How Legal Weed Is Killing America’s Most Famous Marijuana Farmers

Great news—the legalization of marijuana is now bankrupting marijuana growers.  As the California Political News and Views has reported numerous times, the purpose of legalization was not to make it safer to buy marijuana—but to promote the illegal sales and make it safer for the drug cartels in the United States.  You will see raids on marijuana growers that are illegal.  Are these really an effort to get rid of ALL growers and sellers—or just to get rid of the competition?

“In theory, business should have gotten better for Mulder after voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016, legalizing recreational marijuana. But the opposite has happened.

Thomas Mulder had to dip into his retirement fund and his children’s college fund to keep from closing the farm after recreational marijuana was legalized in California

The costs of shifting his farm from California’s loosely regulated medical marijuana program into the stringent legal market have been high. Mulder actually lost money last year—the worst loss his farm has ever experienced—and he had to dip into his retirement fund and his children’s college fund to keep from closing. A few years ago, his retirement savings totaled over $80,000. “

Along with the homeless crisis, CalPERS crisis, government education and affordable housing shortage, we now have a legal marijuana crisis.  You can’t make this stuff up!

How Legal Weed Is Killing America’s Most Famous Marijuana Farmers

In the forests of Northern California, the regulatory state—not the DEA—is forcing thousands of growers out of business, or back underground.

By NATALIE FERTIG, Politico,  6/4/19 

EUREKA, Calif. — On a sunny day in the spring, Thomas Mulder walked through his greenhouse, down a narrow path between two long, knee-high, wooden planters. In a few weeks, the greenhouse would be full of marijuana plants a foot or two high—indica-sativa hybrid strain Sour G, or White Tahoe Cookies with its characteristic golden hairs around the flower. A few more months and the plants would reach Mulder’s shoulders. But at that moment, the planters were empty as Mulder gestured with his hands to show how tall his crop would eventually become. Mulder has three greenhouses that sit on this flat patch of land deep in the mountains of Humboldt County. This part of his farm is accessible only by a steep, newly pavedroad that passes in and out of Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and giant trees crowd so close on either side of the property that you don’t even notice Mulder’s farm until the last bend of the road.

It’s pretty obvious why Mulder’s parents chose this place in the late 1970s to grow marijuana. Back then, camouflage ropes pulled tall branches over the clearing to hide the illegal but highly prized crop from Drug Enforcement Administration helicopters; huckleberry bushes grew among marijuana for extra concealment. Now, the array of bright white buildings would be easily spotted from above, that is if anyone was up there looking. The berry bush camouflage came out when Mulder bought this land a decade ago when California became the first state to approve medical marijuana.

Since then, as the stigma around marijuana has evaporated in a grassroots legalization movement that has swept the nation, Mulder’s farm has thrived in a three-county region known as the Emerald Triangle that has become to high-grade cannabis what Napa Valley is to wine—a tentpole of the Northern California economy. In an ideal season, Mulder’s farm produces about 1,000 pounds of cannabis, an amount that should earn him $1.5 million. After taxes, fees and farm operating expenses, Mulder can expect about $100,000 in net income. It has afforded him enough money to own his own house and set aside a retirement account and a college fund for his children.No longer an outlaw like his parents, Mulder is the very picture of middle-class respectability. He has served on the local school board for a decade without anyone batting an eye at how he earns a living.

In theory, business should have gotten better for Mulder after voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016, legalizing recreational marijuana. But the opposite has happened.

Thomas Mulder had to dip into his retirement fund and his children’s college fund to keep from closing the farm after recreational marijuana was legalized in California

The costs of shifting his farm from California’s loosely regulated medical marijuana program into the stringent legal market have been high. Mulder actually lost money last year—the worst loss his farm has ever experienced—and he had to dip into his retirement fund and his children’s college fund to keep from closing. A few years ago, his retirement savings totaled over $80,000.

Mulder is not alone. As industrial-sized growers in places like California’s famously fertile Central Valley have flooded the market, the price of legal marijuana has plummeted by more than half. An array of upfront fees and stricter regulations, combined with a lack of access to bank loans, are all reasons farmers in Humboldt and neighboring Mendocino and Trinity counties say they can’t afford to remain in the legal market. Only 2,200 farmers applied for cannabis licenses last year, according to California NORML, compared with the estimated 30,000 or more growers who existed in the Emerald Triangle pre-legalization. It’s hard to know how many of the rest are continuing to grow in the illicit market. An estimated 10 percent of growers have simply shut down. Some expect that number to rise fivefold by year’s end.

“The regulatory climate in California and the cost of all of those regulations certainly does make the prospect of a viable small farm really small,” says Trillian Schroeder, a cannabis farm consultant in Humboldt County.

In effect, legal marijuana is doing what the DEA’s war on drugs never managed to accomplish. Some observers fear the era of cannabis in Humboldt—legal and otherwise—is over.

Mulder voted for Prop 64, reasoning that the initial proposals—like a one-acre cap on licenses—were designed to help farmers. But now he’s not so sure it was the right call.

 “I don’t want to see more victims of the war on drugs,” Mulder says. “But now it’s different because it’s a different war—it’s pricing [farmers] out.”

“I wish I could go back in time,” he says. “Maybe not pass Prop 64.”

***

When medical marijuana was first legalized with the passage of the Compassionate Care Act in 1996, some of Humboldt’s farmers were wary of coming forward and registering with a government they had seen for so long as the enemy. Eventually, though, many came out of the illicit market to grow in licensed medical collectives. The medical industry that existed from 1996 to 2016 had some regulations—there was a limit to the number of plants a farm could grow, for example, set by each county individually. Farmers had to apply for a license and pay taxes to the state. And in the late 2000s, some towns—such as Oakland—started putting local sales taxes in place. But in the spectrum of regulatory oversight, it was a modest burden.

Under Prop 64, though, cannabis has become what some in the industry call “the most regulated crop in the nation’s most regulated state.” Each plant must be meticulously monitored through a central system called “track and trace.” There are separate state and county regulations, and the county requirements—from additional taxes to environmental impact studies—can be drastically different for farmers in different parts of the state. And where farmers once paid just income and maybe some sales taxes on their medical marijuana, they are now paying taxes before they grow, after they grow, and after they sell.

Zoning certificates and water board fees can cost $3,000 to $5,000, but the biggest costs come in environmental and structural changes to the property. Many Humboldt farms lie in the mountains, deliberately out of the way to avoid easy detection, at the end of long dirt roads that are hard to navigate. Paving the dirt roads alone can cost over $100,000.

Some farms have discovered their land includes habitat for endangered species like the spotted owl. When these farmers apply for construction permits to meet Prop 64 requirements like paved roads or new, California Department of Agriculture-compliant processing facilities, they are told they need to wait two years for an environmental impact study, certifying the proposed changes won’t disturb endangered habitat. The farmers are caught in a bureaucratic trap: If they don’t build immediately, the farms won’t be considered compliant, and therefore may not receive a new license to keep growing.

