Is California a Shining Example or Third-World State?

Recent weeks have seen a debate of sorts about the image and reality of contemporary California. Is it, as Gov. Gavin Newsom contends, a nation-state proving that economic prosperity, multiculturism and social progress can advance together?

“California is what America is going to look like,” he told a television interviewer. “California is America’s coming attraction.”

Or is it, as Hoover Institute historian Victor Davis Hanson indirectly responded in a Fox News interview, “America’s first third-world state” with widening income and wealth disparities, rampant homelessness, poor schools, and rising disease levels despite high taxes? Read more

Texas Seems Better Placed to Adapt Than California

….In the coming decade California and Texas face three main challenges. First, they must remain desirable places to do business, ensuring the creation of well-paid jobs and prosperity for their citizens. On this front Texas is better placed than California, but it cannot take for granted that it will maintain its edge over other states that levy no income tax and offer even lower costs. Second, they must educate their children better. As the number of poor, English-language learners grows in both states, this task takes on even greater significance.

Third, they must be mindful of the gap between the haves and the have-nots and deal with the inequality of income and opportunity that exist in both states. Although it has become more expensive to live in Texas in the past decade, it is still much more affordable than California.

The Golden State’s economy used to be a rising tide lifting all sorts of boats, says Joel Kotkin of Chapman University. “Now it’s a rising tide lifting a few yachts.”

Both states will also have to confront the gap in services and opportunity between their declining rural and growing urban communities.

This article appeared in the Special report section of the print edition under the headline “State of the nation

New York’s Notorious Landlords Are Finally Losing Some of Their Power

Appearing in:
Vice

Even amid a years-long national housing crisis, New York City’s rental market has seemed especially cruel.

The average rent increased by 24 percent between 2009 and 2016, the number of new homes grew far slower than the number of people flocking to NYC, and the typical family earning between $10,000 and $20,000 paid upwards of 74 percent of their income on rent, according to a report issued last fall by the city comptroller.

“There’s nothing at all sustainable about the way New York is evolving,” said Joel Kotkin, a housing researcher and fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in California.

Read the rest of the article at Vice

Where Saving for a House Can Take 95 Years

Appearing in:
OZY

“If we want to maintain homeownership, we’ll have to do what we did after World War II: Build communities that are relatively affordable,” Kotkin says.

Saving for a down payment on one’s first home is a rite of passage in the United States, one that helps many realize what was and is seen as a part of the American dream. Millennials who witnessed their parents’ misfortune during the global recession of 2008 — many of whom suffered housing devaluations, or worse — are now contemplating the housing ladder themselves. But saving for a 20 percent down payment, the industry standard today, could take them much longer than it took earlier generations. It takes 14 years to save for a down payment in the U.S. — 27 years in major U.S. cities and a whopping 95 years in one part of Colorado. Read more

Joel on KPCC’s AirTalk Discussing Solutions to Southern Cal’s Homeless Crisis

Urban planning experts join in the conversation to talk about the nature of L.A.’s housing and homeless crisis, the controversy around now-tabled SB-50 and the concept of preserving “local character.

By: KPCC
On: AirTalk® Hosted by Larry Mantle

Click the Play button to listen.


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Urban expert: Charlotte has ‘advantages’ in battle for talent, growth

Joel Kotkin studies and writes about America’s cities, their challenges and their advantages. And, when it comes to sorting out which places grow and which ones don’t, Kotkin sees the issue in straightforward terms.

“The question, really, is where people want to live and where do they want to move,” Kotkin told me during a recent interview at UNC Charlotte’s Center City Campus, where he spoke as part of a housing policy summit. “And Charlotte has a lot of advantages for that.” Read more

Joel Kotkin on Homelessness in Los Angeles on KABC 790

By: KABC 790
On: Morning Drive

Joel Kotkin interviewed about homelessness in Los Angeles. California’s homeless issue isn’t responding to various costly programs; Joel Kotkin discusses why not.

Click the Play button to listen.

Joel Kotkin Discusses Media Bias on KMOX AM1120

By: KMOX AM1120
On: Mark Reardon Show

Joel Kotkin talks with Mark Reardon on AM1120 (KMOX), discussing the “mainstream” media, the current state of media bias, and whether this is the twilight of major American media.

Click to play the audio segment (mp3)

Read the related article

Joel Kotkin Discusses Democratic Socialism on WCLO AM1230

By: WCLO AM1230
On: Your Talk Show – with host Tim Bremel

Joel Kotkin talks with Tim Bremel on AM1230 (WCLO), discussing the definition of democratic socialism and its relationship to the history of socialism.

Click to play the audio segment (mp3)

China’s Troubled Urban Future

Joel Kotkin joins Seth Barron to discuss China’s urbanization, class tensions in Chinese cities, and the country’s increasingly sophisticated population surveillance.

Rapid migration from China’s countryside to its cities began in 1980. Many of the rural migrants arrived without hukou, or residential permits, making it harder to secure access to education, health care, and other services. The result: the creation of a massive urban underclass in many Chinese cities. Rising tensions in urban areas has led Chinese officials to look to technology for alternative methods of social control, ranging from facial-recognition systems to artificial intelligence.

Visit City Journal for full article.