Why Immigration Reform Matters to Metros
July 06, 2010
Last week, President Obama delivered a major speech on the need for federal immigration reform. He made his case to Congress, especially Republicans, to step up, put aside political posturing, and have the courage to get the job done rather than continuing to “kick the can down the road.” The federal lawsuit against Arizona’s recently adopted state immigration enforcement law, set to be filed today, may also add impetus for a federal, rather than a piecemeal, solution.
On the Map: America’s Shifting Commuting Choices
July 01, 2010
Brookings’ comprehensive State of Metropolitan America report focuses on the demographic and social trends shaping the nation today. That’s population, race and ethnicity, income, education and the like. But we’re also lucky enough to have data from the U.S. Census on commuting patterns.
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
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.
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.
The Cul-De-Sac Backlash
February 09, 2010
Via Sarah Goodyear, it looks like a number of city and regional planners are starting to declare war on the cul-de-sac: Early last year, the state of Virginia became the first state to severely limit cul-de-sacs from future development. Similar actions have been taken in Portland Oregon, Austin, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina. What they are beginning to realize is that the cul-de-sac street grid uses land inefficiently, discourages walking and biking, and causes an almost complete dependence on driving, with attendant pollution and energy use.
Metro Home Price Recovery: Strong, Weak, Non-existent?
December 30, 2009
Yesterday’s release of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index has economists—and probably the Obama administration—on edge. The reason: an apparent softening of demand in October, which translated into weak home price growth across the 20 markets that the index tracks. That followed stronger, more widespread price growth in the summer months. The news has stoked fears of a “double dip” in house prices and the resulting havoc it might wreak in the mortgage market. Like the economy itself, though, what you make of U.S.
Palin Meets with the Grahams!
November 23, 2009
In news that is sure to warm the hearts of every American, the Charlotte Observer has a report today about Sarah Palin's meeting with Billy Graham and his son, Franklin. "He's followed her career and likes her strong stand on faith," said son Franklin Graham, who was present for the 2 1/2-hour get-together.
December 10, 2008
It's hard to be a feminist when you're drunk. It's not that drinking isn't ladylike or that women shouldn't drink at all; my point is neither meant to be puritanical nor draconian. But how true to your own ideals, principles, and sense of self can you be if one is drowning that sense of self in booze?Whenever a woman hands her power to someone else--in this case, something else, alcohol--she is less than.