Archive for the ‘unions’ Category

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.
  • Wendy Davis’ Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

    Friday, July 18th, 2014

    This has not been Wendy Davis’ week.

    First Greg Abbott’s campaign announces that he has more than $35 million cash on hand. Since Abbott was already the prohibitive favorite, hearing that he’s shattered Texas gubernatorial fundraising records wasn’t exactly a ray of sunshine for Team Wendy.

    Second, a Dallas Morning News headline proclaims that “Hollywood luminaries, labor and trial lawyers fuel Wendy Davis campaign.” Thus reminding everyone yet again that Davis is a liberal media darling whose fundraising occurs out of state because she’s far more popular in Hollywood than in Texas.

    Now even the Democrat-friendly Texas Tribune is debunking her fund-raising numbers:

    Instead of $13.1 million in cash on hand as claimed, the reports Davis and her allies filed show there was actually $12.8 million in the bank at the end of June, a difference of about $300,000.

    Meanwhile, the $11.2 million Davis claims she raised over the latest period — an amount she said was larger than the $11.1 million Abbott raised — contains over half a million dollars in non-cash “in-kind” donations and counts contributions that could benefit other Democratic candidates.

    One of the biggest sources of non-cash donations: a $250,000 in-kind contribution from country singing legend Willie Nelson. That’s how much the red-headed stranger told the campaign he would have charged for a free concert he gave at the senator’s Houston fundraiser, the campaign said.

    The lower-than-advertised cash figure and non-traditional accounting methods raise questions about how much money can be accurately attributed to Davis for the latest period.

    Also this:

    It was the cash-on-hand figure from Battleground Texas that came in lower than advertised. In the press release, the Davis campaign said Battleground would report $1.1 million in the bank. But Battleground told the Ethics Commission it only had $806,000 in the bank.

    That’s a double-dose of good news: The hopeless Davis campaign is sucking up money that might go to competitive races nationwide, and the well is running dry on Battleground Texas, which might conceivably be able to swing a few down-ballot races with better funding.

    And the general election is four months away…

    Texas vs. California Update for July 16, 2014

    Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

    Some other stuff bubbling up, so here’s a Texas vs. California update to tide you over for a while:

  • Former Calpers CEO Pleads Guilty to Corruption Conspiracy.
  • As part of his plea, Fred Buenrostro also agreed to testify to testify against his friend and former CalPERS board member Alfred Villalobos. Sing, canary, sing!
  • How CalPERs corrupts California politics.
  • Jobs are leaving California and coming to Texas.
  • Texas’ low-tax, low-regulation approach favors job creation.
  • How Texas compares to both California and New York.
  • Why California’s high speed rail boondoggle is still doomed.
  • Stockton’s bankruptcy judge may declare that CalPERS is just another creditor.
  • Bell City Councilman sentenced.
  • 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.
  • LinkSwarm for June 9, 2014

    Monday, June 9th, 2014

    Here’s a LinkSwarm to kick your week off with:

