Working class protestors in Paris, France

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.
San Jose housing not affordable

Make America’s Housing Affordable Again

by Randal O'Toole — Fifty years ago, housing was affordable everywhere in the country. The 1970 census found that the statewide ratio of median home prices to median family incomes was greater than 3.0 only in Hawaii (where it was 3.04). Price-to-income ratios were under 2.5 in every other state, and under 2.2 in California, New York, and other states that today are considered unaffordable.

Red v. Blue

by Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox — The political and cultural war between red and blue America may not be settled in our lifetimes, but it’s clear which side is gaining ground in economic and demographic terms. In everything from new jobs—including new technology employment—fertility rates, population growth, and migration, it’s the red states that increasingly hold the advantage.
Coins, currency

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.
leaving california sign along highway

Charles Schwab Moving San Francisco HQ to Texas

by Joseph Vranich — The brokerage firm Charles Schwab announced today it would acquire TD Ameritrade in a $26 billion deal and will move its headquarters from San Francisco to the Dallas-Forth Worth area.

Midwest Success Stories

by Aaron M. Renn — My latest report has just been released by the Manhattan Institute. It’s called, “Midwest Success Stories: These 10 Cities Are Blooming, Not Rusting.” It’s a look at 10 cities in nine states in the greater Midwest that are doing well economically and demographically.

Cities, Suburbs, and the New America

by SMU Video — SMU-Cox Folsom Institute for Real Estate, the SMU Economics Center, and the Center for Opportunity Urbanism presented a lively discussion on Cities, Suburbs, and the New America, and Minorities, Immigrants, and Millennials in America’s Favorite Geography.
San Joaquin county aerial photoWendell Cox

The Expanding and Dispersing San Francisco Bay Area

by Wendell Cox — This decade has witnessed an unprecedented expansion of the Greater San Francisco Bay Area (the San Jose-San Francisco combined statistical area or CSA), with the addition of three Central Valley metropolitan areas, Stockton, Modesto and Merced. Over the same period, there has been both a drop in the population growth rate and a shift of growth to the Central Valley exurban metropolitan areas.

California’s Man-Made Power Outages

by Ronald Stein — The public has strongly supported Obama-era regulations, which rewrote forest rules and guidelines nationwide. In California, man-made power outages are one result.