Economics

Dayton, Ohio: The Rise, Fall and Stagnation of a Former Industrial Juggernaut

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What Dayton can tell cities about staying competitive in the global economy  read more »

Sacramento 2020

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Even in the best of times, Sacramento tends to be a prisoner to low self-esteem. The region's population and economic growth have been humming along nicely for the past decade, drawing ever more educated workers from overpriced coastal counties, but the region's leaders have often seemed defensive about their flourishing town.  read more »

In Praise of Manufacturing & Industrial Zones

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My father made the huge piece of art that sits proudly on display at the entrance of the Daley Center Plaza in Chicago. Pablo Picasso designed this particular sculpture—or conceived it…or bent it with artistic vision…or however you want to put it.

But my father made it.

I’ve believed that since I was a small child. It’s a belief based mostly in filial pride, but there is some truth to it. Picasso, as I understand it, ordered the material for his untitled sculpture from the steel mill where my father worked at the time.  read more »

Urban America: The New Solid South

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By Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill

Ever since the 1930s, most urban areas have leaned Democratic. But in presidential elections, many remained stubbornly competitive between the two parties. As late as 1988, for example, Republican nominees won Dallas County and made strong showings in the core urban counties of Cook (Chicago), Los Angeles and King (Seattle).  read more »

Cities are Changing, But Urban Living Remains Optional

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Starting with the first oil crisis in 1973, it’s become de rigueur for the press to accompany every spike in energy prices with a spate of stories explaining how the higher costs will inevitably lead to the revival of the long declining industrial cities of the Northeast and Midwest. But don’t count on a boom in Baltimore or Cleveland anytime soon.  read more »

The Cost of Chicago Jobs

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In Chicago’s recent history, when you think of beers, Jesse Jackson and his sons Yusaf and Jonathan come to mind. Yusaf and Jonathan Jackson were fortunate enough to receive a coveted Anheuser-Busch distributorship on the north side of Chicago. Just the other day, MillerCoors announced it would move its corporate headquarters to downtown Chicago by the summer or fall of 2009. The cost was high.  read more »

Subjects:

The South Rises Again! (In Automobile Manufacturing, that is)

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Volkswagen’s announcement last week that it will build a new assembly plant in Chattanooga, TN is the latest sign of triumph for the South’s growing auto industry. The new plant will sit within close proximity to one Toyota is building north of Tupelo, MS (where the popular Prius will be manufactured), and another that Kia broke ground for last year in West Point, GA on the Alabama border. This joins existing plants such as those operated by Nissan in Nashville and Smyrna, GA, BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, SC and three assembly plants in Alabama.  read more »

Guzzling BTUs: Problems with Public Transit in an Age of Expensive Gas

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As gas prices inch up toward $5 per gallon, many environmentalists and elected officials are looking to public transit as a solution to higher transportation costs and rising fuel consumption. A closer look at the numbers, however, warrants more than a little skepticism that public transit can fulfill the nation’s energy conservation goals.  read more »

Which Cities Will the High Cost of Energy Hurt (and Help) the Most?

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A high cost energy future will profoundly impact the cost of doing business and create new opportunities, but not necessarily in the way most people expect.

By Joel Kotkin and Michael Shires

The New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly and the rest of the establishment press have their answer: big cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco will win out. Our assessment is: not so fast. There’s a lot about the unfolding energy economy that is more complex than commonly believed, and could have consequences that are somewhat unanticipated.  read more »

The New Boom Towns

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The steep hike in gas and energy prices has created a national debate about the future of American metropolitan areas -- mostly about the reputed decline of suburbs and edge cities dependent on cars. But with all this focus on the troubles of traditional suburbs, one big story is overlooked: the rapid rise of America’s energy-producing metropolitan areas.  read more »