Tag: California

California’s Fast-Food Fumble


On September 5, California Governor Gavin Newsom lent his hearty endorsement to California’s FAST Recovery Act (short for Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act), which has been widely praised—and chastised—for its intention to raise minimum wages for the industry from $15 to as much as $22 per hour, the highest in the nation, with further increases in the offing. The major discussion over this new law has been directed to the perennial question of whether the loss in employment from its adoption will more than offset the salary gains to the workers able to maintain their positions within the industry. That is not likely, in my view, given the huge jump in mandated wages, which will make for a difficult transition period.

In dealing with this peculiar calculus, moreover, the inevitable losses in industry profits are given little or no weight in the economic evaluation of the law, on the implicit assumption that while the wage increases may put a dent in firm earnings, they will not drive all fast-food providers into bankruptcy—high-end operations are likely to be better able to weather the storm. It is also assumed that any increase in prices passed on to consumers will be borne with good grace, though many customers of the fast-food industry have marginal wage and income profiles not all that different from the workers (or at least those who retain their jobs) inside the industry.

The common assumption is that the only recourse available to deal with this new threat to the industry is a referendum to overturn the law, which would require the collection and validation of 623,000 signatures by December 4, 2022, for the referendum to appear on the ballot. Such an effort would attempt to replicate the successful 2020 initiative Proposition 22, which was designed to exempt companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash from a California law that reclassified their drivers as employees entitled to all sorts of protections not made available to independent contractors.

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer a very strong ad from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that uses Floridians from all walks of life mentioning how his policies have made their lives better. They also are intrigued to see the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette call our John Fetterman for being unable to take part in debates and the New York Times start to lay expectations for the defeat of Stacey Abrams in Georgia. Finally, they shake their heads at the left looking to California as the leaders in progressive energy policy…only to see California suffering rolling blackouts and and energy restrictions as a heat wave rolls in.

Meanwhile, in the People’s Republic of California


The Governor of the one-party state of California has designs on running for president in 2024. Newsom claims to be a big proponent of ‘freedom.’  And touts his state’s efforts to protect the freedom to kill unborn babies up until the minute of birth.  But his California is also a place where one has the freedom to loot a local business without consequences. Californians have the freedom to defecate in the street of any major city.   Thanks to the ruling party’s reforms, people with HIV have the freedom to spread the virus to others. California, it seems, is just bursting with freedom.

Oh, but you won’t have the freedom to buy a gasoline-powered car. That will be illegal as of 2035. Oh, and if you own a hotel, the city of Los Angeles may soon force you to put up vagrants in any vacant room.

Join Jim and Greg as they serve up two bad martinis and a crazy one. First, they groan as the Biden administration foolishly pursues a new Iran nuclear deal that in several ways would be even worse than the original. They also fume as California lays out plans to ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2035, explain how electric vehicles are a thoroughly unacceptable option for millions of Americans, and how government has no business forcing options on us that we don’t want. And they have a LOT to say about the Biden administration’s rollout of its plan to force Americans who didn’t take out student loans or have paid them off to cover those costs for others.

What Do Electric Vehicles and Eating Insects Have in Common?


Channeling his inner Marie Antoinette and demonstrating an example of the Biden Administration’s unparalleled tone-deafness a few weeks ago, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has simple advice for combatting higher gasoline prices: Buy an electric car.

At least he hasn’t advised us to eat more insects yet. But it may be only a matter of time. The same interests and climate cultists pushing EVs also encourage you to eat bugs. Behind all this is a punitive and bizarre economic and cultural agenda. More sustainable for the planet, they claim, as they move us towards a “net zero emissions economy” by 2050. If not sooner. More about that later.

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California’s Reparations Report


A while back, there was a news alert on my phone that the Committee finally decided to release its preliminary report.  As expected, reparations are to be extraordinarily broad and far-reaching, impacting multiple industries rather than just the personal items of descendants of slaves.

No one should be surprised by this.

What I was surprised by is how quickly this alert and topic dropped off of my phone with nary a trace.  I had to do an internet search to find further information (including recent news articles about it) and to see what the actual recommendations are.

California’s Reparations Overreach


With Assembly Bill 3121, passed in 2020, the California state legislature created a task force whose purpose is to “study and develop reparation programs for African-Americans.” On June 1, 2022, that task force issued its lengthy interim report, with an executive summary, which together will divide rather than inform the highly fraught public at large. What is desperately needed today are programs of market liberalization that will raise the welfare of all groups, without seeking to play one off against the other.

But the task force has no such general recommendations. Instead, it chooses to examine complex historical events that took place from the onset of slavery in the United States until the present day. That untidy inquiry should mix together developments of both cruelty and heroism. Had the task force proceeded in a more responsible manner, it would have started with the proposition that many groups—racial and otherwise—have been mistreated and can make, and have made, claims for reparations. And it also should have explicitly acknowledged that at no point in our nation’s history have any such expansive reparations programs been enacted.

