The World’s Smartest Cities

Appearing in: Forbes.com In today’s parlance a “smart” city often refers to a place with a “green” sustainable agenda. Yet this narrow definition of intelligence ignores many other factors–notably upward mobility and economic progress–that have characterized successful cities in the past. The green-only litmus test dictates cities should emulate either places with less-than-dynamic economies, like […]

It’s A Mall World After All

Appearing in: Forbes.com If Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wants a taste of home during his visit to Washington this week, he might consider a trip to McLean, Va., home to the region’s largest indoor mall, Tysons Corner Center. After all, there are few groups more mall-crazy than India’s expanding affluent class. Back here in […]

Boomer Economy Stunting Growth in Northern California

Appearing in: Forbes.com The road north across the Golden Gate leads to some of the prettiest counties in North America. Yet behind the lovely rolling hills, wineries, ranches and picturesque once-rural towns lies a demographic time bomb that neither political party is ready to address. Paradise is having a problem with the evolving economy. A […]

Obama Can Still Save His Presidency

Appearing in: Forbes.com A good friend of mine, a Democratic mayor here in California, describes the Obama administration as “Moveon.org run by the Chicago machine.” This combination may have been good enough to beat John McCain in 2008, but it is proving a damned poor way to run a country or build a strong, effective […]

Blue State Exodus

Appearing in: Forbes.com For the past decade a large coterie of pundits, prognosticators and their media camp followers have insisted that growth in America would be concentrated in places hip and cool, largely the bluish regions of the country. Since the onset of the recession, which has hit many once-thriving Sun Belt hot spots, this […]

GOP Needs Economic Populism

Appearing in: Politico.com You would think, given the massive dissatisfaction with an economy that guarantees mega-bonuses for the rich and continued high unemployment, that the GOP would smell an opportunity. In my travels around the country — including in midstream places like suburban Kansas City and Kentucky — few, including Democrats, express any faith in […]

Let Freedom Ring: Democracy and Prosperity are Inextricably Linked

Appearing in: Forbes.com With autocratic states like China and Russia looking poised for economic recovery, it’s often hard to make the case for ideals such as democracy and rule of law. To some, like Martin Jacques, author of When China Rules, autocrats seem destined to rule the world economy. A columnist for the Guardian, Jacques […]

Ashland, Kentucky

Stimulate Yourself!

Appearing in: Forbes.com Beltway politicians and economists can argue themselves silly about the impact of the Obama administration’s stimulus program, but outside the beltway the discussion is largely over. On the local level–particularly outside the heavily politicized big cities–the consensus seems to be that the stimulus has changed little–if anything. Recently, I met with a […]

Our Euro President

Appearing in: Forbes.com Barack Obama’s seemingly inexplicable winning of the Nobel Peace Prize says less about him than about the current mentality of Europe’s leadership class. Lacking any strong, compelling voices of their own, the Europeans are now trying to hijack our president as their spokesman. There’s a catch, of course. In their mind, Obama […]

There’s No Place Like Home, Americans are Returning to Localism

Appearing in: Newsweek On almost any night of the week, Churchill’s Restaurant is hopping. The 10-year-old hot spot in Rockville Centre, Long Island, is packed with locals drinking beer and eating burgers, with some customers spilling over onto the street. “We have lots of regulars—people who are recognized when they come in,” says co-owner Kevin […]