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California Growth and the Construction Paradox

December 01, 2017
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

It is often said that generals always fight the last war—and this applies to that still highly overused and abused political catch phrase “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

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Fix California’s Tax Structure To Help Solve Its Housing Shortage

August 10, 2017
By: Robert Kleinhenz, PhD

For years, Proposition 13 (Prop 13) has been viewed as the third rail of California politics.

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Stop Dissin’ the Housing Market—Set it Free!

July 11, 2017
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

High housing costs continue to be at the center of policy debates in Los Angeles—and across much of the state.

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Trump on Trade… and the Consequences

March 16, 2017
By: Robert Kleinhenz, PhD

President Donald Trump has promised to radically change the trade relationship between the United States and the rest of the world.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Reforming the ACA: Losing the Forest for the Trees

February 09, 2017
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Californians are correct to be worried about the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now that the Republicans control both branches of Congress and the White House. But they should be more worried about a looming crisis that neither presidential candidate addressed during the contentious election season...

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CATEGORY: Healthcare



Trump and the Triumph of ‘Miserabilism’

November 30, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Donald Trump’s victory a few weeks ago threw the political science world into turmoil.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



California’s Ballot Propositions: A Few Thoughts

November 03, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

In California, this year’s bumper crop of confusing and often contradictory ballot propositions are the best example of a bad idea that has rapidly grown out of control (our most recent post, The Tyranny of Direct Democracy, lays out the serious and intensifying problems associated with the state’s Initiative system).

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CATEGORY: General Economy



The Tyranny of Direct Democracy

October 27, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Remember when the biggest thing arriving in your mailbox over the course of the year was the massive old Sears catalog? Times have changed. For many, this year’s heftiest arrival was probably the 2016 California Voter Guide, which came in at over 200 pages.

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Keeping An Eye On The IE

September 28, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

It sometimes seems like the Inland Empire is the Rodney Dangerfield economy—it just doesn’t get any respect. But given the region’s ascendency as an economic engine, that will likely change.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Miserabilism Debunked: Middle Class Stagnation

September 01, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Humans by nature are inherently discontent—not that this is a bad thing. Much of human progress can be traced to people striving to improve their own personal circumstances.

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Brexit As A Non Issue

June 30, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

When the UK voted to leave the European Union, it set off an explosion of media coverage even as equity markets around the globe, including in the United States, dived in the aftermath.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



California’s Minimum Wage Hike Debate…Or Debacle?

April 21, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

A few weeks ago Governor Jerry Brown suddenly, and seemingly without warning, reached a deal with union groups under which California’s minimum wage will be sharply raised to $15 per hour by 2022. The measure was quickly rubber-stamped by the state legislature and puts California firmly on a path to one of the highest wage floors in the nation.

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CATEGORY: Economic Policy



US Financial Market Drama: Much Ado About Nothing

March 16, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

This year started with a thud rather than a bang as financial markets across the globe saw major selloffs.

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Exporting Water In A Drought

February 26, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

The good news is that El Nino came back in 2016 bringing with it much needed rains and a snowpack that is already well above normal.

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What’s With Iowa?

February 04, 2016
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

As we kick off 2016 here at No Nonsense Economics it’s the perfect time to give a nod to the ‘official’ start of the presidential election year. This week’s Iowa caucus has once again raised eyebrows – and hackles.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



FFR: The Kardashians Of The Financial World

December 09, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

It’s that time of the year again. Not the holiday shopping season—I’m referring to the rampant speculation over what might happen at the next bi-monthly Federal Reserve (Fed) board meeting on December 15 and 16.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Cut Me Some Slack: The Real Concern in Today’s Economy

December 03, 2015
By: Jordan Levine

As the tech sector continues its robust expansion, concern over whether the economy is in another bubble and speculation about when the next recession will hit, has deepened.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



How Many Holes Does It Take To Fill The Albert Hall?

October 13, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Advocates pushing for both education and immigration reform in the United States often invoke the ‘needs’ of the U.S. labor market in making their pitch.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



A High Five for EB-5

October 08, 2015
By: Jordan Levine

Although immigration has been a leading and controversial issue in recent presidential primary campaign debates, a lesser-known part of the nation’s immigration policy has been extended with barely a notice.

