Economics

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 »

California Supports “Foreign” Big Oil

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California is home to the largest crude oil reserves in America, but the States’ choice to not drill for that oil requires in-state manufacturers to “export” billions of dollars annually to oil rich foreign countries to import their oil to meet the state’s energy demands.  read more »

Lurching To A New Weimar

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America seems to be heading inexorably toward a Weimar moment, a slide toward political polarization from which it could be increasingly difficult to return. Weimar — that brief, brilliant and tragic German republic of the 1920s — was replaced by Hitler’s murderous regime in 1933.  read more »