Archives for May 2017

The California Economy’s Surface Strength Hides Looming Weakness

If you listen to California’s many boosters, things have never been so good. And, to be sure, since 2011, the state appears to have gained its economic footing, and outperformed many of its rivals.

Some, such as Los Angeles Magazine and Bloomberg, claim that it is California — not the bumbling Trump regime — that is “making America great again.” California, with 2 percent job growth in 2016, gained jobs more rapidly than most states. The growth rate was about equal to Texas and Colorado, but behind such growth centers as Florida, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah and the District of Columbia.

Bay Area: Still the tower of power

sanfrancisco3Over the past few years, the Bay Area has grown faster in terms of jobs than anywhere in the nation. But this year, according to the annual survey of the nation’s 70 largest job markets that I do with Pepperdine University public policy professor Michael Shires for Forbes, there is a discernible slowing in the region. For the first time this decade, San Francisco lost its No. 1 slot to Dallas, which, like most other fastest-growing metros, boasts lower costs and taxes, and has created more middle-class jobs than its California rivals.

The San Francisco area, which includes suburban San Mateo, remains vibrant. More troubling may be the weakening of the adjacent San Jose/Silicon Valley economy, which dropped six places to eighth — respectable, but not the kind of superstar performance we have seen over the past several years.

This partly reflects an inevitable slowdown in information job growth. As the startup economy has stalled, and the big players have consolidated their dominance, sector growth has dropped from near double digits to well under half that. Perhaps more telling has been a shift in domestic migration, which was positive in San Francisco earlier in the decade, but has now turned sharply negative. These are clear signs of a boom that is cooling off.

Southern California: Stuck in second gear

Southern California continues to lag. San Diego managed only a mediocre 29th-place finish. That’s better than Orange County, which managed an even less impressive 37th, and Los Angeles, by far the state’s largest job market, which reached only 40th place.

In Southern California, many seem to mistake high housing prices for economic vigor. High prices do create a wealth effect for those who own property, and this creates ancillary jobs in home repair and real estate. The area has also benefited from something of a boom in hospitality, medical and educational jobs.

But this does not make up for less-than-stellar creation of high-wage jobs. Los Angeles has expanded information jobs, much of them tied to Hollywood and the media-oriented “Tech Coast” corridor along coastal Southern California, but it continues to lose blue-collar manufacturing jobs. Professional business growth has been weakening since 2013. Lower-wage jobs in the health and hospitality industries, meanwhile, have enjoyed more robust expansions. Poverty in Los Angeles, particularly in South L.A., is arguably worse than during the riots a quarter-century ago.

Orange County suffers less from poverty but also sees rapid growth in low-end sectors like hospitality, which has grown almost 20 percent since 2011. Unlike Los Angeles, professional and business service employment — the largest of the high-wage sectors — has seen steady growth, up 20 percent since 2011, but information growth has been weak and manufacturing continues to decline.

Perhaps the biggest surprise may be the 14th-ranked Inland Empire, which has benefited from, among other things, the soaring home prices along the coast. Outside of information jobs, which have declined, the region has seen steady growth in manufacturing, wholesale trade and professional and business services. As much as the middle-class economy still exists in Southern California, it is now solidly ensconced in this region.

Future prospects

In the coming years, California’s claim of being the economic exemplar of the country may be further undermined by legislative overreach. The statewide rise in the minimum wage will hit the lower-wage sector, particularly outside the coastal enclaves. Various plans to boost the welfare state, such as a single-payer health care system that includes the undocumented, and a host of union-driven initiatives, seem certain to drive up costs and impose an ever-heavier tax burden on the state’s struggling middle class.

Perhaps most threatening, over time, may be a host of new environmental laws which will impose enormous burdens on affordable housing, energy prices and industrial growth. The slowdown in tech growth, coupled with a looming decline in the markets as the Trump agenda unravels, could weaken the capital gains juggernaut that has sustained the state through the past decade. Gov. Jerry Brown, under whose watch spending has risen 45 percent, is already predicting a large deficit for next year.

