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Does Geography Determine Destiny?

A new Heartland Forward report, Does Geography Determine Destiny has been released today.

There will be a press briefing at 11:30 a.m. EST/10:30 a.m. CST., with Ross and John Friedman. They will each be making comments and then opening up the virtual roundtable to answers questions.

An excerpt from the report follows:

Upward mobility in the United States, often affectionately referred to as the “American Dream,” is at the center of some of today’s most important and timely debates. We are all invested in the idea of upward economic mobility, grounded in the notion that with hard work, we can build a better life for ourselves, our communities and our children. Unfortunately, the analysis in this report makes it clear that the distribution of opportunity has been and continues to be uneven.

Read the rest and download the full report at: Heartland Forward

Subjects:

Beyond Feudalism: Addressing California's Inequality Crisis (Live Event)

On July 14th, Joel & Marshall held a Virtual Town Hall on a research brief titled, Beyond Feudalism: A Strategy to Restore California's Middle Class discussing inequality in California and how a change in state policy could restore our state’s dream. This is a recording of the presentation and Q & A.

Listen on Apple Podcast

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Spotify

More podcast episodes & show notes at JoelKotkin.com

Watch Episode on Youtube

Related links:

Join the 'Beyond Feudalism' Facebook group to share your story, ask questions and connect with other citizen leaders working to restore opportunity to the middle class: facebook.com/groups/beyondfeudalism

Learn more about the Feudal Future podcast.
Learn more about Marshall Toplansky.
Learn more about Joel Kotkin.

Big Cities | Munk Debates with guests Joel Kotkin and Richard Florida

Does the COVID-19 pandemic spell the end of the big city boom?

Listen to the debate at Munk Debates.

Joel Kotkin has recently published The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class. In this book Kotkin argues that tech oligarchs are wiping out the middle class and turning some cities into luxury enclaves. During the debate Joel Kotkin also refers to his book The City: A Global History.

Richard Florida is renowned for his best-selling book The Rise of the Creative Class in which he describes the new social class of creative workers and the vital role they play in the economy and in transforming cities into vibrant places to live. In The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class-and What We Can Do About It Richard Florida looks at the dark side of the creative economy.

During the debate both Richard and Joel describe how COVID-19 has exposed racial and class divisions within cities.

Feudal Future Podcast — GateWay 2nd Chance: Why We Need Education & Life Skills for At-Risk Youth

Hosts Marshall Toplansky and Joel Kotkin welcome you to today’s episode of ​Feudal Future​!

On today’s episode, you will be introduced to Clarence Carter, also known as Nink. Nink Carter graduated with a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard. He grew up in inner-city Brooklyn and attended undergrad at Michigan State University where he also received his graduate degree. During his corporate career, Nink worked at Xerox, General Motors, Lear-Siegler, and Square D Corporations. Afterwards, he became the principal of a non-public K-12 school. He and his wife, Dr. Donna Carter founded ​GateWay Second Chance Foundation​ and ​GateWay Boarding Academy​. Marshall shares that these organizations “are designed to minimize the risk of academically and behaviorally-deficient adolescent boys becoming ensnared in our inadequate criminal justice system, which is obviously marred by racism and classism…”

Listen on Apple Podcast

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Spotify

More podcast episodes & show notes at JoelKotkin.com

Watch Episode on Youtube

Related links:

Join the 'Beyond Feudalism' Facebook group to share your story, ask questions and connect with other citizen leaders working to restore opportunity to the middle class: facebook.com/groups/beyondfeudalism

Learn more about the Feudal Future podcast.
Learn more about Marshall Toplansky.
Learn more about Joel Kotkin.

