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Edward Ring

California Cronyism and its Consequences

Crony capitalism is an economy in which businesses thrive not as a result of risk, but rather as a return on money amassed through a nexus between a business class and the political class. This is done using state power to crush genuine competition in handing out permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state intervention. Wikipedia, Feb. 2019

If the goal of public policy is to optimize the role of government, cronyism must be identified and curbed wherever possible. Cronyism wastes the limited resources of governments, at the same time as it reduces the efficiency of the private sector by using subsidies and other incentives to undermine healthy competition.

The harm caused by crony capitalism can best be illustrated by example. In California, cronyism is a major culprit in one of the worst policy failures in recent decades, the housing and the related homeless crisis.Several types of cronyism played into California’s housing debacle. The most significant was cronyism that took the form of regulations that favored the wealthiest, most established… Read More

Katy Grimes

Diablo Canyon Closure Has a Crony Problem

“Diablo Canyon produces twice as much power as all of California’s solar panels, 24 percent more than all of its wind, and 40 times more than its largest solar farm. Also, Diablo Canyon provides power to 3 million Californians on a patch of land the size of three football fields. Achieving the equivalent from a solar farm would require145 timesmore land; from wind, 500 times more.” —Michael Shellenberger, Breakthrough Institute co-founder,and Peter Raven,former Missouri Botanical Gardens head By Tom TantonRead More

Edward Ring

Silicon Valley Moving Toward Alliance With Big Labor

Back in the late 1970’s something happened to the Santa Clara Valley. Increasingly it became referred to as the Silicon Valley, because the emerging silicon based semiconductor industry found its first home in plants nestled along the southern shores of the San Francisco Bay.Boasting what are among the finest universities in the United States – Stanford and Cal Berkeley – and the best weather in the world, high technology companies began choosingthe San Francisco Bay Area in the 1940’s and never looked back. Where once there wereendless orchards of Prune, Apricot and Cherry trees, a sprawling ecosystem of high tech companies and venture capital firms now attracts talent from everywhere on earth. The Silicon Valley became, and remains, the epicenter ofthe most dramatic technological advances in history.

For the first 25 years or so, certainly through the end of the 20th century, the mantra in the Silicon Valley was “better, faster, cheaper.” Entrepreneurs were creating entire new industries, as digital technology enabled “mini-computers” to replace mainframes, and “work-stations” to replace mini’s, which were in-turn replaced by PCs and… Read More