Politics

The Case for American Optimism

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Now that Trump has been edged out of office, Joe Biden may emerge as the harbinger of a brighter, better blue future or as a version of Konstantin Chernenko, the aged timeserver who ran the Soviet Union in its dying days. To succeed, he will have to confront massive pessimism about America’s direction, with some 80 percent thinking the country is out of control. The Atlantic last year compared the U.S. to a “failed state,” while The Week predicts “dark days ahead.”  read more »

Beyond Economic Populism

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Predictably, politicos and commentators spent much of 2020 debating why working-class voters supported Trump and how the Democrats could win them back. Although we’ve occasionally contributed to these conversations, we’re also getting tired of them. They tend to envision “the working class” as if it were one group with a well-defined set of interests, and worse, they treat working-class people as a marketing problem.  read more »

China Rediscovers Rural Life (Cue Applause)

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Another period of singing the virtues of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) direction seems upon us, at least when it comes to steering an economy.  Just as after the Great Recession of 2008-9, China’s rebound from the Coronavirus Covid-19 has led the world. Of course, the official statistics always bear scrutiny, and public debt levels probably lend a false note to stimulus measures. But a 4.9% growth rate in third-quarter GDP looked great.  read more »

Can California Stop Big Tech from Decamping to Cheaper Places?

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For the past half-century, California has dominated America’s tech industry. From the development of precision farming to the incubation of aircraft, space, semiconductors and computer systems, this state has emerged time and again at the cutting edge of future industries.  read more »

The Dangerous Headlines of the New York Times

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As the nation continues to sort out the aftermath of a deeply divided presidential election, many narratives will emerge and citizens should be guarded and skeptical about them. This is because many in the media simply exaggerate reality. Monolithically ideological stories help polarize various readers into narrow views.  read more »

Are Great Lakes a Big Economic Advantage?

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Denizens of the Great Lakes watershed long have looked at those five vast, deep, shimmering pools not only as an unmatched economic and cultural resource but also as the ultimate trump card.  read more »

SIlicon Valley is Moving to Texas

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On December 1st, Hewlett-Packard–which has been headquartered in Silicon Valley since 1939–announced that its corporate headquarters would move to Houston.  read more »

NIMBYs Are Making More Noise Than Wind Turbines

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There is increasing concern that electricity generation from fossil fuels contributes to climate change and air pollution. In response to these concerns, governments around the world are encouraging the installation of intermittent electricity generation projects including Industrial Wind Turbines (IWT’s).  read more »

Nothing of the Sort

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For more than a decade, the idea that Americans are geographically sorting— increasingly choosing to live in neighborhoods populated with people just like themselves—has generated considerable attention in the media and continues to be cited as a very real phenomenon across the nation.  read more »

The Big Thing That Trump Got Right and Biden Can’t Afford to Screw Up

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For all his ugliness and buffoonery, Donald Trump got some big things right, politically and practically, that Joe Biden will undo at his own peril. Almost all of Trump’s wins, abroad and at home, have one thing in common: They focused on most Americans achieving broader prosperity and not only the best-off.  read more »