Brain Drain as Economic Development, Akron Edition


If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I don’t believe brain drain is the problem it’s been made out as. Often talent export can actually itself be a form of economic development.

A recent New Yorker profile of the Silicon Valley firm Glassdoor, which allows employees to post reviews of their employer, made this point implicitly in passing. Robert Hohman, the CEO of Glassdoor, is from Akron.  read more »

Is Women's Progress Blocked By Welfare State?


Women’s progress is a global phenomenon, but one region is widely regarded as being the world leader in gender equality – the Nordics. Science Daily Newspaper bluntly stated in 2016 “[t]he Nordic countries are the most gender equal nations in the world”.  read more »

Southern California Needs A Better Marketing Strategy


"Southern California is man-made, a gigantic improvisation” — Carey McWilliams, Southern California: An Island on the Land, 1946

Largely invented, a semi-desert far from the metropolitan heartland of the nation, Southern California has relied on a combination of engineering genius and marketing bravado. The constructed infrastructure has become creaky, but still functions. Not so our sense of marketing our region to the rest of the world — and ourselves.  read more »

Cronyism and its Scapegoats


Cronyism destroys trust and assigns the blame to scapegoats of its own creation.

Only a fiercely committed left or right-winger would fail to recognize that there is today a social and political divide that does not easily fit within the traditional mold of left vs. right. If, loosely speaking, the left leans socialist and the right leans capitalist, there is a third branch, cronyism, that is characterized by the rising power and wealth of rent-seeking industries and individuals.  read more »


Where Small Town America Is Thriving

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Big city America has long demonstrated a distaste for its smaller cousins. This sentiment has, if anything, intensified with the election of President Donald Trump, whose improbable victory was made possible by strong support in small cities and towns across the country.  read more »

Why We Should Fix It First with Infrastructure


My latest column is now online in the March issue of Governing. It’s called “A Tip for Infrastructure Builders: Fix It First.” Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

Working-Class People on the Snowfields: Class at the Winter Olympics


The combination of renewed interest in Tonya Harding (due to the film, I, Tonya) and the winter Olympics made me think of class and sport lately – especially sports that involve snow and ice. Although winter sports might be considered quite ordinary for some who live in very cold climates (such as Norwegians), most require expensive equipment and travel.  read more »

California in Danger: Why the Dream is Dying and How We Can Save It


In the latest report from research and policy organization Environmental Progress, "California in Danger: Why the Dream is Dying and How We Can Save It," Michael Shellenberger highlights the most pressing issues facing California today and how we can solve them. Read an excerpt from the executive summary below.  read more »

The New Opportunity Boomtowns


A century ago Detroit was a boomtown and Los Angeles a sleepy refuge for sun-seeking Midwesterners. A half-century later, L.A. was the fastest-growing big city in the high-income world, while Detroit was beginning its long tailspin. In the ’70s, New York was the “rotten apple” and seemed destined for further decline. But for the past 20 years it has enjoyed an enormous surge of wealth, as have many of the countries’ dense, culturally creative cities.  read more »

Chicago Is the American Metropolitan Platypus


"What the hell is going on in Chicago?"

I must admit, when I first heard that statement from President Donald Trump, it angered me. The Donald has said a lot of cringe-worthy things over the years, but this struck a nerve.  read more »