Articles Posted by WayneLusvardi

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  • Abolish Private Property in Water? California Needs Markets (Stroshane Reconsidered)

    05/10/2017 9:01:34 AM PDT · by WayneLusvardi · 6 replies ^ | May 10, 2017 | Wayne Lusvardi
    It took some 6,000 years for persons to overcome slavery, serfdom, and oppressive rent and taxation to acquire secure property rights to farmland and to adjacent river water (riparian rights – see Joshua Getzler, A History of Water Rights and Common Law, [2004]). Enter Tim Stroshane, a former Berkeley central planner, activist and environmentalist, who proposes to abolish such property rights because farming monopolists in California allegedly fail to “share” water with the hordes of urbanites that want it. This post revisits Stroshane’s case in his 2016 book, Drought, Water Law and the Origins of California’s Central Valley Project (Reno:...
  • Denial is a River in California: Can Oroville Spark New Dam Building?

    03/04/2017 8:44:51 AM PST · by WayneLusvardi · 27 replies
    MasterResource - free market energy blog ^ | March 4, 2017 | Wayne Lusvardi
    “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt” – Mark Twain “Consider a narrow river valley below a high dam, such that if the dam burst, the resulting flood of water would drown people for a considerable distance downstream. When attitude pollsters ask people downstream of the dam how concerned they are about the dam’s bursting, it’s not surprising that fear of a dam burst is lowest far downstream, and increases among residents increasingly close to the dam. Surprisingly, though … the concern falls off to zero as you approach closer to the dam! That is, the people living immediately under...
  • Why Trump Should Not Fund an Oroville Dam Fix

    02/15/2017 12:34:24 AM PST · by WayneLusvardi · 20 replies
    MasterResource - free market energy blog ^ | February 15, 2017 | Wayne Lusvardi
    “California’s $7.545 billion Water Bond (2015), “Proposition 1, has seven funding categories, with a pot of money allocated to each. The bond language preauthorized spending in the largest area—$2.7 billion (36%) for water storage projects. For the other six areas, spending must be appropriated in the state budget. With the passage of the most recent budget, nearly 80 percent of the bond has now been appropriated. The only category with no funds appropriated is flood management, which is still spending down money from earlier bonds " - – Public Policy Institute of California, “How is California Spending the Water Bond?”...
  • Trump on Verge of WIIN-ing California Water War Before Taking Office ("There was no drought")

    12/13/2016 8:05:41 PM PST · by WayneLusvardi · 21 replies ^ | December 13, 2016 | Wayne Lusvardi
    “There is no drought….If I win, believe me, we’re going to start opening up the water so that your farmers can survive” – Candidate Donald J. Trump, May 27, 2016, Fresno, California “If we don’t move now, we run the real risk of legislation that opens up the Endangered Species Act in the future, when Congress will again be under Republican control, this time backed by a Trump administration.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), “Latest Compromise Drought Relief Bill Receives Praise, Opposition”, Capital Press, December 7, 2016. President-Elect Donald J. Trump is poised to score a win-WIIN deal in the California...
  • Obama's Political Bank Run

    09/30/2016 10:20:50 PM PDT · by WayneLusvardi · 4 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | September 30, 2016 | Wall Street Journal Editorial
    The government threat to Deutsche Bank’s safety and soundness began on Sept. 15. That’s when the Journal reported that Justice was demanding an eye-watering $14 billion to resolve an investigation of the bank’s sale of mortgage-backed securities prior to the 2008 financial panic. Deutsche Bank then had to acknowledge the size of this government stick-up as its stock price proceeded to drop more than 20% in a fortnight. The lack of exuberance among investors was entirely rational. Washington’s proposed withdrawal represented most of the bank’s market capitalization.
  • Are Baby Boomers Turning Out to be the Worst Generation?

    09/04/2016 9:59:28 PM PDT · by WayneLusvardi · 28 replies
    The Orange County Register ^ | September 4, 2016 | Joel Kotkin
    I have seen the best minds of my generation, to steal a phrase from the late Allen Ginsberg, driven to heights of self-absorption, advocating policies that assure the failure of the next. Nothing so suggests the failure of my generation — the boomers — than its two representatives running for president. What Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump reflect are two sides of the same nasty boomer coin. On one side, there are aging boomers embracing Trump, an icon of materialistic obsession and a lack of concern for “losers.” On the other is a control-freak determination to tell everyone how to...
  • Andrew Jackson, Revanant

