Steven Greenhut

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

The Ever-Expanding Reach of Anti-Tobacco Zealots

 

San Francisco’s rent-control and tenant ordinances are so oppressive that thousands of apartment units sit vacant in a city where fierce housing demand has pushed rents for tiny apartments to above $3,000 a month. Basically, many property owners there refuse to rent out their apartments because once they do so, it becomes virtually impossible to […]

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The New Gender Battle: Tampons v. Whiskey

 

Sacramento It’s getting increasingly difficult to mock the California Legislature given the fusillade of nearly unbelievable legislation that makes its way through the Capitol’s hallowed halls. In the old days, when California had enough legislative Republicans and moderate Democrats to temper things, zany bills would be introduced only to die in committee. These days, the […]

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California Democrats’ Never-Ending War on the Poor

 

Sacramento California Democrats frequently bloviate about helping the poor and downtrodden, yet two recent examples — a campaign by the nation’s second-largest public-school district to crush charter alternatives and new state legislation that will boost the cost of housing development — demonstrate how liberal policies can be a direct assault on the financial prospects of […]

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OC Flap Sheds Light on Academic Bullying

 

Sacramento The board of trustees at an Orange County, Calif., community college district put an end to a long-simmering local dispute by ending the suspension of a student who recorded his college instructor unleashing an anti-Trump rant following the presidential election. But all is not well that ends well. The fracas sheds light on the […]

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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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