California’s Descent to Socialism


California is widely celebrated as the fount of technical, cultural and political innovation. Now we seem primed to outdo even ourselves, creating a new kind of socialism that, in the end, more resembles feudalism than social democracy.  read more »

Is Your Transportation Project a Boondoggle?


Tony Dutzik, writing for the progressive Frontier Group, offers a ten ways of recognizing whether a highway project is a boondoggle. A few of his ideas are valid: a highway widening project aimed simply at creating a continuous four-lane road even when there is no demand for four lanes seems silly.  read more »

The Great Betrayal of Middle America


America’s vast midsection, a region that has been hammered by globalists of both parties, has been abandoned by the great corporations that grew fat on its labor and resources.

To many from the Appalachians to the Rockies, Donald Trump projected a beacon of hope. Despite the conventional wisdom among the well-heeled of the great coastal cities, these resource and manufacturing hubs elected the new president.  read more »

The Silicon Valley Mindset


The tech industry is one of the most powerful entities affecting our world. But who are these people? And what do they believe and how do they think about the world? A couple of recent articles provide a window into this.  read more »

Amtrak and Express Coach Lines: What's Competition Have To Do With It?

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Express coach lines like BoltBus and Megabus have grown dramatically in recent years, providing millions of Americans with new mobility options. When the subject of competition between bus and train arises, however, many transportation wonks instantly become minimizers. Some cite growing rail traffic to make the case that this competition hardly matters. Others point to severe congestion on the Northeast Corridor (NEC)—Amtrak’s busiest route—to build the argument that attempting to lure passengers from buses to trains is a pointless exercise.  read more »

Is California About to Clobber Local Control?


The gradual decimation of local voice in planning has become accepted policy in Sacramento. The State Senate is now considering two dangerous bills, SB 35 and SB 167, that together severely curtail democratic control of housing.

SB 35: Housing Accountability and Affordability Act (Wiener)  read more »

Rebuilding America's Infrastructure


President Trump promised a $1 trillion infrastructure plan during his campaign. Spending more money on infrastructure is something that has broad support among people of all political persuasions.

But as the case of Louisville’s $2.4 billion bridge debacle shows, not all infrastructure spending is good spending.  read more »

Rail in Legacy Cities vs. Federal Funds to Poorer Markets


Someone asked me to reconcile my recent paper on rail funding with my stance on Cal-Train electrification that the feds should prioritize funding towards poorer cities. Very good question because there is an apparent conflict there.  read more »

Cincinnati Streetcars’ “Catastrophic Failures”


The Cincinnati streetcar–now known as the Cincinnati Bell Connector since Cincinnati Bell paid $3.4 million for naming rights–is barely six months old, and already is having problems. Four streetcars broke down in one day a few months ago.  read more »

The New American Heartland: Renewing the Middle Class by Revitalizing the Heartland


This is the introduction to a new report written by Joel Kotkin and Michael Lind with a team of contributors. Download the full report (pdf) here.

The greatest test America faces is whether it can foster the kind of growth that benefits and expands the middle class. To do so, the United States will need to meet three challenges: recover from the Great Recession, rebalance the American and international economies, and gain access to the global middle class for the future of American goods and services.  read more »