Politics

Organic Urbanism is the Cure for New Urbanism

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This early 1900s house, after the neighborhood had been rezoned for apartments, declined in value to $7,000 in the 1970s. Being rezoned single-family brought decades of revitalization that raised the value of neighborhood homes like this one to $700,000.

New Urbanism is like a virus. For 50 years it keeps coming back in mutated forms. It needs a cure.  read more »

The Slaughter of the Tech Unicorns

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Big tech grows up, get treated with overdue suspicion, and aims to get boring.

After nearly two triumphant decades marked by an unprecedented accumulation of both wealth and power, our tech oligarchy seems to be running out of luck. Newly issued IPOs—Uber, Lyft and Slack—are losing values at breathtaking rates, while others in the on-desk circle, such as the once widely anticipated We, are headed back to the bench.  read more »

Energy to Synergy: the Policy Plight of Resource-Dependent Cities

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The Green New Deal, an ambitious US congressional resolution introduced in 2019 that met substantial political pushback and failed to gain official approval, proposed among other things to provide housing, health care, and jobs via an economic stimulus package targeting green technology.  read more »

Media Meltdowns and Political Polarization

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President Donald Trump rebukes CNN reporter Jim Acosta during a news conference at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 7, 2018. Bloomberg photo by Al Drago

The mainstream media increasingly appears much like the classic tale of the boy who cried wolf so often that when the wolf showed up no one believed him.

Similarly, since the bust of the Mueller report, and the evaporation of countless other “blockbuster” exposés, the media’s credibility in the ongoing impeachment saga is now widely doubted, even if this time they may actually be right about presidential misdeeds.  read more »

China's Looming Class Struggle

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Westerners tend to identify China’s coming political crisis with developments such as the brave, educated, and often English-speaking protests in Hong Kong. Although they undoubtably pose an annoyance to Xi Jinping’s regime, the real existential challenge to the regime derives not from China’s middle orders but from the very classes that gave birth to the Communist regime.  read more »

Even Before the Blackouts, Most Californians Considered Leaving

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For virtually all of its history from statehood in 1850 to 2000, California was a magnet drawing households from the rest of the United States for better lives. Indeed, in a nation that had its "American Dream," California had its own "California Dream."  There was no Oregon dream, despite its mountains , seashore and proximity to California, nor was there a Maine or South Carolina dream.  read more »

On the State of Illinois

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Although there is a perception by some that the state of Illinois is in decline, the reality might not be quite so bad, at least at the moment. Estimates indicate that the population of Illinois has declined by about 1% since 2013. However, the population of the state is still larger than it was in 2000.  read more »

Los Angeles County Approves Plan to Sunset the California Economy - OpEd

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A California Regional Sustainability Plan for the 88 cities of Los Angeles County to be carbon neutral by 2050 includes a sunset to the oil and gas industry. That 220-page plan will also sunset the 5th largest economy in the world. Sunsetting, as used here, means bringing it to a slow and untimely death.  read more »

The Progressive Era Reform That Doomed Detroit

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About a month ago, I came across a paper via Twitter in which the authors, Michael Hankinson of the City University of New York and Asya Magazinnik of MIT, studied the impact of at-large and district representation in local government on the "trade-off between the efficient production of collective goods and the equitable distribution of costs."  read more »

Dreaming of an America Where Solutions Trump Ideology

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In the ever-intensifying battle between red and blue, the consultants, fixers and self-serving media thrive, but America suffers.

Now we seem destined to face a graphic battle of extremes between Donald Trump and Elizabeth Warren, two self-styled populists best suited to exacerbating polarization while both sides toss around charges of “treason” and embrace the idea of an inevitable civil war.  read more »