Getting On The Road To Republican Resurgence


In his bitter attack on the new budget agreement, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, stumbled on the reality of his party’s grim identity crisis. Since the Reagan era, the GOP represented a convergence of corporate interests, social conservatives and free market libertarians.  read more »

Confessions of a Rust Belt Orphan (How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Northeast Ohio)


Go to sleep, Captain Future, in your lair of art deco
You were our pioneer of progress, but tomorrow’s been postponed
Go to sleep, Captain Future, let corrosion close your eyes
If the board should vote to restore hope, we’ll pass along the lie

-The Secret Sound of the NSA, Captain Future

 read more »

Rising Car Access Sends LA’s Transit Ridership Falling


Transit ridership is down in a number of markets, but LA’s declines have attracted a lot of attention – and for good reason. LA has invested billions of dollars in rail transit but has failed to grow ridership, which is still below its 1985 levels. And ridership has actually been falling in recent years, even on the existing core rail lines. (New and expanded lines saw some growth).  read more »

Uber, the “Metropocalypse,” and Economic Inequality in D.C.


Public transit infrastructure in Washington, D.C. is crumbling. Metro and bus services have been cut. Fares have gone up. And, safety remains a problem. After 40 years of deferred maintenance, poor management, and the lack of decent, long-term funding, the Metro system needs $1.4 billion worth of repairs, and it must close a $290 million budget gap just to continue basic operations. Some call this the “metropocalypse.”  read more »

Dan Gilbert’s Post-Mortem of Detroit’s Amazon HQ2 Loss


Billionaire Dan Gilbert has posted a lengthy post-mortem on Detroit’s first round loss in the Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes.

He pooh-pooh’s the idea that talent was the reason, instead suggesting it was Detroit’s negative reputation.  read more »

Revisiting the "Big Theory" on American Urban Development


I like to think I've come a long way since the start of this blog nearly six years ago. There are some early things I've written that have become the focal point of my work today, things I tried to tackle but were better left alone, and things I initiated and warrant a deeper look. This post certainly fits in that third category.  read more »

Handicapping Amazon’s Search for a Second Headquarters


Amazon is choosing a city for their second headquarters. The retail behemoth released its “short list” of the 20 cities on January 18.

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, well-known tweeter Iowahawk (@iowahawkblog aka Austin’s David Burge) has enumerated the pros and cons of each location. He swagged the odds for each city.  read more »

Indianapolis Gets Another Amazon HQ2 Win


After just writing about how cities like Indianapolis, Columbus, and Raleigh had already won the HQ2 competition just by making the first cut, the New York Times adds further evidence in the form of a lengthy profile on Indianapolis.  read more »

The Screwed Millennial Generation Gets Smart


It’s been seven years since I wrote about “the screwed generation.” The story told has since become familiar: Millennials, then largely in their twenties, faced a future of limited economic opportunity, lower incomes, and too few permanent, high-paying jobs; of soaring college debt and structural insecurity (PDF).  read more »

Hamtramck: Scale and Institutional Frameworks


I recently published an article that explored some of the ways regulations make it difficult for small businesses to get off the ground and function. Among the examples I used from around the country was Bank Suey in Hamtramck, Michigan. My story was subsequently reposted on various other sites which the owner, Alissa Shelton, read and objected to. She felt I hadn’t accurately described her experience as a business owner and that I didn’t present her town in the right light.  read more »