Economics

Report: California Getting In Its Own Way

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Although Governor Gavin Newsom promised to deliver 3.5 million new housing units in eight years, California severely missed this mark: as reported by the Public Policy Institute of California, housing production actually decreased during each of the past 2 years, and in 2019 is on track to fall about 80% short of the annual mark required to build 3.5 million new homes in 8 years. At this pace, it will take 39.6 years for the Governor to achieve his 8-year goal.  read more »

The Middle Class Rebellion

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We usually associate rebellions with the rise of the desperate. But increasingly we are seeing large protests in comparatively wealthy countries that are led not by working class sans-culottes or starving peasants, but what was once the stable middle class.  read more »

Australia's China Syndrome

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Australia continues to benefit from China’s rise, though few countries are more threatened by its expanding power. Once closely tied to the British Commonwealth, and later to the United States, the Australian subcontinent, with only 24 million people, now relies on China for one-third of its trade—more than with Japan and the U.S. combined. Australia’s major economic sectors rely on Chinese support; investors poured in $17.4 billion in 2017.   read more »

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 »