For three years now the Mountain Monitor—Brookings Mountain West’s Mountain Zone variant of Brookings’ MetroMonitor—has been tracking the region’s protracted, in-most-places anemic, economic recovery. Quarter-to-quarter, the Monitor has reported on a slow healing of the region’s metropolitan economies that has differed starkly from the region’s past boom-bust cycles. Now, though, that reporting is continuing, albeit in a new, web-based interactive tool presenting data through the first quarter of 2012. The new web-based tool provides not only a more interactive way to track trends in U.S.
There was a lot of chatter last week about an eye-opening New York Times piece by Sabrina Tavernise about the growing gap between the haves and have-nots when it comes to where the country’s young college graduates are choosing to live.
Last May, a group of some of the most fearsome fighters in the world gathered in a hotel room at the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas. Initially, only three or four showed up for the meeting; but eventually 19 brawny bodies packed into the room.
Two of the country’s best-known urban thinkers have a discussion underway at Atlantic Cities and New Geography about changes in the urban hierarchy brought along by globalization. It paints a picture of globalization as a zero-sum game in which one city’s growth comes at the expense—at least relatively—of another’s. They suggest that peaks—concentrated centers of population and prosperity—get higher while valleys—economic left-behinds—get lower. Global competition certainly can sap a region’s assumed strengths and lead to periodic even multiple decade long population decline if a transition in
Like wolves and teenagers, literary scandals travel in packs, and the first of the spring are already upon us. First came The Lifespan of a Fact, a new book by essayist John D’Agata and his fact-checker Jim Fingal, which presents the blood-and-tears saga of Fingal’s seven-year-long attempt to verify a piece by D’Agata about the suicide of a Las Vegas teenager.
Las Vegas hasn’t posted odds on whether the Supreme Court will reject health care reform. But the American Bar Association has done the next best thing. As part of a special publication devoted to the case, the ABA surveyed a group of veteran observers and asked them to predict the outcome. The results? Eighty-five percent predicted that the court will uphold the law. The ABA won’t say how it picked the experts; it promised anonymity to guarantee candor. So make of the results what you will. But those experts seem to part of a broader consensus.
Wow, the Mob really is dead. For years we’ve heard that the decline of omertà, the disappearance of mom-and-pop retail, and the erosion of socially cohesive Italian-American neighborhoods were killing off the Mafia. It was the upside to the evisceration of community structures documented in books like Bowling Alone. My favorite illustration was the hilarious scene in the “Johnny Cakes” episode of The Sopranos in which Burt Gervasi and Pasquale “Patsy” Parisi try to shake down a Starbuck’s. More pitying than fearful, the barista explains: “I can’t authorize anything like that.
The irresistible human impulse is to find meaning amid the chaos of the cosmos. But some external events defy rational categorization. So it was with Thursday afternoon as Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney—an event so bizarre that the tight-lipped Romney was forced to admit, “There are some things you can’t imagine in life.