The Geography of Our Falling-Wage Recovery
September 16, 2011
Over the summer there was some concern in the media about falling wages during the current barely perceptible economic recovery. Nationwide, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that inflation-adjusted average hourly wages have been trending downward since late 2010. Similar wage declines occurred, starting at various times in 2009 or 2010, in most major industries. Because wages don’t usually fall even during the most severe recessions, this is (bad) news. In the latest edition of Brookings’ MetroMonitor, I looked at where these wage declines were occurring. Using inflation-adjusted average
Miss America...er, USA, 2011: It's Not The Only Time We Judge A Book By Its Cover, Just The Only Time We Admit It
June 20, 2011
Alyssa Campanella was crowned Miss USA last night in Las Vegas, topping 50 other beauty queens to represent the USA at September's Miss Universe Pageant in (where else?) Brazil. Campanella, a 21-year-old model from California, confessed to a love of British history and described herself as a "huge history geek." Her combination of (dyed) red hair and Anglophilia seemed to impress the pageant judges as well as the Googling masses, whose searches for "Miss America 2011" (the rival pageant is often confused with the Miss USA competition) are currently a top-ranking trend.
A Deeper Look at Unemployment
June 08, 2011
Last Friday’s jobs report brought some glum news. The unemployment rate remained pretty much the same from April to May of this year and the economy had added fewer jobs than needed to achieve a meaningful recovery anytime soon.
The Winner Of The Trump Meltdown
May 11, 2011
I should preface this item by noting that all my writing about pure horse race politics, and presidential primary politics especially, is highly speculative. Public policy is something that can be analyzed with some precision. Elections are highly unpredictable. It can be (hopefully) interesting and fun to speculate, but the speculation should be taken with a grain of salt.
Best of Bachmann
March 26, 2011
Recently, there’s been much political buzz that Michele Bachmann (yes, that Michele Bachmann) might just run for president. Could she make it to the White House? Probably not—but she could give other Republican hopefuls a run for their money. In light of Bachmann’s potential, we compiled her best quotes ever—and, by best, we mean craziest, embarrassing, and otherwise out there. “It is a brand new, billion-dollar high speed train that is going to go from Disneyland up to Las Vegas.
Gaming Housing Prices: Boise Bulls vs. Boston Bears
September 15, 2010
Which way are housing markets going? The recent national-level indicators have looked pretty bleak for housing bulls. Sales of new homes hit a record low in July. House prices in June topped their levels of a year ago but only, it seems, because of the now-expired federal homebuyer tax credits. There’s a lively debate about whether housing prices will continue to fall, and David Leonhardt summarized the controversy nicely in his New York Times column last week. But this debate misses an important part of the story. Because housing markets are regional, not national, there may not be a single
The Great Basin
September 02, 2010
In her campaign to displace Harry Reid from the U.S. Senate, Nevada Republican Sharron Angle has hit a few snags. Among the lessons learned: When holding a press conference, take at least one question. When discussing how to deal with electoral defeat, avoid suggesting “Second Amendment remedies.” When you’ve once complained that black football jerseys are satanic, prepare to have someone reveal it.
Sharron Angle Versus The Satanic Football Jersey
August 19, 2010
One of the reasons I've been fascinated with Sharron Angle's Senate campaign is that she is not merely a candidate with extremely radical views, like Rand Paul, she inhabits an ideological grey area where radicalism starts to become indistinguishable with actual mental illness. Here is a column recounting her religious-based objections to a high school football team wearing black jerseys: The heart of the story starts in 1991 and, perhaps surprisingly, with the Tonopah High School football team. Mired in a dismal season, the Muckers traveled to Laughlin that fall.
Exports: Next for the West?
August 02, 2010
The release of our new “Export Nation” report this week makes a strong argument that if the nation is going to begin “rebalancing” its off-kilter economy then U.S.
Building the Sun Corridor: I-11 Gains Traction
July 23, 2010
Sometimes a fact breaks through. When we released the Metro Program’s 2008 report “Mountain Megas” about the “megapolitan” super-metros of the Mountain West, my colleague Rob Lang and myself picked up on past work by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) and began to point out that massive Phoenix and Las Vegas stand as the two largest proximate metropolitan areas not linked by an interstate. This observation might have seemed a bit abstract, but in fact it built on significant past discussion of the Mountain region’s underdeveloped transportation networks.