The Revolt Against Urban Gentry

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

The imminent departure of New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and his replacement by leftist Bill DeBlasio, represents an urban uprising against the Bloombergian  “luxury city” and the growing income inequality it represents. Bloomberg epitomized an approach that sought to cater  to the rich—most prominently Wall Street—as a means to both finance development growth and collect […]

Read more

Silicon Valley is No Model for America

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

Its image further enhanced by the recent IPO of Twitter, Silicon Valley now stands in many minds as the cutting edge of the American future. Some, on both right and left, believe that the Valley’s geeks should reform the nation, and the government, in their image. Increasingly, the basic meme out of the Valley, and […]

Read more

Los Angeles: Will the City of the Future Make it There?

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

When I arrived in Los Angeles almost 40 years ago, there was a palpable sense that here, for better or worse, lay the future of America, and even the world. Los Angeles dominated so many areas — film, international trade, fashion, manufacturing, aerospace — that its ascendency seemed assured. Even in terms of the urban […]

Read more

Small Business and Self-Employed Hurt by Administration’s Policies

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

Obamacare’s first set of victims was predictable: the self-employed and owners of small businesses. Since the bungled launch of the health insurance enrollment system, hundreds of thousands of self-insured people have either had their policies revoked or may find themselves in that situation in the coming months. More than 10 million self-insured people, many of […]

Read more

The ‘Great State’ of San Francisco

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

The public stock offering by Twitter reflects not only the current bubble in social media stocks, but also the continuing shift in both economic and political power away from Southern California to the San Francisco Bay Area, home to less than one in five state residents. Not since the late 19th century, when San Francisco […]

Read more

L.A. Ports Face Challenge from Gulf Coast

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

In this strange era of self-congratulation in California, it may be seen as poor manners to point out tectonic shifts that could leave the state and, particularly, Southern California, more economically constrained and ever more dependent on asset bubbles, such as in real estate. One of the most important changes on the horizon is the […]

Read more

Fixing California: The Green Gentry’s Class Warfare

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

Historically, progressives were seen as partisans for the people, eager to help the working and middle classes achieve upward mobility even at expense of the ultrarich. But in California, and much of the country, progressivism has morphed into a political movement that, more often than not, effectively squelches the aspirations of the majority, in large […]

Read more

Cashing in on So Cal Culture

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

Southern California has always been an invented place. Without a major river, a natural port or even remotely adequate water, the region has always thrived on reinventing itself – from cow town to agricultural hub to oil city, Tinsel Town and the “Arsenal of Democracy.” Today, the need for the region to reinvent itself yet […]

Read more

California’s New Feudalism Benefits a Few at the Expense of the Multitude

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

California has been the source of much innovation, from agribusiness and oil to fashion and the digital world. Historically much richer than the rest of the country, it was also the birthplace, along with Levittown, of the mass-produced suburb, freeways, much of our modern entrepreneurial culture, and of course mass entertainment. For most of a […]

Read more

Thinking Outside the Rails on Transit

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

To many in the transit business – that is, people who seek to profit from the development and growth of buses, trains and streetcars – Southern California is often seen as a paradise lost, a former bastion of streetcar lines that crossed the region and sparked much of its early development. Today, billions are being […]

Read more