Beyond Feudalism: A Strategy to Restore California's Middle Class

In this new report, Beyond Feudalism: A Strategy to Restore California's Middle Class, Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky examine how California has drifted toward feudalism, and how it can restore upward mobility for middle and working-class citizens. An excerpt from the report follows below:

“We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta. California has the ideas of Athens and the power of Sparta. Not only can we lead California into the future, we can show the nation and the world how to get there.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger, January 2007

California Preening: A State Of Delusion

California has always been a state where excess flourished, conscious of its trend-setting role as a world-leading innovator in technology, economics and the arts. For much of the past century, it also helped create a new model for middle and working-class upward mobility while addressing racial, gender and environmental issues well in advance of the rest of the country.

The notion of California’s supremacy remains implanted on the minds of the state’s economic, academic, media and political establishment. “The future depends on us,” Governor Gavin Newsom said at his inauguration. “and we will seize this moment.” Progressive theorists like Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca laud California as the home of “a new progressive era” — an exemplar of social equity. Others see California as deserving of nationhood; it reflects, as a New York Times column put it, “...the shared values of our increasingly tolerant and pluralistic society.”

A Less Grandiose Reality

California’s ascent to its rank as the world’s fifth or sixth largest economy reflects its status as the hub of the “new” economy. Less often acknowledged, but also painfully true: the Golden State now exemplifies the nation’s lurch towards a new form of feudalism in which power and money are increasingly concentrated. Upward mobility is con-strained, and sometimes shocking levels of poverty remain widespread.

To be sure, the state has enjoyed faster income and job growth than the rest of the country over the past decade. But over the past few years, even before Covid-19, it has fallen behind other states, such as Texas, Utah, Washington, Nevada and Arizona. The state is often praised for its elaborate environmental and labor protections, but its record on economic mobility, middle-class disposable income, and even on greenhouse gas reductions, is not encouraging. The gap between middle-class Californians and the more affluent is becoming greater.

Recent trade conflicts, along with the implications of the coronavirus and other potential pandemics, could worsen this reality.6 In the past decade the hospitality, food service, performing arts and sports/casino sectors have accounted for a quarter of all new jobs, an increase in their share of all employment from 10.6% to 13.4%.7 Those two million jobs are now gravely threatened. Our position as a hub for trade with Asia and for global tourism is dependent on easy access to Chinese entrepreneurs and other partners world-wide. Damage to those relationships could make us more vulnerable. Our state’s population of poor and largely destitute people is also a vulnerability.

Read or download the full report here

Feudal Future Podcast — How California's Climate Policies Hurt the Middle Class, with Jennifer Hernandez

In the fourth episode of the Feudal Future podcast, hosts Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky interview Jennifer Hernandez, a partner with Holland & Knight Law Firm in its California offices. Her firm is one of the most prominent in the world of environmental regulations, and she herself is in the midst of lawsuits pertaining to California environmental law.

Listen on Apple Podcast

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Spotify

More podcast episodes & show notes at JoelKotkin.com

Watch Episode on Youtube

Related links:

Join the 'Beyond Feudalism' Facebook group to share your story, ask questions and connect with other citizen leaders working to restore opportunity to the middle class: facebook.com/groups/beyondfeudalism

Read Chapman University's Beyond Feudalism Report: chapman.edu/communication/_files/beyond-feudalism-web-sm.pdf

Learn more about the Feudal Future podcast.
Learn more about Marshall Toplansky.
Learn more about Joel Kotkin.

Virtual Town Hall – California Feudalism: Addressing California's Inequality Crisis

Join us for a presentation on Kotkin and Toplanksky's research brief titled California Feudalism: A Strategy to Restore California's Middle Class, discussing inequality in California and how a change in state policy could restore our state’s dream. Kotkin and Toplansky will be joined by distinguished panelists for commentary and Q & A.  The event will be moderated by Lisa Sparks Dean of the School of Communication at Chapman University. 

