Posts Tagged ‘waste’

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…
  • Texas vs. California Update for February 11, 2014

    Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

    Meant to put this up at lunch, but Stuff. And Things.

  • How California overprotects public employee union contracts. If the paper from Volokh the Younger is too heavy-sledding for non-lawyers, here’s a nice summary.
  • CalPERS is demographically doomed.
  • The people of San Bernardino vote all the bums out. “After Tuesday night, six of seven council members are now on record as saying they want to explore reducing San Bernardino’s pensions, along with [Carey] Davis, the new mayor, and a new city attorney, Gary Saenz.”
  • Another California city, Placentia, drifts toward bakruptcy. “Placentia has been papering over a structural $1.5 million deficit in its $30 million budget for at least five years, plugging the hole with lucky money (more soberly called ‘one-time revenues’).”
  • Stockton: Hey, we’re in bankruptcy! I guess that means we can just kill our shelter animals willy nilly. Federal judge: Not so fast.
  • Los Angeles firefighter compensation averages $218,000 an employee. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.).
  • Are even California’s Democratic legislators waking up to the problem?
  • California university workers plan a strike. See, no matter how broke you are, unions still want wage hikes…
  • Unions want to ensure that Bob Filner’s closest ally is elected Mayor of San Diego to keep their gravy train coming…
  • Union membership in California is down to 16.4% of the workforce.
  • Jerry Brown: Hey, Supreme Court, reverse that high speed rail decision! High Speed Rail Contractor: Thanks, Jer! Here’s $27,000.
  • Websense is relocating from San Diego to Austin. Dropbox is also moving additional jobs to Austin.
  • Charles Schuab is relocating jobs from San Francisco to Texas.
  • California industrial brush company relocates to Utah.
  • The Texas labor force keeps growing.
  • Meet the Kronies

    Monday, February 3rd, 2014

    The Kronies has already been blogged by half the rightospehre, but it’s so well done that I wanted to post it here on the off-chance you haven’t watched it yet:

    Texas vs. California Update for January 8, 2013

    Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

    Time for another look at the respective fortunes of the nation’s two biggest states:

  • Between 1992 and 2010, California lost $45.27 billion in income while Texas gained $24.94B. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • That’s one of the many reasons Texas has a $2.6 billion budget surplus.
  • California’s Attorney General imposes some strange language choices on a proposed pension reform initiative.
  • California Governor Jerry Brown to shift money from a green “cap and trade” fund to the high speed rail boondoggle. “Brown, et al., apparently believe that diverting cap-and-trade fees into the bullet train may buy enough time to move some dirt and lay some track, with the hope that once construction begins, it will create a moral/political commitment to complete the project. But the proposed diversion is more likely to be dumping more money into a bottomless rathole.”
  • Remember: Spending money on green boondoggles means less is available for paying for luxuries like heating classrooms in winter.
  • Desert Hot Springs inches closer to bankruptcy. They’ve already eliminated their fire department, owe $4 million from last year, and are expected to run out of money in April.
  • How the California city of Pacific Grove broke the law and ignored voter wishes to accumulate massive pension debts. “Pacific Grove now has a new unfunded pension deficit of about $45 million, in addition to the $20 million in pension bonds. The deficit grows at 7.5% per year (about $3.2 million compounding).” A neat trick for a city whose entire budget is around $12 million a year. The first in what promises to be a 7 part series.
  • Orange County employees enjoy a whole bunch of plush benefits.
  • There’s a movement afoot in California to replace seniority with performance for determining teacher layoffs. Another group wants to make it easier to fire sex offenders. Naturally teacher’s unions are opposing both. (Hat tip: TPPF.)
  • California declares war on hot sauce maker Sriracha.
  • Is California’s 10 day gun waiting period unconstitutional? (Hat tip: Shall Not Be Questioned.)
  • Restaurant chain Mimi’s Cafe relocates their headquarters from California to Texas.
  • There’s a lot of talk (not yet confirmed) that Vista Equity Partners is planning to move Active Network, Websense, and Omnitracs to Texas.
  • Evidently Los Angeles can no longer support a WNBA team. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Allied Van Lines confirmed that Texas remained the number one destination for relocation in 2013.
  • 14 things non-Texans don’t understand.
  • Texas vs. California Roundup for December 11, 2013

    Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

    Time for another roundup of Texas, Red State Champion, versus Blue State California:

  • Texas is the tenth best run state in the union, while California is the worst.
  • The vast gap between California’s haves and Have Nots.
  • The federal court Detroit bankruptcy ruling has made CalPERS nervous. As well it should.
  • Ditto public employee unions. “Government agencies should have the right to reduce future accruals, just as private-sector employers can — and they shouldn’t have to wait until they’re insolvent to do so…In California, prospective benefits are sacrosanct because of a series of poorly reasoned legal rulings…The system must be fixed before more municipalities reach bankruptcy. For state and local governments to climb out of their deep holes of pension debt, they must first stop digging.”
  • A succinct statement of the problem “California local governments cannot thrive if escalating retirement costs crowd out money for public service.” Plus: “Bargaining effectively occurs between unions and those elected largely because of money from unions.”
  • Today’s California city teetering on the edge of bankruptcy: Fresno. (“Fresno? No one goes to Fresno anymore!”)
  • 18 LA County Sheriffs department deputies indicted for “beating jail inmates and visitors, trying to intimidate an FBI agent and other crimes.” (Hat tip: Dwight, who notes “They tried to intimidate an FBI agent? Does LACSD make it a practice to hire and promote deputies who are dumber than a bag of hair?”)
  • Speaking of police behaving badly, 28 Santa Monica cops took home more than $200,000 last year. For comparison, Austin’s chief of police earns $198,819 a year.
  • Even California isn’t wild about Obama anymore.
  • California lobbyist organizes a second junket to Cuba.
  • Charting the Texas oil bool.
  • Cognizant moves operations center from New Jersey to College Station.
  • Texas vs. California Roundup for November 11, 2013

    Monday, November 11th, 2013

    Time for another roundup of Texas vs. California:

  • California’s high tax, high regulation government, and its resultant high cost of living, has given the state the nation’s worst poverty rate. How’s that blue State model working out for you?
  • Fresno is completely broke. “Now the city doesn’t even have a day’s worth of cash in its general fund.”
  • Given the tough economy, CalPERS cuts back on staff bonuses. Ha, just kidding! They doubled them.
  • Desert Hot Springs is the next California city eyeing bankruptcy.
  • Stockton’s Lavish pensions contributed to it’s bankruptcy. But guess who doesn’t have to take a haircut?
  • The message Stockton’s bankruptcy has for other California cities is obvious: Just screw taxpayers.
  • Bankrupt San Bernardino throws the bums out. And the new team looks like they’re willing to take on CalPERS. A case of mixed messages.
  • Covered California, California’s ObamaCare agency, is hair plugs and fat camp.
  • There’s a magazine called Time that says that Texas is the nation’s future. (There’s a longter story, but I don’t feel compelled to obtain a login to read it.) I’m sure Texas has a much brighter future than Time
  • Your tears, Lakers fans! Let me taste them! (Missing from that piece: Dwight Howard will no longer give 10.3% of his income to the state of California, and Texas has no state income tax.)
  • This Just In: ObamaCare Still Sucks

    Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

    Suddenly, Democrats aren’t sounding so all-fire sure about ObamaCare after all. “After 16 long days of vowing to Republicans that they would not cave in any way, shape or form on ObamaCare, Democrats spent their first post-shutdown week caving in every way, shape and form.”

    Jonah Goldberg gets in some solid whacks on the idiot pushback from Democratic mouthpieces: “Obama’s [#ObamaCare] statements were not ‘narrowly untrue.’ They were broadly, knowingly and entirely untrue.”

