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Gov. Jerry Brown Proves Me Right on Public Pensions »

As part of a year-long national campaign promoting my book California Dreaming: Lessons on How to Resolve America’s Public Pension Crisis, I’ve been saying that it’s impossible to have both public governance of defined-benefit public pension plans and responsible management of these plans. Politicians face strong perverse incentives to mismanage the plans for their...
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Old Enough to Choose a President, but Not to Buy Cigarettes? »

Once again, with Gov. Jerry Brown’s blessing, lawmakers in California have extended the long nose of government further into the private lives of their citizens. The latest intrusion comes from legislation that raises the minimum age for buying cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old. With record-level support for marijuana...
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Janet Napolitano Makes History as University of California Pension Reformer »

In an effort to control skyrocketing retirement costs in the massive University of California system, U.C. employees hired after July 1, 2016, will be able to choose a 401(k)-style pension plan, the first time this has been offered. Governor Jerry Brown and U.C. president Janet Napolitano negotiated the agreement, which was enshrined in the...
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The Moral Argument Governor Brown’s Inaugural Speech Left Out »

As a teenager, Jerry Brown left Santa Clara University to attend a Jesuit seminary, intent on becoming a Catholic priest. Moral arguments in the context of public-policy debates have always been important to him. So during his inaugural address on January 5, as he became California’s governor for an historic fourth term, Brown quoted...
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Claim that Unemployment Figures Were Cooked Not so “Ludicrous” After All? »

When the September unemployment figures were announced a month before the presidential election as having miraculously declined to below 8% for the first time since the current administration started, more than a few speculated that there may have been some book-cooking in the back room. In response, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, said she was...
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Rethinking California’s Prisons »

A three-judge panel has tentatively ruled that “[t]he California prison system must reduce overcrowding by as many as 55,000 inmates within three years to provide a constitutional level of medical and mental health care,” according to the New York Times. Taxpayers rightly resent the price tag of the prison system, and many might understandably...
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