California as Alt-America

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

In 1949 the historian Carey McWilliams defined California as the “the Great Exception” — a place so different from the rest of America as to seem almost a separate country. In the ensuing half-century, the Golden State became not so much exceptional but predictive of the rest of the nation: California’s approaches to public education, […]

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How Silicon Valley’s Oligarchs Are Learning to Stop Worrying and Love Trump

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

The oligarchs’ ball at Trump Tower revealed one not-so-well-kept secret about the tech moguls: They are more like the new president than they are like you or me. In what devolved into something of a love fest, Trump embraced the tech elite for their “incredible innovation” and pledged to help them achieve their goals—one of which, of course, is […]

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California Jumps the Shark

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

America may have trended toward the GOP, but California seems determined to find its own direction. The only question is, simply, how much more progressive the Golden State will become, even in the face of a far more conservative country beyond the Sierras. This election confirmed, if it was needed, the death spiral of the […]

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Improbable Demographics Behind Donald Trump’s Shocking Presidential Victory

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

In an election so ugly and so close, one is reluctant to proclaim winners. But it’s clear that there’s a loser — the very notion of the United States of America. Instead we have populations and geographies that barely seem to belong in the same country, if not on the same planet. The electorate is […]

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Real Estate Doesn’t Make An Economy

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

From Southern California to Shanghai and London, inflated real estate prices have evolved into a simulacrum for broader prosperity. In an era of limited income gains, growing inequality, political dysfunction and fading productivity, the conjunction of low interest rates and essentially free money for the rich and well-placed has sparked the construction of often expensive, […]

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The New War Between the States

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

In this disgusting election, dominated by the personal and the petty, the importance of the nation’s economic geography has been widely ignored. Yet if you look at the Electoral College map, the correlation between politics and economics is quite stark, with one economy tilting decisively toward Trump and more generally to Republicans, the other toward […]

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Is there a future for the GOP?

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

Whether he loses or, more unlikely, wins, Donald Trump creates an existential crisis for the Republican Party. The New York poseur has effectively undermined the party orthodoxy on defense, trade and economics, policies which have been dominant for the last half century within the party but now are falling rapidly out of fashion among the […]

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California’s Boom Is Poised To Go Bust — And Liberals’ Dream Of Scandinavia On The Pacific

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

As its economy started to recover in 2010, progressives began to hail California as a kind of Scandinavia on the Pacific — a place where liberal programs also produce prosperity. The state’s recovery has won plaudits from such respected figures as The American Prospect’s Harold Meyerson and the New York Times’ Paul Krugman. Gov. Jerry Brown, in Bill Maher’s assessment, “took a […]

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How the Middle Class Lost the Election

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

Middle-class rage has dominated this election, but ultimately 2016 seems destined to produce not a populist victory but the triumph of oligarchy. Blame goes to a large section of the middle and working class itself, which, in rejecting political convention, ended up with a candidate who never would have served their interests. You can blame […]

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Geographies of Inequality

Joel Kotkin
Editor of NewGeography.com and Presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University

(Joel Kotkin’s new report, “Geographies of Inequality,” is the latest in a series of ahead-of-the-curve, groundbreaking pieces published through Third Way’sNEXT initiative. NEXT is made up of in-depth, commissioned academic research papers that look at trends that will shape policy over the coming decades. In particular, we are aiming to unpack some of the prevailing assumptions that […]

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