Elusive Population Growth in the City of Los Angeles


How many times can a city reach 4 million population for the first time? I submit that Los Angeles (my birthplace), now near its fourth such celebration, is the undisputed champion, with each of the first three having not actually been reached.  read more »

Post-Work Won’t Work


Proposals to institute a basic income are increasingly popular, especially in Silicon Valley. Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght make their case for it in Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and a Sane Economy. A basic income—an annual, unconditional cash grant to every adult, regardless of need, and without a work requirement to obtain it—would be non-taxable and total about 25 percent of GDP.  read more »

The Great Transit Rip-Off


Over the past decade, there has been a growing fixation among planners and developers alike for a return to the last century’s monocentric cities served by large-scale train systems. And, to be sure, in a handful of older urban regions, mass transit continues to play an important — and even vital — role in getting commuters to downtown jobs. Overall, a remarkable 40 percent of all transit commuting in the United States takes place in the New York metropolitan area — and just six municipalities make up 55 percent of all transit commuting destinations.  read more »

How Professionals Choose Where To Live


With the growing bifurcation of incomes in America, most regions would prefer, if given a choice, to attract higher-earning professionals to their areas. These people generate more spending in the community and contribute more taxes to the till.

So, what does it take to get them there?  read more »


Trump Damaged Democracy, Silicon Valley Will Finish It Off

15051609362_13a2a12813_z (1).jpg

When Democrats made their post-election populist “Better Deal” pitch, they took a strong stance against pharmaceutical and financial monopolies. But they conspicuously left out the most profound antitrust challenge of our time—the tech oligarchy.  read more »


30 Days a Black Man


The following is adapted from Bill Steigerwald’s new book 30 Days a Black Man: The Forgotten Story That Exposed the Jim Crow South. The book traces a forgotten but important 1948 undercover journalism mission into the Jim Crow South by a star Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newsman.  read more »


California Population Lags Behind Projections


Halfway through the new decade, California, widely seen as an irresistible force for the young and ambitious, is underperforming the state’s own demographic projections. Since 2010 the state’s population grew 5.3 percent from the 2010 census figure, 12 percent below the 6.1 percent increase projected by the California State Department of Finance. The population increased at below projected rates in all of the five metropolitan regions (combined statistical areas, or CSAs and metropolitan statistical areas MSAs, outside the CSAs) with more than 1,000,000 population, except in San Diego.  read more »

Changing the Narrative in Cleveland


Cleveland, like many Rust Belt cities, has both an image and a self-image problem. Its residents have simultaneously had passion and loyalty for the city, while also being filled with shame about it and relentlessly negative and fatalistic about its future. Again, this is something that is the case for any number of places.  read more »

A Different Kind of Border Wall


To slow mass migration, stop the illicit capital flight from poor to rich countries.

An asset manager called ____ Capital recently sent out this email seeking referrals:  read more »

A New Way Forward on Trade and Immigration


President Donald Trump’s policy agenda may seem somewhat incoherent, but his underlying approach — developed, in large part, by now-departed chief strategist Steve Bannon — can be best summarized in one word: nationalism. This covers a range of issues from immigration and trade to cultural and ethnic identity, and generally the ones with the most polarizing impact on our political system.  read more »