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Oligarchy and Pestilence

by Joel Kotkin — It’s January 21, 2021 and President Biden’s first full day in the White House. Surrounded by cheering key Democratic Party constituencies and financial backers, the new president proclaims a “climate emergency” – placing essentially the entire economy under Washington’s control.

The Coronavirus is Changing the Future of Home, Work, and Life

The COVID-19 pandemic will be shaping how we live, work and learn about the world long after the last lockdown ends and toilet paper hoarding is done, accelerating shifts that were already underway including the dispersion of population out of the nation’s densest urban areas and the long-standing trend away from mass transit and office concentration towards flatter and often home-based employment.

The Coming Age of Dispersion

by Joel Kotkin — As of this writing, the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic remain uncertain. One possible consequence is the end of the megacity era. In its place, we may now witness a new, and necessary, dispersion of population…

The Two Middle Classes

by Joel Kotkin — Politicians across the Western world like to speak fondly of the “middle class” as if it is one large constituency with common interests and aspirations. But, as Karl Marx observed, the middle class has always been divided by sources of wealth and worldview. Today, it is split into two distinct, and often opposing, middle classes.

Demographic Undestiny

by Joel Kotkin — Demography becomes destiny, the old adage goes. But many of the most confidently promoted demographic predictions have turned out grossly exaggerated or even dead wrong. In many cases they tend to reflect more the aspirations of pundits and reporters than the actual on-the-ground realities.

The Growth Dilemma

by Joel Kotkin — Until just a few years ago, the need for economic growth to sustain societies was almost universally acknowledged. This was not just gospel on the free-market Right. Whatever its failings, twentieth century socialism was growth-oriented and espoused the notion, however poorly realized, that greater material progress was critical to expanding working-class wealth.

California Preening: Golden State on Path to High-Tech Feudalism

by Joel Kotkin — “We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta….” declared then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007. In truth, the Golden State is becoming a semi-feudal kingdom, with the nation’s widest gap between middle and upper incomes—72 percent, compared with the U.S. average of 57 percent—and its highest poverty rate.