Blogs

Unlivable Vancouver

Just in time for the winter Olympics, The Economist has rated Vancouver as the world’s most livable city. The Economist rates cities (presumably metropolitan areas or urban areas) “over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.” There is no doubt that Vancouver is in a setting that is among the most attractive in the world.  read more »

What Houston can learn from the Israeli model to boost entrepreneurship

While Houston is not a Silicon Valley, or even an Austin, it has come a long way in cultivating a small but vibrant entrepreneurial scene in the last decade. But there's always room for improvement, and we might be able to learn some lessons from Israel, of all places. First, there is this conclusion from an Economist article on the mostly-sad story of government strategies for cultivating entrepreneurship:  read more »

Australian Treasurer Calls for Reasonable Land Regulation

Australia’s Treasurer Wayne Swan called for reducing restrictions on building houses, to improve housing affordability.  read more »

Buffett and Paulson: Part of the Problem

Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and Henry “Hank” Paulson, former Treasury Secretary, were guests of honor at the annual meeting of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce this week.  read more »

Housing Affordability in Darwin, Australia: Still Dreadful

Darwin, capital of Australia’s Northern Territory is located next to the sea, across from the Indonesian archipelago. Darwin is also located next to a sea of developable land in one of the world’s least developed nations. Only 0.3% of Australia’s land is developed, approximately 1/10th the rate of the United States or Canada (in the agricultural belt) and even less compared to European nations.  read more »

Ryan Streeter Making Poverty History: A Short History

Former chief economist of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development David Henderson coined the appellation, “Global Salvationism,” to describe the kind of behavior one witnesses at gatherings such as this past week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. WEF was created in 1971 so that elites from around the world could gather to “map out solutions to global challenges,” according to WEF’s website.  read more »

Opposition to High Speed Rail Grows

The St. Louis Post Dispatch characterizes high speed rail as a “bridge to the 19th century,” in noting its opposition.  read more »

RNC Retreats to Once-Republican Hawaii

As the Republican National Committee retreats to Hawaii this week, it’s worth remembering that the archipelago was once staunchly Republican territory.  In fact, it was southern Senate Democrats who blocked its statehood for decades over fears that the minority-majority state would elect two senators who would tip the balance in the civil rights debate.  read more »

How the new Apple iPad (and other mobile tech) changes the commuting equation

Apple's much anticipated iPad tablet computer was announced today, albeit to some mixed reviews. While the iPad itself may or may not succeed, the overall technology trend line is clear: increasingly rich mobile access to the Internet and email.  read more »

MILLENNIAL PERSPECTIVE: Education Economics

Almost three years ago, shortly after graduating from college, Jeffrey Rogers found himself with a degree and no job. The economy had just taken a dramatic turn for the worse and he was struggling to get by.

“He was literally living off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” said Kathryn Rogers, his younger sister and a first-year graduate student at Chapman University in Southern California.  read more »