Sponsored by the Orange County Credit Union and hosted by Tom Piechota, Ph.D. PE, Vice President of Research, Chapman University

Moderator:

Lisa Sparks, Ph.D., Dean, School of Communication, Chapman University

Presenters:

Joel Kotkin, Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures, R. Hobbs Professorship in Urban Studies, School of Communication, Chapman University

Marshall Toplansky, MBA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Management Science at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics, and Research Fellow at the C. Larry Hoag Center for Real Estate, Chapman University

When: July 14, 1:00 p.m. (PST)

Learn more, and register for this event at Chapman.edu

Virtual Town Hall: Addressing California's Inequality

Feudal Future Podcast — Rural Urban Migration and Class Structure in China with Li Sun

In the third episode of the Feudal Future podcast, hosts Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky, interview guest Li Sun. Li is a lecturer in sociology and social policy at the University of Leeds in the UK. Originally from China, she has resided in several other countries since 2007, and is a consultant for the UN, the World Bank, the OECD, and the governments of the UK, the Netherlands, and China. Li’s main areas of research interest are China’s urbanization and globalization, and she is the author of Rural-Urban Migration and Policy Intervention in China.

Listen on Apple Podcast

Listen on Stitcher

Listen on Spotify

More podcast episodes & show notes at JoelKotkin.com

Watch Episode:

Related links:

Learn about Li’s book Rural-Urban Migration and Policy Intervention in China

Learn more about the Feudal Future podcast.

Learn more about Marshall Toplansky.

Learn more about Joel Kotkin.

On the George Floyd Killing and Police Reform

Obviously I wanted to write something here about the George Floyd killing and its aftermath. I’ve struggled to find something to say, in part because I am far less optimistic than many others that there are going to be major positive changes. A lot of people seem to be saying, “This time things will be different.” But I’ve reached the age where I am much more skeptical about that, having watched so many of these things unfold before (starting with the Jon Burge crew, the Rolando Cruz case, Rodney King, etc, and continuing on to the present day).

I do think that downtown and city leaders around the country are going to coalesce around plans for police reform (which are very needed). But I think the most likely regional responses are going to be in the form of quiet disengagement. That is, rather than the types of rhetoric we used to hear from people like L. Brooks Patterson in the Detroit suburbs, we’ll probably hear suburbanites echo much of what city people say, but then just go about their business. I think suburban elected officials will legitimately try to engage, but the average resident will not.

In part this is because we’re reaching a suburban tipping point in many communities. It used to be that in the suburbs of places like Cincinnati, you’d hear suburbanites brag that they never went downtown. Then a tipping point was reached where they would go downtown and talk about how cool it was.

But over the last decade, the amenity quality of many suburban communities has increased significantly. I remember working in Deerfield, Illinois in the 1990s. Deerfield and surrounds were pretty affluent. But you couldn’t get a decent cup of coffee there, and there were only a limited number of old school restaurants that were worth the visit. Only a relatively few communities outside of Chicago itself had anything going on.

Today, there are now first class coffee shops, restaurants, and entertainment options in the suburbs. Many of them have even built high quality arts centers and the like. As big city downtowns remain shuttered due to coronavirus, they face an extended recovery period anyway until their tourism and office workers return en masse. This and potential racial unrest could create a reverse tipping point in which suburbanites decide that they have plenty at home and there’s not as much need to go into the city as there used to be. And that there’s no longer much upside for them to try to engage in what they see as the city’s challenges.

I don’t think we are returning to the 60s and 70s. Here in Indianapolis I don’t know anyone who lives in the city who is talking about getting out. But I do believe in many of these places people outside the city are going to increasingly decide that the problems of the city are not their concern or are simply unfixable. I would not be at all surprised to see an increasing city-suburb divide, this time not based in active acrimony but increasing suburban indifference and disconnection.

This is one case where I’d very much like to be proven wrong, but I’m just not as optimistic as many others are.

Telework, Telehealth & Real Estate After the Pandemic with Dan Young

In the second episode of the Feudal Future podcast, Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky talk with guest Dan Young about his vision of the future post-COVID-19. Dan was the former president of the Irvine Company, mayor of Santa Ana, and currently serves on the board of Hoag Hospital.

Listen on Apple Podcast

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Learn more at joelkotkin.com