The Ecology of Obesity

obesityecologymain.jpg

Starting in the mid-nineties, ecologically-minded Americans increasingly came to see farmers markets as a way to bring healthy foods to poor neighborhoods, support local organic agriculture, and even address global warming. During the Bush years, major health philanthropies joined these efforts, making new grocery stores their highest priority in combating obesity, which was disproportionately affecting the poor.  read more »

CEO Bonuses: Who Pays the Price?

Robert Rubin.jpg

Because so many chief executives of failed or mediocre companies have walked away with millions in bonuses and swag bags, both Switzerland and the European Union recently voted to put a cap on corporate bonuses, limiting them to a small multiple of base salary. What prompted the acceptance of the “Minder Initiative”—named after the independent parliamentarian who sponsored the referendum — is a string of stunning business losses that had no affect on the bonuses paid to the sitting executives.  read more »

Marissa Mayer's Misstep And The Unstoppable Rise Of Telecommuting

home+office+on+back+deck.jpg

Marissa Mayer’s pronunciamento banning home-based work at Yahoo reflects a great dilemma facing companies and our country over the coming decade. Forget for a minute the amazing hubris of a rich, glamorous CEO, with a nursery specially built next to her office, ordering less well-compensated parents to trudge back to the office, leaving their less important offspring in daycare or in the hands of nannies.  read more »

Postmodernity: Will Another Bite from the Apple Help?

steve-jobs.jpg

The visionary evangelical zeal of Steve Jobs lured me from my   cozy philosophical pursuits at Barry University in south Florida to the frenetic gyrations of 1980s Silicon Valley.  read more »

Subjects:

U.S. Could be Courting Trouble in Europe

Europe+-+NASA+view+iStock_000005884810XSmall.jpg

One of the most fascinating aspects of Barack Obama's presidency stems not so much from his racial background, but his status as America's first clearly post-European, anti-colonialist leader. Yet, after announcing his historic "pivot" to vibrant Asia, the president, the son of an anti-British Kenyan activist, recently announced as his latest foreign policy initiative an economic alliance with, of all places, a declining, and increasingly decadent, Europe.  read more »

Commuting in Australia

cox-autralia-commute.JPG

Data from the 2011 censuses indicates that mass transit is gaining market share in all of but one of Australia's major metropolitan areas. The greatest increase as in Perth, at 21% , aided by the new Mandurah rail line to the southern urban fringe. On average, mass transit's market share increased by 10.8% in the five metropolitan areas with more than 1 million population. This increase seems likely to be in response to both mass transit service improvements (such as in Perth) and higher petrol (gasoline) prices.  read more »

California is in for a World of Hurt

california-beach.jpg

California’s political class, led by Governor Brown, has been patting itself on the back for solving California’s problems. This celebration is ludicrous.  What they’ve done amounts to a mere slowing down in a long-term political, fiscal, and demographic decline.   read more »

What Killed Downtown?

what-killed-downtown-small.jpg

What Killed Downtown?: Norristown, Pennsylvania, from Main Street to the Malls
by Michael E. Tolle

For those of us who have grown dyspeptic on the over-indulged topic of the collapse of the American city center, Michael Tolle’s What Killed Downtown? Norristown, Pennsylvania, from Main Street to the Malls earns much of its anodyne appeal by straying from a commonly accepted convention in urban studies—that an analysis of the socioeconomic decline of a community should draw heavily upon socioeconomic variables. Isn’t there another way to get the point across? And more importantly, aren’t there other contributing factors?  read more »

Richard Florida Concedes the Limits of the Creative Class

bigstock-Seattle--Oct-----1044998.jpg

Among the most pervasive, and arguably pernicious, notions of the past decade has been that the “creative class” of the skilled, educated and hip would remake and revive American cities. The idea, packaged and peddled by consultant Richard Florida, had been that unlike spending public money to court Wall Street fat cats, corporate executives or other traditional elites, paying to appeal to the creative would truly trickle down, generating a widespread urban revival.  read more »

America's Fastest- and Slowest-Growing Cities

Downtown-Raleigh-from-Western-Boulevard-Overpass-20081012.jpeg

Since the housing crash of 2007, the decline of the Sun Belt and dispersed, low-density cities has been trumpeted by the national media and by pundits who believe America’s future lies in compact, crowded, mostly coastal and northern, cities.  read more »