    Also:

    The president and the Democrats lied us into a bad law. The right opposed the law on principle. A single party — the Democrats — own this law in a way that no party has had complete ownership of any major social legislation in a century. They bought this legislation with deceit and the GOP said so. Now that it is going into effect, the facts on the ground are confirming that deceit. Moreover, the same haughty condescending bureaucrats and politicians who told us they were smart enough and tech-savvy enough to do just about anything are being exposed as incompetent political hacks.

    Charles Cooke debunks the single payer fantasy and the myth of Republican responsibility for ObamaCare:

    Obamacare was passed into law without a single Republican vote; its passage led to the biggest midterm blowout since 1948; and repealing the measure has been, to borrow Harry Reid’s favorite word, the “obsession” of Republicans for nearly five years. It is a law based upon an idea that Republican leadership failed to consider, debate, or advance during any of the periods in which they have held political power — and one that they actively opposed when it was suggested in a similar form by President Clinton during the 1990s. If Republicans were desperate to get something done along the lines that Obama proposed in 2009, they have had a funny way of showing it over the past 159 years.

    Also, “single payer,” i.e. the Democrats platonic ideal of fully socialized medicine, was so horribly unpopular with the public that it never had a chance of passing:

    There is a devastatingly dull reason the bulletproof Democratic majority of 2008 didn’t build “comprehensive health insurance on Social Security and Medicare,” and that is that it didn’t have the votes. Indeed, with full control of the government, Democrats didn’t even have the votes to set up a public insurance option, let alone to take over the whole system. Long before Scott Brown was elected to the Senate, Ezra Klein was lamenting that the public option was dead on arrival.

    Charles Krauthammer also goes to town on Jay Carney’s smarmy dishonesty:

    The Obama Administration wrote regulations that actually made the situation worse. (Hat tip: Ace, who notes that NBC tried to neuter their original version to make it less critical of Obama).

    Mark Steyn on the website debacle. Bonus: The same firm who coded the ObamaCare website also coded the incompetent, bloated, non-functioning Canadian Firearms registry:

    Their most famous government project was for the Canadian Firearms Registry. The registry was estimated to cost in total $119 million, which would be offset by $117 million in fees. That’s a net cost of $2 million. Instead, by 2004 the CBC (Canada’s PBS) was reporting costs of some $2 billion — or a thousand times more expensive.

    Yeah, yeah, I know, we’ve all had bathroom remodelers like that. But in this case the database had to register some 7 million long guns belonging to some two-and-a-half to three million Canadians. That works out to almost $300 per gun — or somewhat higher than the original estimate for processing a firearm registration of $4.60.

    So how did CGI get the gig? Well, the fact that executive Toni Townes-Whitley was an old friend of Michelle Obama’s, having been in the Organization of Black Unity together at Princeton, and who visited the Obama White House several times, might have something to do with it.

    It also promotes racism, with “sections that factor in race when awarding billions in contracts, scholarships and grants” and give “preferential treatment to minority students for scholarships.” It also “creates separate and unequal operating standards for long-term care facilities that serve racial and ethnic minorities.”

    A few more nuggets:

  • “I lost my health insurance because of ObamaCare.”
  • Liberals: “I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it.”
  • The Obama Administration was warned that the website was non-functional garbage before it went live. Evidently spiting Ted Cruz was more important than actually providing a system that worked.
  • Texas vs. California Update for July 24, 2013

    Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

    Smart denizens of California must be eying Detroit’s bankruptcy warily. After all, 60 years ago Detroit was the wealthiest city in America. And California seems hellbent on following Detroit’s Blue State path to bankruptcy sooner rather than later…

  • Problem: California public employees union members getting outrageous retirement benefits on the taxpayer’s dime. Solution: Hide their pension figures from the public.
  • From Dwight comes this gem of a news story:

    Bruce Malkenhorst took home more than $911,000 a year as city manager of the tiny city of Vernon. His reign ended shortly
    before he was convicted of misappropriating public funds, and he walked away with an annual pension that eventually topped $500,000,
    the largest in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

    But CalPERS last year decided to cut his pension to $115,000, concluding he’d derived some of his hefty salary improperly.