Other farms have man-made geological features, such as culverts, that were put in by previous tenants—often loggers. Under state and local regulations, these man-made features have to be returned to a more ecologically friendly form, a process which also requires engineering fees and construction costs to repair.

And for farms that have good existing infrastructure on good land, there are still high taxes and fees they have to pay in addition to their startup costs. The “canopy tax” is a county tax on the space in which a farmer will grow his crop—levied before anything is grown. Last year, it was $1 per square foot. Many farmers grow multiple plots of 5,000 or 10,000 square feet, so canopy taxes can quickly reach the tens of thousands of dollars. The cultivation tax, meanwhile, is a state tax levied on harvested marijuana before it is sold, regardless of whether it sells. Neither the canopy or cultivation taxes supplant state or federal income taxes, which also have to be paid on the revenue from cannabis sales.

For Mulder, the cultivation tax on dried cannabis flower last year was $148 per pound. After paying it, a modest $15,000 profit turned into an $80,000 loss.

“It’s death by a thousand cuts,” says Schroeder, the farm consultant.

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San Jose: Law enforcement leaders denounce ICE policy–to ARREST CRIMINALS

The County of Santa Clara has decided that criminals from foreign countries are to be protected from deportation and incarceration.  They prefer crime on the streets to protect citizens.

“The unanimous decision sparked outrage amongst police officers, who have been advocating for a change in policy for years.

“We cannot protect our residents and keep our officers safe if violent, repeat offenders are continuously let back into our community. Our officers are being attacked and our communities are being preyed upon,” said Paul Kelly, president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association. “We have not given up on this issue. We will continue to push to ensure the county will do the right thing, which is to protect as many people as possible from violent offenders, regardless of the immigration status.”

When going through Santa Clara County be aware—the law enforcement agencies are not going to protect you.  California is getting more dangerous.

San Jose: Law enforcement leaders denounce ICE policy

by Nadia Lopez, San Jose spotlight,  6/5/19 

San Jose Police Officers’ Association President Paul Kelly speaks to reporters about his opposition to the county’s ICE detainer policy. Photo by Nadia Lopez.

Law enforcement officials condemned the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in a news conference Wednesday, following a vote Tuesday to not allow local authorities to notify ICE when detainees are released.

The unanimous decision sparked outrage amongst police officers, who have been advocating for a change in policy for years.

“We cannot protect our residents and keep our officers safe if violent, repeat offenders are continuously let back into our community. Our officers are being attacked and our communities are being preyed upon,” said Paul Kelly, president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association. “We have not given up on this issue. We will continue to push to ensure the county will do the right thing, which is to protect as many people as possible from violent offenders, regardless of the immigration status.”

Kelly said that it is not possible to ignore “the fact that some of the repeat offenders are undocumented immigrants” and added that people will continue to be in danger and “victimized” if the policy is not changed. The true fight, according to Kelly, is not about immigration — it’s about public safety.

Kelly said the inaction on behalf of county supervisors is “absolutely a political decision.”

“Pick up the phone. Bambi Larson would be alive today if all they did was pick up the phone. There will be more Bambi Larsons. We have to protect them,” added Kelly, who insisted that it is not within law enforcement’s agenda to target undocumented immigrants who have not committed serious or violent crimes.

But supporters of the county’s sanctuary city policy said that ICE already has access to offenders through an extensive database for arrest data. In addition, online programs such are the county’s inmate finder and the Victim Information and Notification System are available to ICE and help law enforcement officials track down offenders.

Supervisor Cindy Chavez said that she was not sure that a notification policy would have saved Larson’s life. The alleged attacker was under the influence of drugs and suffered from mental illness, two factors that some local leaders believe are to blame.

“The big issues we’re taking a look at are our public justice and safety systems. We’re going to continue to do that. Any change we would’ve made to the policy today is unclear to me that would’ve protected Bambi Larson or others,” said Chavez. “It’s a bigger conversation.”

Following questions from reporters, Kelly said Wednesday that ICE authorities have access to information about detainees, but not knowing when those offenders are released from the jail system is fundamental for the authorities to go after those individuals.

Kelly said that a strategy is in the works to push for a notification policy, although no formal plans were mentioned.

Another hidden cost of college? How student parking fees are subsidizing faculty, staff

During the Schwarzenegger years as Guv, he would raise UC tuition costs—with one third of the increase going to the unfunded UC system pension system—NOT to education.  We know that UC Chancellor played fast and loose with the numbers and hid tens of millions of dollars from the Board of Regents and the Legislature.  Now the State College system has been caught charging students a higher parking fee, to subsidize the cost of parking for the Administrators and professors—without telling the public or students.

“As a practical matter, student advocates say, that has meant that starving students subsidize parking for paid faculty, staff and administrators. Of the $124 million raised through CSU parking fees in fiscal 2017-18, 61% came from students, compared to 34% from other parking fees, like daily visitors. Just 6% came from employees.

That translates to real dollars for many students on tight incomes. According to the Cal State Student Association, the average semester parking permit for students across CSU is $171.81. The average semester permit for faculty is $68.33, $70 for staff and $166.92 for administrators.

CSU students found a sympathetic ear in San Diego Democratic Assemblymember Shirley Weber, who proposed AB 532, which would have required each campus to lower the cost of student permits.”

Government lies.  In this case by omission.  Not telling the students they were subsidizing the parking for professors—who got paid—is typical of how government operates.  It steals from the poor and gives to the elite rich.  Think different?

Another hidden cost of college? How student parking fees are subsidizing faculty, staff

By Adria Watson, CalMatters,  6/6/19 

Throughout college, Atticus Reyes traveled an hour each way from his upper valley home in Ojai to Cal State Channel Islands a few miles off Ventura County’s expansive coastline. Reyes arranged his first two years of classes so he would only be on campus two days a week—a strategy that allowed him to avoid hundreds of dollars for semester parking permits.

Now a recent graduate, Reyes continues to advocate for cheaper parking for students—and for a change in a longstanding California State University fee structure that charges them disproportionately more to park than staff and faculty at Cal State.  “(Parking) is the fee that will never be waived for any student,” he says. “Why do we seem to push all of the revenue stresses on

[them]

?”

Today’s California college students graduate with an average of $20,000 in debt, more than previous generations, and studies show many struggle to afford food, housing and other basic needs. Transportation costs may not be the largest factor in that equation, but they can add up.

And at Cal State’s two dozen campuses, where many commute for an education, they have long come with an extra sting: As a result of favorable rates negotiated over time by employee unions, university labor contracts stipulate explicitly that faculty members pay less to park than students. 

As a practical matter, student advocates say, that has meant that starving students subsidize parking for paid faculty, staff and administrators. Of the $124 million raised through CSU parking fees in fiscal 2017-18, 61% came from students, compared to 34% from other parking fees, like daily visitors. Just 6% came from employees.

That translates to real dollars for many students on tight incomes. According to the Cal State Student Association, the average semester parking permit for students across CSU is $171.81. The average semester permit for faculty is $68.33, $70 for staff and $166.92 for administrators.

CSU students found a sympathetic ear in San Diego Democratic Assemblymember Shirley Weber, who proposed AB 532, which would have required each campus to lower the cost of student permits.