So far this decade, California has defied economic logic, largely due to the explosive growth of Silicon Valley, as well as the effects of rapid real estate appreciation. Yet, these gains have failed to reverse, and in some ways have even exacerbated, the state’s highest-in-the-nation poverty rate, growing inequality and a mounting outmigration of middle-class families. These facts suggest that it’s time to end the celebration and start focusing on how create a more expansive, less feudal California.

Originally published in the Orange County Register.

Cross-posted at New Geography.

ditor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University.

California Senate Approves One-Gun-a-Month Purchase Limit for Residents

GunThe California Senate approved extending the one-gun-a-month handgun purchase limit to long guns on Tuesday, thereby limiting Californians to buying only one type of gun each 30-day period.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), who said, “There is no need or reason why a person would need to purchase more than one gun a month.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, Portantino indicated that limits on rifle and shotgun purchases will, in turn, limit straw purchasing. He is worried that some individual are passing background checks, then selling guns “on the underground market to criminals.”

Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Chico) pointed to the failure of California gun control and asked why passing another law would make a difference. He said, “It’s more of the same that will not decrease violent crime.”

California has universal background checks, firearm registration requirements, gun confiscation laws, a ten-day waiting period on gun purchases, an “assault weapon” ban, a “good cause” requirement for concealed carry, and a myriad of other gun controls. Yet they also had the May 23, 2014, Santa Barbara firearm-based attack; the December 2, 2015, San Bernardino terror attack; the June 2016 UCLA murder/suicide; and the October 8, 2016, Palm Spring police officer ambush. So Nielsen’s point is that none of the gun laws have hindered criminals, and there is no reason to believe a new law will do so, either.

Sen. Jeff Stone (R-Murrieta) said Portantino’s gun purchase limit “is yet another example of the government’s trying to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

This piece was originally published by Breitbart.com/California

Olympics likely headed to L.A. – but in 2024 or 2028?

OlympicsAfter a recent International Olympic Committee fact-finding investigation went well, Los Angeles officials are extremely confident that California’s largest city will host a Summer Olympics for a third time after previous turns in 1932 and 1984. They just don’t know if it will be in 2024 or 2028.

The other city that’s a finalist for the 2024 games – Paris – has also impressed IOC evaluators. And with it increasingly difficult to find new cities and nations willing to spend billions of dollars to prepare for the games – Los Angeles and Paris were the only serious competitors for 2024 – the IOC will begin formally considering the idea to simultaneously award both the 2024 and 2028 games at a committee hearing next month. IOC President Thomas Bachappears supportive of picking both cities and bringing the 2028 selection process to an abrupt end.

A final decision is expected on Sept. 13 at a meeting of the full IOC board in Lima, Peru. But with the financial disaster of the 2016 Summer Olympics fresh in memory – the $12 billion tabbankrupted the Rio de Janeiro state government – the attraction of picking and locking down cities with most or all of the needed infrastructure in place is obvious.

The man who helped organize Chicago’s unsuccessful bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics also sees other factors making a double pick attractive.

“If they don’t select both cities … then you’re going to have two cities, both previous host cities, both major markets for sport and Olympic sport in particular, disappointed. And in the case of the U.S., you’re going to have a series over the past 12 years where the top three cities in the country and three of the top markets in the world have put forth high-quality bids and been rejected,” John Murray, a corporate executive and consultant, told USA Today. “In the case of Paris, [you’re going to have] a world-class city for sport and tradition dating back 100 years and having them be disappointed on a global scale. I think that doesn’t bode well for anybody.”

The Sept. 13 decision could be momentous for Los Angeles in the long run as well. The IOC could begin following a policy like the NFL’s with the Super Bowl and consistently award the Summer Games to a handful of mega-cites – Los Angeles, Paris, London, Beijing – which have hosted previous games.

Democratic Socialists launch late push to derail bid

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and other left-wing groups are trying to mount an 11th-hour campaign to undermine Los Angeles’ Olympic bid. A recent article in The Nation, the progressive publication, celebrated the creation of the NOlympics LA coalition and touted the energy and determination of organizers.

