Economics

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

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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. 
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Decarbonization In Homes And Businesses At What Cost?

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 »

High Metabolism Money

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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 »

Subjects:

Green Technology’s Dark Side

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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 »

Can the Working Class Trust the Democrats?

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Two years ago, we compared the opioid epidemic to the mortgage crisis that nearly cratered the global economy, noting how both were caused by corporate greed. Recent reporting in the Washington Post and other media outlets reveals an important difference between the two: unlike the regulators who were blithely ignorant of what was happening in the financial markets, officials at the U.S.  read more »

Will The Democrats End Up Saving The California Republican Party?

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Left to its own devices, California’s Republican Party would be ready to be embalmed for display at the Museum of Natural History. But there’s one last hope for the state GOP: the growing lunacy among Democrats.

Many positions now taken for granted by Democrats should threaten their hold on the bulk of California’s middle- and working-class voters.  read more »