Aristocracy of Talent: Social Mobility Is the Silver Lining to America’s Inequality Crisis


Yes, wealth concentration is insane. But the ways in which wealth is shifting are surprising—and give reason for a little optimism.

In an age of oligarchy, one should try to know one’s overlords—how they made their money, and where they want to take the country. By looking at the progress of the super-rich --- in contrast with most of us --- one can see the emerging and changing dynamics of American wealth.  read more »

The Relationship Between Fertility and National Income


We all heard that “demography is destiny”. But how many of us truly believe it?  read more »

Rethinking America’s Cities’ Success Strategy


This piece is reprinted from a Kauffman Foundation series focusing on the role of cities in a new entrepreneurial growth agenda. Read the entire cities series here.
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Your City Is Not the Next Silicon Valley


“No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry,” began Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. president from 1901 to 1910. “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”  read more »

Now They Get It: Health, Class, and Economic Restructuring


In the past few months, many commentators have responded to a recent study that shows increasing death rates among middle-aged white Americans. Some have suggested that the increase is the consequence of material poverty resulting from economic restructuring and the neoliberal agenda over the last several decades.  read more »

Spreading the Wealth: Decentralization, Infrastructure, and Shared Prosperity


This essay is part of a new report from the Center for Opportunity Urbanism called "America's Housing Crisis." The report contains several essays about the future of housing from various perspectives. Follow this link to download the full report (pdf).

The public’s preference and the views of the social and intellectual elite has never been greater.  read more »

We Now Join the U.S. Class War Already in Progress

Bernie_Sanders_at_Iowa_State_University,_January_25,_2016_(24502635102) (1).jpg

Neither Trump nor Sanders started the nation’s current class war—the biggest fight over class since the New Deal—but both candidates, as different as they are, have benefited.

Class is back. Arguably, for the first time since the New Deal, class is the dominant political issue. Virtually every candidate has tried appealing to class concerns, particularly those in the stressed middle and lower income groups. But the clear beneficiaries have been Trump on the right and Sanders on the left.

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Education and Economic Growth


It is an article of faith among California’s political class that insufficient higher educational opportunities are a constraint on California’s economic and job growth.  Just about every California economic development document includes a discussion of California’s desperate need for more college graduates.  read more »

MENA Economies: Trouble Ahead


The economies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are ill prepared for the coming population boom.

War, terrorism, repression and poverty are all common features in much of today’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA). How are the region’s demographics changing in the next few decades? And what is the prognosis for improved living conditions?  read more »


Demographics and Commodities Crash Slowing Growth of Poorer Countries


Changing demographics and the commodities crash have slowed down the development of poorer countries.

Perhaps it all started with a turn in China’s demographics. Demand growth for commodities has declined sharply from recent years and has resulted in a crash of global prices. Copper is down 54% from its post 2008 peak and down 25% this year alone. Crude oil is down 67% and 39% in the same time spans. In addition to softer demand, prices were negatively impacted by jumps in supply, most notably from shale energy producers in the United States.  read more »