Entries by Ed Ring

What Californians Could Build Using the $64 Billion Bullet Train Budget

California’s High-Speed Rail project fails to justify itself according to any set of rational criteria. Its ridership projections are absurdly inflated, its environmental benefits are overstated if not actually net detriments, and its cost, its staggering cost, $64 billion by the latest estimate, overwhelms anyone with even a remote sense of financial proportions. To make […]

The Biggest Dupes in the History of the World

Last week the California Policy Center released a new study that compared the average full-career government pension to the average annual earnings of a full-time private sector worker. Not surprisingly, at least for anyone paying attention, ex-government workers make 26% more than people make in the private sector who are still working. The average government […]

A Modest Proposal for California from a Public Servant

“When I see someone attacking the benefits the Fire Department receives or the Police Department receives, my concern is: Why wouldn’t you expect the same for yourself? We should act as a beacon.” —Mike Mohun, president of the San Ramon Firefighters Union, quoted in the New York Times, March 2, 2017 There are many compelling […]

California’s Public Sector Union “Deep State”

Deep State: A body of people, typically influential members of government agencies or the military, believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy. –  Oxford English Dictionary The term “Deep State” has been around for at least a decade, but it has emerged into common parlance in reference to the alleged opposition […]

Increasing Water Supply Must Balance Conservation Measures

In a recent commentary tax fighter Jon Coupal exposed one of the hidden agendas behind recently Senate Constitutional Amendment 4 recently introduced in the California Legislature. Coupal writes: “They wish to charge those water users they perceive as “bad” more per gallon than those users they perceive as “good.” The beauty of “cost of service” rates, […]

Does Berkeley’s Teachers Union Support Free Speech to Suppress Free Speech?

“There is no free speech for fascists. They do not have the right to organize for genocide.” –  Yvette Felarca, as reported by Frances Dinkelspiel writing for Berkeleyside, Nov. 2, 2016 Most anyone who follows current events is familiar with the riots at UC Berkeley that stopped a planned February 1st appearance by Breitbart editor and […]

Does Berkeley’s Teachers Union Support Free Speech to Suppress Free Speech?

“There is no free speech for fascists. They do not have the right to organize for genocide.” –  Yvette Felarca, as reported by Frances Dinkelspiel writing for Berkeleyside, Nov. 2, 2016 Most anyone who follows current events is familiar with the riots at UC Berkeley that stopped a planned February 1st appearance by […] Continue reading […]

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Questions for Someone Who Supports Superior Benefits for Government Workers

“Without disputing the figures, Monique Morrissey, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., said the findings are misleading because they do not compare specific classes of employees or account for differences in education levels and total hours worked.” California Is Golden State For Public Employees, by Michael Carroll, AMI Newswire, […] Continue […]

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California’s Government Workers Make TWICE As Much as Private Sector Workers

Earlier today the California Policy Center released a study that provided facts about government compensation. It examined state and local payroll data provided online by the California State Controller and proved that the average pay and benefits for a full-time state/local government employee in 2015 was $121,843. At the same time, the study found that the average […]

California’s Public Sector Compensation Trends

SUMMARY This report calculates the average compensation and benefits for California’s full-time state, city and county government workers during 2015, using raw payroll data posted by the California state controller. It compares these findings to the results of a similar report issued three years ago using 2012 pay and benefit data from the California state controller. It […]

Environmentalism Provides Moral Cover for New Taxes to Fund Pensions

There are two intertwined themes that define unionized government in California. First, funding government retiree pensions will soak up every new source of tax revenue they will ever collect. Second, cloaking new taxes and fees – and new agencies – in the virtuous raiment of environmentalism will deflect criticism and demonize critics. Here’s why: Now […]

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California Politicians Keep Raising the Cost-of-Living

Ever since the surprise victory of Donald Trump on November 8th, California’s Democratic leadership have asserted their determination to thwart the Trump agenda. Expect unity and resolve from California’s legislature, where democrats now hold a super-majority in both chambers. Even before Nov. 8th, California’s legislature was a trend-setting force, enacting laws intended to set an […]

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The Type of Prosperity California Ought to Show the World

As reported earlier this month in the Los Angeles Times, California policymakers are expanding their war on “climate change” at the same time as the rest of the nation appears poised to reevaluate these priorities. In particular, California’s legislature has reaffirmed the commitment originally set forth in the 2006 “Global Warming Solutions Act” (AB 32) […]

Association of Pension Funds Blacklists Reform Organizations

In a press release from the National Conference On Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) dated December 19, 2016, the California Policy Center, and its spinoff online publication, UnionWatch, were both chosen, for the 2nd year in a row, as one of only 28 “policy and research organizations” that NCPERS has deemed to be “Think Tanks that Undercut […] Continue reading at […]

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How to Identify a ‘Good’ Bond

On November 8, Californians approved Prop. 51, authorizing $9.0 billion in new borrowing for construction and upgrades of public schools. Also on November 8, Californians approved 171 local bond measures, authorizing over $22 billion in additional financing for construction and upgrades of public schools. This new borrowing is only to construct and upgrade K-12 and […]

Invest California’s Pension Funds in Water and Energy Infrastructure

“We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.” –  Peter Thiel, in his 2011 manifesto “What Happened to the Future.” Anyone living in California who’s paying attention knows what venture capitalist Thiel meant. While a handful of Silicon Valley social media entrepreneurs have amassed almost indescribable wealth, and fundamentally transformed how humanity communicates, investment in […]

California’s Government Unions are the Most Powerful in the U.S.

The Commonwealth Foundation, a think tank based in Pennsylvania, has recently released a study entitled “Transforming Labor – A Comprehensive, Nationwide Comparison and Grading of Public Sector Labor Laws.” It ranked every state in terms of the relative power of public sector unions. California, along with tiny Maryland, were the only states that got […] […]

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The Credibility of Public Service

California’s government unions are nothing like private sector unions. Their bosses are selected via elections where these unions are the dominant campaign contributors. They get their money through compulsory taxes and therefore don’t have to run efficient operations. They run the machinery of government which lets them intimidate their opponents and act as gatekeeper to […]