The Green Movement’s People Problem

Appearing in: The once unstoppable green machine lost its mojo at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. After all its laboring and cajoling, the movement at the end resembled not a powerful juggernaut but a forlorn lover wondering why his date never showed up. One problem is that the people of earth and their […]

Nurturing Employment Recovery

Appearing in: President Obama’s quick exit from Oslo and late arrival in Copenhagen suggest he’s finally ready to shift focus from Nordic adulation and fighting climate change and diplomacy to fixing the American economy. About time. As former Clinton adviser Bill Galston observed recently, the president needs “to pivot and make 2010 the year […]

Is Obama Separating from His Scandinavian Muse?

Appearing in: Barack Obama may be our first African-American president, but he’s first got to stop finding his muse in Scandinavia. With his speech for the Nobel, perhaps he’s showing some sign of losing his northern obsession. On the campaign trail, Obama showed a poet’s sensitivity about both America’s exceptionalism and our desire to […]

Capping Emissions, Trading On The Future

Whatever the results of the Copenhagen conference on climate change, one thing is for sure: Draconian reductions on carbon emissions will be tacitly accepted by the most developed economies and sloughed off by many developing ones. In essence, emerging economies get to cut their “carbon” intensity–a natural product of their economic evolution–while we get to […]

The World’s Smartest Cities

Appearing in: 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: 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: 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: A good friend of mine, a Democratic mayor here in California, describes the Obama administration as “ 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: 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: 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 […]