Politics

Economics Blunt A Blue Wave In 2018 Elections, But Danger Signs Mount For GOP

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All politics is local, Tip O’Neill observed, and despite the national battle between Donald Trump and the Democratic “resistance,” the mid-term elections in rural states and the Midwest showed this dictum still holds.  read more »

Lurching To A New Weimar

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America seems to be heading inexorably toward a Weimar moment, a slide toward political polarization from which it could be increasingly difficult to return. Weimar — that brief, brilliant and tragic German republic of the 1920s — was replaced by Hitler’s murderous regime in 1933.  read more »

The Golden State Won’t Glitter for Republicans

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California’s Republican Party was once a force to be feared, not only in the state, but across the country. Nowadays, it’s at most a mild irritant and sometimes a convenient whipping boy for the Democratic progressives, who run the state almost entirely. Nothing is working much for the GOP this year. The Republican gubernatorial candidate, John Cox, has little charisma, no discernible local roots, and no compelling message. He sneaked into the runoff election because too many Democrats vied for the job. He’ll be thrashed by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, likely by a wide margin.  read more »

How About A Fusion Party In The Golden State?

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Once upon a time, the California Republican Party was a fearsome political instrument, forging the ground for two presidents. But today the California GOP is fighting rearguard actions to save its last remaining seats in once solidly Republican strongholds as Orange, San Diego and even in inland California, potentially costing them upward of seven House seats.  read more »

One Nation, Two Economies

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Almost all news coverage of the current election season has focused on cultural issues such as gender, race, and immigration. What the media have missed are deep socioeconomic trends driving parts of the country in divergent political directions. President Trump has overseen a significant transformation in the geography of the nation’s growth and prosperity. Instead of clustering along the coasts—as many progressives may have preferred—the nation’s economic expansion is now increasingly benefiting red states, notably in the southeast, Texas, and the intermountain West.  read more »

The American Republic Has Lost Adult Supervision

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The ship known as the American Republic sails on, but its crew is made up of irresponsible and vicious children cast from “Lord of the Flies.” Prisoners of their own emotions, they increasingly seem impervious to the notion that their gyrations might topple their own vessel.  read more »

California Feudalism: The Squeeze on the Middle Class

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Is the California Dream unraveling? Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky warn how California is headed towards an increasingly feudal future in their latest report, "California Feudalism: The Squeeze on the Middle Class." Click the PDF link below to read the full study.  read more »

California Becoming More Feudal, With Ultra-Rich Lording Over Declining Middle Class

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In the imaginations of its boosters, and for many outside the state, California is often seen as the role model for the future. But, sadly, California is also moving backward toward a more feudal society.

Feudalism was about the concentration of wealth and power in a relative handful of people. Historically, California created fortunes for a few, but remained a society with enormous opportunity for outsiders, whether from other states or countries.  read more »

Autonomous Cars Are Our Real Future

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Long a hotbed of new technologies, California insists on seeing its transit future in the rear mirror. Rather than use innovative approaches to getting people around and to work, our state insists on spending billions on early 20th century technology such as streetcars and light rail that have diminishing relevance to our actual lives.  read more »

Is the Fever Breaking? Ground Zero Youngstown

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Two years ago, I described the Youngstown area as “crossover ground zero” for Donald Trump and the politics of resentment in working-class and rust belt communities. In local rallies during the 2016 campaign and since he took office, Trump has repeatedly promised an economic renaissance and immigration reform. These issues resonated with local voters.  read more »