Although the bill failed this year, proponents plan to take up the fight again.

“We will probably try to figure out a path forward in the future for this bill…because it did open up the eyes of a lot of people,” Weber said. “This is quite excessive for students to have to pay for parking when compared to the faculty and administrators who make a lot more (and) pay a lot less.”

Current law states that parking at each campus must be self-supported. CSU spokesperson Toni Molle says any revenue generated from parking fees is used to pay for related expenses, such as construction costs, maintenance and operations. The university system took no formal position on Weber’s bill.

But there’s also the added layer of labor contracts.

Through the collective bargaining process, CSU employees have been able to set faculty parking rates and freeze them for the duration of the contract, which is usually three years at a time. That leaves students feeling like they are bearing the brunt of parking cost increases.

employee parking contract

CSU Employee Union’s contract states parking must be less than students’ fees.

“Students don’t have those same benefits or anything to relieve the cost that we’re paying. And it’s because we don’t have anybody who gets to negotiate these agreements or make these contracts for us,” Cal State Fullerton student Meghan Waymire said in an interview. “Only faculty and staff have those unions. Students don’t have those same representatives.”

Weber said AB 532 stalled because it was linked to labor contracts—a condition that CSU students say is unnecessary to gaining parking parity. The students only wanted to adjust the rates so that they would be equal to or no longer subsidize the rates of employees, without having any revenue come from CSU or the state.

“We don’t want faculty and staff to also be burdened by this and also have to pay more,” Waymire said. “It’s really just about equity and the fact that students are paying nearly triple than what they’re paying, while also not receiving the same amount of benefits that they’re receiving.”

Labor groups say the public needs a better understanding of the current parking revenue structure before making changes.

David Balla-Hawkins, legislative director for CSU Employees Union, which represents 16,000 CSU support staff ranging from custodians to nurses, said the union supported the bill once it was amended to not interfere with the collective bargaining process. However, Balla-Hawkins said students may learn more about what their parking fees are used for through an audit requested by the Legislature.

The audit, which is expected to be released sometime this month, was sponsored by the union. It will look at the chancellor’s role in overseeing operations at CSU campuses as well as review and evaluate the current structure of the university’s parking program.

“I think what students need to be attentive to is what’s going on with the money they’re paying for parking permits,” Balla-Hawkins said. “What’s it being used for? And that’s what the state audit is going to answer.”

For now, students will keep watching parking fees climb.

Waymire, who also serves as a student government officer at Cal State Fullerton, said students at her campus will see a $100 increase in their parking rates within the next year.

Currently, students are paying $236 for a parking permit per semester. On July 1, that rate will increase to $285 a semester and by July 2020, the parking rate will be $334 a semester for students.

“That’s just the student fees that are going to be increasing,” Waymire said. “The reason they’re increasing our fees is to build a new structure. And so even with that, we’re not going to have enough parking spaces for students.”

New Bureau of Environmental Justice Seeking Funding and Enforcement Power?

Bad news for freedom.  A new California agency to monitor and enforce “environmental justice”.  This is another agency in the blackmail business for a socialist Sacramento.  It will be used to force developers and business people to pay larger fees and get more permits, create more studies and force them to close or leave the State.

“In February of 2018, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra created the Bureau of Environmental Justice within the Environment Section at the California Department of Justice. The mission of this agency within an agency is “to protect people and communities that endure a disproportionate share of environmental pollution and public health hazards. This will be accomplished through oversight, investigation, and enforcement ofthe law,” the DOJ website states.

“With enforcement of environmental crimes declining dramatically at the federal level, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the creation of a Bureau of Environmental Justice that will work to protect people who live in polluted communities through oversight, investigation, and enforcement of the law,” ThinkProgress reported in 2018. “The environmental justice bureau’s initial staffing will be composed of a supervising deputy attorney general and three deputy attorneys general.”

Trump is stopping the Federal government blackmailing business people.  But California Attorney General Becerra has decided to act like the Mafia.  This will cause firms to stop expanding in the State, leave the State or never come into the State.  Socialism needs blackmail to succeed—Becerra when termed out could become the dictator of Cuba, with all of his experience.

New Bureau of Environmental Justice Seeking Funding and Enforcement Power?

The DOJ’s agency within an agency appears redundant

By Katy Grimes, California Globe,  6/6/19 

In February of 2018, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra created the Bureau of Environmental Justice within the Environment Section at the California Department of Justice. The mission of this agency within an agency is “to protect people and communities that endure a disproportionate share of environmental pollution and public health hazards. This will be accomplished through oversight, investigation, and enforcement ofthe law,” the DOJ website states.

“With enforcement of environmental crimes declining dramatically at the federal level, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the creation of a Bureau of Environmental Justice that will work to protect people who live in polluted communities through oversight, investigation, and enforcement of the law,” ThinkProgress reported in 2018. “The environmental justice bureau’s initial staffing will be composed of a supervising deputy attorney general and three deputy attorneys general.”

“To all who advocate for environmental justice, the California Department of Justice will work with you and fight for a clean, safe and healthy environment,” Becerra said.

AB 1628 by Assemblyman Robert Rivas (D-Hollister), appears to provide a hushed process to codify a bureau already created by the Attorney General where it appears their mission is to sue the federal government. But the AG already has more than 50 lawsuits against the Trump Administration, with nearly half of those lawsuits focusing on environmental issues, and regulatory rollbacks the Trump administration has made at the federal level.

The bill requires the director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research to consult with the Attorney General and the Bureau when coordinating environmental justice programs.

According to Assemblyman Rivas, “Low-income people and people of color endure a disproportionate share of environmental pollution and public health hazards where they live, work, and go to school. These frontline communities often lack resources and opportunities to combat environmental harms and are denied a voice in key decisions that impact their health. AB 1628 supports the Attorney General’s Bureau of Environmental Justice in its efforts to protect these vulnerable communities from environmental hazards and adds ‘meaningful engagement’ to the definition of environmental justice to ensure all voices are heard.”

During a hearing on AB 1628 Wednesday in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, Rivas said his bill would authorize enforcement for the Bureau. And it was clear funding was part of the ask.

Senator Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) said she had a problem “codifying an agency within an agency,” never authorized by the Legislature. “We are committing tax dollars to a new agency which should have been reviewed by the Legislature first.”

Bates made an important point. Creation of the Bureau stepped on the toes of the legislature responsible for providing guidance and oversight when creating permanent government entities. And legitimizing a new agency who measures their effectiveness through the number of times the federal government has been sued needs to be examined and scrutinized legislatively.

One of the goals of the Bureau of Environmental Justice is to “challenge the federal government’s actions that repeal or reduce public health and environmental protection.” 

“The Attorney General is already our lawyer,” Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) said to Rivas. Wieckowski seemed to question the need for the bill, as well as the DOJ’s new Bureau of Environmental Justice, given that the Attorney General is already required to uphold all California law.

SB 115 by Solis in 1999 established the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) as the lead agency in state government for environmental justice programs. SB 115 requires the Director of OPR to consult with the Secretaries of the California Environmental Protection Agency, the Resources Agency, the Trade and Commerce Agency, the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency, any other appropriate state agencies, and all other interested members of the public and private sectors in this state.

