Austin

Metros Turn Up the Heat on Addressing Climate
June 02, 2011

As the heat and humidity settle into Washington for the season and the hope that Congress might one day take action to prevent a warming climate melts away, readers can find some relief in a recent spate of reports emanating from across metro America.   Metros, where 84 percent of the nation’s population live and work, will be on the frontlines of adaptation to climate change. Unsurprisingly then, a network of pragmatic metro leaders are taking the adaptation imperative seriously. They’re acting—on data and empirical evidence, no less!—to prepare for a future that will disrupt human geography

Obama's Latino Strategy Takes Shape
May 12, 2011

Here are three stories that don't make a ton of sense individually, but make a great deal of sense taken together.

Are State and Local Government Workers Sharing the Pain of Job Cuts?
March 14, 2011

In proposing to increase state government workers’ payments for their pensions and health insurance (read: cut their pay) and gut their collective bargaining rights, Wisconsin Gov.

The Conservative Assault on Medicaid
March 10, 2011

The right wing’s attack on government insurance programs has taken a novel and brash twist: Conservatives have started arguing that people on Medicaid would be better off with no insurance whatsoever.

Missing Workers: The Elephant in the Recovery
February 09, 2011

More than a few observers (here, here or here) are finding it difficult to interpret last week’s BLS employment report. The household survey recorded a fairly large 0.4 percentage-point drop in the unemployment rate, at the same time that the establishment survey recorded an increase in payroll employment of a measly 36,000. An increasingly missing piece of the puzzle may be the workers themselves. According to the latest report, fully 22 percent of 25 to 64 year-olds are not in the U.S. labor force.

2011--The Year of the U.S. Economic Comeback?
January 14, 2011

Jim O’Neil, an economist at Goldman Sachs and the man who coined the acronym “BRICs” (standing for Brazil, Russia, India, and China) and thereby promoted those countries to the forefront of U.S. and European consciousness, is now saying that the year 2011 is “the year of the U.S. comeback.” Now, it’s true, analysts at investment banks make a lot of lousy predictions. And as our last “MetroMonitor” showed and as everyone in touch with reality already knows, the U.S. economy is still struggling.

Texastential Crisis
August 17, 2010

Rick Perry should be riding high. Chasing his third full term as governor of Texas, Perry is a blood-red conservative running in a blood-red state in a blood-red cycle. In April of last year, he cheered a bill in the statehouse aimed at reasserting Texas’s sovereign rights against an “oppressive” federal government. A few days later, he began publicly musing about how, in its struggle against tyranny, Texas might find it necessary to secede.

Suburban Spies Among Us
July 02, 2010

The revelation that suspected Russian spies have been hiding in the suburbs of major U.S. cities has been regarded by some as a throw back to postwar Cold War novels replete with money drop-offs, hidden identities, and old school technology.  Perhaps the most telling aspect of these Russians’ retro status is their attempt to “fit in” with a suburbia that no longer exists. At least eight of these alleged spies were classic suburbanites replete with dogs, families, or suburban jobs which could be part of any 1950s “welcome wagon” contingent.

Signposts
June 18, 2010

                    Items worth reading from around the web: Comings and goings: Forbes magazine has a nifty online tool that shows county migration patterns based on IRS data. The numbers are from 2008, however, and don’t take into full account the migration stagnation that has occurred since the onset of the recession. One thing that probably remains true is the status of Texas as a migration magnet--click on Harris (Houston), Travis (Austin), and Dallas counties--due to its relatively decent economic performance over the last year.

83 Cheers for the Old Economy
June 02, 2010

Last week Paul Krugman had a nice blogpost comparing income growth in the stagflation-ridden “old economy” of the 1970s and the bubbly “new economy” of the last decade. For the entire United States, it seems, inflation-adjusted median family income fell at a slightly slower rate between 1973 and 1981 than between 2000 and 2008. The old economy was better for the nation as a whole, at least as far as income growth goes. But what about metropolitan areas? In which places was income growth more rapid in what many people remember as the “bad old days”? The answer: 83 of the nation’s 100 largest me

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