On June 23rd, voters in the UK get a say on whether to remain in the European Union (EU). The UK first joined what was then called the European Economic Community (EEC) back in 1973, and in a 1975 vote, 67% voted to stay in the EEC. The issue was fairly settled until Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, under pressure from the right wing of his party and anti EU sentiment, promised an in/out referendum in the Party’s manifesto for last year’s General election. read more »
Most commentary on California’s decision to increase the state minimum wage to $15 over time is either along the lines of it being a boon to minimum-wage workers and their families or a disaster for California’s economy. Neither is accurate. Different regions sill see different outcomes. Central California, the great valley that runs from Bakersfield to Redding, once again, will bear a disproportionate burden. read more »
Yes, wealth concentration is insane. But the ways in which wealth is shifting are surprising—and give reason for a little optimism.
In an age of oligarchy, one should try to know one’s overlords—how they made their money, and where they want to take the country. By looking at the progress of the super-rich --- in contrast with most of us --- one can see the emerging and changing dynamics of American wealth. read more »
Trump envisioned and created today’s city of white boxes for rootless new money types, who dominate the city even as they leave little mark here.
An old joke—that in heaven, the Italians do the cooking; in hell, they run the government—feels a lot darker now that American politics are taking an Italian turn. read more »
The first knock on Walmart was that it gutted the mom-and-pop businesses of small-town America. So what happens to those towns when Walmart decides to leave?
What is the future of American retail? The keys might be found not only in the highly contested affluent urban areas but also in the countryside, which is often looked down upon and ignored in discussion of retail trends. read more »
It was one of those Sundays in early January when you wake up to bright, stark sunlight streaming through your blinds.
My fellow Vancouverites might know the one. It’s been grey and dreary for months. You open your curtains to a brave new world and see, with sudden, startling clarity, all of the dust that had gathered in the cracks of your life while you had been hibernating through the long winter. read more »
In the past few months, many commentators have responded to a recent study that shows increasing death rates among middle-aged white Americans. Some have suggested that the increase is the consequence of material poverty resulting from economic restructuring and the neoliberal agenda over the last several decades. read more »
This essay is part of a new report from the Center for Opportunity Urbanism called "America's Housing Crisis." The report contains several essays about the future of housing from various perspectives. Follow this link to download the full report (pdf).
When I was in college the suburbs were vilified. It was the mid-2000s, and here we were, enlightened coeds having one last hurrah in the flat Midwestern expanse before finding our place in the world, and there really was only one world to find: the city. read more »
Neither Trump nor Sanders started the nation’s current class war—the biggest fight over class since the New Deal—but both candidates, as different as they are, have benefited.
Class is back. Arguably, for the first time since the New Deal, class is the dominant political issue. Virtually every candidate has tried appealing to class concerns, particularly those in the stressed middle and lower income groups. But the clear beneficiaries have been Trump on the right and Sanders on the left.read more »
At a recent breakfast in Washington, D.C., a rising young Republican senator explained the divisions in his party in a particularly succinct manner: a conflict between the donor base and the GOP rank-in-file.
“The donor class,” this senator told me, “really cares about one thing: lower taxes. Most in the party don’t see this as the most crucial issue.” read more »