A well-intentioned but quixotic presidential vision to make high-speed rail service available to 80 percent of Americans in 25 years is being buffeted by a string of reversals. And, like its British counterpart, the London-to-Birmingham high speed rail line (HS2), it is the subject of an impassioned debate. Called by congressional leaders "an absolute disaster," and a "poor investment," the President’s ambitious initiative is unraveling at the hands of a deficit-conscious Congress, fiscally-strapped states, reluctant private railroad companies and a skeptical public. read more »
As the American economy struggles to recover, its greatest advantage lies with its diverse population. The U.S.’ major European competitors — Germany, Scandinavia, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Italy — have admittedly failed at integrating racial outsiders. Its primary Asian rivals, with the exception of Singapore, are almost genetically resistant to permanent migration from those outside the dominant ethnic strain. read more »
Along the pitted elegance of Pho Ngo Quyen, a bustling street in Hanoi, Vietnam, you will, predictably, find uniformed men in Soviet-style uniforms, banners with Communist Party slogans, and grandfatherly pictures of Ho Chi Minh. Yet, capitalism thrives everywhere else in this community — in the tiny food stalls, countless mobile phone stores and clothing shops offering everything from faux European fashion to reduced-price children’s wear, sandals and sneakers. read more »
Some of the best evidence that the tide has not turned against dispersion and suburbanization comes from an unlikely source: New York’s 2010 census results. If dense urbanism works anywhere in America, it does within this greatest of US traditional urban areas. read more »
The most recent estimates for 2010 indicate that Vietnam is no longer among the underdeveloped countries of the world and has moved onto the ranks of middle-income countries. Financial remittances – better known as money being sent back to the home country – have lent a critical hand in accomplishing this major triumph in the country’s formerly depressed economy.
The influx of money by overseas Vietnamese, many of whom fled as political refugees, has dramatically changed the economic landscape of the country in terms of poverty levels and development. read more »
The Census Bureau just finished releasing all of the state redistricting file information from the 2010 Census, giving us a now complete portrait of population change for the entire country. Population growth continued to be heavily concentrated in suburban metropolitan counties while many rural areas, particularly in the Great Plains, continue to shrink. read more »
As the country’s largest and densest metropolis, New York City has been able to offer a level of public transit service that most other cities can only dream about. Commuting to Downtown or Midtown Manhattan has been—and still is to a large degree—a remarkably easy affair for hundreds of thousands of residents, whose travel options include commuter train, subway, ferry and bus. However, like a lot of older American cities, New York has changed dramatically since most of those services were put into place, and more and more residents, particularly among lower-income workers, no longer travel to Manhattan for work.
Census data show that between 1990 and 2008 the number of residents who traveled to work in their own borough or a neighboring borough or county increased much faster than the number who made the more traditional commute to Manhattan. read more »
The first two years of the Obama Administration have been historic and eventful. The first openly liberal president in a generation has dramatically increased government spending and intervention in the nation’s economy. The federal deficit soared to $1.65 trillion dollars and 35% of Americans now receive some type of government assistance. read more »
Not all pollutants are created equal, nor do they necessarily hang out in the same hot spots. Rankings of the most polluted cities — you know who you are — have become depressingly familiar. But those standings almost always represent a statistical stew of assorted toxins in the air and water, averaged together. The list that follows may surprise you: A quick look at a handful of cities, each with the unfortunate distinction of being the worst in the U.S. for a specific environmental health hazard. read more »
Nesting in Louisville since 2006, slowly taking its time to form and blossom, Appalatin is six working professionals who haven't quit their day jobs -- two native Kentuckians and four immigrant Kentuckians from Latin America, who do lot of professional-quality music in their spare time.
If one were to introduce Appalatin to the world in one longish sentence, it might be something like this: “Appalatin is sunny, high-spirited, fun music, technically a cross-pollination of Appalachian-Kentucky Hillbilly and various Latin American Sounds (primarily Andes & Coastal Central American) read more »