The news media are losing their search for truth

Jeff_Bezos'_iconic_laugh (1).jpg

To someone who has spent most of his career in the news business, it’s distressing to confront the current state of the media. Rather than a source of information and varied opinion, the media increasingly act not so such as disseminators of information but as a privileged and separate caste, determined to shape opinion to a certain set of conclusions.  read more »

The Springfield Strategy

screen-shot-2017-04-27-at-10-25-22-am.jpg

I just enjoyed an adventure in Springfield, Massachusetts with Steve Shultis and his wife Liz of Rational Urbanism. Steve does a far better job of describing his town and his philosophy than I ever could, but my interpretation can be summed up with an analogy about an old college room mate.  read more »

The Great Non-Profit Die Off

untitled.png

Marc Lapides wrote an op-ed in Crain’s Chicago Business calling for an 1871 accelerator for creating new non-profits.

Most cities could actually use the opposite. What they need is an infrastructure for euthanizing non-profits that are past their expiration date.

When I look around older cities, I frequently see that they’ve got a veritable armada of non-profits. Rarely do I see these making a huge difference in the trajectory of the city.  read more »

Subsidies Haven't Increased Transit Ridership

pexels-photo.jpg

In 2015, the American Public Transportation Association issued a press release whose headline claimed that transit ridership in 2014 achieved a new record. However, the story revealed that 2014 ridership was the highest since 1956. That’s no more a record than if it was the highest since 2013.  read more »

Father of the Bernie Sanders Presidency

Bernie_Sanders_in_Littleton,_NH,_on_August_24,_2015_(20703289249) (1).jpg

President Trump’s elite-managed populism opens a path for a more genuine version.  read more »

California Squashes Its Young

640px-Golden_Gate_Bridge_1926.jpg

In this era of anti-Trump resistance, many progressives see California as a model of enlightenment. The Golden State’s post-2010 recovery has won plaudits in the progressive press from the New York Times’s Paul Krugman, among others. Yet if one looks at the effects of the state’s policies on key Democratic constituencies— millennials, minorities, and the poor—the picture is dismal. A recent United Way study found that close to one-third of state residents can barely pay their bills, largely due to housing costs. When adjusted for these costs, California leads all states—even historically poor Mississippi—in the percentage of its people living in poverty.  read more »

The Arrogance of Blue America

1024px-Sacramento_Capitol_2013.jpg

In the wake of the Trumpocalypse, many in the deepest blue cores have turned on those parts of America that supported the president’s election, developing oikophobia—an irrational fear of their fellow citizens.  read more »

America the Cheap

wal-mart.jpg

America is a price dominant culture, and we need to take responsibility for that when we complain about bad customer service, poor infrastructure, etc. Certainly American business and political leadership could be better, but they aren’t the ones who decided to shop at Wal-Mart instead of the local store (favoring short term financial gain over long term community loss). Nor are they the ones who force us to vote for politicians promising something for nothing.  read more »

The Jungle

livestock_chicago_1947.jpg

Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle was intended to inform the larger American public of the miserable working environment and sub survival wages of Chicago’s meat packing employees. The popular response was huge and lead to new government agencies and protections, but not the kind Sinclair had hoped for. By describing the dangerous and unhealthy conditions in slaughterhouses he meant to elicit sympathy for the workers who were denied adequate pay and were routinely maimed or killed on the job with no recourse to improved safety, medical care, or compensation.  read more »

Driving Alone Hits High, Transit Hits Low in "Post-Car" City of Los Angeles

lacityhall2.PNG

According to The New York Times, the car used to be “king” in the city (municipality) of Los Angeles. “'A Different Los Angeles', The City Moves to Alter its Sprawling Image,” was another story that seeks to portray the nation’s second largest municipality as having fundamentally changed.  read more »