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A Crisis Too Good To Waste

July 29, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Between California’s odd summer storm, rising seawater temperatures, and muggy summer, it’s pretty clear that the El Nino weather phenomena is starting to form out in the Pacific Ocean.

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U.S. Financial Markets: What, Me Worry?

June 11, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

There has been a lot of ‘bubble’ talk lately. Sure, there is the lunatic fringe—such as Ron Paul’s online interview about the coming crash of the U.S. currency, or Jim Rickard’s dire warnings of the impending 25-year depression conveniently laid out in a $25 hardcover book ($13.99 for the Kindle edition!).

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Autonomous Cars On The Way… What Do They Mean For Infrastructure Investment?

June 03, 2015
By: Dustin Schrader

Here in Los Angeles, the first thing visitors learn is that our public transportation system won’t get them anywhere. The second thing they learn is that, according to legend, Henry Ford is the reason why.

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Jerry’s Choice And The California ‘Drought’

May 07, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Not long ago I wrote a short piece here on No Nonsense Economics noting that the current water situation in California should more aptly be named a ‘water shortage’ rather than a ‘drought’, the difference being that a drought is a water shortage with significant negative economic consequences.

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We Need More Daylight Savings… Not Less!

March 27, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Well, we recently went through the annual process of moving our clocks ahead an hour for daylight savings, and once again, the whole process has come under attack.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



School Construction Bonds: A Matter Of Fairness

March 10, 2015
By: Dustin Schrader

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was co-authored by Christopher Thornberg

Governor Jerry Brown announced in his recent budget proposal that California should stop issuing school construction bonds. This came as a bit of a surprise to many.

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Some Perspective On The Ports

February 25, 2015
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

If you haven’t caught the news, which would be tough given recent press exposure, it looks like the ongoing conflict between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) has finally come to an end.

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California Consumers: More Spending, Higher Costs

February 12, 2015
By: Eric Meux

For the first time ever, we now have a detailed picture of California consumers and how their expenditure patterns compare to consumers in the nation overall.

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CATEGORY: Consumers



Taxing Services: A Step In The Right Direction

January 21, 2015
By: Dustin Schrader

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was co-authored by Christopher Thornberg

Much noise has been made over the years about California’s unfriendly tax environment. But an ongoing mantra at Beacon Economics is that California is not so much a ‘high’ tax state as a ‘dumb’ tax state.

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2014: A Look Back With Irony…

December 23, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Oh what a year 2014 was. Not so much for what actually happened – all said and done it turned out to be a pretty good year, in a relatively ordinary sort of way.

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The Gap Between Advocacy and Analysis

December 09, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

There is a big difference between analysis and advocacy. If you are an anlayst, you start with a question and try to find an answer.

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What’s So Important About High School Graduation Rates? Measuring Them

December 02, 2014
By: Christian Cruz

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was co-authored by Christopher Thornberg.

One of the closest races in November’s mid-term election in California was for the normally obscure post of State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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It’s Not the Economy, Stupid!

November 07, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was co-authored by Adam Fowler.

So the midterm election is finally over and, as the pollsters predicted, it was a big win for the Republicans.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Statistician, Heal Thyself

October 09, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

It’s a cliché to point out that we live in the era of big data – from piles of personal data collected by the web geniuses at Google and Facebook to financial data compiled by credit rating agencies to the new government sponsored economic databases open to use by any number of firms including Beacon Economics.

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Home Sales: Pleasantly Disappointing?

September 23, 2014
By: Jordan Levine

California’s housing markets have been enjoying double-digit price gains for several years now – and we’ve been celebrating that change as a sign of recovery after suffering huge losses during the recession.

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Dry Spell or Drought? Why the Difference Is Important

August 29, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

In recent months California’s news has been filled with stories about the state’s water situation, many of which lead with declarations such as “California’s crippling drought,” “the state’s devastating drought,” or similar rhetoric.

