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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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City Leaders Are in Love With Density but Most City Dwellers Disagree

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

People care deeply about where they live. If you ever doubt that, remember this: they staged massive protests over a park in Istanbul. Gezi Park near Taksim Square is one of that ancient city’s most beloved spots. So in June, when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to demolish the park to make room for his grandiose […]

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Americans’ Family Feud

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

In this bizarrely politicized environment, even the preservation of the most basic institution of society – the family – is morphing into a divisive partisan issue. Increasingly, the two parties are divided not only along lines of economic and social philosophy, but over the primacy of traditional familialism. Increasingly, large portions of the progressive community […]

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Southern California’s Road Back

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

If the prospects for the United States remain relatively bright – despite two failed administrations – how about Southern California? Once a region that epitomized our country’s promise, the area still maintains enormous competitive advantages, if it ever gathers the wits to take advantage of them. We are going to have to play catch-up. I […]

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California Homes Require Real Reach

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

In the 1950s and 1960s, Southern California was ground zero for the “American Dream” of owning a house. From tony Newport Beach and Bel-Air to the more middle-class suburbs of the San Fernando Valley and Garden Grove to working-class Lakewood, our region created a vast geography of opportunity for prospective homeowners. Today, with house prices […]

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