Introduction: Due to the healthy response generated by this study, and justifiable expressions of concern by many whose cities we found to be financially stressed, we would like to state that the rankings developed herein are based on information contained in 2013 financial statements, that is, financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, […]
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
The 2014 mid-term elections will be remembered for many things – pioneering use of information technology to comprehensively profile and micro-target voters, escalating use of polarizing rhetoric, historically low levels of voter turnout, and historic records in total spending. In California, in spite of all this money and technology – or perhaps because of it […]
“As the result of California Courts refusing to uphold the language of the High Speed Rail bonds, the opponents of any bond proposal, at either the state or local level, need only point to High-Speed Rail to remind voters that promises in a voter approved bond proposal are meaningless and unenforceable.” – Jon Coupal, October […]
Weakening pensions is a choice, not an imperative. The crisis is political, not actuarial. – Susan Greenbaum, guest editorial, Al Jazeera America, October 20, 2014 With this thesis highlighted, Greenbaum, a retired professor of anthropology at the University of South Florida, has just published a guest editorial that provides in one place a useful example […]
In California, the root cause of government waste, failed programs, high taxes, debt and deficits, regulatory abuse, civil rights abuse, and even corporate cronyism is public sector unions. Their agenda is intrinsically in conflict with the public at large because any government program, any government regulation, any tax and any new debt, benefits them regardless […]
On November 4th, voters in Stanton, California, will be asked to vote on a 1.0% sales tax increase, which if approved will raise their sales tax to 9.0% – the highest in Orange County. Nestled in the heart of Orange County, tiny Stanton, a city of barely three square miles in size with a population […]
Fungible – definition – “able to replace or be replaced by another identical item; mutually interchangeable.” On November 4th, Palo Alto voters will be asked to approve Measure B, with only a simple majority required for passage. According to a summary compiled by the California Taxpayers Association, “2014 Local Elections,”Measure B “increases the city hotel/motel tax by […]
On November 4th, along everything else on the ballot, California’s voters will be asked to approve local tax measures. A list compiled by the California Taxpayers Association, “2014 Local Elections,” shows that across California’s cities and counties, local tax increases proposed include the following: – Tax increases requiring only a majority vote: 5 business taxes, […]
The city of Watsonville lies nestled among some of the most verdant farmland on earth. Just a few miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, the moderate, moist air nurtures endless fields of strawberries, apples, fresh flowers, cauliflower, broccoli and artichoke. Fragrant forests of redwood carpet the Santa Cruz Mountains to the north; some of the most […]
“What a salesman,” he said, mockingly. “I guess that’s what you learned … selling that stock that went south.” – California Governor Brown, to challenger Kashkari, during televised debate Sept. 4th, 2014 (ref. SF Gate) If anyone wants to know what the theme of Governor Brown’s attacks on GOP candidate Neel Kashkari is going to […]
Summary: The total state and local government pensions in the United States at the end of 2013 had an estimated $3.6 trillion in assets. They were 74% funded, with liabilities totaling an estimated $4.86 trillion, and an unfunded liability of $1.26 trillion. These funds, in aggregate, project annual returns of 7.75%. If you apply a […]
Critics have suggested that leaders of the labor movement suffer from economic illiteracy that has made them the architects of their own demise. The unwillingness of unions to make concessions in the face of global competition starting in the 1960’s was a major factor in Americans losing millions of union jobs. In the present day, […]
Whenever discussing politically viable policy proposals to improve the quality of life in California, the imperative is to come up with ideas that strongly appeal to moderate centrists, since that is how most Californians would describe themselves. And there are two compelling issues that offer that appeal: making California’s system of K-12 education the best […]
“In an era when we aren’t going to have tax increases, figure out how to be more efficient spending the money we’ve got, and the Republicans can help you do that if they’ll get off the philosophical cant about stuff and help you make things more efficient. They actually culturally know more and occupationally know […]
Turns out the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension system return rate was 17.3 percent for 2013-2014, and other public pension funds reported similar double-digit returns and five-year returns exceeding their assumed rates. – LAPPL Board of Directors on 08/07/2014, in their post “Misuse of statistics behind erroneous LA police officer salary claims.” The above quote […]
There’s a deep seated frustration and anger among the rank and file due to their low pay. Det. Tyler Izen – President, Los Angeles Police Protective League, July 28, 2014, KTLA Channel 5 Low pay, of course, is relative. It’s very difficult to objectively determine what a police officer should be paid. There aren’t jobs in […]
Notwithstanding the fact that “adjustable defined benefits” might constitute an oxymoron, as a concept it represents the only way that defined benefit plans can be sustained. Rather than throwing new employees into individual 401K plans, while they effectively subsidize legacy defined benefits for veteran employees and retirees, why not adjust defined benefits down to a […]
“No one wants the inconvenience associated with transportation workers taking action, but the District is leaving these workers little choice. This is about the middle class. We want the public to know what’s going on,” Tonisson said. – Alex Tonisson, co-chair, Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition, SF Appeal, July 24, 2014 If you were receiving a pay […]
“I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss.” – Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities Traveling through suburban Detroit, a sprawling city of 143 square miles whose population has dropped from nearly two million to less than 700,000, you can often imagine you are in rural Tennessee. Rutted narrow roads […]
Before anyone gets out the balloons and starts celebrating the Harris vs. Quinn decision too much, step back, sober up, and reflect on the scope of what happened, and where it puts us in this war. To use a WWII analogy, we just won the Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe no longer dominates the skies […]
California has one of the highest costs of living in the United States. California also is one of the most inhospitable places to run a business in the United States. And despite being blessed with abundant energy and an innovative tradition that ought to render the supply of all basic resources abundant and cheap, California […]
“The rare problem of high pensions going to top public executives was solved last year by state legislation. Pensions will now be based on the salary cap for Social Security taxes: $117,000… The highly exaggerated “unfunded liability” problem is resolving as the stock market and tax revenues recover from the recession. The Ventura County Taxpayer Association’s […]
Spokespersons for California’s government employee unions perpetuate a myth of staggering absurdity and tragic consequences – that they are protecting working Californians from wealthy corporations and wealthy individuals. The reality is that government employee unions are focused on one thing: Expanding government employee pay, benefits and privileges. This requires expanding government, and that priority comes […]
“CalSTRS has a $70-plus-billion unfunded liability – even with assumed investment earnings that Brown deems ‘highly unlikely’ – and says it needs about $5 billion more a year to regain solvency.” – Dan Walters column, “Brown budget reflects state’s massive debt,” May 25, 2014, Sacramento Bee Those “investment earnings” that Walters quotes Brown as finding […]
One of the core barriers to economic prosperity in California is the price of housing. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Policies designed to stifle the ability to develop land are based on flawed premises. These policies prevail because they are backed by environmentalists, and, most importantly, because they have played into the […]