Entries by Bill Fletcher

California’s Debt Bubble: How Does It End?

In a January 2017 study we estimated that California state and local governments owe $1.3 trillion as of June 30, 2015. Our analysis was based on a review of federal, state and local financial disclosures. This debt equals about 52% of California’s Gross State Product of $2.5 trillion and does not include the substantial cost […]

Why are the Economy and Incomes Growing So Slowly?

Why are so many people unhappy and angry?  Why is the electorate turning to populist candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump?  Why are they so mad at the Washington D.C. establishment?  What’s the problem? This is the second in a series of articles.  The first dealt with the fact that the cost of health […]

What’s Wrong With the Economy?

Why are so many people unhappy and angry? Why is the electorate turning to populist candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump? Why are they so mad at the Washington D.C. establishment? What’s the problem? Perhaps the biggest problem is the low growth of the economy leading to fewer job opportunities and little or no […]

Where Do All the Jobs Come From?

You can be forgiven if you think that the government creates jobs. Politicians try to justify almost any policy as creating or protecting jobs. This is usually not true. Also, at what cost? If we bail out a failing company or keep open a government facility or military base that’s no longer needed, we are […]

Where Did All The Vehicles Come From?

Have you ever wondered where all the vehicles come from? Stand by the side of a busy road and count the first 100 to 200 vehicles that pass by. One could bet that no two vehicles would be exactly alike. There would be vehicles from more than a dozen various manufacturers, a few domestic and […]

Has Sacramento really balanced the state’s budget?

Thanks to Proposition 30 with its retroactive tax increase and an improving economy, the state claims that it has balanced its General Fund budget.  This may be technically correct but ignores some very unpleasant realities. Claiming to have balanced the budget ignores the growing unfunded liabilities associated with public employee pensions and other unfunded retirement […]

Ways to Grow California’s Economy: A Checklist for Discussion

There is no substitute to growing California’s private sector economy. Growing the economy has substantial benefits: The private sector economy is the only source of jobs and tax revenues. It’s better for everyone to raise tax revenues by growing the economy rather than through tax rate increases and new taxes. A growing private sector economy also […]