Steven Greenhut

Steven Greenhut is a senior fellow and Western region director for the R Street Institute. Write to him at His political views are his own.

Unusual Spirits Worthy of Some Attention


Sacramento Discovering interesting new music in my college days was an entertaining yet costly experience. This was long before the invention of music apps and before the days that most record stores had listening booths to sample music. So I bought unheard records on a whim. I found some gems that I still savor four […]

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Surprise! Legislature Won’t Unionize Its Staff


Sacramento During the 1994 midterm elections, Republicans vowed to implement a “Contract with America” if they could recapture both houses of Congress. They grabbed 54 House seats that year and nine Senate seats and wrested control of Congress from Democrats for the first time in 53 years. It was an impressive victory. My favorite element […]

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California Housing Crisis

Keeping My Earnings Is Not a ‘Subsidy’


Sacramento California is now deeply involved in a contentious debate about how to house its still-growing population as home and rent prices soar. You need nearly 800 grand to buy a tolerable house in the Bay Area, Santa Barbara, and San Diego — and $3,000 or more to lease a modest apartment in some parts […]

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California’s Bad ‘Cup of Joe’


Sacramento As civilization “grows more maudlin and hysterical” it tends “to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes,” argued H.L. Mencken. He added that “the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” It’s […]

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California’s Maduros Face Housing Crisis


Sacramento Economic illiteracy has an astoundingly high cost. In Venezuela, children are dying of hunger but the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro, has a bizarre new idea for making food affordable again. His latest plan is to simply shave three zeros off of the currency to control hyperinflation, so that a dozen eggs will cost 250 […]

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Jerry Brown’s Rail Fantasy Keeps Getting Pricier


Sacramento “That’s bulls**t,” Gov. Jerry Brown told a group of union leaders in Sacramento this week as he addressed the latest bad news about his pet project to build a bullet train connecting San Francisco with Los Angeles. The union folks probably loved the tirade, given that the proposed rail system is more of a […]

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Sessions Promotes Government Thievery


Sacramento Attorney General Jeff Sessions places so much trust in the noble motives of government bureaucrats that he wants them to protect their powers to take your cars, cash, homes, and other property simply on their say-so. Cops don’t need to convict you of anything — they can simply take your property if they suspect […]

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‘But Gorsuch’ Is More Than a Slogan


Sacramento We’ve got a box of red balls at the office imprinted with a simple line drawing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and the words, “But Gorsuch.” Whenever someone complains about President Donald Trump — and I routinely complain about his crude personality and some of his policies — we can chuck the […]

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Drought of Common Sense


Sacramento I hadn’t been living in arid Southern California for long before I toured the Colorado River Aqueduct — the 242-mile system of dams, pumps, and channels that divert water through the Mojave Desert to the sprawling 20-million population Los Angeles region. It’s a vast engineering marvel and something that, in concept, is remarkably simple. […]

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Will City Voters Roll Back Minimum-Wage Hike?


Sacramento California voters apparently aren’t the only ones who believe that wealth can be created by government edict and income inequality fixed by approving ever-higher minimum-wage rates. In the 72,000-population northern Arizona city of Flagstaff, voters in November 2016 approved a measure that raises the minimum wage to $12.50 an hour this year — and […]

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