Candidate of Big Tech

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

In the free-form, roller derby race for the Democratic presidential nomination, few candidates are better positioned than California’s Senator Kamala Harris. She is a fresh and attractive mid-fifties face, compared with septuagenarian frontrunners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, or the aging progressive Elizabeth Warren. Part Asian-Indian, part Afro-Caribbean, and female, Harris seems the frontrunner in […]

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The Opium Of California

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

The current frenzy of new IPOs — Uber, Lyft, Slack, Postmates, Pinterest and Airbnb — seems destined to reinforce progressive notions that California represents the future not just for the state, but the nation. It will certainly reinforce California’s fiscal dependency on tech-dominated elites — half of the state’s income taxes come from people making […]

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California’s Self-Created Future Energy Crisis

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

In much of the country a powerful energy boom is providing a serious stimulus to economic growth. But in California, where fossil fuels are considered about as toxic as tobacco, we are lurching toward an anticipated energy shortage that will further exacerbate the state’s already deep geographic and class divisions. California, in a typical feat […]

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The Soul of the New Machine

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

Thirty-five years ago Tracy Kidder electrified readers with his “Soul of a New Machine,” which detailed the development of a minicomputer. Today we may be seeing the emergence of another machine, a political variety that could turn the country toward a permanent one-party state. This evolution has its roots in California, where a combination of […]

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The Suburbs and the GOP

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

In this year’s elections, particularly in California, the suburbs spoke, and essentially destroyed Donald Trump and the Republican Party. In affluent suburban districts once controlled by the GOP – outside Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Orange County — long held GOP seats have flipped and may prove unlikely go back to the […]

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California Needs A New Economic Model

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

Already anointed by The New Yorker as the “head of the resistance,” Gavin Newsom could well think he’s also king of California politics. He can both sell himself as the model of progressive virtue and also lord of the world’s fifth-largest economy, home to three of the world’s most powerful and influential companies. California, along […]

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To Make the Internet Great Again, Trump Must Smash Facebook and Its Tech Oligarch Friends

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

Even as many Americans look with horror on the authoritarian blusterer in the White House, we are slowly succumbing to a more pernicious, less obvious and far more lasting tech oligarchy gaining ever more control over our economy, culture and politics. “We are certainly looking at” bringing antitrust cases against Amazon, Facebook and Google,” Trump […]

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Signs of GOP Hope in California?

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

Ronald Reagan is not coming back, but California may be avoiding a trip to the insane asylum. Yes, the GOP’s lackluster gubernatorial candidate, John Cox, lost by almost 20 points, and the only issue in the legislature is whether the Democrats regain their supermajority in both houses. But it could have been much worse. The […]

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How About A Fusion Party In The Golden State?

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

Once upon a time, the California Republican Party was a fearsome political instrument, forging the ground for two presidents. But today the California GOP is fighting rearguard actions to save its last remaining seats in once solidly Republican strongholds as Orange, San Diego and even in inland California, potentially costing them upward of seven House […]

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The American Republic Has Lost Adult Supervision

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

The ship known as the American Republic sails on, but its crew is made up of irresponsible and vicious children cast from “Lord of the Flies.” Prisoners of their own emotions, they increasingly seem impervious to the notion that their gyrations might topple their own vessel. To be sure, exhibit one of infantilism in politics […]

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