California Growth and the Construction Paradox

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.” Such rhetoric about creating new jobs continues to be attached to the rollout of almost any new government policy, regardless of the veracity or relevance of the claim. Times change, as do economic realities

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

For years, Proposition 13 (Prop 13) has been viewed as the third rail of California politics. While Prop 13 is responsible for capping annual property tax assessment increases at 2%, it also required that future tax increases face a two-thirds vote for passage, making it very difficult for elected officials to tinker with the tax code. In 2012, voters approved

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Stop Dissin’ the Housing Market—Set it Free!

Editors Note: This posting was originally published on the Opinion Page of the Los Angeles Daily News. High housing costs continue to be at the center of policy debates in Los Angeles—and across much of the state. This intensifying focus is warranted now more than ever given how the crisis has moved from simply eating up the disposable income of residents

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Economic Development: Is The Doctor In?

Here it is, 2018, and the Inland Empire is yet again an economy on the move. In fact, it is currently the fastest growing major economy in the state in terms of employment. The 3.2% annual job growth rate as of December is higher than San Francisco (2%), San Jose (1.7%), and Orange County (.8%). Yet despite all this growth,

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Trump on Trade… and the Consequences

President Donald Trump has promised to radically change the trade relationship between the United States and the rest of the world. He has already pulled the nation out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), has promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and intends to penalize China for unfair trade practices. President Trump argues that the United States

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Reforming the ACA: Losing the Forest for the Trees

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 — the coming fiscal calamity being driven by spiking Medicare costs. During

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Trump and the Triumph of ‘Miserabilism’

Donald Trump’s victory a few weeks ago threw the political science world into turmoil. As far as we know, most of the truly serious pollsters went into the election with numbers that suggested Hillary Clinton was highly likely to win—perhaps one reason why the Clinton camp failed to make needed investments in the swing states that threw the election Trump’s

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California’s Ballot Propositions: A Few Thoughts

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). But despite a distorted and misused process, this year’s state and

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The Tyranny of Direct Democracy

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was co-authored by Adam J. Fowler.  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. The number of statewide ballot measures in

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Keeping An Eye On The IE

It sometimes seems like the Inland Empire is the Rodney Dangerfield economy—it just doesn’t get any respect. It’s tough being the blue collar sibling to the gigantic Los Angeles economy and the glitzy resorts of Orange County. But given the region’s ascendency as an economic engine, that will likely change. The fact is the Inland Empire is one of the

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