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Archive for August, 2015

The Bureaucrat Who Hardly Ever Worked

Sunday August 30th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 1:12pm PDT   •   2 Comments

In this latest episode of our occasional series Bureaucrats Behaving Badly, we’ll focus on “the case of the federal worker who hardly ever worked,” to borrow the Washington Post‘s own headline! Lisa Rein reports: A federal patent examiner racked up more than 18 weeks of pay last year for work he didn’t do, but…
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Audit Tees Off on Statewide Waste

Friday August 28th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:21am PDT   •   0 Comments

As we recently noted, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) pays 3,500 full-time employees to sit around at their desks, as one legislator put it. According to Investigations of Improper Activities by State Agencies and Employees, a new report by state auditor Elaine Howle, they were doing much more than that. One Caltrans engineer,…
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Government Tunnel Vision Versus Drought Solutions

Tuesday August 25th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:44am PDT   •   0 Comments

California borders the Pacific Ocean, the largest body of water in the world, so desalination is a no-brainer for the Golden State. But as Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee shows, government is not exactly eager to slake the parched state’s thirst. The San Diego County Water Authority is building a desalination plant near…
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Straight Outta Incompetence

Monday August 24th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:27am PDT   •   1 Comment

A century ago, Americans going to the recently invented movie theater would often be entertained by short comedy films, such as Mack Sennett’s Keystone Cops series. Aside from the visual gags, many of these early films drew their humor from depicting people employed in a government profession as being something other than competent in…
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Fed Loses Grip on Debt Markets?

Friday August 21st, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 5:57am PDT   •   1 Comment

Bloomberg‘s Lisa Abramowicz is asking the question, “What happens when the Federal Reserve loses its stranglehold over debt markets?” Which after having order break down in the U.S. stock market yesterday, after having held for the previous four years, is a pretty good question to ask. More specifically, she’s looking at the nation’s corporate…
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Obamacare Excise Tax Inflicts Increasing Misery

Thursday August 20th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 4:57am PDT   •   0 Comments

As we have noted, Emily Bazar of the California Health Care Foundation’s Center for Health Reporting has been working three shifts documenting the abuses of Covered California, a wholly owned subsidiary of Obamacare. These abuses include a dysfunctional computer system that cost nearly $500 million, cancellation of health insurance without notice when people report…
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When a “Great Deal” Turns Bad

Tuesday August 18th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 8:37pm PDT   •   0 Comments

One of the biggest news items in the past week was the Chinese government’s surprise devaluation of the nation’s currency, the yuan. This week, Bloomberg‘s Mark Whitehouse reports on the fallout, and the potential disruption it will have on the ability of the businesses and governments of other nations to pay their debts: The…
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Compound Education Waste

Monday August 17th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 10:35am PDT   •   0 Comments

In recent years California has raised per-pupil education spending about 50 percent, to $13,000 a year. As Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee shows, despite this increase, “national academic testing has found that California’s students rank near the bottom in achievement.” The response of the state’s education establishment is to attack the tests. As…
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The United Nations of Debt

Saturday August 15th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 11:32am PDT   •   0 Comments

Jeff Desjardins of Visual Capitalist has created a unique visualization of how the world’s nearly $60 trillion of money borrowed by various governments, at all levels, is distributed among the world’s nations: Desjardins describes some of the bigger numbers and where they came from: Today’s visualization breaks down $59.7 trillion of world debt by…
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China Unloads U.S. Debt

Wednesday August 12th, 2015   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:42am PDT   •   0 Comments

China is, by far, the largest foreign lender to the U.S. federal government. But now, with its primarily export-driven economy under stress, it has been shedding its holdings of debt securities issued by the U.S. Treasury. Bloomberg reports on the surprisingly small impact of China’s significant change in its international lending policies: To get…
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