Demographics

Monrovia, Indiana, Idyll or Elegy?

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Frederick Wiseman turned his documentary filmmaking lens to the Midwest in his new work Monrovia, Indiana. My review of the film is now online at City Journal. Here is an excerpt:

"Wiseman spent ten weeks filming in this small Indiana town of about 1,500 people, creating a fair and insightful portrait of a section of the rural Midwest. He shows us quotidian aspects of life in Monrovia that are likely exotic to a typical big-city documentary-film audience: corn and hog farming, locals holding court at the town diner, a mattress-sale fundraiser for the local school, a farm-equipment auction, a Lion’s Club board meeting, and more.  read more »

The View from Hudson Street—With Thoughts on Science and Orthodoxy

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Two audacious quotes in planning literature underpin this article and substitute for an introduction:  read more »

Jeff Bezos Is Right at Home in the D.C. Swamp, but Amazon Might Have Bit Off More Than It Can Chew with the Big Apple

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It turns out that tech oligarchs aren’t much better than old dogs at learning new tricks. By splitting his much coveted supposed second headquarters between New York City and greater Washington D.C., Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is repeating what worked for him in Seattle while saying “yes, sir” to power.  read more »

Resolving California's Housing and Homeless Crisis

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On any given night in California, there are about 134,278 people without a home. California, with 12 percent of the U.S. population, has 25 percent of the nation’s homeless people. California’s homeless population increased 13.7 percent between 2016 and 2017. About 36 percent of the homeless population are families with children. About 25 percent of the homeless population have jobs.  read more »

Improved Middle-Income Estimates by Pew Research, But More Improvements Needed

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There are few issues, if any, more important than income and poverty. The most successful political jurisdictions, where national or sub national, are characterized by rising incomes and falling rates of poverty. A large and growing middle-class is key to that. But measuring the size and trend of the middle-class is easier said than done.  read more »

The Other Side of the Superstar Effect

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A couple of folks had interesting counterpoints to the superstar effect. Neil Strickland gave me permission to post the following email he sent:  read more »

California Needs A New Economic Model

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Already anointed by The New Yorker as the “head of the resistance,” Gavin Newsom could well think he’s also king of California politics. He can both sell himself as the model of progressive virtue and also lord of the world’s fifth-largest economy, home to three of the world’s most powerful and influential companies.  read more »

To Make the Internet Great Again, Trump Must Smash Facebook and Its Tech Oligarch Friends

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Even as many Americans look with horror on the authoritarian blusterer in the White House, we are slowly succumbing to a more pernicious, less obvious and far more lasting tech oligarchy gaining ever more control over our economy, culture and politics.

“We are certainly looking at” bringing antitrust cases against Amazon, Facebook and Google,” Trump said in an interview just before the election, adding that he’s had “so many people” warning him about their overwhelming power.  read more »

Superstar Effect Wins Again as Amazon Chooses New York, Washington for HQ2/3

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Amazon, obviously embarrassed at the way their HQ2 process has been received, leaked the results of the competition the night before Election Day, ensuring coverage will be largely muted.

Amazon has reportedly decided to split HQ2 between two locations, New York City (Long Island City, Queens) and Washington (Crystal City, VA).  read more »

Economics Blunt A Blue Wave In 2018 Elections, But Danger Signs Mount For GOP

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All politics is local, Tip O’Neill observed, and despite the national battle between Donald Trump and the Democratic “resistance,” the mid-term elections in rural states and the Midwest showed this dictum still holds.  read more »