AB 1628 also “revises” the definition of “environmental justice” to include “the meaningful engagement of people of all races, cultures, and incomes.”

JACKSON: Kamala’s Promise To End Right-To-Work Would Make Every State Like

Kamala Harris has made a promise to organized labor.  The Janus Supreme court decision does not matter—no one works in this country without paying a bribe to the unions.  She was very clear as to her opposition to workers and support of blackmail by unions and government.  Like any totalitarian nation, Harris believes the U.S. must not allow folks to work without permission—in this case, you have to pay a bribe if you want to work.

“Maybe it’s a “California value” to support conscripted unionism. But before Harris’ position becomes too hardened to walk back, she should consider how reforms would benefit workers in her home state.

At a recent union event in Las Vegas, Harris said part of the job of being president is “to speak up about the needs and the rights of workers,” and their ability “to organize and fight for their rights … It has to be about banning right-to-work laws.”

Forget for the moment that Harris has been tagged as an authoritarian for, in the words of Kristin Tate, promising to use “executive powers to ban state laws just because she doesn’t like them.” For now, let’s focus on what it would mean for California workers if this were a right-to-work state.

Like a dictator, she would use Executive Orders to steal from workers and end their freedoms.  Why do Democrats hate workers so much?  Why do they hate freedom.  They have no problem in giving a woman the “right” to kill a baby, but a worker is not allowed to work unless they pay a bribe.  Shameful.

JACKSON: Kamala’s Promise To End Right-To-Work Would Make Every State Like

Kerry Jackson | Pacific Research Institute, 6/7/19   

Democratic presidential candidate and California Sen. Kamala Harris has said that if she’s elected, she would issue an executive order to rescind hard-won worker freedom.

Maybe it’s a “California value” to support conscripted unionism. But before Harris’ position becomes too hardened to walk back, she should consider how reforms would benefit workers in her home state.

At a recent union event in Las Vegas, Harris said part of the job of being president is “to speak up about the needs and the rights of workers,” and their ability “to organize and fight for their rights … It has to be about banning right-to-work laws.”

Forget for the moment that Harris has been tagged as an authoritarian for, in the words of Kristin Tate, promising to use “executive powers to ban state laws just because she doesn’t like them.” For now, let’s focus on what it would mean for California workers if this were a right-to-work state.

In right-to-work states, workers can decide for themselves if they want to join a union or remain independent. In 22 states, including California, workers are forced to join unions, or at least pay union dues, when their employers use organized labor.

Liberating workers is one of the great advantages of right-to-work arrangements. For instance, they are not compelled to support unions, and their political activities. Workers have the power to take back control of their paycheck when they find little value from the union or disagree with its positions.

In addition to securing workers’ freedom, right-to-work laws also elevate employment opportunities. According to NERA Consulting Group, private-sector employment grew by 27 percent in right-to-work states between 2001 and 2016, but only 15 percent in states that didn’t have them.

At the same time, annual unemployment rates in right-to-work states was 0.4 percentage points lower than in states that don’t protect workplace freedom.

“In concrete terms,” says NERA, “if non-right-to-work states had had the same unemployment rate as right-to-work states in 2017, approximately 249,000 more people would have been employed.”

Economic output was also higher in states where workers are free to choose. That meant personal income was higher, as well, better by 13 percentage points — 39 percent versus 26 percent — over non-right-to-work states between 2001 and 2016, says NERA.

In Michigan, a traditional union stronghold, accelerated wage increases followed enactment of right-to-work legislation. From 2012, when lawmakers voted to secure workplace freedom, until the middle of 2015, incomes rose 9 percent faster than the national average.

Both findings invalidate opponents’ argument that workers are harmed by these laws because they drive down wages.

The NERA report also tells us that businesses prefer to locate in right-to-work states. This should be of special interest to policymakers in a state where businesses are fleeing its grinding tax-and-regulation regime in alarmingly large numbers.

It’s no coincidence that states with the best climate for small business have right-to-work laws. The data show that worker freedom laws are accompanied by economic dynamism.

States that have enacted right-to-work laws, according to Pacific Research Institute Senior Fellow Wayne Winegarden, grow faster than the states that haven’t. “The forced unionization that occurs without right-to-work laws significantly raises cost for businesses.”

“Passing a right-to-work law in California” should be at the top of any regulatory reform agenda in California, because it “will make the state more attractive to businesses leading to an increase in investment,” Winegarden added.

Greater investment will then “translate into more jobs and higher incomes.”

In some sense, all states are now right-to-work states for public employees, thanks to the Supreme Court’s Janus decision, in which a 5-4 majority said that that government workers are not required to pay unions to keep their jobs. It has the potential to be a historic ruling, severely weakening private-sector unions as workers who have been shackled to organized labor realize they can be free agents.

To no one’s surprise, California lawmakers have been rushing to undermine Janus. Such a poisoned political environment sharply decreases the odds that right-to-work legislation would even get a fair hearing in Sacramento, much less a floor vote in one of the chambers. Harris would never have to worry about her home state challenging her administration if she used the power of the White House to roll back workplace freedom.

Kerry Jackson is a fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute, a nonprofit group advocating for limited government.


 The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Mohammed, the Dirty Democrat in Charge of ‘Cleaning Up’ San Fran

Guv Newsom must be proud of himself.  For eight years he was Mayor of San Fran-now they have human feces everywhere you step, homeless LIVING in doorways on Market St., a housing crisis—and he begged illegal aliens to come to his town.  Kate Steinle has Newsom to than for her demise.  Now, we know the name of the Public Works Director that flushed the city down the toilet.

“Despite that, the City by the Bay is drowning in its own filth. San Fran is covered in human waste.

There have been 118,352 cases of human waste on the streets of San Francisco since 2011. That’s also when Mohammed Nuru (pictured above) took over as the head of the city’s Department of Public Works.

The Nigerian immigrant who calls himself Mr. Clean has been promising to clean up San Francisco back to the Willie Brown days. Brown, the notoriously corrupt city boss, had picked Nuru as his point man, after some assistance on political campaigns, appointing him DPW deputy director in 2000.

Nuru had gotten his start with SLUG, a social justice community gardening organization. His degree was in landscape architecture and San Francisco’s problem was its unbelievably filthy streets.

But Mr. Clean was a protégé of Mayor Brown and complaints quickly rose from DPW employees about corruption, discrimination and intimidation. DPW employees complained that he filled DPW positions with his own political allies from SLUG, diverted street cleaning funds to SLUG, and used public employees to improve areas near his home. DPW people who complained about Mohammed were demoted or transferred. If you crossed Mr. Clean, the word was that he would ‘clean you out’.”

Corrupt and dirty—the legacy of Mohammed Nuru and the Democrat Party.  You do not have to go to Cuba to visit the Third World, go to San Fran.

Mohammed, the Dirty Democrat in Charge of ‘Cleaning Up’ San Francisco

How Gavin Newsom, Kamala Harris, Mohammed Nuru and other Democrats made San Fran so filthy.

