Economics

High Metabolism Money

cashless-society.jpg

As part of my usual exploration of towns and cities around the country I wander up and down streets taking photos. I have an inexhaustible supply of pictures of the generic American landscape. But every once in a while someone will come running out of a building demanding to know who I am and why I’m photographing their property. Bank managers are frequent objectors.  read more »

The Community and Economic Development Hierarchy

HOL1920-Business-briefs.jpg
Construction underway for a new 130,000 square foot shopping center located in Hollister, CA, May 17, 2019. Sadly, more communities want to see this than are actually able to have it. Source: sanbenito.com

I've spent many, many years of my career working to improve the economic development prospects of communities. Wanting to make a meaningful, positive contribution to the revitalization of cities is what pushed me into this career path. More to the point, I've spent a good deal of that time working in places that were facing stiff economic headwinds working against them.  read more »

Around San Francisco’s New South of Market Transit Center

541px-Salesforce_Tower_SF_2017.jpg

In the 1980s, the city of San Francisco experienced a strong reaction against continued development of its dense financial center skyscraper district north of Market Street. that the term Manhattanization was popularized by the alternative biweekly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, which channeled the interest of many residents to preserve both their neighborhood and the iconic, historic buildings in downtown San Francisco before they were replaced by new, taller structures.  read more »

Where Salaries Go Furthest in 2019: The Small-City Advantage

GettyImages-823971978-SIZED.jpg

Big cities are the engines of the modern economy. They offer workers a range of opportunities — and employers a range of workers, customers, and infrastructure — that smaller places generally can’t match. But when it comes to what many job seekers care about most, smaller cities often are best. In particular, for most jobs, salaries are higher in smaller places after accounting for the cost of living. 
 read more »

Decarbonization In Homes And Businesses At What Cost?

1200px-Brownofficebuilding_(1).jpg

The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) plans to make all homes and businesses use electricity only means electricity will need to take up the duties that natural gas has been performing, and provide continuously uninterruptable power as California is on a path toward 100% renewables and “zero-carbon” sources in electricity by 2045.  read more »

A Review of Alan Mallach's The Divided City

9781610917810.jpg

The astounding revival of American cities is real. However, the inequality evident in virtually all of them is real as well, and built into the system. Much of the urban discourse has centered on the former, but the latter has likely has a broader impact on contemporary metropolitan development nationwide. Inequality in American cities has three dimensions – spatial, economic and racial. The erosion of the middle class is a key feature of industrial city decline and most impacts older industrial cities. And of course, sweeping global and national trends are at work.  read more »

Public Schools Should Be Places of Learning, Not Propaganda

MarchTopStory2.jpg

California likes to think of itself as the brain center of the universe, but increasingly much of that intellectual content comes from somewhere else. Once a leader in educational innovation and performance, California is now toward the bottom of the pack.  read more »

The World’s $86 Trillion Economy Visualized in One Chart

2932131793_cbec530f72_b.jpg

The world’s GDP still grew a healthy 6.9% in 2018, up from $80.2 trillion in 2017 to $85.8 trillion. Nearly half of this growth came from the world’s two largest economies: the United States, at $20.5 trillion (up 5.4% from 2017), and China, at $13.6 trillion (up 10%). However, fear of a global recession are mounting -- much of it related to growing economic tension between the two leading economies.  read more »

Subjects:

Ridership Falls Another 2.9 Percent in June

SEPTA_Nova_Bus.jpg

June 2019 transit ridership was 2.9 percent lower than in June 2018, according to the Federal Transit Administration’s most recent data release. Ridership dropped in all major modes, including bus, commuter rail, heavy rail, and light rail. Ridership also dropped in 41 of the nation’s 50 largest urban areas, declining even in Seattle, which had previously appeared immune to the decline that is afflicting most of the nation’s transit industry.  read more »

Green Technology’s Dark Side

c-20-800x445.jpg

The hype these days is to stop using those dirty fossil fuel driven cars and trucks and convert everyone to those clean electric vehicles. But wait!

Before you jump onto the EV train, those EV’s have a very dark side of environmental atrocities and a non-existing transparency of human rights abuses associated with mining for the exotic minerals that power the EV’s.  read more »