Neo-Feudalism in California

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From the beginning, California promised much. While yet barely a name on the map, it entered American awareness as a symbol of renewal. It was a final frontier: of geography and of expectation.
—Kevin Starr, Americans and the California Dream: 1850–1915  read more »

The Urban Project: Urbanization, Urbanisms, and the Virus – A Historical Take

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Observing and writing 20-some years before the oil embargo (1974) and 30 years before the stern Brundtland report (1987), Jane Jacobs (1961) resolved that density comes in “good” and “bad” varieties.  read more »

Racism and the Working Class

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When I tell other middle-class professionals who don’t know me well that I’m writing a book about working-class culture, it’s amazing how often they respond approvingly that “white racism” is an important subject.  My reaction, depending on the circumstance, ranges from embarrassment to rage.  read more »

The High Speed Rail Authority Has Lost Support of the Legislature for its Proposed Plans

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The 12 year saga of the California High Speed Rail Authority and its attempt to build a true high speed train to connect northern and southern California, has been shaken to its core.

At the 4.5 hour Assembly Transportation Committee oversight hearing of May 27th was painted a complete reversal of the unlimited support for the project, which has always been the Democrat caucus position.  read more »

CARES Funding and Transit

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The Coronavirus public health emergency is an existentialist crisis for many sectors of the U.S. economy and government services. The transit industry is one of the most impacted of all.

Transit began losing relevance decades prior to this event. Transit ridership and transportation market share have decreased even as operating costs and taxpayer subsidies increased. Expenditures for major capital projects have reached a billion dollars per mile and more while essential services for transportation-disadvantaged residents have withered away.  read more »

Highest Salaries for Software Developer Remote Work (Metro Areas)

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COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing strategies have led to a huge increase in the number of people working at home (working remotely). According to Gallup, by mid-April, 62% of US employees were working at home. Further, Gallup found that about half of the remote workers preferred to continue working from home, with another quarter interested in remote working out of pandemic fears.  read more »

A New Age of Feudalism for the Working Class?

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In the past, fears of job losses from automation were often overstated. Technological progress eliminated some jobs but created others, and often better-paying ones. In the early days of the high-tech revolution, many of the pioneering firms—such as Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and IBM—were widely praised for treating their lower-level workers as part of the company and deserving of opportunities for advancement, as well as benefits including health insurance and a pension.  read more »

Back to the Drawing Board?

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The global response to the impact of the Coronavirus seems consistent in at least one respect: everything we previously took for granted is now up for grabs. Long held truisms, established patterns of corporate and individual behaviour, doctrinal teachings, professional articles of faith – nothing is immune from Covid-19 induced change.  read more »

The Rebellion of America's New Underclass

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Like so many before them, our recent disorders have been rooted in issues of race. But in the longer run, the underlying causes of our growing civic breakdown go beyond the brutal police killing of George Floyd. Particularly in our core cities, our dysfunction is a result of our increasingly large, and increasingly multi-racial, class of neo-serfs.  read more »

From tragedy to opportunity: We could live better when today's mayhem ends

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For most people in this locked-down, riot-scarred world, the future beckons unpleasantly. There is a growing sense that, economically, the 2020s may look more like the 1930s than some halcyon post-industrial future. “Dark days ahead,” suggests The Week. “This is what the end of the end of history looks like."  read more »