A Volunteer Army's Attempt to Fill the New York Hurricane Response Gap

bigstock-ROCKAWAY-PARK-NY-NOVEMBER---39166960.jpg

On November 6, eight days after Hurricane Sandy’s surge waters flooded the streets, I started volunteering in the Rockaways, where I stayed for much of the next three weeks.

On that first day, I joined an ad hoc group of volunteers and took a school bus full of supplies donated by my Brooklyn neighbors out to a church on Beach 67th Street.  read more »

The Rise of Management Consultants

bigstock-Young-woman-with-laptop-sittin-14019971.jpg

The always-entertaining Freakonomics podcast recently devoted a full episode to the emergence of management consulting firms in the U.S. The podcast got our attention right away when Stephen Dubner rattled off labor market statistics — something that always piques our interest — for management consultants.  read more »

Subjects:

Alleviating World Poverty: A Progress Report

cox-wb-poverty.jpg

There has been a substantial reduction in both the extreme poverty rate and the number of people living in extreme poverty since the early 1980s, according to information from the World Bank poverty database. The World Bank maintains data on developing world nations, which include both low income and middle income nations. The analysis below summarizes developing world (low and middle income nations) poverty trends from 1981 to the latest available year, 2008 (Table and Figure 1).  read more »

Want to See Better US-Chinese Relations? American and Chinese Millennials Could Be Key

bigstock-Bird-s-eye-view-of-Shanghai-Pu-16544303.jpg

While it is still fashionable for politicians in both China and the United States to prove their domestic leadership credentials by taking tough stances against their nation’s chief economic rival, the results of recent Pew surveys conducted in the two countries suggest that this type of rhetoric is a holdover from an earlier era. An examination of the beliefs among the youngest generational cohorts in each country shows a distinct lack of the ideological vitriol so common in the 1960s and 1970s.  read more »

The Gun Control Debate That Went MIA

Newtown, CT schoolbus.jpg

Intellectually -- despite the events in Newtown, Connecticut -- I can appreciate that the “right to bear arms” is a fundamental constitutional guarantee, inherited from both the Glorious (1688) and American revolutions. I still wonder, though, whether it applies to a society in which most people live in suburban condos and tract houses, which are largely absent of Redcoats or the Hole in the Wall gang. Why have guns in our lives? We know the status quo ante of the 18th century Second Amendment isn’t working. The issues surrounding guns failed to make even a cameo appearance in the recent election, and, when they have been raised in the recent past they certainly did not elicit the same tears that they did at the Newtown press conferences.  read more »

Subjects:

Aging America: The Cities That Are Graying The Fastest

Seniors2.jpg

Notwithstanding plastic surgery, health improvements and other modern biological enhancements, we are all getting older, and the country is too. Today roughly 18.5% of the U.S. population is over 60, compared to 16.3% a decade ago; by 2020 that percentage is expected to rise to 22.2%, and by 2050 to a full 25%.

Yet the graying of America is not uniform across the country — some places are considerably older than others. The oldest metropolitan areas, according to an analysis of the 2010 census by demographer Wendell Cox, have twice as high a concentration of residents over the age of 60 as the youngest. In these areas, it’s already 2020, and some may get to 2050 aging levels decades early.  read more »

Entrepreneurial Software Developers and the App Economy

App-Developers-01-e1354295271514.png

The New York Times continued its excellent iEconomy series with an article on the job prospects for app developers. The lengthy piece gives a few snippets of labor market data for software developers and touches on the work of economist Michael Mandel in measuring the “App Economy.”  read more »

Subjects:

Hong Kong’s Decentralizing Commuting Patterns

hk-commute.jpg

Hong Kong is a city of superlatives. Hong Kong has at least twice the population density of any other urban area in the more developed world, at 67,000 per square mile or 25,900 per square kilometer. The Hong Kong skyline is rated the world's best by both emporis.com (a building database) and diserio.com, which use substantially different criteria.  read more »

Our Dysfunctional Housing Market

For Sale Homes-Signs.jpg

This is the story of how elites prospered while killing the singular trend that built America, and all that you proles got in return was a dysfunctional housing market. In a reversal of more than 100 years of American history, the unique force that built the United States and the wealth of its inhabitants – geographic convergence – has been stopped.  read more »

Subjects:

Born Into Ruin: How the Young are Changing Cleveland

picpiiparinen.jpg

It’s true. I am not happy all the time living in Cleveland. But I don’t want to be happy all the time. That’s unnatural. Said Nietzsche:

“Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.”

 read more »