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.
About Joel Kotkin
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Entries by Joel Kotkin
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.
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.
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.
by Joel Kotkin — Earlier in this decade, cities—the bigger and denser the better—appeared as the planet’s geographic stars. According to the 2013 book If Mayors Ruled the World, everyone would be better off if state rule were replaced by rule from the most evolved urban areas.
by Joel Kotkin — In our system of government, the public sector is, well, supposed to serve the public. But increasingly the bureaucracies at the state and local level increasingly seek to tell the public how to live, even if the result is to make life worse.
by Joel Kotkin — If there’s anything productive to come from his recent Twitter storm, President Trump’s recent crude attacks on Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings have succeeded in bring necessary attention to the increasingly tragic state of our cities.
If forced to compare an ice cream flavor with suburbia, many would pick vanilla. Yet, as Amanda Kolson Hurley writes in her new book, Radical Suburbs: Experimental Living on the Fringes of the American City, this is just one of many “misinformed clichés” about these peripheral communities.
by Joel Kotkin — Urban revival views are more aspirational, than reflective of reality. Overall, data suggests that, with few exceptions, we are seeing continued movement from our large cities to suburbs and less dense cities.
by Joel Kotkin — The fiasco surrounding Amazon’s recent escape from New York reflects a broader, potentially devastating trend. This new development is being driven by demographic shifts as cities become increasingly polarized with little room for a middle ground between the very rich and the very poor.
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