    01/20/2016 2:32:52 AM PST · by WayneLusvardi · 17 replies
    The American Interest dot com ^ | January 17, 2016 | Walter Russell Mead
    It is Jacksonians who, as I wrote in Special Providence back in 2001, see the Second Amendment as the foundation of and security for American freedom. It is Jacksonians who most resent illegal immigration, don’t want to subsidize the urban poor, support aggressive policing and long prison sentences for violent offenders, and who are the slowest to “evolve” on issues like gay marriage and transgender rights.
  • How an Obscure Adviser to Pat Buchanan Predicted the Wild Trump Campaign in 1996"

    01/20/2016 2:17:11 AM PST · by WayneLusvardi · 50 replies
    The Week dot com ^ | Michael Brendan Dougherty
    Imagine giving this advice to a Republican presidential candidate: What if you stopped calling yourself a conservative and instead just promised to make America great again? What if you dropped all this leftover 19th-century piety about the free market and promised to fight the elites who were selling out American jobs? What if you just stopped talking about reforming Medicare and Social Security and instead said that the elites were failing to deliver better health care at a reasonable price? What if, instead of vainly talking about restoring the place of religion in society — something that appeals only to...
  • Market Closing Prop. 13 Commercial Property Tax Gap

    01/07/2014 12:40:49 PM PST · by WayneLusvardi · 2 replies ^ | January 6, 2013 | Wayne Lusvardi
    Almost 36 years after it was passed by voters, controversy continues to swirl around Proposition 13, the 1978 tax limitation measure. Periodic calls to repeal or modify it, supposedly to gain more tax revenue, so far have gone nowhere. The main objection is that it’s unfair because homeowners — and especially businesses – that have held their properties for decades pay less in property tax than new property owners. Prop. 13 assesses taxes at 1 percent of value, plus a maximum of 2 percent more per year due to property value increases and inflation. Property is reassessed when it changes...
  • Solar Power No Help During California's Late Peak Winter Hours

    12/13/2013 1:20:47 PM PST · by WayneLusvardi · 32 replies ^ | December 13, 2013 | Wayne Lusvardi
    Solar power is popular nowadays as a “renewable,” non-polluting energy source. It helps California comply with AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which mandates a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gases in the state by 2020. “Even on short winter days, California is breaking solar energy records,” declared environmental writer Chris Clarke on the website of KCET, America’s largest independent public TV station, which broadcasts across Southern California. Clarke was jubilant that solar power had generated more than 2,800 megawatts of electricity just before noon on that day. There also was 1,898 megawatts of rooftop solar power generated...

    10/02/2013 12:47:23 PM PDT · by WayneLusvardi · 8 replies ^ | October 2, 2013 | Wayne Lusvardi
    Will the national energy boom come to California? Natural gas unlocked from shale formations — “fracking” — has boosted economies across America. In just the past decade, North Dakota supplanted California as the country’s third-largest producer of oil and gas. Texas and Alaska remain the top two producers. That could change. Last month, the Democratic state legislators pushed through Senate Bill 4 after it had been amended 10 times. Gov. Jerry Brown signed it into law. Although the bill contains some environmentalist provisions, generally it should promote fracking, which would lead to California jobs creation and higher tax revenues….. ….The...
  • Will Trapped Loans Snap Richmond's Home Scheme?

    09/20/2013 9:43:07 AM PDT · by WayneLusvardi ^ | September 20, 2013 | Wayne Lusvardi
    The City of Richmond’s move to seize the loans of over-mortgaged homes can continue, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer ruled this week. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the reason was because “he felt the case, brought by Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank on behalf of holders of loans on over-mortgaged homes, was not ‘ripe for determination’ since Richmond had not exercised eminent domain and might never do so.” Despite an initial win in federal court, will Richmond first have to prove that loans on over-mortgaged homes in its city are “trapped” to meet the “blight” criteria of California...
  • Nitrogen Fix Could Cancel California Fertilizer Tax

    08/24/2013 7:13:09 AM PDT · by WayneLusvardi · 17 replies ^ | August 23, 2013 | Wayne Lusvardi
    A natural bacterial colonization process could end the proposed regulation of agricultural nitrate and taxation of fertilizer in California. Energy costs to produce synthetic nitrogen fertilizers could also be eliminated. It could also eventually render unnecessary overkill stormwater regulations in Los Angeles County, as well as put a damper on the market for organic food products. Nitrogen Fix book coverResearchers at the University of Nottingham Center for Crop Nitrogen Fixation in Britain have announced a breakthrough that could make it unnecessary to use potentially polluting and energy intensive fertilizer to grow crops. The process occurs naturally and does not involved...
  • California's Legendary Energy Efficiency is Statistical Myth

