Why We Should Fix It First with Infrastructure


My latest column is now online in the March issue of Governing. It’s called “A Tip for Infrastructure Builders: Fix It First.” Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

Connecting the Dots by Transit in Los Angeles?


Over the past three years, the nation’s largest transit systems have endured a broad and unprecedented ridership decline. By far the largest drop has been in Los Angeles and this has resulted in justifiable consternation.  read more »

Working-Class People on the Snowfields: Class at the Winter Olympics


The combination of renewed interest in Tonya Harding (due to the film, I, Tonya) and the winter Olympics made me think of class and sport lately – especially sports that involve snow and ice. Although winter sports might be considered quite ordinary for some who live in very cold climates (such as Norwegians), most require expensive equipment and travel.  read more »

How Silicon Valley Went From ‘Don’t Be Evil’ to Doing Evil


Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

– The Who, “We won’t be fooled again”, 1971

Once seen as the saviors of America’s economy, Silicon Valley is turning into something more of an emerging axis of evil. “Brain-hacking” tech companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon, as one prominent tech investor puts it, have become so intrusive as to alarm critics on both right and left.  read more »


California in Danger: Why the Dream is Dying and How We Can Save It


In the latest report from research and policy organization Environmental Progress, "California in Danger: Why the Dream is Dying and How We Can Save It," Michael Shellenberger highlights the most pressing issues facing California today and how we can solve them. Read an excerpt from the executive summary below.  read more »

The New Opportunity Boomtowns


A century ago Detroit was a boomtown and Los Angeles a sleepy refuge for sun-seeking Midwesterners. A half-century later, L.A. was the fastest-growing big city in the high-income world, while Detroit was beginning its long tailspin. In the ’70s, New York was the “rotten apple” and seemed destined for further decline. But for the past 20 years it has enjoyed an enormous surge of wealth, as have many of the countries’ dense, culturally creative cities.  read more »

Will Density Make Housing Affordable?


California left-wingers who want to densify cities to make them affordable are getting some push-back from other left-wingers who think density will push low-income people out of neighborhoods.  read more »

Chicago Is the American Metropolitan Platypus


"What the hell is going on in Chicago?"

I must admit, when I first heard that statement from President Donald Trump, it angered me. The Donald has said a lot of cringe-worthy things over the years, but this struck a nerve.  read more »

Housing Affordability Drives the Cost of Living

Golden_Gate_Bridge,_SF_(cropped) (2).jpg

Housing affordability is what largely drives the standard of living the United States. The 14th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey showed that, in 2016, there was a 0.83 correlation between the housing unaffordability, measured by the Median Multiple (median house price divided by median household income) and the composite cost of living (Note 1) for households entering the housing market in the 107 metropolitan areas with more than 500,000 residents (Note 2).  read more »

Will Race Issues Destroy America?


Immigration and diversity represent both America’s greatest weapon and, increasingly, a lethal challenge to our democracy. The debate over the “dreamers” — the roughly 700,000 young people brought to the country illegally — has already caused one government shutdown and can lead to others.  read more »