  • Gee, what could have possibly sent hospital prices skyrocketing? It’s an unsolvable mystery! (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Old and Busted: ObamaCare will save the government money. The New Hotness: “In its latest report on the law, the Congressional Budget Office said it is no longer possible to assess the overall fiscal impact of the law.”
  • “For Obama and his defenders to blame Bush — or anyone but Obama — 64 months into his administration deserves nothing short of lip-curling scorn.”
  • The New Narrative: Obama is just massively incompetent at everything but campaigning.
  • The VA Scandal displays “a systemic lack of integrity.”
  • Nothing says “socialism is a raging success” quite like rationing drinking water. Enjoy your socialist paradise, Caracas, Venezuela! (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • The idiocy of “white privilege.”
  • “It is not sufficient that transsexuals should be free to act on their delusions — the rest of us are expected to participate in them with unreserved enthusiasm, and the Left is willing to use the state to compel us to do so…The belief that members of minority political tendencies should be jailed for their views is very much in vogue for the Left at the moment.”
  • Steve Crowder: Having a Penis Doesn’t Equal Misogyny.
  • Another day, another Social Justice Warrior issung death threats against their political enemies.
  • 50 Years of Democratic Rule tracking Detroit’s decay using Google street view.
  • Once again, liberal Democrats oppose a project that might give burly blue collar men high-paying jobs.
  • Christopher Hitchens on Hillary Clinton. Yes, it’s old. (The fact Hitchens exited this vale of tears over two years ago may have been the first tipoff.) But I suspect this will not be the last time I repost it between now and 2016…
  • New York City now has more cops collecting pensions than walking the street.
  • The indicted friend of the Boston Marathon Bomber wired $71,000 to people in six countries using fake names. I think we can all agree that that’s not even slightly suspicious…
  • Best and worst paying college majors.
  • Vasser’s new Stalinist show trials.
  • The Texas Republican Convention occurred in Ft. Worth over the weekend, and delegates killed a down-payment on illegal alien amnesty, the so-called “Texas Solution.” How many time does the GOP establishment need to be told that actual voters reject amnesty, and demand that the border be secured before any changes are made to immigration law before they start listening?
  • Speaking of amnesty, all this “Dream Act” talk has sent children pouring over the border, where there are no housed in overcrowded and unhygienic holding facilities. Thanks, Obama!
  • Some of them are being dumped in Arizona.
  • Even Obama’s own immigration adviser says says his amnesty plan is endangering children. Plus “roughly 70 percent of swing-voters want tougher immigration rules.” Obama seems unwilling to stop the flood of illegal aliens because he views them all as potential Democratic voters…
  • 10 essential economic truths liberals need to learn.
  • Fight gearing up between the Bureau of Land Management and Texas.
  • Grammer Nazis.
  • Public Service Announcement: Try not to murder people for imaginary Internet memes.
  • Samuel L. Jackson takes a selfie at a an Israel Independence parade in New York City. naturally liberals freak out.
  • When I think “Hip-Hop” the first name that comes to mind is Ron Howard.
  • Al Sharpton vs. The Teleprompter:

  • Science Fiction Writer Jay Lake, RIP.
  • 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…
  • Texas vs. California Update for May 14, 2014

    Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

    Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • Chief Executive ranks the states for business friendliness. Once again, Texas is ranked the best state for doing business in. And once again, California is ranked the worst.

    “Texas is the best state for business and I don’t see anything to slow TX down. The education and quality of eligible employees is excellent right now. Business is booming and growing quicker and more rapidly in 2014 than any other year. It’s an exciting time in Texas.”

    “California goes out of its way to be anti-business and particularly where one might put manufacturing and/or distribution operations.”

    “California continues to lead in disincentives for growth businesses to stay.”

    “California’s attitude toward business makes you question why anyone would build a business there.”

    “California could hardly do more to discourage business if that was the goal. The regulatory, tax and political environment are crushing.”

  • California Governor Jerry Brown unveils a budget that takes baby steps toward actual pension and budget reform. Naturally Brown’s fellow Democrats in the state legislature are fighting him every step of the way.
  • Texas vs. California? Try Houston vs. California:

  • California state rep thinks the minimum wage in the state should be $26 an hour. I agree, especially if they call it the “Let’s Drive All Remaining Business to Texas Act”…
  • When he was a San Diego City Councilman, California Democrat Congressman Scott Peters not only underfunded the city’s pension plan while hiking benefits, he indemnified the pension board for doing so.
  • More on Peters, via an attack ad:

  • “A new analysis of California’s independent public retirement systems suggests they are more woefully underfunded than they appear, and that Los Angeles County is among the worst of all.”
  • Bankrupt Stockton’s last remaining big creditor refuses to take 1¢ on the dollar for debts the city owes. (Remember: State pension fund CalPERS didn’t take any haircut at all.)
  • In bankrupt San Bernardino, talks between the city and CalPERS are making the federal judge overseeing the case impatient.
  • Chuck DeVore on why Texans trust their state government more than most:

    Then factors that appear to explain from 13 percent to 30 percent of the differences in trust among the states: rate of union membership,with more trust in states with lower union membership; state’s level of soft tyranny, a measure of the power of state government over its people; percentage of state and local taxes as a share of income, with lower taxes leading to more trust; the right to keep and bear arms, with citizens trusting a government that trusts them to defend themselves; a business-friendly lawsuit climate; the days the legislature is in session, with less trust as the legislature approaches full-time; and the average commute time, with less time spent in traffic leading to more trust.

    Lastly, a combination of from two to four of the previous factors correlates to 34 to 41 percent of the trust in each state with a mix of four: taxes, gun rights, lawsuit reform and commute time, showing the highest link to trust. Comparatively speaking, Texas lawmakers have done well in these four areas of public policy.

    When building trust in state government, enacting liberty-minded legislation is a good place to start.

  • But it isn’t all sunshine in Texas Local debt continues to rise, though Eanes School District voters finally decide that they’ve had enough and defeat a bond proposal.
  • 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…