A business plan released on November 1 by the the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), has placed the price tag for the LA-SF bullet train project at $98 billion--- trippling the $33 billion estimate provided in 2008 in the voter-approved Proposition 1A. At the same time, the date of project completion has been pushed back by 13 years -- from 2020 to 2033. read more »
When analysing the US housing bubble, four states stand-out for the way in which home values rose into the stratosphere before crashing and burning: California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona (see below chart). read more »
Andy Kunz of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association commented to Fox Business News on the recently announced record ridership on Amtrak that, "At the very least, the increased demand offers another sign travelers are getting fed up with soaring airline fares and fight cancellations." In the article, which read more like an Amtrak or high speed rail press release than a news story, read more »
We overheard this phone conversation recently between tea party activist Bill Francis and his 19-year-old daughter and Wall Street occupier Serena:
Bill: I understand why you’re protesting but I think you’re missing the point.
Serena: What’s that?
Bill: You’re mad at rich people and upset that you can’t get a job.
Bill: And you think that by camping out on the street you’ll get attention? read more »
By Hank Robison and Rob Sentz
We recently observed that there are only about 50 manufacturing sectors out of 472 (6-digit NAICS) that actually gained jobs over the past 10 years. This made us wonder because we keep hearing that manufacturing output is actually improving. Politicians and policymakers tend to assume that an uptick in output would naturally result in an uptick in employment. So we investigated. read more »
The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has outlined plans to create a "second central business district" at Kai Tak in eastern Kowloon, site of the now former international airport. Kai Tak airport was abandoned in 1998 when the new Hong Kong International Airport at Chep Lap Tok opened. read more »
Catherine Rampell of The New York Times describes a new Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report concluding that Americans have among the shortest work trip travel times in the developed world (Link to chart in The New York Times). read more »
Analysts occasionally note that urban areas ("cities") are becoming larger and denser. This is only half right. It is true that most of the world's urban areas are becoming larger, with megacities like Delhi, Jakarta, Shanghai, Beijing and Manila adding more than five million people in the last decade and most other urban areas are growing, but not as fast. read more »
Strange to say, but there may be something valuable going on among some of the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Until now, two narratives have defined both the press coverage and public discussion of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators camped out in lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park.
The first depicts a collection of buffoonish, semiliterate juveniles engaged in a seeming left-wing version of a college prank. There is, to be sure, something to this story. read more »