The Hollowing Out of the California Dream

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

Progressives praise California as the harbinger of the political future, the home of a new, enlightened, multicultural America. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill has identified California Senator Kamala Harris as the party leader on issues of immigration and race. Harris wants a moratorium on construction of new immigration-detention facilities in favor of the old “catch and release” policy for illegal aliens, […]

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Self-Styled Futurist Looks At California Governor’s Mansion

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

When he takes office this January, as seems inevitable, Gavin Newsom, a self-styled futurist, will inherit an economic legacy that could be turning sour. After a rapid expansion that seemed to make all things possible, Newsom may face challenges for which he may be poorly prepared. Some of the problem lies in a profound misunderstanding […]

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Watch Out! Here Come the ‘Woke’ Tech Oligarchs

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

Once the rich protected themselves by aligning with Republicans who would protect their property from high taxes and their firms from regulation. Some still do—notably the Koch brothers—but this breed of right-winger is gradually losing out to more progressive tilted plutocrats. In 2016, according to Open Secrets, three of the four largest billionaire political donors—hedge fund manager […]

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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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