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How the Left and Right Can Learn to Love Localism: The Constitutional Cure for Polarization

By Joel KotkinDecember 06 2016

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

The ever worsening polarization of American politics—demonstrated and accentuated by the Trump victory—is now an undeniable fact of our daily life. Yet rather than allowing the guilty national parties to continue indulging political brinkmanship, we should embrace a  strong, constitutional solution to accommodating our growing divide: a return to local control.

The Corbynization of the Democratic Party

By Joel KotkinNovember 29 2016

Appearing in: 
The Orange County Register

The Democratic Party’s current festival of re-examination is both necessary and justified. They have just lost to the most unpopular presidential candidate in recent memory. Lockstep media support and a much larger war chest were not enough to save them from losing not only the presidency, but also in state races across the country.

It Wasn't Rural 'Hicks' Who Elected Trump: The Suburbs Were -- And Will Remain -- The Real Battleground

By Joel Kotkin and...November 29 2016

Appearing in: 
Forbes

Much of the New York and Washington press corps has concluded that Donald Trump’s surprising journey to the Oval Office was powered by country bumpkins expressing their inner racist misogyny. However, the real foundations for his victory lie not in the countryside and small towns, but in key suburban counties.

Can Working Class, Elite Form Alliance?

By Joel KotkinNovember 07 2016

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

Can the party of oligarchy also be the party of the people? Besides fending off the never-ending taint of corruption, which could weaken the extent of her “mandate,” this may prove the central challenge of a Hillary Clinton regime.

Trump Will Go Away, but the Anger He’s Stirred Up Is Just Getting Started

By Joel KotkinOctober 24 2016

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

For progressives, the gloating is about to begin. The Washington Monthly proclaims that we are on the cusp of a “second progressive era,” where the technocratic “new class” overcomes a Republican Party reduced to “know-nothing madness.”

To be sure, Trump himself proved a mean-spirited and ultimately ineffective political vessel. But the forces that he aroused will outlive him and could get stronger in the future. In this respect Trump may reprise the role played another intemperate figure, the late Senator Barry Goldwater.

Today’s Orange County: Not Right Wing—and Kinda Hip

By Joel KotkinOctober 18 2016

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

What comes to mind when you think about Orange County? Probably, images of lascivious housewives and blonde surfers. And certainly, at least if you know your political history, crazed right-wing activists, riding around with anti-UN slogans on their bumpers in this county that served as a crucial birthplace of modern movement conservatism in the 1950s.

Two Cheers for NIMBYism

By Joel KotkinOctober 17 2016

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

Politicians, housing advocates, planners and developers often blame the NIMBY — “not in my backyard” — lobby for the state’s housing crisis. And it’s true that some locals overreact with unrealistic growth limits that cut off any new housing supply and have blocked reasonable ways to boost supply.

But the biggest impediment to solving our housing crisis lies not principally with neighbors protecting their local neighborhoods, but rather with central governments determined to limit, and make ever more expensive, single-family housing. Economist Issi Romem notes that, based on the past, “failing to expand cities [to allow sprawl] will come at a cost” to the housing market.

California’s Road to Leviathan

By Joel KotkinOctober 07 2016

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

At a time when technology and public opinion should be expanding the boundaries of innovation and self-expression, we appear to be entering a new era of ever greater economic and political centralization, Wendell Cox and I suggest in a new paper.

Is there a future for the GOP?

By Joel KotkinSeptember 28 2016

Appearing in: 
The Orange County Register

Cities, noted René Descartes, should provide “an inventory of the possible,” a transformative experience—and a better life—for those who migrate to them. This was certainly true of seventeenth-century Amsterdam, about which the French philosopher was speaking. And it’s increasingly true of Texas’s fast-growing metropolises—Houston, Dallas–Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio. In the last decade, these booming cities have created jobs and attracted new residents—especially young families and immigrants—at rates unmatched by coastal metropolitan areas.

Are Baby Boomers Turning Out to be the Worst Generation?

By Joel KotkinSeptember 04 2016

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

I have seen the best minds of my generation, to steal a phrase from the late Allen Ginsberg, driven to heights of self-absorption, advocating policies that assure the failure of the next. Nothing so suggests the failure of my generation — the boomers — than its two representatives running for president.

What Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump reflect are two sides of the same nasty boomer coin.

Jerry Brown’s Housing Hypocrisy

By Joel KotkinSeptember 01 2016

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

Jerry Brown worrying about the California housing crisis is akin to the French policeman played by Claude Rains in “Casablanca” being “shocked, shocked” about gambling at the bar where he himself collects his winnings.

Brown has long been at the forefront on drafting and enforcing regulations that make building housing both difficult and very expensive. And now he has pushed new legislation, which seems certain to be passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor, that makes it worse by imposing even more stringent regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, mandating a 40 percent cut from 1990 levels by 2030.

Trump's Racial Firebombs Weaken U.S.

By Joel KotkinJuly 04 2016

Appearing in: 
Real Clear Politics

The issue of race has scarred the entirety of U.S. history. Although sometimes overshadowed by the arguably more deep-seated issue of class, the racial divide is a festering wound that decent Americans, including politicians, genuinely want to heal.

Brexit Will Be Britain’s Fourth of July

By Joel KotkinJune 24 2016

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

The campaign to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union, widely known as “Brexit,” is potentially on the verge of a huge victory Thursday despite overwhelming opposition in the media and among the corporate and political establishment. The outcome matters not just as an expression of arcane British insularity, but as evidence of a growing rebellion against the ever greater consolidation and concentration of power now occurring across all of Europe, as well as here in the United States.

California's State Religion

By Joel KotkinJune 20 2016

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

In a state ruled by a former Jesuit, perhaps we should not be shocked to find ourselves in the grip of an incipient state religion. Of course, this religion is not actually Christianity, or even anything close to the dogma of Catholicism, but something that increasingly resembles the former Soviet Union, or present-day Iran and Saudi Arabia, than the supposed world center of free, untrammeled expression.

A Berning Rift Growing Among Democrats

By Joel KotkinJune 09 2016

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

The mainstream media are having a field day, and rightfully so, chronicling the meltdown of the once-formidable Republican Party. Less focus has been placed on what may be equally, or greater, divisions emerging among Democrats, both in California and around the country.

Joel on Reason.tv

Watch the full sized video at Reason.com.


Watch Joel in this feature on the role of central planning in Los Angeles. View large version.

Interview on Smartplanet.com

"Greenurbia is the suburbs of the future. The suburbs of the 1950s were bedroom communities for people who commuted into the city. Today, there’s much more employment in the suburbs, and the big change is the number of people working full-time or part-time at home. Having people commute from one computer screen to another doesn’t make sense."

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Praise for The Next Hundred Million

Kotkin has a striking ability to envision how global forces will shape daily family life, and his conclusions can be thought-provoking as well as counterintuitive. It's amazing there isn't more public discussion about the enormous changes ahead, and reassuring to have this talented thinker on the case. — Jennifer Ludden, NPR national desk correspondent

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