Demographics

Silicon Valley's Useful Idiots

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Tech elites paid for the rope that may hang them.

The term “useful idiot,” often credited to Vladimir Lenin, applies to people supporting a cause or movement injurious to their own self-interest.  read more »

The Real Conflict Is Not Racial or Sexual, It's Between The Ascendant Rich Elites and The Rest Of Us

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Despite the media’s obsession on gender, race and sexual orientation, the real and determining divide in America and other advanced countries lies in the growing conflict between the ascendant upper class and the vast, and increasingly embattled, middle and working classes. We’ve seen this fight before. The current conflict fundamentally reprises the end of the French feudal era, where the Third Estate, made up of the commoners, challenged the hegemony of the First Estate and Second, made up of the church and aristocracy.  read more »

Screwy Transit Logic

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Bus ridership in Los Angeles is plummeting, says the Wall Street Journal, but LA Metro CEO Phil Washington thinks he has the solution.

“It’s too easy to drive in this city,” says Washington. To get people back on the buses, the city needs to “actually making driving harder.”  read more »

Cars, Not Trains or Planes Dominate Northeast Corridor Travel

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Northbound on the Northeast Corridor between Trenton and Newark

For years, Amtrak has been publicizing its large market share compared with planes in the Northeast Corridor, which covers the major metropolitan air markets of Washington to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Providence and Boston. Amtrak’s Acela fast train provides quick service on the route, and its somewhat slower Northeast Regional trains make stops at locations less convenient to airline travel. Yet its overall share is much lower once all the transportation forms are included.  read more »

The Politics of Procreation

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Throughout most of history, starting a family was a task that most people either aspired to or dutifully performed. Today, that is increasingly not the case—not only in Europe, Japan, Australia, or North America, but in the world’s most economically dynamic region, East Asia. The trend towards post-familialism, a society in which the family and marriage are no longer central to society, will reshape our politics, economy, and society in the decades ahead.  read more »

Subjects:

The Community and Economic Development Hierarchy

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Construction underway for a new 130,000 square foot shopping center located in Hollister, CA, May 17, 2019. Sadly, more communities want to see this than are actually able to have it. Source: sanbenito.com

I've spent many, many years of my career working to improve the economic development prospects of communities. Wanting to make a meaningful, positive contribution to the revitalization of cities is what pushed me into this career path. More to the point, I've spent a good deal of that time working in places that were facing stiff economic headwinds working against them.  read more »

Around San Francisco’s New South of Market Transit Center

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In the 1980s, the city of San Francisco experienced a strong reaction against continued development of its dense financial center skyscraper district north of Market Street. that the term Manhattanization was popularized by the alternative biweekly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, which channeled the interest of many residents to preserve both their neighborhood and the iconic, historic buildings in downtown San Francisco before they were replaced by new, taller structures.  read more »

Where Salaries Go Furthest in 2019: The Small-City Advantage

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Big cities are the engines of the modern economy. They offer workers a range of opportunities — and employers a range of workers, customers, and infrastructure — that smaller places generally can’t match. But when it comes to what many job seekers care about most, smaller cities often are best. In particular, for most jobs, salaries are higher in smaller places after accounting for the cost of living. 
 read more »

A Review of Alan Mallach's The Divided City

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The astounding revival of American cities is real. However, the inequality evident in virtually all of them is real as well, and built into the system. Much of the urban discourse has centered on the former, but the latter has likely has a broader impact on contemporary metropolitan development nationwide. Inequality in American cities has three dimensions – spatial, economic and racial. The erosion of the middle class is a key feature of industrial city decline and most impacts older industrial cities. And of course, sweeping global and national trends are at work.  read more »

Public Schools Should Be Places of Learning, Not Propaganda

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California likes to think of itself as the brain center of the universe, but increasingly much of that intellectual content comes from somewhere else. Once a leader in educational innovation and performance, California is now toward the bottom of the pack.  read more »