Reconciling the three Democratic parties

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With President Donald Trump’s Dr. Demento impersonation undermining his own party, the road should be open for Democrats to sweep the next election cycle. And, for the first time since their horrific defeat of 2016, not only nationally but also in the states, the Democrats are slowly waking up to the reality that they need to go beyond the ritual Trump-bashing.  read more »

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MREs Are Not For The Weak

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Friends recently visited from Pittsburgh – a city I know well and am quite fond of. We spent time wandering around San Francisco doing the usual tourist things together including some museum stops that featured work by Pittsburgh native son Andy Warhol and a special exhibition of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch which was actually more disturbing and pervy than I expected.


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The Pittsburgh Conundrum

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Forty years after the decline of the steel industry, Pittsburgh has emerged from the ashes of deindustrialization to become the new Emerald City. Its formidable skyline gleams with homegrown names—PPG, UPMC, and PNC. Touted as the “most livable city” by the likes of The Economist and Forbes, its highly literate and educated workforce has contributed to a robust and diverse local economy known as a center for technology, health care, and bio-science. It is a leader in startup businesses.  read more »

Forget the Urban Stereotypes: What Millennial America Really Looks Like

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Perhaps no generation has been more spoken for than millennials. In the mainstream press, they are almost universally portrayed as aspiring urbanistas, waiting to move into the nation’s dense and expensive core cities.

Yet like so many stereotypes — often created by wishful thinking — this one is generally exaggerated and even essentially wrong. We now have a solid 15 years of data on the growth of young people ages 20-34, from 2000 to 2015, which covers millennials over the time they entered college, got their first jobs and, in some cases, started families.  read more »

Increase in Long Commutes Indicates More Residential Dispersion

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A recent New York Times story chronicled the experiences of “extreme commuters,” those who travel two hours or more each way to work. The article focuses on people who commute to New York and notes that there is little or no data on extreme commutes. The Census Bureau, through the American Community Survey (ACS) does not survey two hour commutes. Its maximum classification is 90 minutes or more, though The Times focuses on the 60 minutes and over data, 2013 ACS.  read more »

State Governments Are Oppressive, Too

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Historically, the battle over the size and scale of government has been focused largely on “states’ rights.” This federalist notion also has been associated with many shameful things, such as slavery, Jim Crow laws and other abuses of personal freedom.  read more »

The Great Train Robbery: Urban Transportation in the 21st Century

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Below is an excerpt from a new report published by the Chapman University Center for Demographics and Policy titled, “The Great Train Robbery: Urban Transportation in the 21st Century." Read the full report (pdf) here.

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Postcards From the Zombie Apocalypse

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I’m regularly accused of being a doomer whenever I point out the obvious – that many aspects of how we’ve organized our affairs over the last several decades aren’t meant to last. So they won’t. The end of Jiffy Lube and Lean Cuisine isn’t The End. Civilization will carry on without them, I assure you. But when it’s suggested that our current set of arrangements won’t last forever people immediately imagine Mad Max, as if no other alternative exists. Things are going to change. They always have and they always will.  read more »

Ontario’s Labor & Housing Policies: US Midwest Opportunities?

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The Globe and Mail, a Canadian national newspaper, reports concerns raised by Magna International, Inc. that proposed provincial labor legislation (the “Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act”) could result in seriously reduced economic competitiveness for Ontario, Canada’s most populous province (“Magna says new Ontario labour bill threatens jobs, investment”).  read more »

What's the Future of Beleaguered Fossil Fuels Industry?

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Perhaps no economic issue — even trade — is as divisive as the energy industry. Once a standard driver of economic progress, the conventional energy industry has become increasingly vilified by the national media, sued by blue state attorneys general and denounced throughout academia. Some suggest that the industry should be demonized and hounded much as occurred in the case of tobacco.  read more »

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