Demographics

Population Shifting in the Midwest

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My latest post is online at City Journal. I actually wrote it prior to the Indy op-ed I just put up, but for scheduling reasons they came out in the reverse order. This contains some of the background information against which that op-ed was written. It’s about the resorting of population that’s occurring within US states in the Midwest. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

LSE Economist Paul Cheshire on Urban Containment and Housing Affordability

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Paul Cheshire, Professor Emeritus of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics, has distinguished himself as one of the world’s pre-eminent housing economists. This article discusses his recent interview with Ahir Hites, a senior research officer in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Research Department, reported in The Unassuming Economist Global Housing Watch Newslettter.  read more »

In Defense of Houses

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A critical component in the rise of market-oriented democracy in the modern era has been the dispersion of property ownership among middle-income households—not just in the United States but also in countries like Holland, Canada, and Australia, where it was closely linked with greater civil and economic freedom. In its early days, this dispersion was largely rural, but after the Second World War, it took on a largely suburban emphasis in the U.S., including within the extended metro regions of traditional cities like New York and Los Angeles.  read more »

The Great Conservative Suicide Pact

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Republicans have been celebrating their good fortune as Democrats vying for the presidential nomination propose free medical care for undocumented people and the elimination of private health insurance, and open borders, not to mention reparations for slavery and the near-term elimination of fossil fuels. Add it up, and it may be enough to keep Doctor Demento in the White House for four more years.  read more »

Relief for the Weary: New Premium Bus Lines vie for Short-Hop Flyers

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During a summer vacation season marked by long security lines and record-setting air traffic, it is easy to overlook a trend in U.S. ground travel that is winning converts from those who would otherwise fly: the rapid expansion of bus lines offering first- and business-class service on short-hop routes.  read more »

Paris, London Lead European Metropolitan Areas: Latest Data

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Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union (EU) indicates that Paris is the largest metropolitan area in the EU, Switzerland and Norway, with 12.8 million residents, according to the latest estimates. This is slightly more than number two London --- which may soon be outside the Union --- with 12.4 million residents.  read more »

Population Density and Resource Abundance: Turning the Malthusian Logic on its Head

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A few months ago prominent naturalist David Attenborough told attendees at the World Economic Forum about humanity’s unsustainable population growth and his certainty that it has to “come to an end” quickly. In the meantime, he told participants, we should also eat a lot less meat.  read more »

High Performing Midwest Cities Need to Learn How to Attract National Talent

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My latest column is online in the Indianapolis Business Journal. Obviously it’s about Indianapolis, but similar arguments apply to basically every other basically well-performing Midwest city. They are completely parochial talent sheds and need to attract from further afield. Here’s an excerpt:  read more »

California Can’t Afford To Be An Economic One-Trick Pony

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For the past decade, the soaring stock prices and nosebleed valuations of Silicon Valley’s IPOs and unicorns has been a boon for California, helping create a record budget surplus of almost $22 billion.

Yet this bonanza has occurred just as the state’s overall job creation, once among the country’s leaders, has slowed to a more middle of the road status, well below the rates for key competitors such as Nevada, Arizona, Washington State and Texas.  read more »

The Good Life, Just Beyond

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Radical Suburbs: Experimental Living on the Fringes of the American City, by Amanda Kolson Hurley (Belt Publishing, 160 pp., $16.96)

If forced to compare an ice cream flavor with suburbia, many would pick vanilla. Yet, as Amanda Kolson Hurley writes in her new book, Radical Suburbs: Experimental Living on the Fringes of the American City, this is just one of many “misinformed clichés” about these peripheral communities. City-dwellers internalized these attitudes early on. In the early 1950s, novelist Raymond Chandler spoke for many urbanites when he disdained suburban life for its “eight-room house, two cars in the garage, chicken every Sunday and the Reader’s Digest on the living room table, the wife with a cast-iron permanent and me with a brain like a sack of Portland cement.”  read more »