The Opium Of California

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The current frenzy of new IPOs — Uber, Lyft, Slack, Postmates, Pinterest and Airbnb — seems destined to reinforce progressive notions that California represents the future not just for the state, but the nation. It will certainly reinforce California’s fiscal dependency on tech-dominated elites — half of the state’s income taxes come from people making over $500,000 a year — and provide a huge potential multi-billion dollar windfall for the state treasury.  read more »

A New Good Neighbor Policy

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Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump’s proposal to build a “beautiful wall,” it is unlikely to resolve the crisis sending ever more people—largely from Central America—to America’s borders. The problems that drive large numbers to leave their homes and trust their families to criminal gangs will not be solved by bigger fences but better thinking. Fundamentally, the United States should regard Mexico and Central America not as adversaries but as economic partners in a world increasingly defined by competition between the U.S.  read more »

College Graduates Concentrated in Suburbs, Highest Educational Attainment in CBDs

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The nation’s high-density central business districts of the major metropolitan areas have the largest shares of adults over the age of 25 with bachelor’s degrees or higher, which is consistent with popular perception. At the same time, because such a small percentage of people live in the central business districts, by far the most bachelors degree and higher adults live in the suburbs.  read more »

Why Are Some People in the Rust Belt So Resistant to Change?

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Aaron Renn wrote a great piece over at his Urbanophile blog entitled The Challenge of Change. In it, he discusses some of the negative reaction that he got to his recent post on Kokomo, Indiana and its Mayor Greg Goodnight’s efforts to reinvent the city using what Renn describes as “the model of the working-class/creative-class, blue-collar/white-collar synthesis that many believe we need today.”  read more »

Killing the California Dream

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Californians need to give up on their dream of a “ranch-house lifestyle” and an “ample backyard” and the state should become “more like New York City,” writes LA Times columnist George Skelton (reprinted in the Mercury-News and East Bay Times in case you run into the LA Times paywall). After reading his article, the Antiplanner has just one question: Why?  read more »

What Can We Do For America's Most Challenged Cities?

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My latest Manhattan Institute study was just released, discussing the particular difficulties facing America’s most distressed cities. Post-industrial metro areas with less than one million people that have experience significant decline are in a different category than other places.  read more »

California’s Self-Created Future Energy Crisis

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In much of the country a powerful energy boom is providing a serious stimulus to economic growth. But in California, where fossil fuels are considered about as toxic as tobacco, we are lurching toward an anticipated energy shortage that will further exacerbate the state’s already deep geographic and class divisions.  read more »

The Captain Hindsight Award

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A reader recently made a comment I took seriously:

I am certainly not here to try and refute much of what you have brought to light, only to suggest that your comments are not in the least bit constructive on the whole. That is why I have decided to pin you with the prestigious “Captain Hindsight” award.

This post is my response.  read more »

California Using Band-Aids for Homeless Wounds

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The problem with the California economy is not greenness. It’s homelessness. Get these people off our streets first. Make living like a human being affordable again. If there is no incentive to work, why work.

Every year there are over 2,500+ new bills expected to fill the annual calendar of the 80 Assemblymen and 40 Senators of the California State legislature. Fortunately, most never make it to the Governor for signature.  read more »

Beijing and Shanghai Limit Population Growth

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Public policies to cap population in China’s two largest municipalities are yielding results. The latest annual statistical communiqués indicate that Shanghai and Beijing are now at population levels below the all-time peaks reached earlier in this decade, as population growth is being steered to peripheral areas in exurban and rural areas. This article describes population trends through the end of 2018.  read more »