Demographics

Autonomous Cars Are Our Real Future

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Long a hotbed of new technologies, California insists on seeing its transit future in the rear mirror. Rather than use innovative approaches to getting people around and to work, our state insists on spending billions on early 20th century technology such as streetcars and light rail that have diminishing relevance to our actual lives.  read more »

The Mines

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There’s a literary trope in which an ambitious young man goes to work in the mines for a few years to earn an income with which to go back home. In the US it’s bundled into narratives of the Wild West (where incomes were very high until well into the 20th century), but it also exists elsewhere. For example, in The House of the Spirits, the deuterotagonist (who owns an unprofitable hacienda) works in the mines for a few years to earn enough money to ask to marry a society woman.  read more »

Highest Fertility & Gains Concentrated in US Midwest and South

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The plunging of birth rates has emerged as one of the most significant demographic trends. For the first time, there appears to be the prospect of nations that will become materially smaller in population as a result. For example, the latest projections from the Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research are that by 2115, the population will be only 50.5 million, down 60 percent from the present 126 million.  read more »

Is the Fever Breaking? Ground Zero Youngstown

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Two years ago, I described the Youngstown area as “crossover ground zero” for Donald Trump and the politics of resentment in working-class and rust belt communities. In local rallies during the 2016 campaign and since he took office, Trump has repeatedly promised an economic renaissance and immigration reform. These issues resonated with local voters.  read more »

America Keeps Winning Regardless Of Who Is President

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Ever since the election of Donald Trump, many of our leading academic voices, like Paul Krugman, predicted everything from a stock market crash to a global recession. Slow growth, mainstream economists like Larry Summers, argued, was in the cards no matter who is in charge. That was then. Now the United States stands as by far the most dynamic high-income economy in the world.  read more »

The Sacred Cul-de-Sac: Lakewood

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In 1901 John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil (now ExxonMobil) began purchasing hundreds of acres of land around the town of Lakewood, New Jersey an hour and a half south of New York. He then built a thirty bedroom, twenty bathroom country estate. Lakewood was a prosperous year round vacation destination complete with swimming, tennis, golf, and ice skating, as well as numerous hotels, fine restaurants, a theater, and many large elegant homes.  read more »

Edge Cities in China: Suzhou

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Nearly three decades ago, journalist and educator Joel Garreau coined a new term, “Edge cities,” to describe the rise of commercial centers outside the downtowns (central business districts or CBDs) largely of the United States (Note 1).  read more »

Why the Booster Club Won’t Save Minneapolis

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Someone who took issue with my treatment of Minneapolis’ attraction issue sent me a link to this Star Tribune piece noting that migration into the region increased last year.

To be clear: this article is from March of this year, so I’m late to the game in analyzing it. But I don’t recall seeing it previously.

Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

California Must Stop Trying To Stomp Out Suburbia

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We may be celebrating — if that’s the right word — the tenth year since the onset of the financial crisis and collapse of the real estate market. Yet before breaking out the champagne, we should recognize that the hangover is not yet over, and that a new housing crisis could be right around the corner.  read more »

More Work at Home than Take Transit, Transit Retreats into Niche Markets

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The new American Community Survey data indicates at least two significant narratives with respect to work access trends (commuting and working at home). One is transit work is becoming even more concentrated in only six of the nation’s 20,000 municipalities, the six transit legacy cities. The second is that working at home has passed transit in access to jobs, it now trails only driving alone and car pools.  read more »