Economics

Housing Affordability from Vancouver to Sydney to Toronto: Time to Do What Works

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The front page of The Wall Street Journal cited the difficulty of cities (Note 1) trying to stop the escalation of house prices “Western Cities Try, and Fail, To Slow Chinese Home Buying.” The more descriptive online headline said: Western Cities Want to Slow Flood of Chinese Home Buying. Nothing Works: Governments from Vancouver to Sydney to Toronto are using taxes and other restrictions to tackle real-estate bubbles.  read more »

Taking a Ride on Uber Express Pool

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Over the past few weeks, ridesharing in the United States has rolled in an important new direction: Uber has expanded “Uber Express Pool” to twelve urbanized areas: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Seattle and northern New Jersey. The new service, like Uber Pool, provides customers with a lower fare in exchange for accepting other pick-ups and drop offs along the way.  read more »

Vermont Subsidizes Remote Workers to Move to the State

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Vermont, like many states, is suffering from demographic challenges. It has the fourth slowest population growth of any state since 2000. It has the lowest share of its population who are children under 18 (if you exclude the District of Columbia, a “city-state” from the figures). Vermont is also impeccably progressive, has many quaint cities and towns, and is known for natural beauty. None of these factors has driven population growth there.  read more »

Blue-Collar Blues In The Southern California Job Market

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Every year over the past decade, in the Forbes’ annual “Best Places for Jobs” survey, we have been fortunate to assess Southern California’s economy and compare it to other large metropolitan areas. The results point to some strong points but also many long-term problems that regional leaders need to address.  read more »

The Middle East Could Use Less Warfare and More Capitalism

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Jet fighters, smart bombs, terrorism and ethnic cleansing have not exactly improved the Middle East. Yet the perennial world trouble spot is not without resources — an increasingly educated population, massive energy resources and ample capital — but still suffers economically, with the world’s worst unemployment rates.  read more »

In California, the “Jungle” Is Predictable

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One doesn’t expect the unexpected in California elections. A progressive Democrat will become governor; Dianne Feinstein will return to the Senate yet again; and so on. Nuances still matter, particularly at the congressional level, in part due to the “jungle primary” system, but nothing much has changed. Statewide, the ideological die, at least for now, is cast.  read more »

6 Forces Disrupting Higher Education

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Universities and health care, “eds and meds”, have been in a huge growth cycle over the last few decades. Many communities have been pinning their hopes on anchor institutions like a university or research hospital to retool their economies for the 21st century.

Yet the higher education industry is facing a convergence of several trends and forces that are threaten their future. At a minimum, schools need to be figuring out how to navigate these choppy waters ahead.  read more »

Brownout

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Jerry Brown’s long political career will likely end in January 2019, when the 80-year-old’s second stint as California governor concludes. In the media’s eyes—and in his own mind—Brown’s gubernatorial encore has been a rousing success.  read more »

The Fight for Our Future Belongs to the ’Burbs

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Look away from President Trump and it’s easier to see how three long-term demographic and geographic trends are reshaping American politics.  read more »

French President Takes on Socialized Trains

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They say Millennials are rejecting capitalism and are drawn to socialism. It’s hard to imagine why, as nearly all the problems they face are caused by bad government policies, not selfish entrepreneurs.  read more »