The Great Betrayal of Middle America


America’s vast midsection, a region that has been hammered by globalists of both parties, has been abandoned by the great corporations that grew fat on its labor and resources.

To many from the Appalachians to the Rockies, Donald Trump projected a beacon of hope. Despite the conventional wisdom among the well-heeled of the great coastal cities, these resource and manufacturing hubs elected the new president.  read more »

The California economy's surface strength hides looming weakness


If you listen to California’s many boosters, things have never been so good. And, to be sure, since 2011, the state appears to have gained its economic footing, and outperformed many of its rivals.  read more »

The Best Small and Medium-Size Cities For Jobs 2017


Much of the U.S. media tends to see smaller cities as backwaters, inevitably left behind as the “best and brightest” head to the country’s mega-regions. The new economy, insists the Washington Post, favors large cities for start-ups and new businesses. Richard Florida has posited the emergence of a “winner take all urbanism” that tends to favor the richest cities, such as New York and San Francisco.  read more »

America's Heartland is Critical to Our Future


The results of the 2016 presidential election have been ascribed -- by the winner’s critics -- to racism, hysteria, stupidity, or nostalgia. But what the results most reflected was a looming economic divide. Essentially, Donald Trump won in the parts of the country that grow most of the food, drill for oil and gas, and produce palpable things. The places that went for Hillary Clinton are where intangibles such as media, software, and financial transactions drive the economy.  read more »

Move Over, San Francisco: Dallas Tops Our List Of The Best Cities For Jobs 2017


Dallas is called the Big D for a reason. Bigger, better, best: that’s the Dallas mindset. From the gigantic Cowboys stadium in Arlington to the burgeoning northern suburbs to the posh arts district downtown, Dallasites are reinventing their metropolis almost daily. The proposed urban park along the Trinity River, my Dallas friends remind me, will be 11 times bigger than New York’s Central Park.  read more »

The New American Heartland: Renewing the Middle Class by Revitalizing the Heartland


This is the introduction to a new report written by Joel Kotkin and Michael Lind with a team of contributors. Download the full report (pdf) here.

The greatest test America faces is whether it can foster the kind of growth that benefits and expands the middle class. To do so, the United States will need to meet three challenges: recover from the Great Recession, rebalance the American and international economies, and gain access to the global middle class for the future of American goods and services.  read more »

The globalization debate is just beginning


The decisive victory of Emmanuel Macron for president of France over Marine Le Pen is being widely hailed as a victory of good over evil, and an affirmation of open migration flows and globalization. Certainly, the defeat of the odious National Front should be considered good news, but the global conflict over trade and immigration has barely begun.  read more »

Guaranteed Minimum What?


I was on the road a while back and needed to stop to use the facilities. A chain restaurant on the side of the highway seemed like a reasonable spot. As I headed to the men’s room I noticed iPads on all the tables. These are the new electronic menus. They don’t replace wait staff, but they do make the whole process of ordering food more efficient with a likely reduction in the overall number of humans needed to do the same amount of work. And there are all the other benefits that come with data mining and systems optimization. The global supply chain managers must love it.  read more »

The Springfield Strategy


I just enjoyed an adventure in Springfield, Massachusetts with Steve Shultis and his wife Liz of Rational Urbanism. Steve does a far better job of describing his town and his philosophy than I ever could, but my interpretation can be summed up with an analogy about an old college room mate.  read more »

Father of the Bernie Sanders Presidency

Bernie_Sanders_in_Littleton,_NH,_on_August_24,_2015_(20703289249) (1).jpg

President Trump’s elite-managed populism opens a path for a more genuine version.  read more »