Policy

The New Deal at 75: An Inspiration, Not a Blueprint

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Whatever your political perspective, Americans need to admire the New Deal for, if nothing else, its ambitious agenda. In a way unparalleled in the 20th Century, the New Deal left us a legacy of achievement – one that we can still see in big cities like San Francisco and small towns like Wishek, North Dakota.  read more »

Subjects:

Transport Costs & Subsidies by Mode

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Supporters of increased subsidies to urban transit and intercity passenger trains often argue that all transportation is subsidized, so it’s only fair that transit and Amtrak should also be subsidized. While it’s true that most transportation is subsidized, it is worth looking at the extent of those subsidies to judge whether subsidies to some forms of transport should be increased or reduced.  read more »

On the Houston Chronicle's Editorial Crusade Against Fossil Fuels

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“A recent Politico article on the bad messaging of Democrats on climate and energy, Democrats Bite on Burgers and Straws–and Republicans Feast, is fair warning. It is high time the hometown paper of the center of the oil and gas industry stop the blatant bias against the very energies that consumers naturally prefer.”  read more »

If You Improve It, They Will Come

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My latest piece is now online at City Journal. It’s a recap of the Indianapolis BRT and Columbus free downtown transit success, as well as a look at Kansas City’s contemplation of free transit citywide. Thanks to a commenter here who originally alerted me to KC’s plans. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

The Real Conflict Is Not Racial or Sexual, It's Between The Ascendant Rich Elites and The Rest Of Us

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Despite the media’s obsession on gender, race and sexual orientation, the real and determining divide in America and other advanced countries lies in the growing conflict between the ascendant upper class and the vast, and increasingly embattled, middle and working classes. We’ve seen this fight before. The current conflict fundamentally reprises the end of the French feudal era, where the Third Estate, made up of the commoners, challenged the hegemony of the First Estate and Second, made up of the church and aristocracy.  read more »

Screwy Transit Logic

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Bus ridership in Los Angeles is plummeting, says the Wall Street Journal, but LA Metro CEO Phil Washington thinks he has the solution.

“It’s too easy to drive in this city,” says Washington. To get people back on the buses, the city needs to “actually making driving harder.”  read more »

Common Sense versus Climate Hysteria

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Whether it’s fires in California or Brazil, hurricanes like Dorian or your summer hot spell, it’s not just weather anymore but a sign of the impending apocalypse.

This specter of imminent demise tied to the everyday, notes one American Psychological Association study, has induced “stress, depression and anxiety” among a wide part of the population. The Congress’ leading green advocate, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, admits her climate concerns often wake her up at 3:30 in the morning.  read more »

Debunking the Fake Farmland Crisis

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“Our farmland is disappearing at an alarming rate,” claims Hanna Clark of the American Farmland Trust. According to the trust, 31 million acres of farmland and ranchlands “disappeared” between 1992 and 2012. Claims like these are used to promote restrictions on urban development such as the urban-growth boundaries found around many California, Oregon, and Washington cities.  read more »

Decarbonization In Homes And Businesses At What Cost?

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The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) plans to make all homes and businesses use electricity only means electricity will need to take up the duties that natural gas has been performing, and provide continuously uninterruptable power as California is on a path toward 100% renewables and “zero-carbon” sources in electricity by 2045.  read more »

A Review of Alan Mallach's The Divided City

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The astounding revival of American cities is real. However, the inequality evident in virtually all of them is real as well, and built into the system. Much of the urban discourse has centered on the former, but the latter has likely has a broader impact on contemporary metropolitan development nationwide. Inequality in American cities has three dimensions – spatial, economic and racial. The erosion of the middle class is a key feature of industrial city decline and most impacts older industrial cities. And of course, sweeping global and national trends are at work.  read more »