Playgrounds for Elites

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The revival of America’s core cities is one of the most celebrated narratives of our time—yet, perhaps paradoxically, urban progress has also created a growing problem of increasing inequality and middle-class flight. Once exemplars of middle-class advancement, most major American cities are now typified by a “barbell economy,” divided between well-paid professionals and lower-paid service workers.  read more »

Houston Market HOUSTON HOUSING 3Q17: Impact of Harvey Strongest in the Resale Market; New Home Sales Should Surge in 2018

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•  Houston’s new home market and general economic conditions cannot be discussed without touching on the impacts of Hurricane Harvey, which damaged 167,000 single family homes throughout the Greater Houston Area.  read more »

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Radicalism Is On The Rise In American Politics

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The Republican Party’s road to the 2018 mid-terms looks increasingly like Pickett’s Charge, the Confederate assault on fixed Union positions that marked the high-water mark for the southern cause. After achieving its greatest domination of elective office in 80 years, the GOP seems likely to get slaughtered.  read more »

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Case Studies in Autonomous Vehicles, Part II: How Do We Accommodate Passengers with Non-Routine Needs?

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In Part I of this series, I discussed one of the logistical challenges to broadening the adoption of shared use autonomous vehicles. Specifically, many trips involve multiple, intermediate stops that make it less convenient for people to utilize ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft. This state of affairs won’t change simply because vehicles become automated.  read more »

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One In Five L.A. Community College Students Have Experienced Homelessness

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One would not usually associate homelessness with college students but in the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) about one in every five students has experienced homelessness, according to the LACCD Report on Survey of Student Basic Needs.  read more »

Severely Unaffordable Housing and Traffic Driving Households from Sydney

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Recent stories have detailed the strong net domestic migration out of Sydney, Australia's largest city (metropolitan area). A well covered report by economist Callam Pickering has noted strong interest by STEM workers (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workers in leaving the area (see here and here). Pickering cites high housing costs as a cause, while social researcher Mark McCrindle agrees and notes that "Sydney has the longest capital city commuting times in Australia."  read more »

Nobody Knows Nothing in Corporate America

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If you want to understand why a lot of America’s youth embrace socialism today, just look at this small but revealing story about General Electric. Former CEO Jeff Immelt apparently didn’t just fly around the world in a corporate jet, a fairly standard practice, he had an empty spare corporate jet follow him around just in case anything happened to the jet he was actually using.  read more »

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The Future of America’s Suburbs Looks Infinite

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Just a decade ago, in the midst of the financial crisis, suburbia’s future seemed perilous, with experts claiming that many suburban tracks were about to become “the next slums.” The head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development proclaimed that “sprawl” was now doomed, and people were “headed back to the city.”  read more »

Orange County’s Low Hanging Fruit

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There are things that we can do as a society to work through our big structural difficulties at an institutional level. And there are other things that can be done independently at the household level by individuals. I don’t have the technical skills, political skills, social skills, credentials, patience, or desire to engage the large scale systems. To be honest, I don’t think most people do. But there are all sorts of things that ordinary people can and should do on their own that can make a huge difference on the ground at room temperature.  read more »

Notes from the Wharton Africa Business Forum

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The Wharton Africa Business Forum took place in Philadelphia on November 3-5, 2017. Present were the Finance Minister of Nigeria, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines and other business leaders (notably from lead sponsors McKinsey & Company and the Boston Consulting Group) and educators. The event was attended by hundreds of participants including Wharton faculty, students and alumni, African investors and entrepreneurs, members of the African diaspora and many others who have an interest in Africa.  read more »