Daniel Greenfield, Frontpage, 6/6/19 

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

San Francisco has the highest rents in the country. At an average of $3,690 for a one bedroom, it’s more expensive than New York City, Hong Kong, Paris and London. The median price of a single-family home is $1.6 million. The median price of a condo is $1.17 million. The cheapest home in the city is a 765-square-foot unlivable wooden shack with no bathroom built in 1906 which can be yours for only $350,000.

Despite that, the City by the Bay is drowning in its own filth. San Fran is covered in human waste.

There have been 118,352 cases of human waste on the streets of San Francisco since 2011. That’s also when Mohammed Nuru (pictured above) took over as the head of the city’s Department of Public Works.

The Nigerian immigrant who calls himself Mr. Clean has been promising to clean up San Francisco back to the Willie Brown days. Brown, the notoriously corrupt city boss, had picked Nuru as his point man, after some assistance on political campaigns, appointing him DPW deputy director in 2000.

Nuru had gotten his start with SLUG, a social justice community gardening organization. His degree was in landscape architecture and San Francisco’s problem was its unbelievably filthy streets.

But Mr. Clean was a protégé of Mayor Brown and complaints quickly rose from DPW employees about corruption, discrimination and intimidation. DPW employees complained that he filled DPW positions with his own political allies from SLUG, diverted street cleaning funds to SLUG, and used public employees to improve areas near his home. DPW people who complained about Mohammed were demoted or transferred. If you crossed Mr. Clean, the word was that he would ‘clean you out’.

“Everybody was scared of Willie Brown,” a former DPW maintenance manager who was forced out for resisting Mohammed Nuru’s alleged abuses said. “Nobody wanted to do anything about it.”

Nuru had been a Brown campaign volunteer before he even became a citizen. And had allegedly forced SLUG employees to campaign for the corrupt San Fran boss, telling them that their jobs depended on it.

Mohammed Nuru landed a top job at the DPW where he promised to “get rid of those white managers.”

It was the first of an endless series of scandals involving the Nigerian community organizer who keeps promising to clean up a city that, like its DPW boss, only keeps getting dirtier every year.

By 2004, four years later, Mohammed Nuru had been banned from any further dealings with his old SLUG buddies after the social justice group was accused of pressuring workers to campaign and vote for Gavin Newsom in the city’s mayoral election. (Newsom has since become governor of California.)

SLUG employees were once again being told that they would lose their jobs if Newsom didn’t win.

The event at which SLUG employees, many of them homeless or ex-cons, were forced to cast absentee ballots had been sponsored by Attorney General Kamala Harris. (Brown’s other protégé has since become Senator Harris and is running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.)

Kamala Harris’ campaign manager admitted to being in contact with Mohammed Nuru during the election and SLUG workers filled up Harris events.

Harris and Newsom both claimed not to know anything and called for a full investigation. Like all the other Nuru investigations, this one led to absolutely no meaningful results.

Meanwhile San Francisco kept getting dirtier in both the literal and metaphorical senses.

Ed Lee, Nuru’s boss at the Department of Public Works, had done such a fantastic job that the Board of Supervisors appointed him to run the city after Newsom moved up the Democrat ladder that began in a San Francisco sewer and ended in Sacramento. Lee, like Nuru, had been something of a community organizer. Then the boss who, would later be on top during the purge of DPW personnel who objected to Nuru’s behavior had been implemented, had overseen a whistleblower program. And now, mayor.

Despite the scandals, Mayor Ed Lee appointed Mohammed Nuru to his old job as the Director of DPW.

“Mohammed Nuru is a dedicated public servant who has proven over the last decade to be one of the hardest working City employees keeping San Francisco clean, green and beautiful,” Lee claimed.

Nuru had been at it since 2000. And nobody would describe San Francisco as clean.

Mayor Ed Lee appointed Mohammed Nuru to head DPW in 2011. That year there had been 5,547 “human waste incidents”. By 2013, there were 8,793 human waste incidents.

A 58% increase.

Mr. Clean was hard at work on the job.

By 2016, the number of human waste incidents had tripled to 18,276.

And San Francisco’s Department of Public Works was the worst disaster of them all. Mohammed Nuru had begun his tenure with accusations of election scandals and discrimination against white DPW personnel. By 2009, he was being accused of discriminating against black women.

Nuru had allegedly told an African-American manager investigating discrimination complaints that she “needed to know her place and show proper respect”.

Other employees were reportedly told, “You may want to stay away from her. You’d better watch being around her because Mohammed would not be happy with you.”

Then she was fired.

Taxpayers paid out $105,000 in a settlement, but Mohammed Nuru got a promotion.

Keeping Mohammed happy has been a bigger priority for San Fran Democrats than a clean city.

In 2018, there had been 28,084 human waste complaints in San Francisco. Annual human waste complaints had increased 400% since Mohammed ‘Mr. Clean’ Nuru had taken over at DPW.

Fortunately, DPW had a plan.

Between 2013 and 2018, human waste incidents had increased by over 200%. But DPW had paid a public relations firm $408,745 to produce reports claiming that San Francisco was spotless.

Even as the city was drowning in trash, the PR firm gave it the highest cleanliness marks ever.

Mohammed Nuru replied by conceding, “They might have sampled some of the nicer parts of the city.”

Nuru has failed miserably at cleaning up San Francisco. The city is now much filthier than when he started by metrics other than those produced by a PR firm being paid to tell a story no one believes.

The Nigerian immigrant, with a degree in landscape architecture from Kansas State, and a job at a politically connected social justice non-profit, was never qualified to run an organization with a $312 million budget and over 1,600 employees. He’s been followed by scandals, election scandals, discrimination scandals, and abuse of power scandals, from the very beginning.

The street cleaning budget has doubled and the waste has quadrupled.

Willie Brown is in disgrace. Ed Lee is gone. Gavin Newsom is governor. Kamala Harris sits in the Senate.

“I will say there is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen growing up here,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said.

So why hasn’t she replaced Mohammed Nuru?

Breed, like Nuru and Harris, also got her start as a Brown protégé. And there is one more rumor.

“One lengthy, handwritten, anonymous letter, obviously from inside the agency, mentioned another more personal reason — ‘He dated London Breed’ (several other DPW sources also said they were aware of this, and one even hinted it may not be a thing of the past),” a letter column mentions.

Why is San Francisco filthy? It’s not the homeless. They just make it dirty. It’s the politicians who keep it dirty. Drug addicts may scatter needles on the street, but Democrats keep Mohammed Nuru on the job.

California Is The Future The Liberal Elite Wants For You

Los Angeles now has a typhus outbreak.  San Jose has tripled the number of rapes.  California has the highest taxes, housing costs, energy, water and education costs.  All areas of government have failed.  CalPERS is actually investing in technology firms that are harming American companies—Chinese firms, some run by the China government.  This is what Harris, Feinstein, Newsom and their buddies want for the rest of their nation.  California is Venezuela in the making.