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B of A’s Fine: Waiting For the Next Financial Shoe To Drop

August 08, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

JP Morgan did it. Citibank did it. Now Bank of America is about to do it as well—pay the U.S. government a whopping fine for their role in the subprime mortgage disaster and the financial market meltdown that followed.

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A Port Strike: More News Than Economics

July 15, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Over the last few months, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association have been negotiating a new contract that will cover nearly 20,000 dockworkers at 29 West Coast ports...

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Myth Buster: Manufacturing A Primary Driver Of Growth In California

June 11, 2014
By: Eric Meux

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was updated on June 19, 2014 to include newly released and revised data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

You don’t hear many people talking about how great California’s manufacturing industry is doing. In fact, it’s regularly called out as an industry in demise in the state. How then do we account for the data – which shows that over the past decade, California’s manufacturing industry has been one of the state’s primary engines of economic growth?

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Bringing A Knife To A Gunfight

May 15, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was co-authored by Dustin Schrader.

If you haven’t caught the news, there is a new bill floating around Sacramento that attempts to deal with the affordable housing crisis in California.

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California’s Nattering Nabobs of Negativism

April 23, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Wow, I’m not feeling too good lately about what’s happening with the economy in California and its regions.

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Time To Say No To Hollywood Tax Subsidies

April 03, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

If you’ve been following California’s budget news lately, you’re probably aware that the state achieved a sort of budget surplus this year. I say ‘sort of’ because while it’s true that state revenues came in modestly higher than expenditures, the gap doesn’t come close to covering our underfunded public pensions, leftover debt from the last few years of deficits, and deferred maintenance on decaying infrastructure.

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The Los Angeles Economy: Parsing The Facts

March 28, 2014
By: Jordan Levine

A recent, well-publicized report on the Los Angeles economy paints a relatively dire future picture of the City, and in part, of the Los Angeles County region as a whole.

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California: You’re Doing Alright After All

March 14, 2014
By: Jordan Levine

Newly revised benchmark estimates of employment in California paint a completely different picture of the state’s economic recovery than has previously been reported—one that shows California has not been trailing the nation in job growth, but has been leading it.

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What’s So Bad About Inequality? A Lot, Actually

February 10, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Wealth and income inequality has been in the news a lot this past week. Why an issue that has been a growing problem for so long has suddenly become the topic du jour in Washington DC is unclear to me—but I am glad it is finally rearing its head so publicly. 

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Policymakers Again Using Wrong Tool for the Job

January 15, 2014
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Throughout 2013, I spent a good portion of my time here on No Nonsense Economics bashing far rightwing views that grossly exaggerated both the danger of the Federal deficit and the positive economic value of tax cuts. 

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A California Christmas Wish List

December 19, 2013
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Dear Santa,

Well, it’s that time of year again, and I’d like to think I was a good little economist in 2013. I guess that means it’s time for my Christmas wish list, although I’m sure there are more than a few folks who think I deserve less than a stocking full of coal!

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California’s Affordable Housing Problem: If You Don’t Like What You’re Reaping, Stop Sowing It

December 06, 2013
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

You may not have noticed, but California managed to dodge another regulatory bullet when Governor Brown recently decided to veto AB1229—a bill by Assemblymember Toni Atkins that would have made “inclusionary housing” part of the entire California housing landscape.

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Are The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Losing Their Edge? A Re-Valuation of Competitiveness

December 06, 2013
By: Jock O’Connell

The expansion of the Panama Canal has prompted a lot of concern about the future of not only the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach but also Southern California’s logistics sector, which serves these maritime gateways. 

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CATEGORY: Transportation



The Panama Canal Expansion: A Threat To SoCal Jobs?

November 06, 2013
By: Jock O’Connell

Together, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handle approximately 40% of all inbound containerized trade entering U.S. seaports.

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Timeless Lessons: Remembering the Roots of the Crash

September 20, 2013
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Five years ago, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. The collapse caused the markets to swoon and billions of dollars in taxpayer support was handed out. I remember it well because in many ways it was the final vindication of the warnings I had been giving over the previous two years, after I had left UCLA’s Anderson Forecast and started Beacon Economics.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Headed Out Of California? Housing Costs Not Income Tax Driving Migration To Other States

August 22, 2013
By: Jordan Levine

California has experienced negative domestic migration in recent years. The increase in the number of residents moving out of the Golden State to other places in the United States is often blamed on California’s high personal income taxes.

