Trumpism: America’s Berlusconi Moment

By Joel KotkinMarch 23 2016

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

Trump envisioned and created today’s city of white boxes for rootless new money types, who dominate the city even as they leave little mark here.

An old joke—that in heaven, the Italians do the cooking; in hell, they run the government—feels a lot darker now that American politics are taking an Italian turn.

Farewell, Grand Old Party

By Joel KotkinMarch 22 2016

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

The increased likelihood of Donald Trump as the GOP presidential nominee, as evidenced by his win in Florida and other states last week, spells the end of the Republican Party as we have known it. Successful political parties unite interests under a broadly shared policy agenda. The Clinton Democrats may seem ethically challenged, condescending and bordering on dictatorial, but they share basic positions on many core issues and a unifying belief in federal power as the favored instrument for change.

Mass Transit Expansion Goes Off The Rails In Many U.S. Cities

By Joel KotkinMarch 18 2016

Appearing in: 
Forbes

Journalists in older cities like New York, Boston or San Francisco may see the role of rail transit as critical to a functioning modern city. In reality, rail transit has been a financial and policy failure outside of a handful of cities.

What Happens When Walmart Dumps You

By Joel KotkinMarch 14 2016

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

The first knock on Walmart was that it gutted the mom-and-pop businesses of small-town America. So what happens to those towns when Walmart decides to leave?

What is the future of American retail? The keys might be found not only in the highly contested affluent urban areas but also in the countryside, which is often looked down upon and ignored in discussion of retail trends.

California Valued for Cash, Not Candidates

By Joel KotkinMarch 07 2016

Appearing in: 
The Orange County Register

California may be the country’s most important and influential state for technology, culture and lifestyle, but has become something of a cipher in terms of providing national political leaders. Not one California politician entered the 2016 presidential race in either party and, looking over the landscape, it’s difficult to see even a potential contender emerging over the coming decade.

The Effect Race Could Have on the Race

By Joel KotkinFebruary 29 2016

Appearing in: 
The Orange County Register

Until now, the presidential campaign largely has been dominated by issues of class, driving the improbable rise of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. But as we head toward Super Tuesday – which will focus largely on Southern states – racial issues may assume greater importance.

America's Senior Moment: The Most Rapidly Aging Cities

By Joel KotkinFebruary 22 2016

Appearing in: 
Forbes

In the coming decades, the United States is going to look a lot greyer. By 2050, the number of Americans over 65 will almost double to 81.7 million, with their share of the overall population rising to 21 percent from roughly 15 percent now, according to Census projections. More than 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day.

Virtually every part of America will become more senior-dominated, but some more than others.

We Now Join the U.S. Class War Already in Progress

By Joel KotkinFebruary 16 2016

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

Neither Trump nor Sanders started the nation’s current class war—the biggest fight over class since the New Deal—but both candidates, as different as they are, have benefited.

Class is back. Arguably, for the first time since the New Deal, class is the dominant political issue. Virtually every candidate has tried appealing to class concerns, particularly those in the stressed middle and lower income groups. But the clear beneficiaries have been Trump on the right and Sanders on the left.

The Religious Right is Being Left Behind

By Joel KotkinFebruary 16 2016

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

The religious right, once a major power in American politics, is entering an uncomfortable dotage. Although numerous and well-organized enough to push Ted Cruz over the top in Iowa, the social conservative base, two-thirds of them born-again Christians, was of little use in New Hampshire, one of the most secular states in the Union. In the Granite State, Cruz did best among evangelicals but still slightly trailed Donald Trump among this one-quarter of New Hampshire Republicans.

This Is Why You Can’t Afford a House

By Joel KotkinFebruary 09 2016

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

The rising cost of housing is one of the greatest burdens on the American middle class. So why hasn’t it become a key issue in the presidential primaries?

There’s little argument that inequality, and the depressed prospects for the middle class, will be a dominant issue this year’s election. Yet the most powerful force shaping this reality—the rising cost of housing—has barely emerged as political issue.

Millennials Heed the Siren Call of Socialism

By Joel KotkinFebruary 07 2016

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

The biggest story this election season is not Donald Trump or the fortunes of the two winners in Iowa, the unattractive tag team of Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton. For all their attempts to seem current and contemporary, these candidates – and Trump as well – represent older, more established elements in American life, such as evangelicals, nativists and, in Hillary’s case, the ranks of middle-age women, seniors and public-sector unions.

Serfs Up with California's New Feudalism

By Joel KotkinFebruary 03 2016

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

Is California the most conservative state?

Now that I have your attention, just how would California qualify as a beacon of conservatism? It depends how you define the term.

The Politics Of The Next Recession: How A Bust Could Impact The 2016 Elections

By Joel KotkinJanuary 29 2016

Appearing in: 
Forbes

n this hyper-political age, perceptions about virtually everything from the weather to the Academy Awards are shaped by ideology. No surprise then that views on the economy and its trajectory also divide to a certain extent along partisan lines.

In Southern California, It Takes an Assortment of Villages

By Joel KotkinJanuary 22 2016

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

Among urban historians, Southern California has often had a poor reputation, perennially seen as “anti-cities” or “19 suburbs in search of a metropolis.” The great urban thinker Jane Jacobs wrote off our region as “a vast blind-eyed reservation.”

The Pavlovian response from many local planners, developers and politicians is to respond to this criticism by trying to repeal our own geography. Los Angeles’ leaders, for example, see themselves as creating the new sunbelt role model, built around huge investments Downtown and in an expensive, albeit underused, subway and light-rail network.

Around The World, The Tide Is Turning Against Megacities

By Joel KotkinJanuary 20 2016

Appearing in: 
Forbes

The massive construction waste collapse last month in Shenzhen reflects a wider phenomenon: the waning of the megacity era. Shenzhen became a megacity (population over 10 million) faster than any other in history, epitomizing the massive movement of Chinese to cities over the past four decades. Now it appears more like a testament to extravagant delusion.

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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