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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Edward Ring

How Can California Reduce the Costs of Incarceration?

California Governor Gavin Newsom has agreed to give state prison correctional officers a 3 percent raise. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, there is “no evident justification” for this raise.

Arecent articlein theSacramento Beesummarizes portions of the LAO report, writing “The last time the state compared state correctional officers’ salaries to their local government counterparts, in 2013, state correctional officers made 40 percent more than officers in county-run jails, according to the LAO analysis,” and, “Since 2013, salary increases for state correctional officers have increased by a compounded 24 percent, according to the LAO.”

Within theLAO report, it is made clear that the rising cost for pensions is a major factor in escalating compensation costs for California’s prison guards. In theory, the cost to provide pension benefits is reasonable. The so-called “normal cost” of a… Read More

Edward Ring

California’s Public Sector Union “Deep State”

Deep State: A body of people, typically influential members of government agencies or the military, believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy. Oxford English Dictionary

The term “Deep State” has been around for at least a decade, but it has emerged into common parlancein reference tothe alleged opposition by elements of the U.S. intelligence community to the presidency of Donald Trump. An insightful analyst who has written extensively about the deep state on his blog “Of Two Minds,” is Charles Hugh Smith. In onerecent commentary, Smith created a diagram of the deep state, showing how it encompasses far more than just the intelligence agencies, but constitutes the entire so-called “establishment,” where virtually… Read More

Katy Grimes

California Legislative Spending Rampage Continues

If there is any doubt that this Democrat-controlled Legislature is on a spending rampage, take a look at the legislation below currently blowing through the Assembly and Senate.

All Democrat-authored bills

AB 1770 (Asm. Luis Alejo) makes non-citizens who are in the U.S. legally eligible for the California Food Assistance Program. AB 1770 is on suspense.

AB 1809 (Asm. Patty Lopez) eliminates the consideration of an individual’s assets as a condition of eligibility for CalWORKS. AB 1809 is currently being held in a committee.

SB 1010 (Sen. Ed Hernández) requires health plans and insurers to report information about prescription drug pricing to the State. Requires Department of Managed Health Care and Department of Insurance DOI to compile a report regarding the overall impact of drug costs on health care pricing.

AB 492 (Asm Lorena Gonzalez) provides an additional $50 per month to CalWORKS recipients for diapers for children under 2 years old.

SB 1465 (Sen. Pres. Kevin De León) allows the Governor to sign agreements making Los Angeles the host of the 2024 Olympic Games, including an agreement for joint liability.… Read More

Edward Ring

Populist Unity Can Overcome the Establishment’s Supermajority

Back in 2012 we published an article entitled “The Forgotten 33%,” which included a graphic entitled “American Voter Breakdown 2012.” It depicted the U.S. electorate as comprised of 46% who pay zero nettaxes, 20% who work for the government and are net tax consumers, the 1% “super rich,” and the “forgotten 33%,” who work in the private sector and earn enough to be positive net taxpayers.

The point of the article, then and now, was that people with an intrinsic preference for big government comprise a super-majority of voters in America. But something has changed since 2012…

AMERICAN VOTER BREAKDOWN 2016

The emergence of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders as serious contenders to become president of the U.S. reflects a growing awareness among voters in all of the above categories that things can and should be better. The 33% who… Read More

Katy Grimes

California: More Gun Control Increases Terror Problem

Immediately following the weekend terror attack on an Orlando gay bar, anti-gun ghouls, including President Barack Obama and Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, used the attack to demand even more gun control – without ever acknowledging that the gunman was a radicalized Islamic terrorist.

Guns don’t kill people. Crazy people kill people. And SUV’s don’t run over people in a crosswalk. We are a dysfunctional society run by demented liberals who claim they want everyone to live together, freely – except those of us who are responsible, law-abiding citizens. The controlling laws are directed at us.

Gun control and anti-gun laws only serve to weaken citizens, while terrorists, gangs and crazy people collect illegal arms. But a liberal, tyrannical government wants its citizenry to live in fear. What better way than preventing citizens from protecting themselves than gun control?

Gun Control

Firearms-related deaths have fallen dramatically over the years, according to a 2013 U.S. Justice Department… Read More

Edward Ring

Populist Candidates Still Ignore Government Unions

Nearly every objection that supporters of presidential candidates Trump and Sanders raise to the establishment are intimately associated with government unions. But neither the people’s voice, or that voice as it is reflected back to them by their populist heroes, articulates this fact.

(1) Do you want to reform Wall Street?

You’ll have to go through the government unions. Their union controlled pension funds are the biggest players on Wall Street. The union controlled cities that issue hundreds of billions in municipal bonds every year are a close second. Government unions benefit from the financialization of the American economy, even as it has wiped out the middle class. Low interest loans elevate prices for homes, which stimulates borrowing and consumer spending, which enriches corporations and the pension funds who invest in their stocks. High home prices raise property tax revenues. Low interest loans mean families can borrow more for college tuition – so unionized professors can continue to make six figure salaries for teaching a few hours a week, a few months a year.

(2) Do you want to restore reasonableness toRead More

Edward Ring

Government Unions and the Financialization of America

Financialization – “a pattern of accumulation in which profit making occurs increasingly through financial channels rather than through trade and commodity production.” – Greta Krippner, University of Michigan (sourceWikipedia)

If you want one word to describe the biggest threat to the American economy, “financialization” would be the prime candidate. This is a threat that has no ideology. The left tends to blame economic challenges on the excessive power of oligarchs. The libertarian right tends to blame economic challengeson excessive regulations emanating from oversized government. But financialization empowered the oligarchs. And financialization is the toxic remedy that has, for a time, enabled oversized government.

Krippner’s analysis of financialization goes beyond its obvious manifestations – the most obvious being the loophole that allows hedge fund managers to avoid payingordinary income tax on the billions in bonuses they earn when they get lucky placing bets with other people’s money. An excellent in-depth… Read More

Edward Ring

The Hypocrisy of Public Sector Unions

During the industrial age, labor unions played a vital role in protecting the rights of workers. Skeptics may argue that enlightened management played an equally if not greater role, such as when Henry Ford famously raised the wages of his workers so they could afford to buy the cars they made, but few would argue that labor unions were of no benefit. Today, in the private sector, the labor movement still has a vital role to play. There may be vigorous debate regarding how private sector unions should be regulated and what restrictions should be placed on their activity, but again, few people would argue they should not exist.

Public sector unions are a completely different story.

The differences between public and private sector unions are well documented. They operate in monopolistic environments, in organizations that are funded through compulsory taxes. They elect their bosses. They operate the machinery of government and can use that power to intimidate their political opponents.

Despite these fundamental differences in how they operate, public unions benefit from the still common perception that they areindistinguishable from private unions, that… Read More

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