Demographics

The Two Middle Classes

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Politicians across the Western world like to speak fondly of the “middle class” as if it is one large constituency with common interests and aspirations. But, as Karl Marx observed, the middle class has always been divided by sources of wealth and worldview. Today, it is split into two distinct, and often opposing, middle classes.  read more »

Canada’s Resurgent Population Growth and Exodus From Unaffordability

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Canada is experiencing resurgent growth, according to the latest population estimates from Statistics Canada. Between 2015 and 2019, the nation added 1.30 percent to its population annually. This is up about one-third from the annual rate between 2010 and 2015. The growth surge has been even greater in the larger labor markets (the 44 Census Metropolitan Areas [CMAs] and Census Agglomerations [CAs] over 100,000 population), where the annual rate has risen about approximately 30 percent, from 1.20 percent to 1.57 percent.  read more »

How Different Generations are Influencing Our Politics

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Race, gender and class may be shaping our society, but increasingly generational change drives our politics.

Over time this suggests a major realignment of America’s party system that could create either whole new parties or transform the current, and failing, political duopoly.

One must look just at the results in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders won by winning roughly half of voters under 30, according to exit polls, almost twice the percentage he gained among the rest of the electorate.  read more »

The City as a Self-Organizing, Adaptive System - Part 2

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Vienna's Ringstrasse has transformed multiple times on its way to becoming a multi-modal arterial.

In a preceding article, I argued that a "city-as-an-artifact" approach to planning misses the organic nature of cities, and, when used in action, this approach could result in disappointing, if well-intended, outcomes. Similarly, biomorphic models for cities fail to construct a unified, actionable theory of planning.  read more »

The Next Economy: Following the Trail of U.S. Job Growth

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A decade ago, in the wake of the Great Recession, Lee County, Florida was dubbed “the foreclosure capital of the country” by the national media, the poster child for all that had gone wrong with the American economy.  read more »

Red v. Blue

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The political and cultural war between red and blue America may not be settled in our lifetimes, but it’s clear which side is gaining ground in economic and demographic terms. In everything from new jobs—including new technology employment—fertility rates, population growth, and migration, it’s the red states that increasingly hold the advantage.  read more »

Be Careful When Citing Jane Jacobs: Her Conclusions Don’t Always Hold

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As a professor who teaches about cities and the urban form, I very much appreciate the sidewalk ballets and street-corner societies that have historically existed in our nation’s urban centers. These features of the built-environment have long been powerful factors in the formation of both social capital, community, and a place’s identity.  read more »

Aging in Place—or Trapped in Place?

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As older adults age into later life, they often face disruptive changes that make their dwell­ings, neighborhoods and communities seem less appealing. When they retire and seek new leisure, volunteer or career activities, they may be disappointed by what is available nearby. After their children depart, older adults may feel that their homes are uncomfortably large, and utility costs, property taxes and mortgage payments are overly high. The smaller income stream in retirement can mean that such home expenses become financially burdensome.  read more »

Subjects:

Demographic Undestiny

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Demography becomes destiny, the old adage goes. But many of the most confidently promoted demographic predictions have turned out grossly exaggerated or even dead wrong. In many cases they tend to reflect more the aspirations of pundits and reporters than the actual on-the-ground realities.  read more »

Heartland Intelligence

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There have been some big changes for me. We relocated from New York to Indianapolis, where I’m doing consulting work for the Indy Chamber. I’m no longer full time with the Manhattan Institute but am still a contributing editor at City Journal and still have multiple projects in the works there. I’ll continue to write for other publications too, as with my recent Atlantic piece on J. Irwin Miller and Columbus, Indiana. More on my move below.  read more »