Entries by Joel Kotkin

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.

The Good Life, Just Beyond

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.

The New Shame of Our Cities

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.

The End of Aspiration

by Joel Kotkin — Since the end of the Second World War, middle- and working-class people across the Western world have sought out—and, more often than not, achieved—their aspiration. These usually included a stable income, a home, a family, and the prospect of a comfortable retirement.

California Needs a New Economic Model

by Joel Kotkin — California, epitomizes what economist Thomas Piketty has aptly called “the Brahmin left,” which trades in digits, images and financial transactions. This works well for the top earners, and their offspring, but most Californians are left out of the boom.