Investors celebrated the NASDAQ stock market topping the 5,000 level this week for the first time since March 2000. But there were no celebrations in Sacramento for the anniversary of the last time that California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) were over 100 percent funded.
As the globe’s top venture capitalist, John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has funded and mentored tons of start-up Silicon Valley companies that became fantastically successful, including Google, Amazon, Intuit, and Electronic Arts, Twitter, Square and Zynga. But one of his worst bets may turn out to be personally hiring Ellen Pao in 2005. Pao is dragging Doerr into her lawsuit for $16 million for sexual discrimination after 7 years at the firm.
In an exposé entitled "Poor Kids of Silicon Valley," a CNN reporter seems shocked to uncover a high level of child poverty in the affluent Bay Area. CNN concludes, after consulting with “economists and experts,” that a minimum wage hike to $10.10 would significantly help end child poverty. But if CNN actually talked to the most impoverished families, they would have learned that raising minimum wage, like Oakland just did, results in maximizing single young mothers and their children living in poverty.
As West Coast union dockworkers celebrate a tentative agreement for a five-year contract featuring even higher wages and benefits than the current $1,200-per-day, shipping companies intend to introduce new mega-container-ships and port handling equipment that will help automate away many union jobs.
As Breitbart reported last week in “Teamsters Win Big in Silicon Valley, Target Tech Companies”, after the Teamsters Local 853 organized Facebook contract shuttle bus drivers a week ago, over the weekend they won elections organizing drivers for Yahoo, Apple, Genentech, eBay and Zynga.
China Daily reported that tourism from China to Los Angeles has nearly quadrupled over the past four years. Visitors rose from 158,000 in 2009 to 570,000 in 2013. With over a million Chinese visiting California last year and a projected 2 million by 2020, retailers and restaurants are thrilled at the reported $6,000 spending-per-visit.
The hard-Left publication The Nation and their allies advocated for the FCC’s “Net Neutrality” passage to regulate and tax the Internet as “People Power". But in politics, it is always best to “follow the money.” For 2014, lobbying expenditures by computer/Internet companies hit $139.5 million. The Left likes to talk about "People Power", but Silicon Valley lobbying cash is "Corporate Power."
With the ink hardly dry on Federal District Judge Andrew Hanen’s order slamming the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for trying to grant up to 11.7 million illegal aliens/undocumented workers “green cards,” President Obama just instructed Homeland Security to offer “green cards” to H1-B holder spouses and children under 21 years old.
The City of Stockton emerged from bankruptcy on Wednesday, February 25, after a 31-month ordeal. There were no winners in trying to restructure over $2 billion in debt and obligations. Nearly half of non-safety city employees were dumped, the survivors’ wages were cut by up to 23 percent, and retirees lost $500 million in lifetime medical benefits. Bondholders and creditors are receiving pennies on the dollar. Hopefully the sad lessons about what happened to Stockton might help other California cities to control spending.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to approve a wildly controversial Net Neutrality policy that will regulate and tax the Internet intensely, much like the old AT&T telephone monopoly. To help secure political support, Chairman Tom Wheeler made last-minute revisions at the request of Google, according to Politico's sources at the Commission.
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