“California has morphed from paradise into a garbage state run by garbage people for their own garbage benefit and amusement. The “garbage” part is literal – once the Sierra Nevada mountains symbolized the state; now, towering heaps of trash and human waste do. Welcome to what the Democrats want for all of America. Just watch your step. Literally.

 If it were not for the climate, something the liberals in charge of my state have nothing to do with as much as they think they do, it would likely be a nearly empty desert once again. But the sun shines, the beach beckons and the palm trees sway over a population of morons who keep electing proggy fascists to run the place. Which they are doing, right into the ground.

Where once people flocked to make their dreams come true, you now pay multiples more for a U-Haul heading out than heading in. The great California middle class, made up of the Normal people whose hard work and ingenuity made it the Golden State (even though Hollywood types got the publicity), is fleeing to places where they can afford to live, and where the government doesn’t hate them. 

This gets worse until the voters say no or the last productive person leaves the State.  We are in a crisis—we have a homeless crisis, a housing crisis, a tax crisis, now we have a government crisis.

California Is The Future The Liberal Elite Wants For You

Kurt Schlichter, Townhall,  6/6/19 

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California has morphed from paradise into a garbage state run by garbage people for their own garbage benefit and amusement. The “garbage” part is literal – once the Sierra Nevada mountains symbolized the state; now, towering heaps of trash and human waste do. Welcome to what the Democrats want for all of America. Just watch your step. Literally.

 If it were not for the climate, something the liberals in charge of my state have nothing to do with as much as they think they do, it would likely be a nearly empty desert once again. But the sun shines, the beach beckons and the palm trees sway over a population of morons who keep electing proggy fascists to run the place. Which they are doing, right into the ground.

Where once people flocked to make their dreams come true, you now pay multiples more for a U-Haul heading out than heading in. The great California middle class, made up of the Normal people whose hard work and ingenuity made it the Golden State (even though Hollywood types got the publicity), is fleeing to places where they can afford to live, and where the government doesn’t hate them. 

And hate them Sacramento does, targeting Normals with petty and not so petty attacks, from bans on straws and gun grabs to the threat of lifting the Proposition 13 caps on property taxes that keep millions of retirees from being tossed out of their homes when their annual bills go up 4000%. What would that mean? Well, when that modest ranch style you bought for $100,000 in 1985 gets reassessed to its current $1,000,000 value (something Prop 13 prevents), and the 1% Prop 13 tax rate goes to 3% or 4%, your tax bill goes from $1,000 a year to $30,000-$40,000. Remember that retirement you worked for? Well, now it will all go to subsidize the deadbeat government workers and welfare cheats that the California Democrats really represent.

 “No, that’s crazy talk! That would never happen!” 

Yeah? Just watch.

Already, petty crime has been effectively legalized. Crooks get a free pass on the first $950 a day they steal. The casual larceny and other offenses that make life unbearable are becoming more and more common as liberal laws release criminals to victimize regular citizens. This is known as “justice,” as if someone who steals from a hardworking businessman is being cruelly put out by being arrested for it.

 And now pot’s effectively legal here, which is spectacular. Just what Cali needed – more people on a drug that makes them dumber and lazier.

Take a walk down the street and see the sights! Look, there’s a schizo with his cargo shorts around his ankles baying at the billboard informing you about how no human being is illegal! Oh, and there’s another homeless druggie muttering to himself about alien carrots stealing his vital essences as he pushes along his stolen shopping cart heaped with refuse. If you’re appalled or distressed by this, you’re the bad guy. Caring means letting lunatics and addicts wallow in the elements enslaved by their insanity and/or sickness. Shame on you for wanting your kids to be able to play outside. Hypodermic needles and piles of human waste on the sidewalk are just part of the price you must pay to dwell in the sun.

This does not go for the nice areas. The liberal poohbahs don’t play that in their neighborhoods. See how quick a mangy doper wandering through Bel Air gets swooped up by the 5-O. This kind of virtue is for your neighborhood; in the ruling class enclaves they only do the signaling. 

Take a drive down California’s famous freeways. Actually, not a drive – it’s really a crawl. Putting aside the potholes, there’s been a conscious decision to not improve traffic flow by making the roads wider to accommodate all the illegal foreigners that Sacramento has laid out the welcome mat for. This is intended to force us into public transportation, which the central planners love. After all, when we have cars we can decide where and when to go and they don’t get a veto. They hate that. Our independence and sovereignty gnaws at them.

They hate freedom. Well, our freedom. Not their own – all their climate change talk about sacrifice and stuff is meant for us. We do the sacrificing. They do as they please and preen in the moral spotlight for forcing us Normals to live like serfs.

When a Hollywood star or a tech titan gives up his limo or private jet, let me know. I’ll be right here, not holding my breath.

Which raises the question of why I am still right here in California, as I have been since 1972 except for my time away in the Army. At the outset, the “If you don’t like it, move,” argument is a garbage argument made by garbage people. This is my home and I see no reason why I should leave simply because I demand freedom and competent government. At least, for the foreseeable future, before the chaos comes. 

Second, I like the sun, and I like the part of California where I live. You see, I’m a trial lawyer. Leaving aside that California’s idiotic laws make this place an Eden for attorneys, I live in one of the good parts, beach adjacent, surrounded by other people with nice cars, protected by cops who actually will take action. Leave my little Shangri-La and it gets ugly and grimy, but in this little blue enclave, everything’s generally peachy – for the moment. Out there are the peasants. In here are the feudal lords. Most of those social pathologies I mentioned are for them, not us. California is divided up into a few well-off people and a huge majority who scrape by. In much of West LA, or Silicon Valley, or parts of Scat Francisco, things are pretty nice. Everywhere else, not so much.

Of course, that can’t last. The snobs and swells of Cali can’t see that any more than the nobles of Paris saw the guillotine blade dropping. I expect to be gone before the collapse, with my money, but hey – I’ll be watching the chaos on Fox. You rich libs, please try to look surprised!

But, you wonder, won’t California get its act together before it’s too late? Of course not. It’s important to understand that there is no bottom, that no matter how impoverished, oppressive and generally miserable a land under the Birkenstock heel of socialism becomes, the cadres of the Red Guard will never shift course towards 

freedom. After all, freedom and prosperity are not their goal; in fact, those things are obstacles to achieving the true objective – unlimited power for the leftist nomenklatura. 

California will continue to circle the drain, and barring revolution – a real one, with all the attendant bad stuff for the ruling class – there’s no coming out of it. They’re dining on zebras in the Caracas zoo and yet the socialist revolution marches on. California is no different; it’s just a decade behind the Venezuelan vanguard. 

It’s doomed. And what’s important to understand is that the liberal elite wants the same thing for the rest of America. To our ruling class, California is not a cautionary example. It’s the goal for our whole country.

Are you going to let that happen? 

I write about what happens when the left reaches rock bottom and proceeds to keep digging in my action-packed yet super-snarky novels about the United States’ split into red and blue countries. People’s Republic, the first of the series, takes place in California. Indian Country andWildfire carry on the story. Not surprisingly, liberals and the sissy castaways from the Weekly Standard hate my novels, calling them “Appalling.” With a blurb like that, you can’t pass them up!