One of them, Los Angeles social justice activist Jonny Coleman, told The Nation, “We oppose the bid on principle. The process is inherently undemocratic and does not take into account the needs of the host city’s residents beyond those who are already rich and powerful, and stand to become even more so from the games.”

But with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and powerful political and business interests in sync in seeking the return of the Olympics, NOlympics LA’s chances seem slim.

This piece was originally published by CalWatchdog.com

Leftists Use Scam/Scare Tactics Trying to Kill Tens of Thousands of Inland Empire Jobs

Did you know that the Inland Empire, by creating tens of thousands of well paying jobs, lots of government revenues, and warehouses.  But it also means lots of trucks in the area—and the Left hates trucks, cars and 2017.  They prefer 1817 and horse manure instead of the modern world.

“The World Logistics Center, which is now known locally by the acronym “WLC,” has turned Moreno Valley politics into a bloodsport. Community organizers and environmental groups have fought — in both city hall and the courtroom — to protect residents from the pollution it would cause and save protected species like peregrine falcons and California golden eagles that live in the nearby San Jacinto Wildlife Area.

Once built, warehouses don’t pollute the way that factories and power plants do. But a project the size of the WLC would be a magnet for truck traffic, spewing exhaust on 69,000 estimated daily trips in and out of the complex. In a struggling region, though, the lure of jobs has proven difficult to overcome, despite the public health and quality of life concerns.

“That’s why people are pressing so hard now,” Thornsley says, “to get somebody elected who’s not going to be, in essence, another developer’s puppet.”

Super—kill the jobs, force folks to go on welfare—but not have taxpayers to finance the welfare system.  These folks prefer poverty to success, they prefer hand to mouth instead of good jobs and a great lifestyle.  In fact, they believe they got theirs—no one else should be allowed to succeed.

Click here to read the full article published by Grist.org

Jobs

 

Eber: Paranoia and Disbelief permeates American Politics

Did you know the Russians have taken over the White House, the Congress and Dodger Stadium?  Just ask Hillary, Barack, Pelosi or Stephen Colbert.  Think your member of Congress votes the way they or their constituents want?  Of course not, the Russians tell them how to vote.  In fact Putin personally told Hillary not to campaign in several States—just ask her.  Fake News is all over the place and folks are paranoid, since they no longer know what is true or not—even

“Six months after the election not one shred of evidence has surfaced that indicates Donald Trump co-operated with Putin in any way to undermine the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Still Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and other party faithful are trying to convince voters “where there is smoke, there must be fire” accusations.

This is where Progressive office holders and their supporters in the media may be going wrong. Nowhere in their unrelenting feeding frenzy have they ever considered what the ramifications might be if  Special Counsel Robert Mueller concludes the charges against Donald Trump are groundless and without merit.”

But it is a proven fact that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got the Russians to donate to the Clinton Foundation, after which she gave the Russians the right to buy American uranium mines—but the lamestream media forgets to mention that.  Paranoia?  The media is building this new disease.

Congressional Black Caucus Holds Press Conference On Stimulus Bill

Paranoia and Disbelief permeates American Politics by Richard Eber

Richard Eber,  California Political News and Views  5/31/17

Paranoia and disbelief is so prevalent in Washington D.C these days that it is difficult to get anyone to believe the sky is blue, falling, or Donald Trump is responsible for everything that ails society.

Even my 97 year old Mom got in the act when I phoned her to say I was running 15 minutes late to pick her up for a Memorial Day party. She then asked, “Can you give me a more exact time?

