Middle Class

Coronavirus Hits Already-Vulnerable Heartland Oil And Gas Industries Hard

oil-rig-and-cows-in-the-heartland-1400x-q100.jpg

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 »

The End of New York

grand-central-station.jpg

For over two centuries, New York has been the predominant urban center in North America. It remains the primary locale for the arts, culture, finance, and media, and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. It has also served as the incubator of the many Americas—including Jewish, Italian, African American, Irish, and, increasingly, Middle Eastern, North African, and Asian cultures—and nurtured their contributions to the arts, business, and intellectual life.  read more »

Millennials Find New Hope in the Heartland

millennials-moving-to-heartland.jpg

In “Millennials Find New Hope In The Heartland,” Heartland Forward Senior Fellow Joel Kotkin and his contributors address a fundamental topic for future economic success in the Heartland: Will Millennials return and remain at higher rates?  read more »

Upzoning — Be Careful What You Wish For

chicago-upzoning.jpg

I have a difficult relationship with "upzoning", the reform of zoning ordinance codes that allows for a wider range of housing types and greater densities than typically seen in single-family-home dominant areas. It's clearly a positive strategy for cities with strong growth and demand for housing, and it clearly leads to the kind of urban development that I find most pleasing -- dense, walkable, a mix of uses, transit accessible. But cities that relax zoning standards without super-hot economies may be creating cities that end up being more unequal, not less.  read more »

Class Anxiety: Parasite and Joker

Parasite2019.jpg

A couple of weeks after the South Korean film Parasite won both Best Foreign Film and Best Picture, Donald Trump went on what the Washington Post called a “nationalistic cultural” rant about the film’s awards. He was upset that a movie made in Asia, in Korean, was named the best film in the U.S.  read more »

The Two Middle Classes

Paris_economic_protests.jpg

Politicians across the Western world like to speak fondly of the “middle class” as if it is one large constituency with common interests and aspirations. But, as Karl Marx observed, the middle class has always been divided by sources of wealth and worldview. Today, it is split into two distinct, and often opposing, middle classes.  read more »

The West Turns Red?

us-trending-toward-socialism.jpg

Adam Smith, the philosophical father of modern capitalism, may have been Scottish, but his ideas have long found their muse in America. Smith’s “voice has been ringing in the world’s ears for sixty years”, wrote one observer in 1838, “but it is only in the United States that he is listened to, reverenced, and followed.”  read more »

How Different Generations are Influencing Our Politics

voting-in-usa.jpg

Race, gender and class may be shaping our society, but increasingly generational change drives our politics.

Over time this suggests a major realignment of America’s party system that could create either whole new parties or transform the current, and failing, political duopoly.

One must look just at the results in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders won by winning roughly half of voters under 30, according to exit polls, almost twice the percentage he gained among the rest of the electorate.  read more »

The Next Economy: Following the Trail of U.S. Job Growth

Where-the-jobs-went-1024x728.jpg

A decade ago, in the wake of the Great Recession, Lee County, Florida was dubbed “the foreclosure capital of the country” by the national media, the poster child for all that had gone wrong with the American economy.  read more »

Make America Affordable Again

make-housing-affordable_otoole.png

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has asked for comments on eliminating regulatory barriers to affordable housing. This is my response.  read more »