Government unions in California collect and spend over $1.0 billion per year. That’s just government unions. That’s just California. They use a small fraction of this money to engage in collective bargaining. They use about a third of it to engage in politics – that’s nearly $700 million per election cycle. The rest, well over […]
About Ed Ring
Ed Ring has over 20 years experience in business and politics, primarily with start-up and early stage organizations. From 2010 through 2016, he was Executive Director, then President of the California Policy Center. From 2007 through July 2010, in partnership with AlwaysOn Media, Ring designed and launched their “GoingGreen” conferences, held in San Francisco and Boston, attracting clean technology entrepreneurs and investors from around the world.
Ring was CFO for Play Industries in 1999-2000, the first company to develop and deploy technology for desktop digital video production and internet video broadcasting. In 2003, Ring was Director of Strategic Planning for Anuvu, one of the first companies to build a prototype fuel cell vehicle. Currently Ring consults for various clients in politics and media.
In 1995 Ring founded www.EcoWorld.com, an online environmental magazine reporting on clean technology and the status of species and ecosystems. For over 14 years under Ring’s editorial direction, EcoWorld was a respected international voice for free-market environmentalism, something that is needed now more than ever.
Ring has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from UC Davis, and an MBA in Finance from the USC.
Entries by Ed Ring
New local taxes and new local borrowing are a regular phenomenon in California elections, but this year our government union controlled politicians have outdone themselves. Let’s compare: November 2014 – $11 billion in new borrowing proposed via 118 local bond measures, 81% passed. Of the 117 local proposals for new taxes, 68% passed. June 2016 […]
Does that fact have your attention? Because media consultants insist we preface anything of substance with a hook like this. It even has the virtue of being true! And now, for those with the stomach for it, let’s descend into the weeds. According to payroll and benefit data reported by the City of Costa Mesa […]
Earlier this month the New York Times ran an editorial entitled “When Police Unions Impede Justice.” They make the point that collective bargaining agreements for police employees often make it very difficult to hold police officers accountable for misconduct. When you have nearly 1.0 million sworn police officers in the United States, you’re bound to […]
“Infrastructure” is a perennial topic that enters and leaves California’s public consciousness in the following manner: A politician says “we must rebuild our crumbling infrastructure,” journalists report it, almost nothing is done, and the infrastructure continues to crumble. The talking point is made. Check the box. Repeat. Decades pass. If you’ve driven west on Interstate […]
Government unions are not unions in any traditional sense of the word. They elect the bosses they “negotiate” with. They are paid through compulsory taxes rather than via a company that has to earn a profit in the competitive market. And they operate the machinery of government which allows them extraordinary latitude to intimidate any […]
Here’s an axiom of California politics. When it’s the teachers union against everyone – that’s right, everyone else – the teachers union wins. Yesterday’s decision by the California Supreme Court to not hear the Vergara case is just the latest example. Prior to losing on appeal, which brought the case to the attention of the […]
If you’ve recently driven on most any California freeway, you’ve seen the default message on the government-owned electronic billboards, “Severe Drought Conditions – Reduce Outdoor Water Use.” The message seems reasonable enough. Several years of lower-than-average rainfall have left the state’s reservoirs depleted, so why should households be wasting water, indoor or outdoor? And if […]
“‘What makes the ‘$100,000 Club’ some magic number denoting abuse other than the claims of anti-pension zealots?’ said Dave Low, chairman of Californians for Retirement Security, a coalition of 1.6 million public workers and retirees.” This quote from a government union spokesperson, and others, were dutifully collected as part of Orange County Register reporter Teri […]
About 6.2 million students attend California’s K-12 public schools. Of those, over 570,000 are enrolled in public charter schools. Most of these charter schools operate with a degree of management autonomy and teacher accountability that goes well beyond what is permitted by the union work rules that govern traditional public schools. These charter schools themselves are […]
An article in today’s American Prospect, of all places, offers an in-depth look at just how little progress has actually been made towards restoring quality education to California’s public school students. Because the article appears in a publication that is “dedicated to American liberalism,” and because “American liberalism” depends more than anything else on billions […]
