The New Geography Of Success In The U.S. And The Trap Of The 'New Normal'

By Joel KotkinJuly 18 2012

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

This year’s presidential election is fast becoming an ode to diminished expectations. Neither candidate is advancing a reasonable refutation of the conventional wisdom that America is in the grips of a “new normal” — an era of low growth, persistently high unemployment and less upward mobility, particularly for the working class.

Are Millennials the Screwed Generation?

By Joel KotkinJuly 15 2012

Appearing in: 
Newsweek

Today’s youth, both here and abroad, have been screwed by their parents’ fiscal profligacy and economic mismanagement. Neil Howe, a leading generational theorist, cites the “greed, shortsightedness, and blind partisanship” of the boomers, of whom he is one, for having “brought the global economy to its knees.”

How Fossil-Fuel Democrats Became An Endangered Species

By Joel KotkinJuly 13 2012

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

In an election pivoting on jobs, energy could be the issue that comes back to haunt Barack Obama and the Democratic Party as the cultural and ideological schism between energy-producing Republican states and energy-dependent Democratic ones widens.

The Cities Where A Paycheck Stretches The Furthest

By Joel KotkinJuly 09 2012

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

When we think of places with high salaries, big metro areas like New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco are usually the first to spring to mind. Or cities with the biggest concentrations of educated workers, such as Boston.

U.S. Desperately Needs a Strategy to Attract the Right Skilled Immigrants

By Joel KotkinJune 26 2012

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

President Obama’s recent “do it myself” immigration reform plan, predictably dissed by conservatives and nativists, reveals just how clueless the nation’s leaders are about demographics. Monday’s Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s immigration crackdown also broke down along predictable lines, with both parties claiming ideological victories.

Yet the heated debates are missing the reality of immigration and its role in America’s future. In reality America needs more immigrants, but with a somewhat different mix.

Despite Obama’s Policies, The Rust Belt’s Revival Could Save His Campaign

By Joel KotkinJune 25 2012

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

Barack Obama’s political base always has been more “creative class” than working class—and his policies have favored that base, seeming to cater to energized issue and identity constituencies including African-Americans, Hispanics, gays, and greens, often at the expense of blue-collar workers.

Thunder On The Great Plains: A Written-Off Region Enjoys Revival

By Joel KotkinJune 20 2012

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

They may not win their first championship against Miami’s evil empire, but the Oklahoma City Thunder have helped to put a spotlight on what may well be the most surprising success story of 21st century America: the revival of the Great Plains. Once widely dismissed as the ultimate in flyover country, the Plains states have outperformed the national average for the past decade by virtually every key measure of vitality — from population, income and GDP growth to unemployment — and show no sign of slowing down.

Is Perestroika Coming In California?

By Joel KotkinJune 11 2012

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

When Jerry Brown was elected governor for a third time in 2010, there was widespread hope that he would repair the state’s crumbling and dysfunctional political edifice. But instead of becoming a Californian Mikhail Gorbachev, he has turned out to be something more resembling Konstantin Chernenko or Yuri Andropov, an aged hegemon desperately trying to save a dying system.

Facebook’s False Promise: STEM's Quieter Side Of Tech Offers More Upside For America

By Joel KotkinJune 06 2012

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

Facebook‘s botched IPO reflects not only the weakness of the stock market, but a systemic misunderstanding of where the true value of technology lies. A website that, due to superior funding and media hype, allows people to do what they were already doing — connecting on the Internet — does not inherently drive broad economic growth, even if it mints a few high-profile billionaires.

It Can Happen Here: The Screwed Generation in Europe and America

By Joel KotkinJune 04 2012

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

In Madrid you see them on the streets, jobless, aimless, often bearing college degrees but working as cabbies, baristas, street performers, or—more often—not at all. In Spain as in Greece, nearly half of the adults under 25 don’t work.

Call them the screwed generation, the victims of expansive welfare states and the massive structural debt charged by their parents. In virtually every developed country, and increasingly in developing ones, they include not only the usual victims, the undereducated and recent immigrants, but also the college-educated.

Declining Birthrates Key to Europe's Decline

By Joel KotkinMay 30 2012

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

The labor demonstrators, now an almost-daily occurrence in Madrid and other economically-devastated southern European cities, lambast austerity and budget cuts as the primary cause for their current national crisis. But longer-term, the biggest threat to the European Union has less to do with government policy than what is–or is not–happening in the bedroom.

Seattle Is Leading An American Manufacturing Revival - Top Manufacturing Growth Regions

By Joel KotkinMay 24 2012

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

In this still tepid recovery, the biggest feel-good story has been the resurgence of American manufacturing. As industrial production has fallen in Europe and growth has slowed in China, U.S. factories have continued an expansion that has stretched on for over 33 months. In April, manufacturing growth was the strongest in 10 months.

Facebook’s IPO Testifies to Silicon Valley’s Power but Does Little for Other Californians

By Joel KotkinMay 18 2012

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

The $104 billion Facebook IPO testifies to the still considerable innovative power of Silicon Valley, but the hoopla over the new wave of billionaires won’t change the basic reality of the state’s secular economic decline.

The Top U.S. Regions for Technology Jobs

By Joel KotkinMay 17 2012

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

With Facebook poised to go public, the attention of the tech world, and Wall Street, is firmly focused on Silicon Valley. Without question, the west side of San Francisco Bay is by far the most prodigious creator of hot companies and has the highest proportion of tech jobs of any region in the country — more than four times the national average.

Yet Silicon Valley is far from leading the way in expanding science and technology-related employment in the United States.

Small Cities Are Becoming a New Engine Of Economic Growth

By Joel KotkinMay 08 2012

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

The conventional wisdom is that the world’s largest cities are going to be the primary drivers of economic growth and innovation.

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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