Ben Smithwick

Agriculture

Should Voters Really Have to Decide How Eggs are Made?

In less than a month, Californians will head to the polls in what will surely be of the most consequential elections in years. The state is home to several competitive races for U.S. House seats – the results of which will have a significant impact on American politics for many …

Blog

Los Angeles’ Airbnb Tax is a Bargain Compared to Italy’s

There are plenty of similarities between Italy and California. Both are similar in size and have wonderful wine countries and picturesque coastlines. They also share high taxes, a challenging regulatory landscape, and a growing gap between their richest and poorest residents. One major difference between Italy and the Golden State …

Agriculture

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road in California? To Avoid the Politics of Cage-Free Eggs

Nearly a decade after California became the first state ban the confinement of hens and other farm animals in crowded cages, many farmers and policymakers around the country are still crying foul. The latest episode in the ongoing saga over California’s chicken law came last Wednesday, when a bill introduced …

Blog

What Flippy the Burger-Making Robot Says About the Future of Work

“Have you heard about Flippy?” That’s what my colleague and fellow Right By the Bay contributor Rowena Itchon asked me recently. I hadn’t…so I Googled it. Flippy is a burger-flipping robot designed to operate alongside human workers in commercial kitchens. The machine, which costs between $60,000 and $100,000, depending on …

Blog

Are Trailers the Solution to LA’s Homeless Problem?

A dashcam video of downtown Los Angeles on Christmas Day 2017 revealed the devastating reality of the city’s homelessness problem. The video, shot in the city’s Skid Row district, shows dozens of tents, makeshift shelters, and people walking aimlessly along streets littered with trash. The video looked like it was …

Blog

Help Us Make 2018 A Great Year for Freedom

With the end of the year upon us, what better time to talk about all that we have accomplished at the Pacific Research Institute in 2017. In the past 12 months, we have: promoted policies that expand access to high-quality education through school choice, charter schools, and digital learning opportunities …

Blog

We’re Thankful for You

2017 has been quite a year for the Pacific Research Institute. We remain, as ever, committed to championing freedom, opportunity, and personal responsibility. Thanks to the steadfast support of our donors in California and throughout the nation, this past year we have advanced market-based policies in the national debate on …

Blog

Another regulation could put more truckers out of business

The clock is ticking for trucking companies in the U.S. to comply with a federal mandate requiring drivers to stop logging their hours on the road with paper logs and switch to electronic logging devices (ELD) – and not everyone is happy about the change.   Starting December 18, drivers …

Blog

What Connecticut – and California – Can Learn from Tennessee on Fiscal Reform

We’ve all heard the negative economic and budget stories coming out of Sacramento in recent years.  But as a Connecticut native, the headlines coming out of my home state are equally concerning, and offer a lesson for Golden State policymakers. Connecticut is the richest state in the country (by per-capita …

Blog

Is State’s Plastic Bag Ban Causing Rise in Hepatitis Cases?

A deadly hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County has residents on edge. Since last November, at least 17 people have died and nearly 300 others have been sent to the hospital in what public health officials are calling the deadliest outbreak of the disease in the U.S. in decades. …

Agriculture

Should Voters Really Have to Decide How Eggs are Made?

In less than a month, Californians will head to the polls in what will surely be of the most consequential elections in years. The state is home to several competitive races for U.S. House seats – the results of which will have a significant impact on American politics for many …

Blog

Los Angeles’ Airbnb Tax is a Bargain Compared to Italy’s

There are plenty of similarities between Italy and California. Both are similar in size and have wonderful wine countries and picturesque coastlines. They also share high taxes, a challenging regulatory landscape, and a growing gap between their richest and poorest residents. One major difference between Italy and the Golden State …

Agriculture

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road in California? To Avoid the Politics of Cage-Free Eggs

Nearly a decade after California became the first state ban the confinement of hens and other farm animals in crowded cages, many farmers and policymakers around the country are still crying foul. The latest episode in the ongoing saga over California’s chicken law came last Wednesday, when a bill introduced …

Blog

What Flippy the Burger-Making Robot Says About the Future of Work

“Have you heard about Flippy?” That’s what my colleague and fellow Right By the Bay contributor Rowena Itchon asked me recently. I hadn’t…so I Googled it. Flippy is a burger-flipping robot designed to operate alongside human workers in commercial kitchens. The machine, which costs between $60,000 and $100,000, depending on …

Blog

Are Trailers the Solution to LA’s Homeless Problem?

A dashcam video of downtown Los Angeles on Christmas Day 2017 revealed the devastating reality of the city’s homelessness problem. The video, shot in the city’s Skid Row district, shows dozens of tents, makeshift shelters, and people walking aimlessly along streets littered with trash. The video looked like it was …

Blog

Help Us Make 2018 A Great Year for Freedom

With the end of the year upon us, what better time to talk about all that we have accomplished at the Pacific Research Institute in 2017. In the past 12 months, we have: promoted policies that expand access to high-quality education through school choice, charter schools, and digital learning opportunities …

Blog

We’re Thankful for You

2017 has been quite a year for the Pacific Research Institute. We remain, as ever, committed to championing freedom, opportunity, and personal responsibility. Thanks to the steadfast support of our donors in California and throughout the nation, this past year we have advanced market-based policies in the national debate on …

Blog

Another regulation could put more truckers out of business

The clock is ticking for trucking companies in the U.S. to comply with a federal mandate requiring drivers to stop logging their hours on the road with paper logs and switch to electronic logging devices (ELD) – and not everyone is happy about the change.   Starting December 18, drivers …

Blog

What Connecticut – and California – Can Learn from Tennessee on Fiscal Reform

We’ve all heard the negative economic and budget stories coming out of Sacramento in recent years.  But as a Connecticut native, the headlines coming out of my home state are equally concerning, and offer a lesson for Golden State policymakers. Connecticut is the richest state in the country (by per-capita …

Blog

Is State’s Plastic Bag Ban Causing Rise in Hepatitis Cases?

A deadly hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County has residents on edge. Since last November, at least 17 people have died and nearly 300 others have been sent to the hospital in what public health officials are calling the deadliest outbreak of the disease in the U.S. in decades. …

Scroll to Top