In this new report, Beyond Feudalism: A Strategy to Restore California’s Middle Class, Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky examine how California has drifted toward feudalism, and how it can restore upward mobility for middle and working-class citizens. An excerpt from the report follows below:
“We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta. California has the ideas of Athens and the power of Sparta. Not only can we lead California into the future, we can show the nation and the world how to get there.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger, January 2007
California Preening: A State Of Delusion
California has always been a state where excess flourished, conscious of its trend-setting role as a world-leading innovator in technology, economics and the arts. For much of the past century, it also helped create a new model for middle and working-class upward mobility while addressing racial, gender and environmental issues well in advance of the rest of the country. Read more
For all the persistent rhetoric from California’s leaders about this state being on the cutting edge of social and racial justice, the reality on the ground is far grimmer.
Our new report on the state of California’s middle class shows a lurch toward a society in which power and money are increasingly concentrated and where upward mobility is constrained, amid shocking levels of poverty. Most of this data doesn’t even account for the recent effect of the coronavirus outbreak, which has pushed the state’s unemployment rate to 15.5%, higher than the nationwide rate of 14.7%. Read more
On the first episode of the Feudal Future podcast, Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky break down what it means to live in a feudal society, why we’re headed towards one, and what we can do to start reversing the trends.
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- Joel Kotkin Q&A on ‘The Coming of Neo-Feudalism’July 26, 2020 - 5:50 pm
- Is the Big Cities Boom Over? Joel Kotkin and Richard Florida Debate on Munk DebatesJuly 22, 2020 - 10:50 am