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U.S. Economic Growth Stronger Than Believed: What We Thought We Knew About The Recovery

August 09, 2013
By: Jordan Levine

Recently, on July 31st, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released it comprehensive revisions of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA). This is a process that occurs once every five years, and incorporates the results of the most recent Economic Census and benchmark input-output accounts.

This new revision of NIPA has brought about major changes in the way real output is measured across the U.S. economy.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Finally… CEQA Reform Gaining Traction

July 31, 2013
By: Vedran Kaluderovic

Although long overdue, moves to reform the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) are finally gaining traction among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

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California’s Budget Square Dance

May 30, 2013
By: Jordan Levine

The California Department of Finance (DOF) and the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) each recently published new, and somewhat conflicting, revenue forecasts for the next few years.

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California Makes The Right Move On Judicial Funding

May 21, 2013
By: Dustin Schrader

Since 2000, the populations of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties have been booming. From 2000 to 2012, Riverside County’s population grew by 46.8%, the fastest growth rate of any California county, while the population of San Bernardino County increased by 21.8%, the eighth fastest growth rate.

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Prop 13: Silencing The Messenger? Not A Chance

May 03, 2013
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Beacon Economics was surprised recently when a speech I was scheduled to give was cancelled a couple of weeks before the event. We later learned that my talk was called off because at least one or two of the organizers were upset about my opinions on Proposition 13.

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First Quarter GDP: What To Make Of It?

April 26, 2013
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

First quarter GDP data just came out and growth is up—2.5% (seasonally adjusted) compared to a paltry 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2012. Yet despite the better number, many economists still say the first quarter is a disappointment because it came in below expectations.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Do CalPERS’ New Rule Changes Spell Fiscal Disaster for California Local Governments?

April 24, 2013
By: Vedran Kaluderovic

Things are about to change drastically for everyone involved in California’s public pension system, including CalPERS, employers, employees, and taxpayers.

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Housing Bubble? Too Early To Call!

April 17, 2013
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

The sudden surge in the housing market here in Southern California has caught most people by surprise—and is already starting to cause worry in some circles.

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CATEGORY: Real Estate



ObamaCare: Not A Panacea, But A Step Forward

April 03, 2013
By: Rafael De Anda

Since the 2010 enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), individuals and businesses across the nation have been planning for potential economic uncertainties related to the historic law. 

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CATEGORY: Healthcare



California’s Pension Crisis Part 2: What Went Wrong With Public Finance In The Golden State?

March 07, 2013
By: Vedran Kaluderovic

In Part 1 of this series I discussed how the 1999 passage of Senate Bill 400, which increased state workers’ pension benefits, represents one of the main reasons for today’s skyrocketing pension liabilities among state and local governments in California.

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Sharp Rules In A Blurry World

February 13, 2013
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Any reasonable person understands the need for a strong, if limited, government in a modern economy. Setting the rules that guide market behavior, enforcing property rights, and maintaining a basic social safety net are essential lubricants for economic prosperity.

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CATEGORY: Real Estate



California’s Pension Crisis Part 1: What Went Wrong With Public Finance In The Golden State?

January 09, 2013
By: Vedran Kaluderovic

NOTE TO READERS: This is the first in a three-part posting on California's pension crisis. Please look for additional posts over the next few weeks.

Why do so many state and local governments seem to be in a constant struggle to balance their budgets? One reason is the volatility of public revenue streams.

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A Christmas Thought

December 21, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

As we make our way through the holiday season, I want to ‘wrap’ up my posts for the year with a challenge to the conventional economic wisdom regarding gift giving.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Understanding ‘The Cliff’

December 13, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

I was gratified the other morning to hear a long report on NPR’s Morning Edition pointing out what we have been saying here at Beacon Economics for some time—that the fiscal “cliff” isn’t any such thing.

