Economics

Urban America: The New Solid South

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By Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill

Ever since the 1930s, most urban areas have leaned Democratic. But in presidential elections, many remained stubbornly competitive between the two parties. As late as 1988, for example, Republican nominees won Dallas County and made strong showings in the core urban counties of Cook (Chicago), Los Angeles and King (Seattle).  read more »

Cities are Changing, But Urban Living Remains Optional

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Starting with the first oil crisis in 1973, it’s become de rigueur for the press to accompany every spike in energy prices with a spate of stories explaining how the higher costs will inevitably lead to the revival of the long declining industrial cities of the Northeast and Midwest. But don’t count on a boom in Baltimore or Cleveland anytime soon.  read more »

The Cost of Chicago Jobs

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In Chicago’s recent history, when you think of beers, Jesse Jackson and his sons Yusaf and Jonathan come to mind. Yusaf and Jonathan Jackson were fortunate enough to receive a coveted Anheuser-Busch distributorship on the north side of Chicago. Just the other day, MillerCoors announced it would move its corporate headquarters to downtown Chicago by the summer or fall of 2009. The cost was high.  read more »

Subjects:

The South Rises Again! (In Automobile Manufacturing, that is)

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Volkswagen’s announcement last week that it will build a new assembly plant in Chattanooga, TN is the latest sign of triumph for the South’s growing auto industry. The new plant will sit within close proximity to one Toyota is building north of Tupelo, MS (where the popular Prius will be manufactured), and another that Kia broke ground for last year in West Point, GA on the Alabama border. This joins existing plants such as those operated by Nissan in Nashville and Smyrna, GA, BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, SC and three assembly plants in Alabama.  read more »

Guzzling BTUs: Problems with Public Transit in an Age of Expensive Gas

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As gas prices inch up toward $5 per gallon, many environmentalists and elected officials are looking to public transit as a solution to higher transportation costs and rising fuel consumption. A closer look at the numbers, however, warrants more than a little skepticism that public transit can fulfill the nation’s energy conservation goals.  read more »

Which Cities Will the High Cost of Energy Hurt (and Help) the Most?

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A high cost energy future will profoundly impact the cost of doing business and create new opportunities, but not necessarily in the way most people expect.

By Joel Kotkin and Michael Shires

The New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly and the rest of the establishment press have their answer: big cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco will win out. Our assessment is: not so fast. There’s a lot about the unfolding energy economy that is more complex than commonly believed, and could have consequences that are somewhat unanticipated.  read more »

The New Boom Towns

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The steep hike in gas and energy prices has created a national debate about the future of American metropolitan areas -- mostly about the reputed decline of suburbs and edge cities dependent on cars. But with all this focus on the troubles of traditional suburbs, one big story is overlooked: the rapid rise of America’s energy-producing metropolitan areas.  read more »

Suburbs Thriving, Cities Stagnating in Keystone State

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The headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer said it all, “Philadelphia’s population shrinking, though region’s is growing.” This in the midst of what is purported to be a condominium boom in its thriving center city.

But facts are facts: Philadelphia’s population has dropped 4.5 percent. This ranks it first among the top-25 U.S. cities in population loss from 2000-2007. This data causes you to pause and rethink the real impact of major public investments in the city spurred on by a governor who is the city’s former two-term mayor.  read more »

Where Are the Best Cities to Do Business?

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Our comprehensive annual guide to which places are thriving -- even in an economy many consider in recession.

By Joel Kotkin and Michael Shires

What a difference a year and a deflated housing bubble makes. Inc.com's 2008 list of the Best Cities for Doing Business, created in conjunction with Newgeography.com, uncovered some of the most dramatic changes since we started this ranking back in 2004. Five major trends were immediately revealed; trends that are shaping the business environment right now across the country and will continue to over the next several years.  read more »

Is Manufacturing Weighing Down the U.S. Economy?

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The answer may surprise you.

Ever since we started ranking the Best Cities for Doing Business in 2004, the bottom rung of the rankings has been largely dominated by older industrial cities where factories have long been abandoned and once booming economies have dried up. The 2008 list bears this sobering fact;  read more »