California Governor Newsom's Energy Policies Biased Against Those Who Voted For Him

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It has been a tough year for everyone during the pandemic, but more so on the lower income portion of the population. As we emerge from an emotionally and financially challenging year, we are seeing that the wealthy and middle-income folks have mostly recovered. The bottom half remain far from it.  read more »

Spend Federal Boon Wisely, and Flyover Country Can Win

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The mad dash for states, cities and other local units of government to spend the Biden-administration largess has begun. Once the floodgates are opened in a few weeks and the trillions of dollars in “Covid relief,” infrastructure “investment” and other sources of new federal bounty actually start flowing to jurisdictions across the country, America will see a government-spending spree the likes of which this nation has never experienced – not even in the midst of the Great Depression.  read more »

Hope and Fear: Can We Avoid a Racial Apocalypse?

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Jamil Ford still recalls the disorders of late May. ‘It was like Baghdad’, he recalls, even as jurors listen to the arguments during the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer accused of killing George Floyd. ‘I constantly think about it. The past history does not go away’, the African-American architect recalls, noting with trepidation possible National Guard deployments. ‘The mental part is still there.’  read more »

What Happened to Social Democracy?

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In a world that seems to be divided between neoliberal orthodoxy and identitarian dogmas, it is possible to miss the waning presence of traditional social democracy. Born of the radical Left in Marx’s own time, social democrats worked, sometimes with remarkable success, to improve the living standards of working people by accommodating the virtues of capitalism. Today, that kind of social democracy—learned at home from my immigrant grandparents and from the late Michael Harrington, one time head of the American Socialist Party—is all but dead.  read more »

Is It Western Europe's Turn for a Brain Drain?

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While much of the focus is on the Covid-19 pandemic, the geography of Europe’s knowledge intensive jobs is being reshaped. For the fifth year, the European Centre for Entrepreneurship and Policy Reform (ECEPR) has in collaboration with Nordic Capital, a leading Nordic private equity firm, mapped the locations of knowledge intensive jobs of Europe. The brain business jobs index examines jobs in four knowledge-intensive industries—the tech sector, information and communications technology (ICT), advanced services, and creative professions.  read more »

The National Academy of Wishful Thinking

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Democrats want to build more transit infrastructure in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The only problem is that transit emits as much or more greenhouse gases, per passenger mile, as the average car. In fact, transit is less climate friendly than driving in all but a handful of cities.  read more »

Trust the Science: The Blue State Surge is Real

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For months the conventional wisdom among Democrats, amplified by their obliging claque in the media, was that lockdowns played an essential role in containing COVID-19. The great heroes, in addition to Anthony Fauci, were hardline governors like Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, California’s Gavin Newsom and, most of all, New York’s Andrew Cuomo.  read more »

Understanding Major Metropolitan Domestic Migration

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It has been clear for years that net domestic migration to and from major metropolitan areas (over 1 million population) has been characterized by moving out of costly areas, like Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and New York to much less expensive areas, like Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta and Nashville. However, within these metropolitan areas, there are substantial variations.  read more »

The California Economy vs. Sacramento

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Over the past few years California’s plight has taken on mythic proportions — a cautionary tale of progressive woe among conservatives, but a beacon for a future enlightened capitalism among its woke supporters. The current battle over the potential recall of the preening governor, Gavin Newsom, likely will enhance these extreme interpretations on both sides, but likely will not be sufficient to make the changes needed to restore the state’s legendary promise.  read more »

Smart Cities and Finance

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I’ve been asked to contribute to a book about smart cities and finance. I looked over the long list of tentative chapter titles provided by the publisher and it’s clearly meant to be an optimistic pragmatic problem solver. There’s an expectation that everything that ails our cities and towns can be fixed with the right combination of technology and creative accounting.  read more »