Where Small Town America Is Thriving

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Big city America has long demonstrated a distaste for its smaller cousins. This sentiment has, if anything, intensified with the election of President Donald Trump, whose improbable victory was made possible by strong support in small cities and towns across the country.  read more »

Left and Lefter in California

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The California Democratic Party’s refusal to endorse the reelection of Senator Dianne Feinstein represents a breaking point both for the state’s progressives and, arguably, the future of the party nationwide. Feinstein symbolizes, if anyone does, the old Democratic establishment that, while far from conservative, nevertheless appealed to many mainstream businesses and affluent suburban voters.  read more »

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Why We Should Fix It First with Infrastructure

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My latest column is now online in the March issue of Governing. It’s called “A Tip for Infrastructure Builders: Fix It First.” Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

Connecting the Dots by Transit in Los Angeles?

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Over the past three years, the nation’s largest transit systems have endured a broad and unprecedented ridership decline. By far the largest drop has been in Los Angeles and this has resulted in justifiable consternation.  read more »

Working-Class People on the Snowfields: Class at the Winter Olympics

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The combination of renewed interest in Tonya Harding (due to the film, I, Tonya) and the winter Olympics made me think of class and sport lately – especially sports that involve snow and ice. Although winter sports might be considered quite ordinary for some who live in very cold climates (such as Norwegians), most require expensive equipment and travel.  read more »

How Silicon Valley Went From ‘Don’t Be Evil’ to Doing Evil

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Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

– The Who, “We won’t be fooled again”, 1971

Once seen as the saviors of America’s economy, Silicon Valley is turning into something more of an emerging axis of evil. “Brain-hacking” tech companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon, as one prominent tech investor puts it, have become so intrusive as to alarm critics on both right and left.  read more »

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California in Danger: Why the Dream is Dying and How We Can Save It

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In the latest report from research and policy organization Environmental Progress, "California in Danger: Why the Dream is Dying and How We Can Save It," Michael Shellenberger highlights the most pressing issues facing California today and how we can solve them. Read an excerpt from the executive summary below.  read more »

The New Opportunity Boomtowns

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A century ago Detroit was a boomtown and Los Angeles a sleepy refuge for sun-seeking Midwesterners. A half-century later, L.A. was the fastest-growing big city in the high-income world, while Detroit was beginning its long tailspin. In the ’70s, New York was the “rotten apple” and seemed destined for further decline. But for the past 20 years it has enjoyed an enormous surge of wealth, as have many of the countries’ dense, culturally creative cities.  read more »

Will Density Make Housing Affordable?

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California left-wingers who want to densify cities to make them affordable are getting some push-back from other left-wingers who think density will push low-income people out of neighborhoods.  read more »

Chicago Is the American Metropolitan Platypus

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"What the hell is going on in Chicago?"

I must admit, when I first heard that statement from President Donald Trump, it angered me. The Donald has said a lot of cringe-worthy things over the years, but this struck a nerve.  read more »