Purple Politics: Is California Moving to the Center?

Appearing in: Forbes.com You don’t have to be a genius, or a conservative, to recognize that California’s experiment with ultra-progressive politics has gone terribly wrong. Although much of the country has suffered during the recession, California’s decline has been particularly precipitous–and may have important political consequences. Outside Michigan, California now suffers the highest rate of […]

Play It Cool at the G-20, Mr. President

Appearing in: Forbes.com Barack Obama goes to this week’s Pittsburgh G-20 with what seems the weakest hand of any American president since Gerald Ford. In reality, he has a far stronger set of cards to play–he just needs to recognize it. Our adversaries may like our new president, but they don’t fear him. And, on […]

California’s Golden Age

Appearing in: Truthdig.com California may yet be a civilization that is too young to have produced its Thucydides or Edward Gibbon, but if it has, the leading candidate would be Kevin Starr. His eight-part “Dream” series on the evolution of the Golden State stands alone as the basic comprehensive work on California. Nothing else comes […]

Hard Times In The High Desert

Appearing in: Forbes.com The High Desert region north and east of Los Angeles sits 3,000 feet above sea level. A rough, often starkly beautiful region of scrubby trees, wide vistas and brooding brown mountains, the region seems like a perfect setting for an old Western shoot ’em up. Today, it’s the stage for a different […]

Smart Growth Must Not Ignore Drivers

Appearing in: Politico For the time being, battles over health care and energy seem likely to occupy the attention of both the Obama administration and its critics. Yet although now barely on the radar, there may be another, equally critical conflict developing over how Americans live and travel. Right now this potential flash point has […]

The Kid Issue

Appearing in: Forbes Japan’s recent election, which overthrew the decades-long hegemony of the Liberal Democratic Party, was remarkable in its own right. But perhaps its most intriguing aspect was not the dawning of a new era but the emergence of the country’s low birthrate as a major political concern. Many Japanese recognize that their birth […]

World Capitals Of The Future

Appearing in: Forbes For most of those which were great once are small today; And those that used to be small were great in my own time. Knowing, therefore, that human prosperity never abides long in the same place, I shall pay attention to both alike –Herodotus, Fifth Century B.C. If the great Greek chronicler […]

Rome Vs. Gotham

Appearing in: Forbes Urban politicians have widely embraced the current concentration of power in Washington, but they may soon regret the trend they now so actively champion. The great protean tradition of American urbanism–with scores of competing economic centers–is giving way to a new Romanism, in which all power and decisions devolve down to the […]

The New Radicals

Appearing in: Forbes America’s “kumbaya” moment has come and gone. The nation’s brief feel-good era initiated by Barack Obama’s stirring post-partisan rhetoric–and fortified by John McCain’s classy concession speech–has dissolved into sectarian bickering more appropriate to dysfunctional Iraq than the world’s greatest democratic republic. Yet little of the shouting concerns the fundamental economic issue facing […]

California Disease: Oregon at Risk of Economic Malady

Appearing in: The Oregonian California has been exporting people to Oregon for many years, even amid the recession in both states. Indeed, the 2005 American Community Survey report shows that California-to-Oregon migration was 56,379 in 2005, the sixth-largest interstate flow in the United States. The 2000 census showed a five-year flow of 138,836 people, the […]