Pandemics and Pandemonium

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Minneapolis and urban centers across America are burning, most directly in response to the brutal killing of a black man by a white Minnesota police officer. But the rage ignited by the death of George Floyd is symptomatic of a profound sense of alienation that has been building for years among millions of poor, working class urbanites.  read more »

Amazon Air: 2020's Transportation Juggernaut

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An Amazon Air Boeing 767-300 airplane, with a Boeing 747 of Atlas Air, one of its main air-cargo contractors, in the distance. (Nathan Coats)

Amazon Air is 2020’s transportation juggernaut, flying high above the many airlines struggling to keep aloft during the coronavirus epidemic. This wholly owned subsidiary of retailing giant Amazon is growing rapidly in response to another surge in online buying. Amazon Air’s expansion marks one of the most significant developments in the U.S. air-cargo business in years—and is giving a shot-in-the-arm to smaller airports oriented primarily towards freight shipments.  read more »

How Coronavirus Pandemic is Bringing a Return to Feudalism

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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many things, but also accelerated America’s descent into a new form of feudalism. The preexisting conditions of extreme economic concentration, inequality and reduced social mobility already were painfully evident before, but the pandemic has made them considerably worse.  read more »

The Virus's Uneven Path

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In this miserable COVID-19 spring, it’s tempting for remote workers to vent our frustrations with being hemmed in, forced to stare at screens while unable to do much else other than walk around the block or go to Costco. Yet the pain felt by the teleworking middle class is dwarfed by that of working-class Americans.  read more »

From Blue Collar Icon to Green Radical

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In Planet of the Humans Michael Moore turns his back on working class politics by embracing neo-Malthusian eco-catastrophism.

The worldwide shutdown has been greeted by many prominent environmentalists and policy makers as a unique opportunity to wean our economies off their fossil fuel-addiction and to accelerate the transition to greener alternatives.  read more »

Why This New Yorker Returned to the Midwest

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New Urbanism Editor Lewis McCrary's Note: Before the pandemic changed the urban landscape of American life, the last two decades have seen a familiar dynamic: the coastal cities have recorded dramatic increases of wealth as highly-educated workers concentrate in a few major metro areas, including New York, San Francisco, and Washington.  read more »

Apps For Minimizing Exposure Densities

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As much of the world begins reopening from lockdown, it will be important for all of us to observe the extraordinary cautions to prevent exposure to the COVID-19 virus, both for ourselves and the people around us. There are already tracking applications that will help identify the source of infections, which is important for both reducing future exposures and the critical research to inform the most effective responses in future pandemics. But more important will be efforts to avoid infection in the first place.  read more »

The Coronavirus Is Also Spreading a Dark New Era of Neo-Feudalism

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Adapted from The Coming of Neo-Feudalism (Encounter Books). 

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the global shift already underway towards a neo-feudal society. With the middle-class economy largely shut down and, in the best-case scenario, in for a long and painful recovery, the population that is barely hanging on is expanding rapidly in America and around the world.  read more »

What If College Students Simply Don't Return in the Fall?

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As a college professor who meets with thousands of students nationwide, I regularly tell students that the bedrock of my own college experience almost 20 years ago was the meeting and mixing with students from around the world. My classes were generally unremarkable, but what made the collegiate bubble so exceptional were the early Saturday morning tailgates, midnight runs for donuts with close friends, or long hikes exploring areas around San Francisco.  read more »

Blue City Lockdowns Obscure COVID's Root Causes

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It will be months, likely years, before we understand how COVID-19 has reshaped our communities. Yet there is enough data, based on just the last three months, to get some notion of what areas and populations are most vulnerable.  read more »

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