Economics

America’s Post-Pandemic Geography

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Even as vaccination increases across the United States and an end to the tragedy of the Covid-19 pandemic seems in sight, the economic, fiscal, political, and geographic fallout from the virus cannot be overstated: a massive public health crisis that left more than half a million Americans dead, an economic catastrophe that caused record unemployment and small-business closures, and a seismic political event that surely helped tip the presidential election. The pandemic will pass, and the economy will revive, as it is already doing.  read more »

Vuca Waymo

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I’m prone to going down YouTube rabbit holes that take me to unexpected places. I recently eavesdropped on a Zoom conference where a woman in rural Idaho was strategizing on the global dairy trade. Turns out Mormon farmers are locked in a dog-eat-dog international competition over bulk milk commodities and specialty cheeses. New Zealand is their prime nemesis. Who knew?  read more »

The Idaho Boom

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Idaho has recently been the fastest growing state in the country, with population growth of 2.1% last year. Of course it is easy to get high percentages on a small base, but the Idaho growth story is real. From 2018 to 2019, the most recent available data, Coeur d’Alene ranked 7th among all metro areas in population growth, Boise ranked 8th, and Idaho Falls ranked 18th.  read more »

Yeomanry's Global Decline

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For much of the last part of the 20th Century, the world’s middle class was ascendant, expanding and, in most countries, firmly in control of national politics and culture. Yet in more recent decades, this process has been slowly reversed, in the United States as well as in Europe and, increasingly, East Asia.  read more »

America Pursues Expensive Electricity While Much of the World Lives in Energy Poverty

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With many still living with little to no access to electricity, American politicians are pursuing the most expensive ways to generate intermittent electricity with offshore wind turbines on the East and West Coasts.  read more »

Subjects:

Could COVID Exodus Speed the Heartland Revival?

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Over the past two decades America’s largest urban areas enjoyed a heady renaissance, driven in large part by the in-migration of immigrants, minorities and young people. But even as a big-city dominated press corps continued to report on gentrification and displacement, those trends began to reverse themselves in recent years as all three of those populations started heading in ever larger numbers to suburbs, sprawling sunbelt boomtowns and smaller cities and out of the biggest ones.  read more »

The Green New Deal will Impoverish America

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‘The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all… Do you guys think of it as a climate thing? Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.’ So said Saikat Chakrabarti, former chief of staff for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and generally acknowledged author of the Green New Deal.  read more »

No Silver Bullet on Energy Issues

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With some energy literacy, folks may realize that there may not be a silver bullet answer for all of humanity’s energy needs. Whether you ultimately drive an internal combustion engine vehicle or an EV, and get exposed to electricity from wind, solar, coal, natural gas, nuclear, or hydro generation, will depend on you or your community’s wealth.

Most people in the world want both prosperity and nature, not nature without prosperity. They are just confused about how to achieve both.  read more »

The Looming Democrat Civil War

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The Democratic Party has always been a loose confederation of outsiders — poor farmers, union members, populists, European immigrants and southern segregationists. As the actor Will Rogers said in 1924: “I am not a member of any organised political party. I am a Democrat.” Yet despite being unwieldy, it was often effective, and usually beat the more homogeneous country-club-led Republicans.  read more »

Who Will Control the 21st Century? Whoever Controls Space

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It's impossible to predict the future. But one thing you can be sure of: few things will be more important to the lives of our children than who wins the emerging, epoch-defining struggle for control of space.

This is a battle just beginning over who will control the communication satellites so central to our economy, as well as the vast resources of other planets. But ultimately, the new space battle represents a war over opportunities for colonization, for an increasingly resource-stretched and crowded earth.  read more »