The Truce That Could Save American Cities

By Joel KotkinJuly 17 2013

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

Some states, such as New York and California, are loudly proclaiming that they have returned from the fiscal abyss. Maybe for now, but the future doesn’t look so good when long-term debt and pension obligations are factored in. Taken together, our 50 states owe $1 trillion in unfunded pension obligations.

Suburbia's Sacred Spaces

By Joel KotkinJuly 08 2013

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

From the earliest times, cities have revolved around three basic concepts – security, the marketplace and what I call "the sacred space." In contemporary America, everyone wants safe streets and a thriving economy, but what about the ethereal side, the places that makes us take note of a place and feel, in some way, a connection with its history?

Beware the Herbivore Effect

By Joel KotkinJuly 01 2013

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

In the 1980s, American commentators and best-selling authors repeatedly sought to convince companies and workers to be more "Japanese." After all, for two generations, the men of Japan, supported by their wives, constituted a fearsome force – first, in the run up to the Second World War, then during the economic "miracle" that drove that small island nation toward the pinnacle of global economic power.

The Culture War That Social Conservatives Could Win

By Joel KotkinJune 25 2013

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

For the better part of a half century, social conservatives have been waging a desperate war to defend “family values.” However well-intentioned, this effort has to be written off as something of a failure. To continue it would cause even more damage to many of the things that social conservatives say they care most about.

America's Fastest-Growing Cities Since The Recession

By Joel KotkinJune 18 2013

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

It was widely reported that the Great Recession and subsequent economic malaise changed the geography of America. Suburbs, particularly in the Sun Belt, were becoming the “new slums” as people flocked back to dense core cities.

As the North Rests on Its Laurels, the South Is Rising Fast

By Joel KotkinJune 17 2013

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

One hundred and fifty years after twin defeats at Gettysburg and Vicksburg destroyed the South’s quest for independence, the region is again on the rise. People and jobs are flowing there, and Northerners are perplexed by the resurgence of America’s home of the ignorant, the obese, the prejudiced and exploited, the religious and the undereducated.

Housing Boom Is The Best Chance For A Recovery For The Rest Of Us

By Joel KotkinJune 10 2013

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

Our tepid economic recovery has been profoundly undemocratic in nature. Between the “too big to fail” banks and Ben Bernanke’s policy of dropping free money from helicopters on the investor class, there have been two recoveries, one for the rich, and another less rewarding one for the middle class.

Viewed in this light, the recent run-up in home prices, the biggest in seven years, offers some relief from this dreary picture. Home equity accounts for almost two-thirds of a “typical” family’s wealth (those in the middle fifth of U.S. wealth distribution); there is no other investment by which middle-class families can so easily grow their nest eggs.

Retrofitting the Dream: Housing in the 21st Century, A New Report

By Joel KotkinJune 03 2013

This is the introduction to "Retrofitting the Dream: Housing in the 21st Century," a new report by Joel Kotkin. To read the entire report, download the .pdf attachment.

The Cities That Are Stealing Finance Jobs From Wall Street

By Joel Kotkin and...May 31 2013

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

Over the past 60 years, financial services’ share of the economy has exploded from 2.5% to 8.5% of GDP. Even if you believe, as we do, that financialization is not a healthy trend, the sector boasts a high number of relatively well-paid jobs that most cities would welcome.

Yet our list of the fastest-growing finance economies is a surprising one that includes many “second-tier” cities that most would not associate with banking.

Southern California Economy Not Keeping Up

By Joel KotkinMay 28 2013

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

One of Orange County's top executives asked me over lunch recently why Southern California has not seen anything like the kind of tech boom now sweeping large parts of the San Francisco Bay Area. In many ways, it is just one indication of how this region – once seen as the cutting edge of American urbanism – has lost ground not only to its historic northern rival, but also to some venerable East Coast cities, as well as the boom towns of Texas and the recovering metropolitan areas of the Southeast.

Poverty and Growth: Retro-Urbanists Cling to the Myth of Suburban Decline

By Joel Kotkin and...May 21 2013

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

In the wake of the post-2008 housing bust, suburbia has become associated with many of the same ills long associated with cities, as our urban-based press corps and cultural elite cheerfully sneer at each new sign of decline.

America's New Manufacturing Boomtowns

By Joel KotkinMay 15 2013

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

Conventional wisdom for a generation has been that manufacturing in America is dying. Yet over the past five years, the country has experienced something of an industrial renaissance. We may be far from replacing the 3 million industrial jobs lost in the recession, but the economy has added over 330,000 industrial jobs since 2010, with output growing at the fastest pace since the 1990s.

America’s New Oligarchs—Fwd.us and Silicon Valley’s Shady 1 Percenters

By Joel KotkinMay 14 2013

Appearing in: 
The Daily Beast

When Steve Jobs died in October 2011, crowds of mourners gathered outside of Apple stores, leaving impromptu memorials to the fallen businessman. Many in Occupy Wall Street, then in full bloom, stopped to mourn the .001 percenter worth $7 billion, who didn’t believe in charity and whose company had more cash in hand than the U.S. Treasury while doing everything in its power to avoid paying taxes.

A new, and potentially dominant, ruling class is rising. Today’s tech moguls don’t employ many Americans, they don’t pay very much in taxes or tend to share much of their wealth, and they live in a separate world that few of us could ever hope to enter.

Housing Market Fringe Movement

By Joel KotkinMay 14 2013

Appearing in: 
Orange County Register

A year or two ago, pundits and planners, in California and elsewhere, proclaimed – and largely celebrated – the demise of suburbia. They were particularly heartened by a report, financed by portions of the real estate industry, that predicted the market for single-family homes in the state was hopelessly flooded, with a supply overhang of up to 25 years.

The 2013 Best Cities For Job Growth

By Joel Kotkin and...May 06 2013

Appearing in: 
Forbes.com

The 2013 edition of our list shows many things, but perhaps the most important is which cities have momentum in the job creation sweepstakes. Right now the biggest winners are the metro areas that are adding higher-wage jobs thanks to America’s two big boom sectors: technology and energy.

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."

Read the full interview...

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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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