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Katy Grimes

Regulation is the enemy of freedom

The U.S. Constitution provides for certain government regulations, but actually stresses minimum involvement. Regulations are merely a way for the government to implement social change and impart control.

But government intervention usually causes more harm than the problem the regulation sought to correct; most government regulations don’t work.

During a dinner party discussion with friends this weekend, the subject of gun control came up. “No one needs an assault rifle,” one friend said. “No one should be allowed to have one. I mean, who really needs… Read More

Katy Grimes

Prevailing wage scams steal from taxpayers

In what strange world do janitors get paid $45 per hour? In California, the land of the prevailing wage.

The dirty secret is that janitors often are not really getting paid $45 per hour, but the taxpayers are being charged this amount on public works projects.

Designed to help the worker, the prevailing wage was created to set a minimum hourly rate paid on all public works projects, primarily for construction workers. But the classification has been expanded and greatly abused.

One contractor’s saga

I recently met with a Southern California contractor who has owned a final construction cleanup business for more than 25 years. Final cleanup on government construction projects is always the last task in the project, and usually takes place within days of the occupants moving in, depending on the size and scope of the cleanup. The contractor said that the work he and his crews do includes cleaning the construction dust off of walls, washing and polishing floors, cleaning windows and mirrors, power-washing all surfaces, wiping down fixtures and hosing down the roof and parking lots.

He is hired as a subcontractor by large… Read More

Katy Grimes

Pravda laughs at American global warming hysteria

Imagine my surprise when I found an article in Pravda mocking Western academics, scientists, environmentalists and government elites for using the cause célèbre of “man-made global warming” as a way to “control the lives and behaviors of their populations.”

“Now, with their economies in a spiral of debt laden, non-manufacturing recession (if not out and out depression), the Elites, who sense they are loosing their grip or toe hold on key economic regions outside their home regions, are once again calling out… Read More

Katy Grimes

Opportunistic politicians jump on anti-gun campaign

Immediately after the horrific and tragic school shooting in Connecticut Friday, opportunistic politicians all across the country jumped on the anti-gun bandwagon.

My CalWatchdog colleague John Seiler, thankfully also jumped on the politicians yesterday. “…it didn’t take long for gun-control advocates to take a bead on our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” Seiler said. “It’s also shameful that politicians use such tragedies to advance their tyrannical agendas.”

Lt. Gov. jumps on bandwagon

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom wasted no time putting forth his next political campaign agenda. “For those… Read More

Katy Grimes

Calif. economy: Ya sure, you betcha, we’re fine!

The latest barrage of “news” reports that California is enjoying an economic recovery is evidence that this is most likely being driven by Gov. Jerry Brown’s office.

Ya sure, you betcha, we’re fine.

Given that the California Department of Finance works only for the governor, the pressure is on to provide numbers and information which presents a picture favorable to the governor.

This was never more clear than when a report showing the unemployment rate in the U.S. fell below 8 percent in order to boost to President Obama’s re-election campaign right after his first dismal debate performance with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

It was the numbers from California that gave the boost needed.

Conveniently, the Labor Department reported in Sept. that the nation’s jobless rate improved to 7.8 percent. The unemployment rate had not been that low since Obama took office in January 2009.

The latest monthly jobs report was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics the first week of October. The unemployment rate miraculously decreased to 7.8 percent in September, the BLS reported.

According to The Associated Press, “the… Read More

Katy Grimes

CEQA needs an overhaul, but don’t count on it

In the wee hours of the night, at the end of the last legislative session, language was added into a bill to push forward reforms to California’s 40-year old environmental policy, the California Environmental Quality Act.

The reforms were sponsored by the CEQA Working Group, a business-labor-government coalition. Intended to reduce frivolous environmental litigation and duplicative government oversight, the reforms ended up being part of a smoggy deal.

Before anyone could stop them, the Democratic leadership swooped in on the bill and changed it.

SB 317

Because of California’s stringent environmental laws and project-killing local planning requirements, nearly all public and private projects in the state are legally challenged under CEQA, even when a project meets all other environmental standards of state law.

SB 317, co-authored by Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Shafter, a gut-and-amend bill, would not have actually changed CEQA, but instead would have introduced a companion law to dictate how CEQA is enforced. The new legislation would have restricted certain types of lawsuits, and would have exempted some projects from CEQA… Read More

Katy Grimes

Legislative fractured fairy tale

The swearing-in of new legislators is usually a party atmosphere. Lawmakers feel celebratory after long campaigns. Yesterday’s swearing-in was not a disappointment however, along with the celebratory mood, there was an air of fantasy and fairy tale.

This is the largest freshman class, with 39 newly elected lawmakers, since 1966.

Perhaps the party mood was because of the new Democratic supermajority. While Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg insists that Democrats will not go hog wild with their unobstructed power, not everyone believes that. “I just don’t think we should come hurtling out of the gates talking about a bunch of new taxes,” Steinberg told media Monday.

“It’s in their DNA,” one Capitol staffer told me, but asked to remain anonymous. “It would go completely against everything they stand for. They can’t help themselves.”

Fractured fairy tales

When it came time to nominate the Assembly Speaker, the Capitol sergeants should have handed out airsick bags.

Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, D-Humbolt, nominated current Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles. Chesbro said Perez… Read More

Katy Grimes

Business closings bring huge losses

When a business closes it’s doors forever, the impacts are far-reaching.

The announcement of the upcoming closure of the Campbell’s Soup plant in Sacramento will have regional and statewide impact.

Econ. 101

I may have been a political science student, but my husband is a longtime Sacramento manufacturer. For many years I lived and worked Econ. 101 lessons alongside 250 employees.

My businessman husband was an economics major in college and frequently reminds me that economics education in college has seen a dramatic shift. There weren’t many Keynesian economists in universities back then. Unfortunately, today, Keynesian economics seems to be the only economic theory coming out of universities.

Keynesian economics is an economic theory stating that aggressive government interventions in the marketplace and monetary policy are the best way to ensure economic growth and stability.

Economist Walter Williams has explained for many years the reality of the free market economy in which businesses must make a profit in order to survive: ”In the market, when a firm fails to please its customers and fails to earn a… Read More

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