Tag: California

California’s Pension Tsunami Swells as Pension Benefits Surge »

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is the nation’s largest public pension fund. It also has massive unfunded liabilities, as much as $290 billion depending on the calculation method. Many are quick to blame the Great Recession and its low investment returns for the unfunded debts. But new data uncovered by the Sacramento...
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Not Even Achieving an Impossible Libertarian Dream Will Suffice »

Libertarians dream of cutting back the bloated Leviathan under whose weight people now struggle simply to catch their breath—breathing freely being almost beyond imagination. A few of us dream of eliminating the state altogether, however much we recognize the impossibility of doing so. Many more libertarians, however, believe that in propitious circumstances, the state...
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Stunning Results from California »

I’m going to summarize in a single paragraph a debate that has been raging in health policy for the past two decades. On one side is what I call the health policy orthodoxy. On my side is a small group of people that believe markets can work. The debate goes like this. Them: The...
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Time for Taxpayer Protections on California Transportation Projects »

The new span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is $5 billion over its original budget and nine years past its initial completion date. Such massive cost overruns and delays have shocked the public but one key question never gets asked, or answered: Why should taxpayers be on the hook for overruns? They shouldn’t,...
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Time To Unload the BART Gravy Train »

Last week’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) strike created the world’s largest parking lot, as 400,000 commuters who usually ride BART trains each day sat in cars and buses trying to move through the gridlocked Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area. Last Friday, the two striking unions agreed to return to work for 30 days while...
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Prison Eugenics in the Golden State »

In 2003, California Governor Gray Davis issued a formal apology for the forced sterilization of inmates in the state’s prisons, a practice officially banned in 1979. “To the victims and their families of this past injustice, the people of California are deeply sorry for the suffering you endured over the years,” he said in...
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SCOTUS Decision Offers Hope to Farmers Wanting Economic Freedom »

In addition to collecting information on your telephone and Internet activity, the federal government is collecting your raisins. Yes, you read that right. Since 1937, the federal government has forced raisin growers to hand over without compensation a percentage of their annual crop to a government-sponsored raisin marketing board, keeping this portion from consumers...
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Note to Gov. Brown on Medical Liability Law: If It Ain’t Broken, Don’t Operate »

California’s “tort wars” are heating up, and Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee notes: “The big question is whether plaintiffs’ attorneys will try again to overturn the $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases that Gov. Jerry Brown signed in 1975.” If increased by legislators—instead of by voters at the...
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Crony Capitalism? »

The US Postal Service is selling hundreds of properties in prime locations across the country to help them deal with their financial difficulties. In the past, the USPS has used multiple real estate agents to sell their properties, but in 2011 the USPS signed a contract with CBRE Group to be the sole provider...
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Why Government Shouldn’t Build Things (Part 3) »

I had earlier posted about the SNAFUed boondoggle also known as the Eastern span of the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge (here and here), but the bad news just keeps rolling in. Yesterday it was revealed that the tower supporting the entire self-anchored suspension bridge rests on bolts that are likely to fail, causing the...
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