No longer the loneliest? Why Oregon’s all-in climate push matters to California

Oregon is demolishing hydroelectric power providing dams.  This is clean, efficient and cheap energy—that they sell to California utilities.  Thanks to Oregon policies, the cost of energy goes up for Californians.  Now Oregon is joining with California to create higher energy costs—and a limited amount of energy—to the West Coast.  Watch as we have brownouts and blackouts this summer.  All because government refuses to do its job and clean out the dead trees and brush from our forests.

“A bill winding its way through the Oregon legislature could finally give California a U.S. partner in the cap-and-trade program it shares with the Canadian province of Quebec. Other states have embraced carbon trading to curb greenhouse gases pumped out by power plants. But this bill would make Oregon the only state besides California to rely on the market for emissions reductions throughout its entire economy.

“California really led with all-in, and I want Oregon to be all-in, too,” said Oregon state representative Karin Power, a Democrat who co-chairs the policy committee spearheading the bill. “We can do this. We know that science tells us we have to.”

Oregon is now in cahoots to make sure businesses and productive people leave California—too expensive to pay for energy.  Especially since the policy of Sacramento is to make the use of energy unreliable in this State.  Another reason for decent people to leave a State who has used Venezuela as a model for energy use.

No longer the loneliest? Why Oregon’s all-in climate push matters to California

By Rachel Becker, CalMatters,  6/6/19 

After efforts to unite the West under a carbon-trading program stalled for nearly a decade, Oregon will decide this month whether it wants to follow in California’s footsteps.

A bill winding its way through the Oregon legislature could finally give California a U.S. partner in the cap-and-trade program it shares with the Canadian province of Quebec. Other states have embraced carbon trading to curb greenhouse gases pumped out by power plants. But this bill would make Oregon the only state besides California to rely on the market for emissions reductions throughout its entire economy.

“California really led with all-in, and I want Oregon to be all-in, too,” said Oregon state representative Karin Power, a Democrat who co-chairs the policy committee spearheading the bill. “We can do this. We know that science tells us we have to.”

“It’s like us going back and seeing an old friend.”

California set itself up to be a global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but it never intended to go it alone. While the bill doesn’t automatically connect Oregon to California’s market, it creates a compatible system so they could link up down the line—and according to Power, that’s the ultimate goal. Supporters say that expanding the cap-and-trade market to Oregon could increase competition, lower compliance costs, and speed decarbonization of the West.

“It’s like us going back and seeing an old friend,” said Rajinder Sahota, who oversees climate programs including cap and trade for the California Air Resources Board. “It’s very exciting to see them get this far. I know how hard they’ve worked.”

Oregon’s bill still needs to survive the House and the Senate before it ends up on the governor’s desk by the end of June. Still, its chances are looking good with a Democrat supermajority in the Oregon legislature. The current bill sets ambitious targets for greenhouse gas reductions over the next 30 years: 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2035 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

The cap-and-trade system it sets up to meet those targets looks a lot like California’s. Big greenhouse gas producers across the economy, like power plants and heavy industry, can work toward those targets by upgrading their facilities, or by using credits. Each credit allows a company to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gases, and the number of credits the state issues drops every year.

Oregon will give away some of those credits, also called allowances, to discourage companies from fleeing the state and protect low-income customers from spikes in gas and utility bills. The rest, they’ll sell at auctions. Companies can use these credits, trade them, or hold onto them — a controversial practice known as banking.

Will Oregon’s constitution prove a sticking point?

Auction income will help fund statewide greening projects to reduce or soak up greenhouse gases, help Oregon adapt to climate change, or transition the state to clean energy.  But Oregon’s constitution could throw a wrench into those plans, because income linked to fuel sales for vehicles might be restricted to road and highway projects. The state won’t know for sure without a court decision.

That worries Danny Cullenward, policy director at climate change think-tank Near Zero and a member of the Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee, who thinks restricting where the revenue can go could hurt the program’s popularity. “The political economy of the process turns on the way we use revenue,” he said. “If you spend money on targeted sectors, they might support your work. Oregon doesn’t really have that flexibility.”

Here’s why that matters: if Oregon’s cap-and-trade program crashes and burns, it will hurt the chances of carbon trading in other states. When it comes to market-based programs, “there’s a growing perception that they’re ineffective and that they’re being used to delay or defray action,” Cullenward said. “If it continues to not go well, it’s going to increase resistance to these programs among the climate activist community whose support is essential.”

“One seller and one buyer don’t get to set the price.”

Of course, there’s a lot to work out before we know what the promises and pitfalls of Oregon’s program really will be. And one lingering question is whether Oregon will join California and Quebec in a cap-and-trade market called the Western Climate Initiative. Oregon’s return to the fold would allow companies in Oregon, California, and Quebec to trade credits across state lines.

When it comes to markets, bigger is better, according to the air board’s Sahota. Oregon, for example, may have business sectors where it’s faster or cheaper to decarbonize than in California—or vice versa, she said. More companies buying and trading allowances also means more competition, and fewer opportunities to collude and manipulate the market. “One seller and one buyer don’t get to set the price in the program,” she said.

One common critique of California’s cap-and-trade system is that too many allowances are floating around the market and sitting in companies’ pockets. The concern is once the low-hanging, greenhouse-gas-reducing fruit are off the tree, industries will trot out banked allowances instead of making difficult changes to reduce emissions.

Sahota doesn’t share that concern. She pointed to a recent auction where allowances sold above the minimum price. “If there were too many allowances, the auction prices would not be above the floor price,” she said.

Michael Wara, director of the Climate and Energy Policy Program at Stanford University, suspects that Oregon might help soak up some of California’s allowances because its hydropower-heavy electricity sector is already pretty clean. Reducing emissions from transportation or industry could be more challenging, so Oregon may wind up buying allowances from California companies still able to make easier carbon cuts.

“Basically that’s like Oregon paying California to reduce its emissions for it,” Wara said. “People have wondered if that would really happen, if it would be politically sustainable — and it seems like maybe it is.” Quebec’s power sector, after all, is also heavily reliant on hydropower, and its cap-and-trade system has survived its union with California for years.

“No other U.S. state has followed California down this road.”

Beyond the cap-and-trade market itself, Dallas Burtraw, Dairus Gaskins Senior Fellow at the Washington D.C. think tank Resources for the Future, is optimistic that an Oregon cap-and-trade program could give a boost to the clean tech market. Sending a signal of regulatory certainty could ease investments in electric vehicle charging stations, or a hydrogen super-highway, he said.

“That makes the California program even more robust because the program design is starting to propagate,” Burtraw said. “Investors can say, ‘Oh this gives me some confidence that this is what the world is going to look like in the future.’”

Wara said he thinks Oregon’s push toward cap-and-trade would be more significant politically than economically given its small size. “No other U.S. state has followed California down this road,” he said. “Oregon does it now, next session, you come back and maybe Washington has another run at it, maybe somebody else. New Mexico is another potential target.”

