Economics

Cleveland and the Fight for Talent

cleveland-skyline-300x225.jpg

Mark Rantala recently wrote an op-ed for Crain’s Cleveland Business that talks about Cleveland’s need for talent:  read more »

A Generation Plans An Exodus From California

0805-BUCHANAN-MOVING-1.jpg

California is the great role model for America, particularly if you read the Eastern press. Yet few boosters have yet to confront the fact that the state is continuing to hemorrhage people at a higher rate, with particular losses among the family-formation age demographic critical to California’s future.  read more »

Beginnings, Middles, and Ends

screen-shot-2018-08-07-at-2-41-27-am.jpg

I was recently invited to give a talk at a housing conference down in Los Angeles. Once again my fellow speakers engaged in the usual arguments. Aging Baby Boomers asserted that we need to keep building more 1957 style suburban homes on the edge of the metroplex because that’s what people want and can afford, particularly once they marry and have children. Then a group of Millennials sang their sad song of high prices and a lack of options in the places they really want to live.  read more »

Sanity in the Valley of the Sun

770px-PhoenixDowntown.jpg

The Phoenix city council is considering delaying or even killing some planned light-rail lines because it is concerned that city streets are falling apart and too much money is being spent instead on an insignificant form of travel.  read more »

Another Look at Venture Capital Concentrations

800px-Market_Street_San_Francisco_From_Twin_Peaks.jpg

Noah Smith at Bloomberg has a new column where he provides another look at the geographic distribution of venture capital investing. Below is his chart of VC deals by market in 2017.  read more »

Labor’s Day, More or Less?

fight-for-15-people.jpg

It’s hard for most of us to recall any period in the last fifty years that we could call the “good times” for labor in the U.S. Membership density in American unions has been on a steady decline. The National Labor Relations Board has certified few new unions, and mergers have become common. Almost none of the major corporate enterprises founded over the last thirty years are unionized.  read more »

America Is Moving Toward An Oligarchical Socialism

800px-Mark_Zuckerberg_F8_2018_Keynote_(41118893354).jpg

Where do we go after Trump? This question becomes more pertinent as the soap opera administration seeks its own dramatic demise. Yet before they can seize power from the president and his now subservient party, the Democrats need to agree on what will replace Trumpism.  read more »

Thoughts on AI: Some High-Probability Predictions on a Very Uncertain Future

shutterstock_551767066.jpg

Will AI cause mass unemployment?

No. New technologies have always enabled the economy to produce existing products with fewer workers, freeing up people’s resources for new products and freeing up workers to produce them. Farm automation reduced agricultural work as a share of the labor force from 38 percent in 1900 to two percent today, and we produce more food than ever. Education, recreation, and healthcare, which absorbed a tiny share of household spending in 1900, now account for almost half our spending and many millions of jobs.   read more »

Auckland: “A Vancouver of the South Pacific; Beautiful, but Utterly Unaffordable”

aukland-sky_1.JPG

New Zealand’s Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford reasserted the coalition government’s intention to abolish Auckland’s urban growth boundary at a recent environmental summit. Environmental Defense Society (EDS) CEO Gary Taylor expressed concern about eliminating “rural-urban boundaries” (urban growth boundaries, or UGBs) altogether, an Labour Party election promise.  read more »

Northern Cities Need to Ramp It Up on Attraction

20223831012_9b4c8810da_z.jpg

The Economist just ran a nice article on “the flourishing Midwest.” Milwaukee in particular gets singled out for some favorable coverage, so congratulations to them.

Many Midwest cities have been doing well. Even the ones with poor headline numbers like Cleveland are seeing areas of strength when you look at a finer grained level. Some of the declines Midwest locations are experiencing are a result of the overhang of previous decline. Change and restructuring is happening in many places.  read more »