    So now the 78-year-old Malkenhorst is suing Vernon to make up the difference.

    And if you’re interested in California corruption, you should be following Dwight’s regular updates on Vernon and Bell.

  • Resignation Media, another California company, is moving to Austin. (Hat tip: Urban Grounds. )
  • Meanwhile, California e-discovery firm Daegis Inc. is also moving its headquarters to Texas.
  • Navarre Corporation relocates from Minnesota to Texas.
  • Houston edges out New York City as the nation’s largest goods exporter.
  • More on Dwight Howard and others fleeing California’s income tax burden.
  • Detroit won’t be the last city to declare bankruptcy.
  • California Latino supermarket chain Mi Pueblo declares bankruptcy. The article says that creditor Wells Fargo wanted to “change the terms” of loans, but something doesn’t add up. Turns out that profits dived when Mi Pueblo was forced to fire illegal aliens after an audit, and that put their profitability under the level dictated by the terms of the loan.
  • Parallels between Detroit and San Bernardino.
  • European Debt Crisis Update for July 22, 0213

    Monday, July 22nd, 2013

    It’s shaping up to be another busy week, so here’s a quick update on the European Debt Crisis front:

  • EU Debt burden hits an all-time high.
  • Greece shuts down its bloated, money losing ERT public television/radio network. “Problems with Greek democracy are not the reason that ERT was shut down. ERT was an extravagant public company. Many, though not all, employees were hired under suspicious conditions, due to favoritism and nepotism, and receiveddisproportionately large wages (8000 Euros per month through the financial crisis and 13000 Euros per month before).”
  • Taki (who is Greek) offers some pungent assessments of his home country’s continual crisis.
  • In Europe, the law is seen is “an obstacle rather than a foundation.”
  • Spain steals from tomorrow’s retirees to pay for today’s retirees.
  • Portugal refrains from blowing up for a little while longer.
  • Germany’s finance minister tours his vassal state.
  • Don’t expect the EuroZone to explode before German elections on September 22. Plus calls for an “EMU Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”
  • First review of UK’s relationship with EU comes to the conclusion that everything is just hunky dory.
  • Texas vs. California Roundup for July 11, 2013

    Thursday, July 11th, 2013

    The hot days of summer are here. Texas is now into its usual 100° summer days. However, if it’s any consolation, Death Valley hit a record 129° in June.

    Texas’ business climate is a lot like our summers: hot, hot, hot! California’s business climate is a lot like Death Valley: Still and oppressive.

    On to the Texas vs. California roundup:

  • Unemployment claims are up in California.
  • You know all that talk of California having a small budget surplus? That doesn’t count the $10.3 billion California owes the federal government for unemployment compensation, an amount that is not expected to be paid off until 2020.
  • Between 2007/8 and 2013/14, “the officially reported unfunded pension liability for state workers through the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) grew from $31.7 billion to $57.2 billion, an 80.1% increase.”
  • He, remember that short-lived BART strike? How horribly were the employees “underpaid?” “BART employees — including management and nonunion workers — earn an average of about $83,000 annually in gross pay, contribute nothing toward their retirement and $92 monthly to health insurance. Their pay and total compensation are both the highest in the Bay Area among transit agencies.”
  • BART’s highest paid employee in 2012? Someone who earned $333,000 and never worked a day that year.
  • California’s coming health insurance death spiral.
  • California writer explains why he and his family relocated to Texas.
  • Did taxes help Dwight Howard decide to leave the Los Angeles Lakers for the Houston Rockets?
  • Rick Perry retiring means the Texas is losing on of its greatest pitchmen to the business community.
  • California, bluest of blue states, forcibly sterilized female prisoners. Well, liberal’s love of eugenics goes back at least as far as Margaret Sanger…