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China and Local Government: From Boogeyman To Benefactor

November 14, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

If you managed to peer through the blizzard of news reports about the presidential election, you may have heard that there is another country out there that is also going through a major change in leadership—albeit one with far less public scrutiny about the process than ours.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Presidential Politics: The Folly of Economic Promises

November 06, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Why do we allow empty promises of economic gain and preposterous assignment of business cycle blame to cloud the issues that are truly important in the race for the White House?

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CATEGORY: Economic Policy



The Difference Between Accuracy and Bias - Part 2

October 31, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

In the short time since I last posted an insight, the issue of ‘accuracy vs. bias’ has raised its head yet again. Last time it was about something as broad as a debate on the national unemployment rate. This time it is very specific—namely an attack on Beacon Economics’ study of the potential economic impact of raising the minimum wage in the City of San Jose.

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CATEGORY: Economic Policy



Now That’s A Fact, Jack

October 16, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Last Friday’s relatively positive national employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) elicited cries of foul play from the far right – started by none other that Jack Welch, the former head of GE who tweeted that the books were being cooked to help President Obama following his disastrous debate with Mitt Romney. Numerous other right wing pundits quickly jumped on board and started building on the story.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



The Worst of Both Worlds: Understanding Why Prop 39 Is The Right Way To Go

September 29, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

This November, as usual, California voters will face a slew of state propositions at the ballot box. One deserves a closer look and, we believe, should be passed. Prop. 39 would change the current system that allows inter-state corporations a choice in how they calculate their liability for California corporate taxes. If passed into law, Prop 39 would enact a system where a company's income tax liability would be based solely on its sales in California. And then for the first five years, about half of the estimated $1 billion in additional annual revenue would be dedicated to energy-efficient projects at schools and other public buildings.

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2012 Presidential Election: The Big Bet

July 25, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

The upcoming presidential election will likely go down in history as the great Super Pac race—given the tremendous amount of cash the campaigns are taking in and starting to spend.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Now That The Individual Mandate Is Law— It’s Time To Get Down To The Hard Work Of Fixing Healthcare

July 06, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Given the rhetoric coming from supporters of the healthcare reform bill following the Supreme Court’s upholding of the ‘Individual Mandate’, it may be hard to believe that in the larger scheme of things, Obamacare is no cure-all for the healthcare crisis.

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CATEGORY: Healthcare



Enough With Faith-Based Economics

June 26, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Dennis Meyers of the California Department of Finance has recently been writing a series of articles arguing that the state’s economy is not in the midst of a massive economic collapse as some have characterized.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Actually, Mr. President… You Were Right

June 14, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

A few days ago President Obama made what the press have been referring to as a major ‘gaffe’ when he said during an interview that “the private economy is doing fine.” Republicans pounced, painting the President as ‘out of touch’ and declaring the statement symptomatic of his inability to lead the nation out of its severe economic crisis.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



California’s Budget Whirlwind

May 24, 2012
By: Jordan Levine

Each fiscal year, California goes through several rounds of budget estimates for revenues and expenditures. At the various stages of the budgeting process, several parties are involved in the forecasting process.

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New Housing Breaking Ground… But Next Shortage Is In Sight

April 24, 2012
By: Gerd-Ulf Krueger

The California economy is in the middle of a moderate recovery and California housing numbers have improved during the early phases of the spring home buying season.

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CATEGORY: Real Estate



California with Prop 13: A State of Fear Mongering

April 05, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Jon Coupal’s new op-ed in the Orange County Register is an understandable response by the President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association to what is starting to happen in California: The growing recognition that Prop 13 was a terrible idea that has had far more negative consequences for the state’s economy than positive – and that it needs to go.

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Prop 13: It’s Time To Stop Being Railroaded by the Third Rail

March 21, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

I was recently invited to Sacramento to testify in front of the California Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee about tax reform in the state – specifically Prop 13, the limitation on property tax increases enjoyed by current property owners.

