Los Angeles Transit Ridership Losses Lead National Decline

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In recent days, two well placed commentaries have detailed the recent declines both in US transit ridership, and in particular, Los Angeles, where the decline is most severe.  read more »

Robert Iger For President? To Many Democrats, The Mouse May Look Like A Louse

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Few global companies enjoy as much public good will as the Walt Disney Company. The entertainment giant regularly ranks highly on lists of the most admired or trusted companies, including ones from Forbes and Fortune.  read more »

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA HOUSING 3Q17: Affordability Limits Continue to be Tested; Average Prices Hit Record Levels

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• Annualized new home starts in 3Q17 are up 2.5% compared to 3Q16, while closings are up 1.7%. Quarterly new home starts were up 31% while closings are down 4% compared to 3Q16.

• The average base price for new Single Family detached homes is up 17% YoY to a Metrostudy record, $1.03M; the average price for Attached homes is $905K, an increase of 5%.  read more »

Trump in China and the Limits of Authoritarianism

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As President Trump visits China, the contrast between the president — at war with the national media, the corporate establishment, almost all of academia and even his own party — and the sure-handed Xi Jinping seems almost unbearable. Xi has consolidated power to an extent not seen since Mao’s time, while directing a global expansion of Chinese power, notably in central and south Asia as well as Africa.  read more »

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Journalism Disrupted Again as DNAInfo, Gothamist Shuttered

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Owner Joe Ricketts shuttered unprofitable local news sites DNAInfo and Gothamist yesterday. Observers link this closure to a vote last week by New York employees to unionize.

This is an example of the disruption of the local media ecosystem. Technology allowed sites like DNA and Gothamist to exist in the first place, but local news has proven resistant to sufficient monetization to create profitability in most cases.  read more »

Blockchain - A Capitalist Revolution for the Internet

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Blockchain, i.e. digitized and decentralized public ledgers of cryptocurrency1 or digital asset transactions, might emerge as the tool to liberate the Internet from the domination of the tech oligarchy. In some senses, we can envision through historical analogy how Blockchain can change the very economic system of the Internet itself, much similar to the processes in the offline world that ended the Middle Ages and laid the foundations for the birth of Capitalism.  read more »

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Economic Nationalism and the Half-Life of Deindustrialization

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In a 60 Minutes interview in September, Steven Bannon touted his form of economic nationalism and suggested that Democrats like Senator Sherrod Brown and U.S Representative Tim Ryan understood his economic vision, even if they didn’t agree with him. It was fitting that he name-checked Brown and Ryan, as both come from Northeast Ohio, where the history of deindustrialization began 40 years ago this fall.  read more »

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A US Home Ownership Turn Around?

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The Census Bureau reports that home ownership in the United States rose to 63.9 percent in the third quarter of 2017. This continues a rising trend since the second quarter of 2016, when home ownership had dropped to 62.9. This equaled the previous low of 51 years before (1965), just a year after annual data reporting began. Home ownership peaked at 69.2 percent during the housing bubble and had been generally declining since late 2006 (Figure).  read more »

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The Changing Urban Patterns in College Degreed Younger Adults

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While doing some research for a forthcoming presentation, I was looking at some data about younger people with college degrees and put together some maps I’ll share with you today.

The Census Bureau tracks educational attainment by age cohort. I decided to look at 25-34 year olds with a bachelors degree or higher. This is roughly today’s “young, educated Millennial” segment. Here is a chart showing the change in the share of 25-34yos with degrees between 2000 and 2016:  read more »

The GOP Establishment No Bargain Either

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Perhaps nothing has been more ironic than the canonization of respectable, moderate-seeming Republicans. People like Mitt Romney and the Bush family, once castigated as practitioners of unmitigated greed or even Hitlerian fascists, have suddenly become laudable in the mainstream media.  read more »

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