In the wake of tragic and deadly attacks on police officers, those of us who have never wavered in our support for the members of law enforcement, but have questioned the role of police unions and have debated issues of policy surrounding law enforcement have an obligation to restate our position. Civil libertarians and fiscal […]
Earlier this month the California Policy Center released a study that provided additional evidence that the U.S. stock indexes are overvalued by approximately 50%, along with calculations showing the impact of a major downward correction on the solvency of California’s state and local government pension systems. Stocks are now at unsustainable bubble valuations. Not covered […]
Back in 2012 we published an article entitled “The Forgotten 33%,” which included a graphic entitled “American Voter Breakdown 2012.” It depicted the U.S. electorate as comprised of 46% who pay zero net taxes, 20% who work for the government and are net tax consumers, the 1% “super rich,” and the “forgotten 33%,” who work in […]
Summary: Based on historical trends, three key aggregated stock market ratios – price/earnings, price/sales, and price as a percent of GDP – all show that publicly traded U.S. stock are overvalued by approximately 50%. This article explains the significance of these ratios, then, using a financial model developed specifically for this purpose, evaluates the impact […]
It should be an article of faith by now that in California, whatever the teachers union wants, the teachers union gets. It is nonetheless surprising that their reach might extend all the way to a recent decision by the San Francisco Unified School District board to reject fifteen talented teachers who were part of “Teach for […]
If anyone is looking for evidence that government unions use their immense influence to support the growth of an authoritarian state, look no further than their unequivocal support for global warming “mitigation,” and all attendant agencies and laws to support that goal. In 2006 California’s union-controlled legislature passed AB32, the “Global Warming Solutions Act,” a […]
The modern history of the Silicon Valley arguably began in 1957, when eight young PhD graduates left Shockley Semiconductor Laboratories to launch the first high-volume chip manufacturer, Fairchild Semiconductor. Fairchild and its spinoffs, including Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), were the early participants in what became the most fervid ecosystem of fiercely competitive innovators the […]
Two weeks ago, using information supplied by the California Taxpayers Association, we called attention to “$6.2 Billion in New Borrowing on June 7th Primary Ballot.” As noted, “Next week voters will be asked to approve 46 local bond measures totaling $6.18 billion in new debt, along with 52 local tax proposals. If history is any […]
Nearly every objection that supporters of presidential candidates Trump and Sanders raise to the establishment are intimately associated with government unions. But neither the people’s voice, or that voice as it is reflected back to them by their populist heroes, articulates this fact. (1) Do you want to reform Wall Street? You’ll have to go […]
They are overshadowed by one of the most tumultuous Presidential primary campaigns in decades, but California’s June 7th primary ballot has local tax and bond proposals in numbers that, in aggregate, ought to be generating vigorous public debate. Next week voters will be asked to approve 46 local bond measures totaling $6.18 billion in new debt, along […]
Financialization – “a pattern of accumulation in which profit making occurs increasingly through financial channels rather than through trade and commodity production.” – Greta Krippner, University of Michigan (source Wikipedia) If you want one word to describe the biggest threat to the American economy, “financialization” would be the prime candidate. This is a threat that […]
Imagine for a moment that two premises are beyond serious debate: (1) That there will be another financial crisis within the next five years that will equal or exceed the severity of the one experienced in 2009, and (2) That the political power of public safety unions will prevent local governments from enacting pension reforms […]
When the next market downturn hits, every public employee pension fund in the United States will face severe challenges. Because public employee pension funds are not subject to the same rules that private pension funds have to adhere to – namely, the restrictions on risky investments as specified in the federal Employee Retirement Income Security […]
It came as a shock to learn that some of those who were around when unions first started infiltrating local and state governments actually welcomed the process. These were the days when unions were driving jobs overseas because of their unwillingness to negotiate new contracts in the face of foreign competition. “Let them come,” some […]