Such a disconnect with reality has been evident in our nation’s capital by fake news, “informed sources”, and expert opinions based upon unsubstantiated conjecture.  These phenomena can be found each day by reports by the news media that are at least at grade 8 terror alert levels.  Recent examples include:

  • The altercation between Republican Congressional candidate Greg Gianforte and a photographer prior to his victory in a special election was somehow the fault of Donald Trump. The American President who had a perfect alibi by trying to broker a peace between Israel and its neighbors at the same time.
  • American intelligence gathered during the Obama Administration that indicated Russians planned to infiltrate the Trump administration, somehow constituted treason. As such, according to Representative Maxine Waters, impeachment proceedings should immediately begin.
  • Federal Appeals courts ruled that then candidate Donald Trump’s campaign speeches could be used to block the implementation of immigration policies from countries associated with terrorism. Has such criteria ever been used before in American history where candidates pronouncements were considered to be anything more than “promises made in the dark?”
  • Comparisons made by the news media between unsubstantiated rumors and the Watergate Scandal almost 50 years ago. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein had facts and several eye witness sources to corroborate their stories. This compares to the wishful thinking of evidence challenged leftist political pundits whose hatred for Donald Trump blinds their ability to separate fact from fiction.

Most of this media feeding frenzy is sourced from the premise of perceived manipulation in the American electoral process by Vladimir Putin.   Most reasonable experts agreed that Russian President, through his operatives including WikiLeeks tried to undermine the democratic process. So what?  Does this mean a quid pro quo relationship existed between the Trump campaign and these agents of evil?

Six months after the election not one shred of evidence has surfaced that indicates Donald Trump co-operated with Putin in any way to undermine the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Still Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and other party faithful are trying to convince voters “where there is smoke, there must be fire” accusations.

This is where Progressive office holders and their supporters in the media may be going wrong. Nowhere in their unrelenting feeding frenzy have they ever considered what the ramifications might be if  Special Counsel Robert Mueller concludes the charges against Donald Trump are groundless and without merit.

At this juncture what will Democratic leaders and their partners in the news media do to explain their unsubstantiated criticism of the President of the United States?  At that point they will not be able to keep blaming the Electoral College, perceived voter fraud, or the Russians for the crushing defeat liberals they experienced last November?

When this moment of truth occurs, the Anti-Trump contingent might have to veer away from personal attacks and actually speak about issues relevant to voters.  It remains how successful they might be hauling out the current “Round-up the usual suspects” list which includes, climate change, women’s plight in society, trans-gender rights, persecution of minorities by the GOP, and opposition to the NRA.

The strategy will probably not work.  It didn’t in the general election where Republicans won 33 States along with control of almost two thirds of legislatures and governorships. Having strong support in California and New York does not make a consensus in the United States nor does it count as a majority in the Electoral College.

Don’t think preventing conservative speakers from expressing their views on college campuses will spur the tide either.  Leftist Democrats, who pull the levers of power in places of higher learning might be well meaning in casting aside the first Amendment to attack Donald Trump.  However, in the long run their actions might cause collateral damage on the sensitivities of Middle America.

So if the Russians are Coming paranoia attack proves to be a failure, what should the Democratic establishment do restore confidence of voters prior to the midterm elections next year?

The first thing that should be done is to realize Hillary Clinton lost through no one other than her own inept campaign.  The email scandal, sleazy activities of the Clinton Foundation, and their socialist economic development plans are not what the American people desired last November.  They need to “get over it” as has been said many times before.

 

 

To regain credibility with voters, Democratic leaders are going to have to do more than say they hate the ground Donald Trump stands on.  They must come to realize he will be occupying the White House until 2021. A good place to start is to stop the foolish impeachment talk where wishful thinking has overwhelmed logic and reason.

This leaves us with an area Democrats have not dealt with in the first 100 plus days of Donald Trump’s presidency.  It’s called issues.  If they are to make a strong statement in the midterm elections in 2018, they must tell voters what they stand for in more than a handful of questionable social stands that appeal to Progressive ideologues.

Jobs, transportation, defense, health care, taxation, and immigration policy, are what the American people want to have their Congress working on. Democrats need to stop “The Russian’s are Coming” narrative.

Most folks are tired of the D.C. media side shows and desire that the two political parties work together with the President to pass legislation to improve all segments of society. They want Congress to operate in the spirit of compromise Henry Clay made famous over 150 years ago.

Unfortunately, the two political parties, working together for the common good, is a pipe dream much like the hope of Progressives to roust Donald Trump from the Presidency.  As such we can likely look forward to the poisonous political climate continuing to where being 15 minutes late requires a more specific time to be given.

