Author: David Crane

A Summer Action Plan For America’s Elites

“We are living in a social divide so deep that serious people of good will and a certain class have never met anyone who will vote for Donald Trump.” George Friedman As exclusive conferences in Aspen and other mountain resorts…

A Tale of Two Pension Funds

First in a series Why do some defined benefit pension plans work well while others do not? Some have recovered since the 2008 financial crisis while others — including California’s public pension funds — are in worse shape. The difference arises from choices made…

Protecting CA Students From Pension Costs

“The secret to stellar grades and thriving students is teachers,” writes The Economist in a recent editorial. One study cited by the magazine found that “in a single year’s teaching the top 10% of teachers impart three times as much…

California: High Taxes, Low Services

Recently a very successful Silicon Valley executive asked why her state income tax rate is so high (13.3 percent). The answer is three-fold: Until 1978 California financed most local services with property taxes. That year, California voters enacted a referendum…

How To Save California’s Public Schools

California spends more than $80 billion, or more than $14,000 per student, on K-12 education yet poor and minority students in California perform worse than poor and minority students in Texas, which spends less. Reasons cited for California’s weaker performance…

Pension Costs and K-12 Budgets in California

The problem of legacy pension costs in California was much easier to address a decade ago when critics, including me when I served on the board of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), asserted that pension obligations were greater…

How To Save the University of California

For the 2016–17 fiscal year that commences July 1, California Governor Jerry Brown has asked the State Legislature to allocate $3.4 billion to the University of California. $3.4 billion might sound like a lot of money but it’s just 10…

Prison Guards 3, Parks and Kids 0

If ever you wondered about the importance of elections to the California State Legislature, read below. While the legislature considers yet another compensation increase for state prison guards, a state commission considers imposing a new charge on visitors to state…

Better Disclosure Needed From CalSTRS

As pension costs consume ever-greater shares of public school budgets in California, parents and school districts are in need of better disclosure from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS), the financial intermediary whose activities determine those pension costs. No…

A Day in the (Financial) Life of the California Democratic Party

Govern For California tracks political contributions related to California state politics. Contributions to the California Democratic Party (of which I am a member) are particularly important because Democrats control the state legislature that controls state spending and legislation. Set out…