Steven Greenhut

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

Money for Nothing and the Rent’s for Free

 

Sacramento After debating rent control in Santa Monica on Monday with a leader of a liberal community group, I was left thinking about a great quotation from a famous left-wing Californian, author Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” In this case, […]

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This Is How All Government ‘Works’

 

Sacramento During one of my first fire seasons in Southern California nearly two decades ago, my neighbors and I received a notice from the county fire department warning us to keep our lawns cut and watered and to clear vegetation away from around our houses. We all had a vested interest in not having our […]

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San Francisco: The City of Bans

 

Sacramento At times, it’s impossible to guess which things progressives want to ban — and which ones they want to mandate and subsidize. Think of New York City’s approach to electric bicycles. My guess would have been that the city would subsidize those environmentally friendly modes of transportation like other liberal cities do, given how […]

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Why Not Just Bomb Our Cities, Senator?

 

Sacramento Not long ago, I quoted Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck’s conclusion about the results of rent control. He wrote that in many cases, it “appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city — except for bombing.” Lindbeck, however, seems to have missed an even better way to wreak havoc on […]

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Janus Is Only the Beginning

 

Sacramento The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME case has heartened conservatives throughout the nation, especially in non-right-to-work states such as California that require public employees to pay dues to their respective unions. Janus will, over time, reduce the power of these unions as they are forced to spend more time wooing members — […]

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Can California GOP Reignite a Tax Revolt?

 

Sacramento The fate of Republican control of the U.S. House of Representatives might come down to this simple question: Are enough California voters angry enough about the recently passed tax increase on gas and vehicle-registration fees to come out in droves? If they do, this potential anti-tax wave will benefit a handful of Republican candidates […]

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Increasingly Putrid City by the Bay

 

Sacramento The most stunning thing about California’s Democratic-dominated progressivism is that it continually works toward some future Nirvana even as it blatantly neglects its fundamental, current responsibilities. The state’s infrastructure is crumbling and it has the nation’s highest cost-of-living-based poverty rate, but that hasn’t stopped the Legislature from focusing on such things as providing free […]

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High Court Reaffirms Free Speech

 

Sacramento What a difference one justice makes. In two of the most significant Supreme Court cases this session, Justice Neil Gorsuch helped form a conservative majority that alternately rebuked an overreaching state government and put public-sector unions in their place. But despite overheated news reports, the cases weren’t really “anti-abortion” or “anti-union.” Both decisions were “pro-First Amendment,” […]

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California Targets Supreme Court

 

Sacramento California’s government has set itself up as Ground Zero for the resistance, epitomized by the 29 lawsuits the state has filed or joined (with other states) since the beginning of the Trump administration. Most of these cases are symbolic and serve mainly to energize the Democratic base. They make for great political theater and […]

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Is One California Really Enough?

 

Sacramento Is it time for Californians to seriously consider breaking up their state into smaller portions? We’ll soon see if they think so after Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper’s latest plan to turn California into three Californias has qualified for the November ballot. Unfortunately, it won’t fix most of the problems that ail our massive […]

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