    07/18/2013 11:41:25 AM PDT · by WayneLusvardi · 8 replies ^ | July 16, 2013 | Wayne Lusvardi
    By now many of you have seen the legendary chart nearby. It shows that California energy use per person has remained relatively flat, while the trend for the other states has risen significantly during the last 50 years. It has been widely touted by the State of California and environmental organizations that this trend is due to the state’s energy efficiency regulations for homes, cars and industries. This leveling off of California electricity usage since the 1970s compared to other states has received so much unquestioned academic acceptance that it was given the term “The Rosenfeld Effect” after U.C. Berkeley...

    05/28/2013 2:46:21 PM PDT · by WayneLusvardi · 8 replies ^ | May 28, 2013 | Wayne Lusvardi
    Californians are fleeing the center of their big cities while suburbs are suffering from slow growth. If it were not for international in-migration, California’s older big cities would be suffering from population decline the same as Detroit. Texas has become the “New California” by figuring out the formula to sustain the population of its older city centers while its suburbs are booming at the same time.

    05/08/2013 9:32:28 AM PDT · by WayneLusvardi · 5 replies ^ | May 8, 2013 | Wayne Lusvardi
    Stuart Lieberman, a real estate attorney in New Jersey, once said the following about wording in a deed that allowed construction on open space designated land: “That’s not a loophole; it’s the Lincoln Tunnel.” Lieberman made what appeared to be a loophole in a deed understandable through a concrete example. In the same way, the widely disseminated urban myth in California that there is a mysterious tax loophole in Proposition 13 for owners of commercial properties needs to be simply explained so that the public can understand that there is no such loophole. A recent news article in the May...

    05/05/2013 7:42:25 AM PDT · by WayneLusvardi · 8 replies
    The Los Angeles Times ^ | May 4, 2013 | Jason Felch and Jack Dolan
    Change of ownership, key to reassessment, is cut-and-dried for homeowners but not businesses. It means a loss of tens of millions of dollars a year in tax revenue. The original deal Dell, one of the world’s richest men, agrees to pay $200 million for the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica in 2006. A few months later The deal is reshuffled to avoid a legal change in ownership by buying the company that owns the hotel, rather than the Miramar itself. Dell brings in his wife, Susan, and a third party entity controlled by investment managers Glenn Fuhrman and John Phelan....
  • McClintock, Zetland wage CA water war

    03/25/2013 12:55:45 PM PDT · by WayneLusvardi · 1 replies ^ | March 25, 2013 | Wayne Lusvardi
    In California, water wars are fought not merely over water but over water ideology that justifies the creation of commercial or public sector jobs that flow from the water. The latest water war involves Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove., who delivered an address on water last month in Washington, D.C.; and former Unviersity of California, Davis water professor David Zetland, now senior water economist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. McClintock delivered his address, “Self Evident Water Truths,” at the annual meeting of the Association of California Water Agencies on Feb. 27. Zetland responded to McClintock on his water blog...
  • Arid-Headed Water War Breaks Out Between L.A. and PHX

    03/21/2013 12:21:43 PM PDT · by WayneLusvardi · 9 replies ^ | March 20, 2013 | Wayne Lusvardi
    The word arid has two meanings: insufficient rainfall to grow trees or dull and boring. The second meaning seems to characterize the level of intelligence that’s on display in the recent media water war that has broken out between the major newspapers in Los Angeles and Phoenix. This e-water war was provoked by William deBuys’ op-ed article in the March 14 Los Angeles Times, “Phoenix’s Too Hot Future.” The Phoenix-based Arizona Republic newspaper retorted on March 15 with an editorial, “Los Angeles More of a Water Vacuum than Phoenix.” DeBuys is the author of the book: “A Great Aridness: Climate...

    02/02/2013 8:15:06 AM PST · by WayneLusvardi · 8 replies ^ | January 1, 2013 | Wayne Lusvardi
    A new public opinion poll reported 57 percent of all California “adults” would favor lowering the majority threshold required to pass “local school parcel taxes.” But only property owners — not all “adult” residents — can vote for a parcel tax in California. Thus, the findings of the Public Policy Institute of California poll are slanted in favor of making school parcel taxes easier to pass and are misleading. #### In sum, the PPIC polls is biased in favor of lowering the voting threshold for a vaguely described parcel tax for “local schools” due to the cumulative effect of the...