 

 

 

Sacramento Democrats WANT Criminals to Have Less Jail Time for Gun Use

Years ago we passed a law, “Use a gun, go to Jail”.  This added several years to a prison sentence and gun violence was lowered and the crime rate went down—and to the good of the community.  Now the Progressives in Sacramento want to lower the jail term for felons that use a gun.  At the same time, the same folks are trying to make it harder for honest citizens to use their Second Amendment rights.

The bill, SB 620, passed based solely on Democrat votes.  Not a single Republican voted for it, and even some Democrats were not stupid enough to pass this ridiculous bill.  This bill just furthers California’s continued (idiotic) approach of going soft on crime, which started with AB 109, followed by Prop 47, and most recently topped off with Prop 57.

Statistically speaking, the overwhelming majority of crimes involving the use of a firearm (like 99%) are committed by suspects who obtained their guns illegally, and most of those suspects are prohibited persons who are unable to legally possess a gun.  They are in fact the very people that lawmakers should seek to lock up for extended periods of time.  But instead, they are the very people whom the Democrats are seeking to lessen the prison sentences on.”

Democrats liked AB109 that allowed 50,000 vicious criminals to leave prison early.  They liked Prop. 47 to make real crimes into tickets—and especially liked Prop. 57—that makes rape a non violent crime under many conditions!  Crime is what the Democrats love—safety is what they hate.

California Prisons

Proof CA Democrats Prefer Criminals Over Legal Gun Owners

 

Deputy Mat, Deputy Sheriff,  Daily Caller,  5/23/17

Thursday, in a move that absolutely defies the slightest semblance of logic, the Democrat controlled California State Senate passed a measure that will lower the sentences for felons who used a gun in the commission of their crimes.  Yes, you read that right.  They are reducing sentences for criminals using guns.  These are the very same Democrats that constantly create and pass stricter and stricter gun control laws, and who constantly scream, cry and whine about how guns are bad.

“Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) said he introduced the bill after a 17-year-old riding in a car involved in a drive-by shooting was sentenced to 25 years in prison even though he denied shooting the gun.”

Wait, let me see if I got this right, a participant in a drive-by denied doing it?  A criminal denied committing the crime for which they are in prison?  Is this moron serious?  Prisons are filled with people who “didn’t do it.”

The bill, SB 620, passed based solely on Democrat votes.  Not a single Republican voted for it, and even some Democrats were not stupid enough to pass this ridiculous bill.  This bill just furthers California’s continued (idiotic) approach of going soft on crime, which started with AB 109, followed by Prop 47, and most recently topped off with Prop 57.

Statistically speaking, the overwhelming majority of crimes involving the use of a firearm (like 99%) are committed by suspects who obtained their guns illegally, and most of those suspects are prohibited persons who are unable to legally possess a gun.  They are in fact the very people that lawmakers should seek to lock up for extended periods of time.  But instead, they are the very people whom the Democrats are seeking to lessen the prison sentences on.

As a career California cop, and a gun owner, the passage of this bill conveys a special message.  It tells me that these Democrat politicians are more concerned with the lives of convicted felons who used a gun in the commission of their crime than they are about law abiding gun owners who are guilty of nothing more than the unspeakable act of merely owning a gun.  There really is no other way to logically interpret this.  To them, law abiding gun owners are bad, but using a gun in the commission of a felony is acceptable.

The insanity in this state has reached previously unfathomable levels, and it shows no signs of reversing course.

 

$5 Million Flowing to University of California Gun Snoops

UC Davis has decided, with the support of Chancellor Janet Napolitano—the Homeland “Security” Secretary that open the borders to the drug cartel, terrorists and illegal aliens—now she wants to use your tax dollars to kill off the Second Amendment—since President Trump is cutting that money from a Federal agency that abused the taxpayers.