Oregon representative Power is also optimistic Oregon could kick-start a bigger movement. “Oregon is a state that most people in the rest of the country can’t pronounce. If we can do it, then it’s not just California being an outlier,” she said. “This is doable, and other states should follow us.”

High Schoolers Who Work At Walmart Will See A New Perk — SAT And ACT Study Help

The free market works.  Wal Mart needs qualified employees, loyal and motivated people.  One way is to provide young people with an incentive to work for the company.  In the end, they may come back, after college for a career at Wal Mart.

“The giant retailer is adding several new education benefits with an eye toward high school student employees. The company will pay for ACT and SAT prep courses, allow students to schedule hours around the school day and offer up to seven hours of free college credit.

Walmart is making these job perks available to all employees, but they’re targeted toward teenagers. It’s the latest sign of a tight labor market. Walmart is among a number of companies that are experimenting with new ways to lure new employees. And the retailer says some of these education incentives could help prepare retail workers for life beyond Walmart.

This is what Economic Freedom looks like—a company providing benefits not mandated by government—because it is a good thing to do.

High Schoolers Who Work At Walmart Will See A New Perk — SAT And ACT Study Help

By Amy Scott,  NPR, 6/6/19  

High school students who stock shelves and bag groceries at Walmart now have more than just a paycheck to look forward to.

The giant retailer is adding several new education benefits with an eye toward high school student employees. The company will pay for ACT and SAT prep courses, allow students to schedule hours around the school day and offer up to seven hours of free college credit.

Walmart is making these job perks available to all employees, but they’re targeted toward teenagers. It’s the latest sign of a tight labor market. Walmart is among a number of companies that are experimenting with new ways to lure new employees. And the retailer says some of these education incentives could help prepare retail workers for life beyond Walmart.

With more than 2 million workers worldwide, Walmart is one of the largest private employers, and less than 2% of its employees are in high school. But the race to hire and keep workers has never been more competitive, which is why the company says it’s beefing up its Live Better U program.

“We have a whole segment of our workforce — granted it’s very small, it’s less than 25,000 today — but a whole segment that wasn’t benefiting” from the program, says Michelle Malashock, a spokeswoman for Walmart.

Last year, the company introduced a job perk that offered to pay workers to go to college.The tab to workers was just $1 a day. Walmart partnered with several universities to offer associate’s and bachelor’s degrees to many of its workers. The company is even considering offering a bonus for select, stellar employees who graduate from college through the program.

Perks like these are what drew Ethan Roberts, a rising high school senior, to apply for a job at a Walmart in Fayette County, Ga.

“I heard that they had a lot of benefits [for] going into college, and they had a lot of programs that would benefit me in the future,” the 16-year-old says. “I had already taken the ACT and SAT, but I’m going to take them again so I can get better scores. So I’ll definitely utilize that program.”

These new job perks to woo students aren’t unique to Walmart. The grocery chain Publix, shipping service UPS and fast-food chain Chipotleall have education benefits, mostly aimed at younger, college-aged workers.

“We have the lowest unemployment rate in recent history,” says Chatrane Birbal, director of policy engagement at the Society for Human Resource Management. “As a result, employers are carefully constructing their benefits packages to reflect the needs and demands of their specific workforce.”

However, Walmart is among the first to target high school students by offering prep courses for standardized testing. And Walmart officials say they believe the perks will help keep employees on the job.

“We absolutely think more people will stay with Walmart. I wouldn’t say that was the goal, but I’m sure it will help,” Walmart’s Malashock says.

The company is also encouraging stores to recruit from local high schools.

“One of the things we want to do is see our managers in the store partner with the school districts,” Malashock says.

The perks for high school students may not be the next step for most companies, Birbal and Malashock say, but they expect to see more employers strengthening the kinds of benefits they offer all workers.

Oakland Payroll: Up 43% in Four Years

Oakland is broke. It was forced to fire about a third of its police.  Crime is up.  But, the city was able to increase its budget by 43% in only four years.  They love to spend.  Expect efforts to increase the sales tax, promotion of bonds and other ways of government digging deeper in the pockets of those left behind in Oakland.

“In Oakland, the city payroll has exploded 43 percent in the last four years — up from $492 million in 2014 to an all-time high of $622 million in 2018, according to new data from the watchdog website, Transparent California.

Some of the city employees are making big bank. Take Oakland beat cop Malcom Miller, who has been among the city’s top earners for the past five years. He took home $539,735 in total compensation for 2018, $452,363 from straight pay, the site reported. Another big earner: Fire Captain Lawrence Hom, who raked in $557,655 in total compensation — an amount bulked up by $309,185 in overtime pay. Then there’s Civil Engineer Kenny Lau, who was reported to work 366 days in 2017, a leap year; last year, he earned regular pay of $116,503, plus overtime of $287,579, plus additional pay and benefits that put his total at $508,178, Robert Fellner of the organization told POLITICO Monday.”

What happened to pay equality in this town—the employees earn more than the governor and much more than the people of Oakland.  This is just the tip of the iceburg on the scam of the Progressives in the Bay Area.

Oakland Payroll:  Up 43% in Four Years

Carla Mariucci,  California Politico,  6/11/19    

THE BUZZ: In Oakland, the city payroll has exploded 43 percent in the last four years — up from $492 million in 2014 to an all-time high of $622 million in 2018, according to new data from the watchdog website, Transparent California.

Some of the city employees are making big bank. Take Oakland beat cop Malcom Miller, who has been among the city’s top earners for the past five years. He took home $539,735 in total compensation for 2018, $452,363 from straight pay, the site reported. Another big earner: Fire Captain Lawrence Hom, who raked in $557,655 in total compensation — an amount bulked up by $309,185 in overtime pay. Then there’s Civil Engineer Kenny Lau, who was reported to work 366 days in 2017, a leap year; last year, he earned regular pay of $116,503, plus overtime of $287,579, plus additional pay and benefits that put his total at $508,178, Robert Fellner of the organization told POLITICO Monday.

In Oakland, a city where the U.S. Census Bureau says the average full-time worker earns $50,313, that’s quite a gap between the average resident and the local public servants. For those top earners, the take home pay is more than twice that of the California governor, who earns a salary of $201,680, according to the California Citizens’ Compensation Commission.

In an email response to questions, Oakland public information officer L. Autumn King wrote, “the total compensation for just three employees reflects the daunting issue Oakland and many other cities face – the extreme rising costs of employee health benefits and pensions. The high overtime illustrates a high demand for services. Therefore, the city has added 310 fulltime positions in the last two years and put management controls in place to address this issue.”

THERE ARE ALSO SOME JAW-DROPPING NUMBERS OUT OF RICHMOND, another East Bay city with a bulked-up payroll, where — according to the website — an astounding 128 people earned more than $300,000 in 2018. That compares to just 35 in next-door Berkeley, the data shows. The city’s average full-time worker salary is $40,546, according to Census figures.

Transparent California is affiliated with the conservative-leaning Nevada Policy Research Institute, which describes itself as a “non-profit, free market and limited government policy” shop. But it posts a wide variety of data on compensation regarding cities, counties and individuals that are worth a read. Check out their latest release here.