Can the Trump Economy Trump Trump?


President Trump’s critics find it hard to give him credit for anything, especially given his extraordinary boastfulness. Yet Trump’s economic policies seem to be working. New job numbers are robust, GDP and wages continue to rise, stocks are soaring, unemployment continues to decline, and overall growth is at its highest in 13 years. And this salutary picture is not exclusive to big business; the index of small business optimism, as measured by the National Federation of Independent Business, has reached its highest level in the 45-year history of the survey.  read more »


Chicagoans Are Getting Older And Smarter


Chicagoans are getting older, as is the rest of the United States. The median age of Chicagoans has increased from 31.5 in 2000 to 34.4 in 2016. What is particularly noteworthy is that Chicago is losing school-age children while it is gaining young college graduates and seniors.  read more »

Metropolitan New York and San Jose: Highest Property Tax Burdens


This article examines median residential property tax levels and rates among the nation’s 53 major metropolitan areas (over 1,000,000 population). The data is from the 2016 American Community Survey and is self reported by consumer respondents (not from governments or public records).  read more »

A Tale of Two Socals: Poverty in Southern California


For many, Southern California is heaven on Earth. For urbanites, it’s a world-renowned capital of art, culture, and entertainment, and technology, rivaled by few locales across the globe. But even for those outside of the cities, the region boasts plenty of natural beauty: From the San Bernardino mountains, to the Joshua Tree desert, to the San Diego beaches, there’s an almost unmatched diversity of nature to experience.  read more »

The Cities Where African-Americans Are Doing The Best Economically 2018


The 2007 housing crisis was particularly tough on African-Americans, as well as Hispanics, extinguishing much of their already miniscule wealth. Industrial layoffs, particularly in the Midwest, made things worse.

However the rising economic tide of the past few years has started to lift more boats.  read more »

A New Vision For Southern California


Since the start of the last century, Southern California has been a pioneer in building ways of living, and an economy, that broke with normal convention. Our region created a new paradigm, one both defining suburbanism and friendly to middle class aspirations, that attracted millions here.  read more »

Immigration and Trust


Do we only really trust people who are like us? And if so, is that a mistake?

Distrust of the unfamiliar and the foreign is a natural survival mechanism for most species, including the human species. But, if empirical evidence is worth anything, a reflexive distrust of the foreigner cannot be said to be equally benign. Distrust sows fear. And fear plays in the hands of demagogues and can turn into a contagious pathology with numerous undesirable consequences.  read more »

Tech's New Hotbeds: Cities With Fastest Growth In STEM Jobs Are Far From Silicon Valley


The conventional wisdom sees tech concentrating in a handful of places, many dense urban cores that offer the best jobs and draw talented young people. These places are seen as so powerful that, as The New York Times recently put it, they have little need to relate to other, less fashionable cities.  read more »

Should the Midwest Play a Game It Can’t Win?


Noah Smith at Bloomberg wrote a recent column on how to revive the Midwest that channels the ideas of Michigan based Brookings scholar John Austin. This strategy has two main planks: lure more immigrants and invest more in higher education (presumably research universities).  read more »


Minnesota's Millennial Mobility


With both metro and rural areas projected to face a labor force slowdown by 2025 as more baby boomers exit the workforce than millennials enter, where millennials chose to live and work becomes increasingly important. In this report, Chet Bodin, a labor market analyst for Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development, details how the migration patterns of millennials will impact Minnesota's regional labor markets.  read more »