It's been more than three years since the Great Recession began, and it's no longer debatable that the federal spending in its wake did not provoke inflation. Years of forecasts by fiscal conservatives about the result of government expenditures have proved to be wrong. After three fiscal stimulus packages, core inflation — which excludes the volatile prices of oil and commodities— remains very much in check. The core rate is the most reliable guide to future inflation, and it has not trended upward.
Headline inflation, however, the rate that does include these two, has increased. Is the recent uptick in gas and food prices a game-changer on inflation? read more »
The “global city” is one of the dominant themes related to urban success today. In this model, cities serve both as huge agglomerations of top specialized talent and also as “control nodes” of the global economy serving as key sites for the production of financial and producer services demanded by the new globalized economy. In her seminal book on the subject, Saskia Sassen noted New York, London, and Tokyo as the paradigmatic examples of the global city. read more »
Are compact cities healthy cities? One argument for compact cities is that they are good for our health. The New Zealand Public Health Advisory Committee in 2008, for example, cited four principles for healthy urban planning based on the density of development: urban regeneration, compact growth, focused decentralisation, and linear concentration. The aim is less time in cars and more use of active transport. read more »
When I was young and my brother was a little older, we would be in bed before dark on mid-summer evenings. (The times were different then.) We would lay in our separate beds, but only an arm’s length apart as shadows lengthened up the far wall of our room, until the dial of the Zenith radio on top of the dresser was the only light left. The Dodgers’ game would be on. Vin Scully was calling the plays. read more »
An undated--- and possibly still unvetted by OMB---draft of US DOT’s legislative proposal for surface transportation reauthorization, the "Transportation Opportunities Act," has been making the rounds in Washington for the past week. Its publication, however, has been largely ignored by the inside-the-Beltway transportation community. What would ordinarily be an eagerly awaited event and an occasion to compliment the Department , has passed virtually unnoticed. read more »
We live in an era of the heady drumbeat of urban triumphalism. In a world that is now, by some measures, predominately urban, observers like historian Peter Hall envision a “coming golden age” of great cities. It is time to look at such claims more closely, replacing celebratory urban legends with careful analysis. Although the percentage of people living in cities is certain to grow, much of this growth will be in smaller cities, suburbs and towns. read more »
Yuri Gagarin was my hero. For a child just nine years old on 12 April 1961, the day he flew into space, he appeared intrepid, unassuming, and cool. Above all, he appeared in black and white. This was not the glossy, sunlit, bright blue Florida-sky ethic of American efforts in space, all NASA aluminium foil and silver crewcuts in magazines such as Life. No, with Gagarin there was something grittier, more documentary, something altogether scarier than Cape Canaveral. read more »
Those who run the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority evidently believe that, since the Consent Decree that forced it to improve service to its bus riders has expired, they are free to rewrite history to justify Metro's elimination of nine bus lines, its reductions in service on eleven more, and its overall elimination of four percent of its bus service hours by attempting to show that MTA bus service is little utilized and not cost-effective. read more »
On March 25th, the Bureau of Labor statistics released a report that showed that California jobs had increased by 96,000 in February. The state’s cheerleaders jumped into action. Never mind that the state still has a 12.2 percent unemployment rate, and part of the decline from 12.4 percent is because just under 32,000 discouraged workers left California’s labor force in February. read more »
To my pleasure, there is now a United States Bicycle Route System that goes more places than Amtrak and Greyhound do. Have a look at the proposed map of the national corridor plan.
The goal is to create clearly marked north-south and east-west routes, as romantic as the Oregon Trail or as functional as the Erie Canal. The trail of Lewis and Clark is on one of the routes. read more »