Heartland

Americans Won't Live in the Pod

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“No Bourgeois, No Democracy”
Barrington Moore

Protecting and fighting for the middle class regularly dominates rhetoric on the Right and Left. Yet activists on both sides now often seek to undermine single-family home ownership, the linchpin of middle-class aspiration.  read more »

The Rust Belt's Strange Demographics

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Many Heartland cities continue to suffer the after effects of deindustrialization. One of them is South Bend, Indiana, the former mid-sized automobile manufacturing center home to the now defunct Studebaker.  read more »

The Heartland's Revival

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For roughly the past half century, the middle swath of America has been widely written off as reactionary, backward, and des­tined for unceasing decline.  read more »

Storied Cities

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Athens is the birthplace of Western culture, with the physical ruins of its classical age still visibly present as a perpetual reminder. Virgil composed his epic poem, The Aeneid, recounting the mythic flight of Aeneas from defeated Troy to Italy, becoming the forbear of Rome. New York sees itself as unique center of commerce, founded when the Dutch (not the English) bought Manhattan for beads in the city’s first hustle. Nashville needs no reminder that it’s the center of country music, nor Detroit that it is the Motor City.  read more »

Why This New Yorker Returned to the Midwest

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New Urbanism Editor Lewis McCrary's Note: Before the pandemic changed the urban landscape of American life, the last two decades have seen a familiar dynamic: the coastal cities have recorded dramatic increases of wealth as highly-educated workers concentrate in a few major metro areas, including New York, San Francisco, and Washington.  read more »

One Nation, Under Lockdown, Divided by Pandemic

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The last thing this polarized Republic needs is, well, more polarization, but that is what we are contracting from the pandemic. Americans, irrespective of region, broadly want the same things, such as safety, a return to normalcy, and an end to dependence on China for medical supplies, but they differ in the depth of their experiences with the pandemic.  read more »

Deindustrialization as a Template for COVID-19

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As we wrote in Steeltown USA: Work and Memory in Youngstown, Youngstown’s story is America’s story, and that city offers a useful case study for anyone trying to imagine American life after the pandemic. No doubt, coronavirus is a natural disaster that is more contagious, widespread, and deadly than the economic disaster of deindustrialization.  read more »

The Lifeblood of America

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Shutdowns mandated by the coronavirus are a pending apocalypse for small businesses, which employ 48 percent of American workers. The average small business has only 27 days’ worth of operating costs in cash reserves, with many holding far less than that. Businesses that either can’t reopen or are suffering a big drop in revenue will soon be insolvent. Some have already announced that they will be shutting down.  read more »

Coronavirus Hits Already-Vulnerable Heartland Oil And Gas Industries Hard

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on many areas of the economy, the Heartland's oil and gas industry is poised to take one of the hardest hits. In particular, Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Louisiana are likely to face severe impacts. At a national level, the most severe economic damage from COVID-19 will disproportionately hit a handful of sectors – travel, tourism, lodging, dining and recreation.  read more »

Coronavirus Regional Economic Impacts and Policy Responses

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Most regions were beginning to see an acceleration in economic growth during January and February 2020. The 20-state Heartland was poised to see a notable improvement in economic performance that will now be tested due to public health measures implemented to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The additional $200 billion in purchases of grain, industrial supplies and manufactured products over the next two years that China agreed to in the Phase I trade deal will benefit the Heartland greater than any other region of the nation.  read more »