Economics

The Prisoner of Intersectionality

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When she first announced her run for the White House, Elizabeth Warren seemed a breath of fresh air — a brainy and relentless campaigner for the middle class, willing to take on tech and other oligarchs. As an old colleague who met with her told me, she seemed very much “an old-fashioned New Deal Democrat” focused primarily on addressing the massive inequalities that hurt our society and families.  read more »

The Actuarial Table

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Regular readers will have noticed my lack of content these last few months. I intentionally put everything in my life on hold back in August in order to tend to some more important business. My friend Marie was diagnosed with glioblastoma. I moved in with her, cared for her, and took her to her treatments each day. She just passed and I’m beginning to resume my normal routine.  read more »

Subjects:

Charles Schwab Moving San Francisco HQ to Texas

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Nov. 25, 2019: The brokerage firm Charles Schwab announced today it would acquire TD Ameritrade in a $26 billion deal and as part of the transaction Schwab will move its headquarters to the Dallas-Forth Worth area.  read more »

Midwest Success Stories

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My latest report has just been released by the Manhattan Institute. It’s called, “Midwest Success Stories: These 10 Cities Are Blooming, Not Rusting. read more »

America's Drift Toward Feudalism

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America’s emergence in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries represented a dramatic break from the past. The United States came on the scene with only vestiges of the old European feudal order—mostly in the plantation economy of the Deep South. There was no hereditary nobility, no national church, and, thanks to George Washington’s modesty, no royal authority. At least among whites, there was also far less poverty in America, compared to Europe’s in­tense, intractable, multigenerational poverty.  read more »

Affordability, Housing Shortages and the Coming Population Boom

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Housing affordability and dwelling shortages back to centre stage

The combined issues of housing affordability and dwelling shortages are once again emerging as key issues for the property industry, policy makers and the broader community.

Recent cyclical and relatively short-term movements in the property market – where we’ve moved from boom to moderation to a rebound again – have dominated discussion in recent years.  read more »

Bloomberg and the Plight of the Oligarchs

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If the tentative entrance of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg into the Presidential race materializes, he may discover difficulty of being an oligarch in an increasingly socialist-minded party. Bloomberg, whose fortune is estimated at $50 billion, many times Trump’s estimated $3 billion, much less Tom Steyer’s comparatively meager $1.6 billion, epitomizes the very capitalist class so detested by party activists.  read more »

Expanding, Productive Mexico City: The Evolving Urban Form

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Much of the media has been fascinated by the growing number of megacities (built up urban areas with at least 10 million residents). Not only are megacities regularly covered but various reports have them becoming denser. They’re not, as has been demonstrated by Professor Shlomo Angel, who leads the Urban Expansion Program at New York University’s Marron Institute.  read more »

Unsustainable California

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The recent rash of fires, like the drought that preceded it, has sparked a new wave of pessimism about the state’s future. But the natural disasters have also obscured the fact the greatest challenge facing the state comes not from burning forests or lack of precipitation but from an increasingly dysfunctional society divided between a small but influential wealthy class and an ever-expanding poverty population.  read more »

The California Exodus is Real

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Not unlike the Hebrews departing Egypt and the Okies exiting the dust and famine of the 1930’s Midwest, the number of Californians getting the heck out of Dodge—so-to-speak—is staggering.

Between 2004 and 2013—in just one decade--about five million Californians left the state. Roughly 3.9 million people came here from other states during that period, for a net population loss of more than one million people. The trend resulted in a net loss of about $26 billion in annual income.  read more »