Economics

Housing Affordability and the Pandemic

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The median price of homes in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, grew by $100,000 in February, reports the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. That means prices were growing by $25,000 a week. The good news is that these are New Zealand dollars, which are only worth about 72 cents U.S., which means prices grew by “only” US$18,000 a week.  read more »

The Black Pearl of Atlantic Beach

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About a year ago, I got a call from Sonny Matta, one of the founders of Atlantic Beach Redevelopment Public-Private Partnership, introduced me to Atlantic Beach, South Carolina – a 97 acre city along the Atlantic Coast known to locals as The Black Pearl.

The town was formed in the 1930’s as a vacation destination for black families with thriving black-owned businesses. It became an entertainment center African American musicians could not just play, but also stay, which was not an option even in “integrated” cities like Los Angeles.  read more »

The Death of the American City

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When my grandparents migrated to New York from Russia over a century ago, they found a city that was hardly paradise, but one that provided a pathway towards a better life. Life was tough, crowded and always a paycheck from poverty. My relatives were poor, but so was everyone; eventually, they all bought houses or apartments, and entered the middle class.  read more »

A Vision for Cleveland

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Part 1: Innovation and “the Next Silicon Valley”

It’s mayoral season in Cleveland and a number of viable candidates are lining up. With political candidacies inevitably comes political agendas. We will hear a lot about what a given candidate thinks has or hasn’t worked in Cleveland. We will also hear prognosticating about the future of Cleveland.  read more »

Biden’s Actions Are Encouraging Supply Chain Dependencies From Foreign Sources

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Despite President Biden’s February 24th vocal concerns about America’s growing dependence on unreliable foreign sources for the supply chain of materials and products to support electric cars, pharmaceuticals, hospital supplies to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and military hardware, his actions are directly opposite of his vocal concerns, as they are encouraging national security concerns.  read more »

Reshoring America: Can the Heartland Lead the Way?

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had overwhelming impacts on our economy, not to mention the impact on lives and personal wellness.

The critical lack of medical equipment to treat and protect those affected highlights the over-reliance of United States manufacturing sector on overseas production. The offshoring issue extends beyond current pandemic concerns, however, reaching far larger and more permanent concerns over industrial supply chains, worker training and even national security.  read more »

China Freight Volumes Hold Steady in Pandemic Year

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China’s National Bureau of Statistics has just published freight transportation statistics for 2020. It tells much about China’s seemingly inexorable rise and its ties to the tangible economy. While different from most in the West, its stolidity and trajectory are fairly well-established.  read more »

Bucket Toilets and Casseroles: Belonging, Mutual Aid, and Working-Class Survival

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This past year of the pandemic has, for many, been one of struggle and isolation. So films about single older working-class women dealing with economic and personal challenges might not seem inspiring at the moment. But the insights they provide into how belonging helps people navigate hardship make them worth a look.  read more »

Climate Policy: COVID on Steroids?

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For most people around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic seems a great human tragedy, with deaths, bankruptcies, and fractured mental states. Yet for some, especially among the green Twitterati and in some policy shops, the pandemic presents a grand opportunity to enact permanent lockdowns on economic growth, population growth, and upward mobility.  read more »

Downtown Calgary: At Risk?

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Downtown Calgary is a big deal (see photo above and photos following the text). Traditional American and Canadian downtown areas (central business districts or CBDs) are a holdover from the pre-auto era. Their geographical limits were largely set by the early Great Depression, with buildings that were well underway in planning by that time (such as the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building in New York). CBD’s were far more dominant at that time.  read more »