Saturday, June 07, 2008

Business, Environmentalism, Priorities & Governance

The business climate in California, according to the new report from the California Chamber of Commerce, is, as we all know, not so good, but there is a guarded optimism, and while the four key factors companies like about doing business in California remain strong; climate, quality of life, market access, and creative culture, the downsides; government regulation, costs of doing business here and a less than stellar educational system, also remain.

The concept of environmentalism as religion, which we addressed in our 2006 report (pp. 19-31), is touched on by in a recent book review (in the concluding paragraphs) and the writer reaches the conclusion that, except for the hysteria over global warming which distracts from the more commonly accepted and sound environmental concepts, the secular religion of environmentalism is more good than bad, and, as he presents it, is a concept worth mulling over.

There are so many things that need doing in our world that setting priorities to ensure the continued health and well-being of everyone on the planet is often a complicated and contentious task, but the Copenhagen Consensus Center does just that and their global priorities will surprise you.

Two of the newer cities in the region (Citrus Heights and Rancho Cordova) will show budget surpluses this year, while the oldest (Sacramento) shows another deficit and that leads to an obvious question about governance. What are they—the cities with surpluses—doing right?