Misunderstanding Korematsu

Jim Geraghty is back! Join Jim and Greg as they welcome news of Asian voters souring on President Biden in big numbers. They also react to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers differing forecasts on whether we are headed for a recession. And they shake their heads as California gets set to hike gas taxes with prices already at record highs.

California State of Dysfunction


I’ve lived in California since 1964 except for a two-year tour of duty in 1990. I had started Kindergarten in Lansing, MI (where I wept every morning to the growing frustration of the teacher), but within ten weeks of having arrived to live with my grandparents and my dad to begin his job with the Lansing Parks Department, we were once again packing up the homemade trailer and heading for Sacramento.

Brown-the-father was the governor, the State of California’s government footprint was tiny, and the population was some fraction of what it is today.

Although I was born in Kittery, ME (or Portsmouth, NH, depending upon which records you have), I discovered during my two-year tour of duty on my beloved east coast … that I am by nature a California girl. That means I love the climate, the beauty of the mountains, the cold winds of the northern coast, and the spirit of the artists that barely remain in Mendocino. As for the politics, I wasn’t paying attention much until I retired. My bad.

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with California Policy Center president Will Swaim about how the state’s ambitious policies have combined to stick its residents with the highest cost of living and a tax regime that discourages investment, innovation, and its vital entrepreneurial class.


Join Jim and Greg as they dive into billionaire Elon Musk’s proposal to buy Twitter and why it makes the left so angry. They also dissect a new report quoting multiple officials alleging California Sen. Diane Feinstein is quickly losing her mental acuity. And Joy Behar of “The View” bizarrely claims that the Supreme Court is poised to “pass a bill” to allow open carry in New York despite the high court having no such power.

Join Greg and National Review’s David Harsanyi as they criticize The Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum for her weak deflection after a young college student challenges her on the media’s role in the cover-up of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. David discusses his book, Eurotrash, and discusses why the U.S. should not look to Europe as model for economic policies here. And after a unanimous vote last week, Palm Springs, California, will pay transgender and non-binary individuals $900 dollars a month with no strings attached.


High Court to Referee California Food Fight


This past week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in an important case that could determine the structure of American interstate markets for years to come. National Pork Producers Council v. Ross involves a constitutional challenge to Proposition 12, a 2018 California referendum that requires all pork products sold in the state be prepared in facilities meeting California standards of animal health and safety, no matter where they are raised. As the plaintiffs explain in their brief, virtually all of the pork products (some 99.8 percent) sold in California come from out of state. On the flip side, California represents 13 percent of the national consumer market for pork products.

The requirements imposed under Proposition 12 are much more stringent than those in place virtually anywhere else in the country and, in the view of many farmers, are injurious to the health of the sow. Nonetheless, California insists

farmers provide each sow with 24 square feet of usable floor space and largely prohibits the use of individual stalls, even during the critical period between weaning and confirmation of pregnancy, when sows recover from the stress of giving birth, are bred, and then wait for the embryos to attach themselves to the uterine wall.

Join Greg and Scot Bertram as they appreciate Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett telling Americans to “read the opinion” before getting worked up over the court’s upcoming opinions. They also analyze the effects of Colorado’s newly signed abortion bill, which allows abortions up to the moment of birth, and the hard left shift by Democrats nationally on the issue of life. And they roll their eyes as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoes legislation to clean up the voter rolls of citizens, saying it’s an undue burden on county clerks.

Join Greg and Rob Long as they’re glad to see Elon Musk becoming the largest shareholder of Twitter and they analyze how it will shake up the social media landscape. They also cover the Biden Administration’s decision to rescind the “Remain in Mexico” policy which would more than double the number of illegal immigrants entering America each month. And Vice President Kamala Harris struggles with boilerplate Democrat talking points in an interview with BET, adding to the lengthy list of verbal mishaps that have plagued her term.

News Alert: Newsom and His Administration Are Corrupt


I know that is a shocker to see for anyone with two eyes, but there it is.

Our fearless Serene Highness Emperor Governor Gavin Newsom has authorized a sweetheart deal for medical management group Kaiser Permanente to take on new Medi-Caid (Medi-Cal in CA) patients.

LA Times indicates that it is concerning. Not because Kaiser is a bloated entity that exists primarily to give the appearance of “health maintenance” while denying actual treatment to actually sick people. But because the siphoning of state funds directly to Kaiser puts the dream of single-payer in jeopardy.  Sorry, I mean “Medi-Cal reform.”

Chad Benson is in for Jim. Join Chad and Greg as they breathe a sigh of relief for California as the legislature pulls the plug on single payer health care legislation – for now. They also suggest the sudden departure of Jeff Zucker from CNN is not just about his failure to admit his extramarital affair in a timely fashion. And they roll their eyes as law students at Georgetown University Law School demand a cry room and reparations in the form of pizza after they were offended by a conservative professor’s tweets about the Biden criteria for choosing a Supreme Court nominee.