Blogs

Nothing's the Matter With Kansas

Local and Regional banks in the Great Plains are doing just fine, thanks, according to Bill Wycoff, a bank president in southeast Kansas. Bill wrote in the WSJ Saturday that  read more »

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Manhattan Sinking

Anyone in New York recently can see that the swagger is now gone. With the economy losing its primary engine - a relative handful of financial hotshots- the whole plutonomic system seems to be under major stress. The state and city budgets also seem to be heading south in a big way.  read more »

Latest Case-Shiller Housing Price Index

S&P released the July Case-Shiller Index today. Check out our line chart to follow the trend in each market.  read more »

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Campaign Money and the House Bailout Vote

The late Jesse Unruh, longtime speaker of the California Assembly, was a giant of a man, both in accomplishment and girth. But he will be forever remembered for having said that “Money is the mother’s milk of politics”.  read more »

Palin Nomination Leading to Unwarranted Attacks on Small Towns

You don’t have to believe Sarah Palin is qualified to be vice-President, much less President - I certainly don’t - to understand that her nomination has unsettled many people in our big metropolitan centers. The very idea that a former Alaskan small town Mayor being selected for such high office has elicited an outpouring of scorn towards micropolitan and small town America.  read more »

The Generosity of Spirit in Houston

Many of you might know I am a bit of a Houston fan. It's not that they don't have zoning --- I am neutral on that issue --- but because they have heart. I was privileged to see Houstonians open themselves to 250,000 or more mostly poor and minority evacuees from Louisiana after Katrina. It was an inspiring effort and very ecumenical, led largely by evangelical Christians but including Jews, Muslims, Catholics and anyone else who gave down.  read more »

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Foundations and Non-Profits Stepping up to Create Playing Fields

There is no city I am aware of that seems to have the amount of parks and green space it wants. This paucity is particularly glaring when it comes to parks for children and most prevalent in large, dense urban areas. And this is why non-profits like San Francisco's City Fields Foundation are stepping in to upgrade existing parks because public funds are not available in the quantities demanded by the public.  read more »

Heartland Development Bank - a New Vehicle for Growth

America, the world's most advanced continental nation, could be on the verge of a great resurgence, much of it based in regions largely unacknowledged by many pundits, academics and the media. What is needed now is an infrastructure strategy to make it happen.

So say New Geography contributors Delore Zimmerman and Joel Kotkin in recently released white paper proposing a new method of infrastructure financing for the heartland of America: a Heartland Development Bank.  read more »

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Creating the Next American System

Michael Lind of the New America Foundation has just published an excellent and inspiring article in Democracy Journal about the need for a new financial and physical infrastructure.  read more »

Is the heartland the economic armpit of America?

Writing in the Wall Street Journal last week, native Kansan Thomas Frank isn't too complimentary on the state of affairs:

...you will find that small-town America, this legendary place of honesty and sincerity and dignity, is not doing very well. If you drive west from Kansas City, Mo., you will find towns where Main Street is largely boarded up. You will see closed schools and hospitals. You will hear about depleted groundwater and massive depopulation.  read more »