“That will help compensate for proposed cuts of nearly $6 billion from the National Institutes of Health, which during the previous administration funded what purported to be research on gun violence, including the work of Garen Wintemute, who happens to be the director of the UC Davis Firearms Violence Research Center. He claims his work is based on “science,” but Second Amendment advocates should be wary. According to Wintemute, the Center’s first project will be will be “a survey that looks at who owns guns, why they own them and how they use firearms.” That sounds more like snooping than science. UC Davis Center wants “the names,” and everybody should find that troubling.”

Davis is not a serious town—they have a law that outlaws the explosion of nuclear weapons inside the city limits!  Seriously—tell that to ISIS or North Korea—and if they do, what is the penalty and who will be around to mete it out?  Not a serious University either.  Just another indoctrination center for the totalitarian Left.

Photo courtesy of krazydad/jbum, Flickr.

Photo courtesy of krazydad/jbum, Flickr.

$5 Million Flowing to University of California Gun Snoops

Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley, MyGovCost,  5/30/17

 

While beating the drum for tuition hikes, University of California president Janet Napolitano maintained a secret slush fund of $175 million and tried to block an investigation by state auditors. That was okay with the University of California regents, who hailed the leadership of the former Arizona governor and Department of Homeland Security boss. As it happens, one of Napolitano’s favorite projects is the UC Davis Firearms Violence Research Center and on July 1 that outfit will receive its first $5 million in funding from the state.

That will help compensate for proposed cuts of nearly $6 billion from the National Institutes of Health, which during the previous administration funded what purported to be research on gun violence, including the work of Garen Wintemute, who happens to be the director of the UC Davis Firearms Violence Research Center. He claims his work is based on “science,” but Second Amendment advocates should be wary. According to Wintemute, the Center’s first project will be will be “a survey that looks at who owns guns, why they own them and how they use firearms.” That sounds more like snooping than science. UC Davis Center wants “the names,” and everybody should find that troubling.

In Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and “Enemies of the State” author Stephen P. Halbrook compiled data on the way Adolph Hitler’s Germany restricted firearms. The Nazis also wanted to know “who owns guns” and they ruthlessly suppressed firearm ownership by disfavored groups. As Halbrook shows, the Nazis used the records of the Weimar Republic, which also suppressed ownership and use of firearms.

According to a Sacramento Bee report, “Wintemute hopes to assess the effectiveness of current laws, including the newly adopted requirement that people who buy ammunition have the legal right to own guns, and of California’s new gun violence restraining orders.” That sounds more like politics than science, but maybe Dr. Wintemute can use the $5 million in funding to answer a pressing question.

Do California’s new gun laws, with their heavy-handed restrictions and database of ammunition owners, resemble in any way the gun laws of National Socialist Germany? After all, Nazi Germany was one of the most repressive and violent regimes in history. We wouldn’t want the Golden State to be like that.

 

Sand: Let’s get real about the education budget

Pelosi, Brown and the rest of the Fake News crowd are screaming that President Trump is cutting the budget for education.  What Brown does not mention is that HE is holding up over $1 billion for at least two years, for California schools.  Now, for the math facts about the Trump plan.

“First of all, 92 percent of education spending comes from state and local sources, while federal dollars account for just 8 percent. Reducing that 8 percent by 13 percent means that each state will be losing a shade over 1 percent of its total education funding. That’s it. Hardly a slash. More like a minor paper cut. And of course any state that loses federal funding (Alaska and Hawaii take note) is perfectly capable of adding the 1 percent back via the legislative process.

As for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, they are typical of bureaucratic waste. As Brookings Institution Mark Dynarski writes, “To date, more than $12 billion of federal tax money has been spent on a program that a preponderance of evidence indicates doesn’t help students.”

It’s also instructive to step back and examine the effect that spending in general has on student achievement. And it has been proven time and again that there really is no correlation. In fact, between 1970 and 2012, our education spending tripled (in constant dollars) and student achievement was flat.”

Trump, and America, wants results from our tax dollars—no results, stop the spending—educrats do not have a Constitutional right to steal from the children.  Thanks to Trump we are finding out how easy it has been for government to steal and pay off its friends.

