A New Metro Map
May 10, 2010
Do you live in the “Rust Belt” or the “Sun Belt?” Are you a West Coaster, an East Coaster, or a resident of “flyover country?” Perhaps you’re a proud New Englander, Midwesterner, or Texan. More to the point, does any of that matter? (For the full-size map click here) Maybe not as much as you think. Our new report, the State of Metropolitan America, surveys the demographic landscape of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas over the 2000s. It finds that who metropolitan areas are is in many ways more important than where they are. In fact, my Brookings colleagues and I identify seven categ
Are Service Exports Leading the Recovery?
April 22, 2010
Amid all the talk of U.S. trade recently, The Economist just published a series on the importance of exports. A piece entitled “Export or Die” described how a New York-based architecture firm barely avoided massive layoffs by finding projects in China, Korea, and the Middle East, where demand has not faltered as sharply over the last two years. In other words, service exports prevented unemployment. One wonders: Is this just an anecdote, or is it representative of an important trend? As it turns out, it is a trend.
Saluting the IRS
April 14, 2010
Washington—You might imagine that if a terrorist attack killed an American public servant and threatened the lives of 200 people, it would have been big news for weeks and an enduring symbol of the risks taken by those who serve their country. Yet when an American named Joseph Stack flew a plane into an office building in Austin, Texas, in February, killing Vernon Hunter, a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran, the news reports were remarkably muted, and the story quickly disappeared. Hunter worked for the Internal Revenue Service, which was housed in the Austin building, and according to Stack's suic
The Landscape of Innovation
April 08, 2010
Economies happen in places, and they have an effect on the physical form of places – as the new ghost ‘burbs of the real-estate driven economies of Florida and Nevada show us. If the next American economy will be export-oriented, lower-carbon, and innovation-driven, as Larry Summers has posited (my colleagues and I agree), what kind of landscape will result?
A Case Study In Hackery
April 01, 2010
One of the persistent memes of conservative discourse is that any right-of-center figure who deviates from the right-wing line must be searching for the financial and social rewards of mainstream respectability.
March 24, 2010
When Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law yesterday, it became official: health care was not to be, as certain Republicans promised, the president’s Waterloo. Republicans quickly swung to predicting that health care would instead be a deceptively successful but actually disastrous victory—more like Napoleon’s conquest of Moscow, say, which launched his bloody winter march from power.
A Jobless Decade? Depends Where
March 17, 2010
The first decade of this century was a dud for job creation nationwide. With a weak recovery from the 2001 recession followed by the Great Recession, the nation as a whole gained almost no jobs during the decade (actually, there was a 0.3 percent increase). That made the aughts the first decade since the Great Depression without any substantial job growth. But as with so many national statistics, this national average hides enormous regional variation. And since, for most people, job markets are regional, this regional variation really matters for working people.
Venice in Texas
March 02, 2010
Paolo Veronese: The Petrobelli Altarpiece Blanton Museum of Art Combine a mystery and a masterpiece and what do you have? You have “Paolo Veronese: The Petrobelli Altarpiece,” a small, perfectly focused exhibition recently at the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin.
Amazon’s Kindle: Symbol of American Decline?
February 24, 2010
Apple’s iPad is dominating the gadget buzz this winter, but a few years ago, we and others made a big deal about the “polyglot” iPod, turning it into a talisman of the globalized supply-chain. The point was to accent the global context in which U.S.
Aviation Data Suggests a Mixed-Bag of Rail Riders
February 22, 2010
Now that we’re a full week past the initial high-speed rail announcement, we’ve taken the time to resurvey some of the elements of this massive investment. Demand is one of those elements and it’s critical to projecting ridership. One method we’ve designed to measure HSR demand is corridor air travel. By offering specific boarding information, federal air data provides a stellar source of passenger travel information between any two metropolitan areas. Using the data we published back in October, here is how the corridors receiving at least $200 million stack up.