Brownout

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

Jerry Brown’s long political career will likely end in January 2019, when the 80-year-old’s second stint as California governor concludes. In the media’s eyes—and in his own mind—Brown’s gubernatorial encore has been a rousing success. His backers say that he has brought the state back, economically and fiscally, from the depths of the Great Recession, […]

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Giving Common Sense a Chance in California

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

In California, where Governor Jerry Brown celebrates “the coercive power of the state” and advocates “brainwashing” for the unanointed, victories against Leviathan are rare. Yet last week brought just such a triumph, as a legislative committee rejected an attempt by San Francisco state senator Scott Wiener to take zoning power away from localities in areas within a half-mile of a bus […]

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If the Tech Oligarchs Can’t Beat the Bad Press, They’ll Just Buy it

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

What’s an oligarch to do? The putative tech masters of the universe now face unprecedented criticism from both left and right. The reasons extend from wanton privacy invasions of the people once described by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg as “dumb f***ks” to President Trump’s typically hyperbolic assaults on Amazon’s success at tax avoidance. The public so far still does not disdain the tech oligarchs as they […]

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Trump’s peasant rebellion and the political monoculture of Hollywood and Silicon Valley

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

A year into office, Donald Trump remains something of an unlikely figure: a self-promoting and well-heeled demagogue who leads a bedraggled coalition of piratical capitalists, southerners, and people from the has-been or never were towns of Middle America. His fiercest opponents largely come from the apex of our society: the tech oligarchy, a rabidly hostile […]

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The Screwed Millennial Generation Gets Smart

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

It’s been seven years since I wrote about “the screwed generation.” The story told has since become familiar: Millennials, then largely in their twenties, faced a future of limited economic opportunity, lower incomes, and too few permanent, high-paying jobs; of soaring college debt and structural insecurity (PDF). The Census Bureau estimates that, even when working full-time, they earn $2000 less […]

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Can a Trump Economy Trump Trump

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

President Trump’s critics find it hard to give him credit for anything, especially given his extraordinary boastfulness. Yet Trump’s economic policies seem to be working. New job numbers are robust, GDP and wages continue to rise, stocks are soaring, unemployment continues to decline, and overall growth is at its highest in 13 years. And this salutary picture is not exclusive to big business; […]

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Is there a niche for sensible politics in California & America?

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

Given the current state of American politics, and those of our state of California, our founding fathers might well consider not just turning over in their graves but boring deeper towards the earth’s core. Yet amidst the almost unceasing signs of discord and hyperbolic confrontation, there exists a more sensible approach which could help rescue […]

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In the New Year, Worry Free California has a Lot to Worry About 

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

Propped up by media idolatry, California is moving from denial to delusion. Case in point: A recent AP story claimed that the state “flush with cash from an expanding economy” would consider spending an additional billion dollars on health care for the undocumented, as well as a raft of new subsidies for housing and the working poor. All […]

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Eric Garcetti for president? Really?

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

Someone may be putting something in the Los Angeles water supply. In the past months, two unlikely L.A.-based presidential contenders — Mayor Eric Garcetti and Disney Chief Robert Iger — have been floated in the media, including in the New York Times. But before we start worrying about how an L.A.-based president might affect traffic […]

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Robert Iger For President?

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

Few global companies enjoy as much public good will as the Walt Disney Company. The entertainment giant regularly ranks highly on lists of the most admired or trusted companies, including ones from Forbes and Fortune. CEO Robert Iger, who reportedly is being encouraged to run for president in 2020, would be able to use the […]

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