Why the 2020 Election Will be Decided in Suburbia

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

American politics is increasingly about dueling geographies. Democrats have become the party of the nation’s cities, while the Republican Party finds its base in rural, small town and low-density exurban America, places of less extreme class divisions than the big cities, but also with less diversity and a smaller share of the population. Yet the […]

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Blackouts And Fires: California’s Summer Attractions

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

In the soft warmth of spring the swallows famously return to Capistrano, but in recent years they are followed by what seems inevitable summer power outages and fires. This is not as pleasant an experience for Californians as the return of our favored feathered companions. Every summer, usually around this time of year, we get […]

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Green Policies Won’t Keep California Truckin’

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

No state advertises its green credentials more than California. That these policies often hurt the economy, driving up housing costs and narrowing opportunities for working-class people while not even doing much for the environment, has not discouraged the state’s environmental overlords. Consider the state’s insistence on electrifying transportation. Even as California reduces its reliable sources […]

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California’s Woke Hypocrisy

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

No state wears its multicultural veneer more ostentatiously than California. The Golden State’s leaders believe that they lead a progressive paradise, ushering in what theorists Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca call “a new progressive era.” Others see California as deserving of nationhood; it reflects, as a New York Times columnist put it, “the shared values […]

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Urban Blues

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

On the surface, progressive “Blue America” has never appeared stronger. President Donald Trump’s leadership failures exposed by the pandemic and the recent disorders, is sinking him in the polls. His rival, Joe Biden, seems likely to concede his traditionally moderate stances to placate the Democrats’ youthful activist and identitarian wings. Radical “transformation” of the United […]

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How the Virus Is Pushing America Toward a Better Future

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

Pessimism is the mood of the day, with 80 percent of Americans saying the country is generally out of control. Even before civil unrest and pestilence, most Americans believed our country was in decline, Pew reported, with a shrinking middle class, increased indebtedness and growing polarization. It’s a dark hour, but the United States has […]

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Neo-Feudalism in California

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

From the beginning, California promised much. While yet barely a name on the map, it entered American awareness as a symbol of renewal. It was a final frontier: of geography and of expectation. —Kevin Starr, Americans and the California Dream: 1850–1915 In the eyes of both those who live here and those who come to observe, […]

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From tragedy to opportunity: We could live better when today’s mayhem ends

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

For most people in this locked-down, riot-scarred world, the future beckons unpleasantly. There is a growing sense that, economically, the 2020s may look more like the 1930s than some halcyon post-industrial future. “Dark days ahead,” suggests The Week. “This is what the end of the end of history looks like.” Yet, beyond the depressing statistics, […]

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Triumph of the Woke Oligarchs

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

Like the rest of the country, although far less than New York, California is suffering through the Covid-19 crisis. But in California, the pandemic seems likely to give the state’s political and corporate elites a new license to increase their dominion while continuing to keep the middle and working classes down. Perhaps nothing spells the […]

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Viral Politics

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

Long after the pandemic has receded, its long-term impact on our society and political life will continue. Just as plagues past have reshaped the trajectory of cities and civilizations, sometimes with fearsome morbidity, COVID-19 is already having a profoundly disruptive impact on our political future. Rather than uniting humanity against a common foe, the pandemic […]

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