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The Unfortunate Triumph of Ideology Over Analysis

February 15, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Back when the housing market was booming, Wall Street firms were handing out record bonuses, and unemployment had fallen all the way to 4.5%, I was regularly being called “Dr. Doom” by the various groups I spoke to, and by members of the media who called me to get an ‘alternative’ opinion.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Diving Into The Political Trees

January 31, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Last week Ener1, a U.S. car battery manufacturer, filed for bankruptcy protection. This would not normally make headlines, except for the fact that a subsidiary of the company received funds from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009 – and of course, it’s an election year.

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CATEGORY: Economic Policy



Jerry Brown Tax Proposal Has Some Merit… But Why Not Implement Real Fixes?

January 18, 2012
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Governor Jerry Brown recently announced a plan to fix California’s budget issues by raising income taxes on high-income earners and increasing the state sales tax. These measures will be presented directly to voters in an initiative on the November ballot. And the rhetoric on both sides will surely be theatrical.

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California Consumers Out In Force

December 21, 2011
By: Eric Meux

There are plenty of fear-filled stories driving the 24-hour news cycle these days: Double dip recession, Euro zone financial collapse, failed super-committee debt reduction efforts.

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CATEGORY: Consumers



Political Negotiations You SHOULD Worry About

November 29, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

After months of deliberation, the Congressional super committee created to reduce the Federal deficit over 10 years finally acknowledged its failure to reach an agreement at the time the deadline was reached last week.

Gee... this had to be one of the least surprising political outcomes in quite some time.

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CATEGORY: Economic Policy



Disappointing Revenues or Stealth Cuts?

November 23, 2011
By: Jordan Levine

This week, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) released an updated economic and revenue forecast for the state of California. Overall, Beacon Economics has found little to disagree with in those revenue projections for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 fiscal years. In total, the LAO is forecasting that the State will end the 2011-12 fiscal year roughly $3.7 billion lower than estimated in the Budget Act. The entirety of this variance is explained by the $4 billion in additional revenues that were attached to the Budget Act and Automatic Triggers, which has failed to materialize.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



A Dirty Shame

October 05, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Striking down a controversial rule at the Port of Los Angeles was another triumph of nasty politics over good policy.

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CATEGORY: Environment



Tax Cuts Are Not The Answer

September 28, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Cuts in public spending and tax cuts for individuals at any level of income are not going to cure what currently ails the U.S. economy.

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Two D’s For the Double Dip: What to Worry About in the U.S. Economy—And What Not To

August 23, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

With all the market turbulence, and mediocre economic reports that have come out lately, that old specter ‘the Double Dip’ is yet again being splashed across the headlines. And along with the headlines have come the odds makers—the folks in my profession who like to attach probabilities to economic events.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Volatility Returns with A Vengeance

August 12, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

It has been a wild ride in the equity markets over the past few days. The 5-day volatility index has hit highs that were topped only during the days following Lehman Brothers’ collapse, and Black Monday in the late 1980’s. Even after yesterday’s rally, the markets are roughly 10% to 15% off from where they were in July of this year. What comes next, we will have to wait to see.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Housing Price Drop Not Necessarily A Bad Thing for California

August 09, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Reaction to the latest news on home prices proves that, when it comes to housing, hype trumps logic. These price declines are not terribly troubling or surprising, and flat or mildly falling home prices can be a good thing in California. Why? Because it would allow business and government alike to lower costs.

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CATEGORY: Real Estate



A Bond Rating Conundrum?

August 01, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Press coverage was intense through the weekend as the White House and Congressional leaders worked to pull together a budget compromise to allow the debt limit to be raised.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



New GDP Release Brings Both Good and Bad News

July 29, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Today the Bureau of Economic Analysis released new and revised estimates of U.S. GDP. The release told us some things we already knew. It also changed the picture of what happened over the course of the recession.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



Welcome to No Nonsense Economics

July 28, 2011
By: Christopher Thornberg, PhD

Interpreting news about the economy is tricky. What you see and hear on the surface may not accurately represent what is really going on underneath. Economic data is filled with unexplainable ups and downs, and can be easily misinterpreted or manipulated to support a particular point of view. No Nonsense Economics is a new feature from Beacon Economics where we hope to provide clear, relevant insights about what is happening in the economy - without the hype or hyperbole that seems to dominate the headlines.

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CATEGORY: General Economy



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