Can California Be Saved?

Some conservatives regard California as a lost cause, its economy and society doomed to decline. Yet despite its awful regulatory regime, the state retains its natural bounty and an edge in many key industries. Read more

Gavin Newsom Meets Reality with California’s Budget Deficit

Gavin Newsom, the would–be president many Democrats hope might be an alternative to the current dodderer–in–chief, has landed himself in hot water. Once an enthusiastic backer of just about every progressive cause, the California Governor must now cope with a budget deficit Read more

Savior of the City of Angels

The death last week of former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan is a reminder of both how low the city’s political culture has sunk and how strong leaders can help turn around a seemingly hopeless situation.

Read more

The End of the Silicon Valley Dream

It is difficult, given what Silicon Valley has become, to convey exactly what it was like in the 1970s and ‘80s. It was a remarkable center of technology, but also the embodiment of the spirit of capitalism at its very best, as epitomized by garage start-ups like Apple. Greed, of course, is always a human motivation, but the early Valley culture was created by entrepreneurial outsiders who genuinely wanted to make the world better.

Read more

Restaurant Revolution

Nokmaniphone Sayavong started her business, Nok’s Kitchen, during the worst of times—the Covid pandemic—and in a state that often treats small businesses with the delicacy of a cat torturing a mouse. Yet she has found a way to thrive. Read more

The SVB Collapse Marks the End of the Silicon Valley Era

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the second largest in US history, is raising concerns about a “contagion” that could trigger a financial panic. Read more

California’s Budget Deficit Spells Trouble

Just a year ago California Governor Gavin Newsom could, and did, brag about the state’s estimated $100 billion surplus. Flush with cash, the preening presidential hopeful was able to hand out thousands of dollars of goodies to households while financing an elaborate multi-billion dollar climate change agenda. Read more

California Jobs: A Multi-Dimensional Problem

“From the Beginning, California promised much. While yet barely a name on the map, it entered American awareness as a symbol of renewal. It was a final frontier: of geography and of expectation.”
— Kevin Starr, “Americans and the California Dream, 1850-1915” (1973)

On the surface, California’s job story seems positive. The “headline” unemployment number for December 2022 is low (4.1%). Payroll jobs continue to bounce back to close to pre-pandemic levels. As Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Newman would say, “What? Me worry?”

But a closer look at the longer-term, 20-year statistics shows a state with some very worrisome issues related to jobs, some of which are unique to California’s set of past policy choices. Read more

Views from The Left Coast: The Future of Cities

The Western US has long been an innovator in developing the urban form, notably in the creation of suburbanized, multipolar cities. Yet now that model is showing strain, and there’s a fierce debate about how western cities should grow. Watch as the panel explores these issues, from homelessness to high housing prices and the impact of regulation. Read more

How the California Dream Became a Nightmare

For Americans, California once looked like the future. It was a state defined by risk-taking and utopian dreaming. Yet for most Californians today, the upward mobility so central to the state’s ethos is rapidly disappearing. For decades, California was the primary destination for both other Americans and for foreign immigrants. Now, this trend has gone into reverse Read more