Steven Greenhut

Steven Greenhut is a senior fellow and Western region director for the R Street Institute. Write to him at sgreenhut@rstreet.org.

New Identity for a Master of Identity Politics

 

Sacramento The most entertaining local news story this week was a puff piece in the Sacramento Bee about one of California’s most-powerful politicians, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles. De León is of interest to readers outside this state in that he is setting himself up to play a high-profile role combating […]

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At UC Berkeley, It Pays Well to Worry About Inequality

 

Sacramento Former Clinton-era Labor Secretary Robert Reich, now a public-policy professor at the University of California at Berkeley, has warned that “we are heading back to levels of inequality not seen since the Gilded Age of the late 19th century,” invoking the term applied to a society festering in poverty but covered by a veneer […]

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Trump Spite Leads to Defense of Idiocy

 

Sacramento The leader of the California Senate recently used his closing remarks in a Senate hearing to downplay how concerning it is if illegal immigrants engage in identity theft, then later doubled down on his defense in an interview on Southern California Public Radio. An outraged Capitol staffer brought the former point to my attention, […]

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Wackiness Aside, Unions Still Our Biggest Problem

 

Sacramento When non-Californians think about what’s wrong with our lovely but dysfunctional state, they tend to think of some of the wackier stuff that routinely makes headlines here. The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday, for instance, about a proposed new downtown San Francisco condominium complex and the Rube-Goldberg-like political maze the developer had to go […]

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Jerry Brown’s Alternative State of the Universe

 

Sacramento By California’s low standards, Gov. Jerry Brown generally has been a voice of reason in the state Capitol, despite his occasionally unhinged rhetoric about the existential threat posed to the world by climate change. On basic fiscal and governance matters — i.e., on those bread-and-butter issues about which he is not a fanatic — […]

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Trump Was Right: There Is No Drought

 

Sacramento Donald Trump might not have gotten all the details right when he declared in Fresno in May that California isn’t really suffering from drought, but his basic point was spot on. California has been suffering from years of insufficient rainfall, but our water-scarcity problems are man-made. Quite simply, state-level officials continue to put fish […]

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Stormy Weather: Brown’s Budget Holds Infrastructure Hostage

 

Sacramento My neighbors and I just survived a week of flood dangers, as something called an “atmospheric river” led to massive rains throughout northern California. The warmth of the rain in the Sierra Nevada melted a good bit of the snowpack, causing water to rush down the mountains and inundate those of us in the […]

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The Democrats’ Successor to Hillary

 

Sacramento Republicans preparing to deal with a potentially rebuilt Democratic Party in 2020 ought to take solace in at least one of the names bandied about as an up-and-coming leader. The Guardian named Kamala Harris as someone to watch for 2017, referencing media hype about California’s newest U.S. senator and the chances she could become […]

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Will Trump Call California’s Bluff?

 

Sacramento Believe it or not, but the incoming Trump administration is a godsend for California’s increasingly left-wing political leadership. Note how Democratic elected officials are tripping all over themselves, competing to make the most outrageous attention-grabbing boasts about their plans to fight against the new GOP presidency. Suddenly, these legislators face the prospect of relevancy, […]

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State Farm and the Commissar

 

Sacramento Critics of California’s business climate routinely complain about the state’s high tax rates, its large and costly government, its coddled and overpaid class of government workers, and its excessively burdensome level of regulation. It’s an old story — and you can even buy a People’s Republic of California T-shirt (or move to Texas) if […]

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