and industrial growth stifled largely by regulation, many rural Californians particularly Latinos, are downwardly mobile, and doing worse than their parents; native-born Latinos actually have shorter lifespans than their parents, according to a 2011 report. Although unemployment remains high in many of the state’s largest urban counties, the highest unemployment is concentrated in the rural counties of the interior. Fresno was found in one study to have the least well-off Congressional district.

    The vast expanse of economic decline in the midst of unprecedented, but very narrow urban luxury has been characterized as “liberal apartheid.” The well-heeled, largely white and Asian coastal denizens live in an economically inaccessible bubble insulated from the largely poor, working-class, heavily Latino communities in the eastern interior of the state.

  • The Myth of the California Renaissance:

    California also has the nation’s highest poverty rate and the most food stamp recipients, and policymakers have done little to address profligate spending, unfunded pensions, and ever-growing retiree health-care obligations.”

    Inland California, from Imperial in the south to Modoc in the north, remains one of the poorest regions in the nation. Though the state unemployment rate fell in February to 8.1 percent, inland unemployment ranges from 9.5 percent in Riverside to 25.9 percent in Colusa. Of the 20 counties in the United States with the largest unemployment rates, 11 are in California.

  • California only has the second highest taxes in the nation! Thank God for New York!
  • Unfavorable ballot language stymies a California pension reform effort
  • …but pension reform advocates are regrouping to make another push in 2016.
  • Indeed, pension reform will be the biggest issue for southern California voters this fall.
  • More on how government at the state and national level is destroying California agriculture in the name of protecting the Delta Smelt.
  • There’s speculation that California Governor Jerry Brown actually wants to see the illegal, underfunded, and ill-fated “bullet train to nowhere” die, he just doesn’t want to get the blame for killing it.
  • How Texas job growth has outpaced both the nation and California.
  • Occidental Petroleum is moving its headquarters to Houston and spinning off its California operations as a separate company.
  • Rick Perry raids again.
  • Telecom company Channell Commercial is relocating from Temecula, California to Rockwell, Texas. “Blaming California for an oppressive business climate for manufacturing growth, Channell said the costs to do business here have made expansion in this state no longer feasible.”
  • And I missed this story from last year on Chevron building a 50 story office building in Houston. That could mean the days of their California headquarters are numbered…