560px-School-education-learning-1750587-h

Let’s get real about the education budget

Larry Sand, California Policy Center,  5/30/17

Trump’s proposed budget includes some minor cuts; union leaders launch hyperbolic grenades.

Did you know that the Trump/DeVos budget is manifestly cruel to children and catastrophic to public schools? Are you aware that Trump/Devos are planning to slash funding for public schools, and use voucher schemes to funnel taxpayer dollars to unaccountable private schools?

Well, I sure didn’t “know” these things till the two national teachers union leaders told me. But actually, climbing out of the union rabbit hole and venturing back to the real world, one regains perspective. And the reality is that the Trump/Devos budget cuts – which of course will have to run through the Congressional obstacle course before becoming law – don’t warrant the union leaders’ outlandish hyperbole. Not one iota.

In a nutshell, the budget does away with some programs that are wasteful and many that can be funded elsewhere. Alaska Native Education, Native Hawaiian Education, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers are on the elimination list. (A good summary of the budget cuts can be accessed here.) All in all, the proposed budget will pare federal spending by $9 billion, which represents a 13 percent cut. The budget also includes $1.4 billion “to support new investments in public and private school choice.” Most of the money earmarked for school choice would be an increase to the part of the existing Title 1 program that provides supplemental awards “to school districts that agree to adopt weighted student funding combined with open enrollment systems that allow Federal, State, and local funds to follow students to the public school of their choice.”

Is a 13 percent cut worth the hysteria? Hardly.

First of all, 92 percent of education spending comes from state and local sources, while federal dollars account for just 8 percent. Reducing that 8 percent by 13 percent means that each state will be losing a shade over 1 percent of its total education funding. That’s it. Hardly a slash. More like a minor paper cut. And of course any state that loses federal funding (Alaska and Hawaii take note) is perfectly capable of adding the 1 percent back via the legislative process.

As for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, they are typical of bureaucratic waste. As Brookings Institution Mark Dynarski writes, “To date, more than $12 billion of federal tax money has been spent on a program that a preponderance of evidence indicates doesn’t help students.”

It’s also instructive to step back and examine the effect that spending in general has on student achievement. And it has been proven time and again that there really is no correlation. In fact, between 1970 and 2012, our education spending tripled (in constant dollars) and student achievement was flat. On the 2015 international PISA test, which measures math, reading and science for 15 year-olds, the U.S. was in the middle of the pack – average in science and reading, but below average in math, trailing Estonia, Poland, Finland et al, while outspending those countries considerably. Additionally, a stunning 60 percent of all U.S. students now entering college need remediation.

President Trump recently told Congress, “We need to return decisions regarding education back to the State and local levels, while advancing opportunities for parents and students to choose, from all available options, the school that best fits their needs to learn and succeed.”

Trump is right on target here. Education should not be controlled by a federal bureaucracy. As Center for Education Reform CEO Jeanne Allen said in response to the budget, “Throughout the nation, at all levels, policymakers, parents, teachers and innovators are leading critical new endeavors to focus on student achievement, some by using new technologies in the classroom, some by implementing new schools of choice, some through boosting the traditional activities of districts.”

Only the special interest teachers unions and their fellow travelers could disagree.

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues.

Key Labor Bills Move to the Floor

The unions are on the move.  The Progressives, which just formed a twenty member Caucus in Sacramento, are doing all they can to raise taxes, kill jobs and make our communities unsafe.  In these bills, they are promoting the END of small businesses, to make them pay attorneys instead of workers—to finance courts and attorney instead of communities.

  • AB 450 (Chiu – D, San Francisco) places manufacturers in the precarious position of choosing which governmental body to comply with at the threat of hefty penalties and possible legal consequences.
  • AB 1209 (Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher – D, San Diego) provides a false impression of wage discrimination where none exists thereby subjecting manufacturers to meritless public criticism and the potential scrutiny of competitors looking for talent.
  • SB 63 (Hanna-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara) creates a new burdensome leave requirement on manufacturers with as few 20 employees.

