High Speed Rail Referendum

Robert Cruickshank runs an advocacy blog in support of the California High Speed Rail initiative that’ll be on the ballot this fall in my home state. In his latest post, countering anti-rail/anti-initiative comments from the Howard Jarvis/Prop 13 group, he makes an excellent point:

What prosperity California still has today is the product of past public spending – the bay bridges, the freeways, the aqueducts, the universities. All of those were paid for by taxes, and Californians reaped the rewards. But those investments need to be renewed, in a way that suits the new conditions of the 21st century, specifically energy, environment, and climate.

What he neglects to mention is that investment in all those things basically dried up by the end of the 1960s. Since then, opposition on one side by anti-tax forces and on the other by environmentalists has all but stopped new infrastructure projects in the state. And California is but a microcosm of the entire country in this regard. We’re living off the achievements of our grandparents.

Non-Complete Clauses Fall

California’s Supreme Court has struck down the use of non-compete clauses in employment contracts in that state. (Opinion here.) All to the good, I think. A company has the right to protect its intellectual property. Society, however, has an interest in seeing to it that people can work in their chosen fields of expertise.