It is impossible to know all the laws—no matter how much we study.  If these bills pass, government will decide if your investment is saved or lost.  Another reason productive people are leaving the State—leaving the very poor, the very rich and the illegal alien—oh and the lack of IQ and common sense Hollywood celebrities.

Photo Courtesy of DB's travels, Flickr.

Photo Courtesy of DB’s travels, Flickr.

Key Labor Bills Move to the Floor

By Nicole Rice, Policy Director, Government Relations, CMTA,  5/27/17

 

The Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees met last week to announce the bills they would release to the Floor of their respective Houses for a vote. Several measures advanced that if enacted could increase the risk of penalties and liability for manufacturers. Among them are the following:

  • AB 450 (Chiu – D, San Francisco) places manufacturers in the precarious position of choosing which governmental body to comply with at the threat of hefty penalties and possible legal consequences.
  • AB 1209 (Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher – D, San Diego) provides a false impression of wage discrimination where none exists thereby subjecting manufacturers to meritless public criticism and the potential scrutiny of competitors looking for talent.
  • SB 63 (Hanna-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara) creates a new burdensome leave requirement on manufacturers with as few 20 employees.
  • SB 562 (Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens) raises costs on manufacturers to pay for universal healthcare.

Measures that remained in the committees are essentially “dead” for the balance of the legislative year, absent any procedural action that could move the vehicles, or their contents, forward.

 

Security Guard Union in Eureka Demands Worker Pay BRIBE—or be Fired

Unions, by their very nature extort from workers and blackmail businesses.  This story is ab out a union that no longer hides the fact it is an extortionists operation, like the mob.  In this case, if the worker does not pay a bribe, the unions will have him fired from his job—because he does not believe in the union or being extorted.

“Union officials ignored Nyquist’s letter requesting more financial information and made no further efforts to contact him. Suddenly, more than three years later, on April 10, 2017, union officials sent Nyquist and his employer a letter demanding that he be terminated after 14 days unless he paid full union dues or fees for February through March 2017. The letter came despite the fact that union officials ignored their legal obligations to Nyquist regarding his Beck objections, which supersedes his obligation to pay the union dues or fees.”

The worst part is that the State of California, the DA and the police are protecting the criminals and the honest worker either has to pay up or find another job.  This is criminal—and government is part of the extortion.

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Security Guard Union Hit With Federal Charges For Illegal Demand That Worker Be Fired

Posted by NRTW, 4/26/17

Union bosses ignore National Right to Work Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent as they demand worker pay up or be terminated

San Francisco, CA (April 26, 2017) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a Eureka-area worker has filed federal unfair labor practice charges against the International Union of Security Police and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) Local 247 for illegally demanding the security guard be terminated.

The worker, Jeffrey Nyquist, works as a security guard at Inter-Con Security Systems, Inc. In January 2014, Nyquist sent the union a “Beck letter” stating his request to object to paying anything more than can be required by law and requested an independent financial audit of the union’s expenditures. Under the Foundation-won Communications Workers v. Beck Supreme Court decision, workers have the right to opt out of paying full union dues that include union political lobbying and spending and have the right to see an independent financial audit of the union’s expenditures.

Union officials ignored Nyquist’s letter requesting more financial information and made no further efforts to contact him. Suddenly, more than three years later, on April 10, 2017, union officials sent Nyquist and his employer a letter demanding that he be terminated after 14 days unless he paid full union dues or fees for February through March 2017. The letter came despite the fact that union officials ignored their legal obligations to Nyquist regarding his Beck objections, which supersedes his obligation to pay the union dues or fees.

This isn’t the first time an SPFPA union has been caught violating workers’ rights when it comes to illegal union dues seizures. Just weeks ago, an SPFPA local was ordered to pay back approximately $20,000 in illegally seized dues from Washington D.C. – area workers despite a majority of workers having voted to end the forced unionism clause in their contract through an NLRB deauthorization election.

“It is outrageous that union bosses think they can pick and choose what parts of the law they want to follow on any given day,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “No worker should be threatened with termination for simply exercising his rights under the law. This case highlights why California workers need Right to Work protections that would ensure that union membership and dues payment is strictly voluntary.”