Obama Defies Demographic Trends in Ohio
October 23, 2012

Obama is struggling in states where he was most dependent on support of whites--except for Ohio.

Gay Bars, Bike Paths, Ka-Ching! The Creative Class’s 10th Birthday
August 03, 2012

When I’m not deep in a presidential election season, I do like writing about subjects other than politics, including the whole realm of urban policy/economic development/land use. It was that interest that led me, two years ago, to write a long magazine piece critiquing the remarkably lucrative enterprise that had grown out of Richard Florida’s 2002 best-seller, The Rise of the Creative Class.

How Hip Cities Hurt The Democrats
June 08, 2012

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.

State of the Union - As Prepared
January 24, 2012

THE WHITE HOUSE Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery State of the Union Address: “An America Built to Last” Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 As Prepared for Delivery – Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans: Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq.

Ohio Vs. Virginia: A False Choice?
November 22, 2011

Earlier this month, after Ohio voters roundly rejected Gov. John Kasich's attempt to eviscerate public employee unions, I mused on the result's implications for the Obama re-election campaign. Despite signalling their intent to hang onto the 2008 pickups of Virginia, North Carolina and Colorado -- home of disproportionate numbers of minority and young voters and college-educated professionals -- would the Obama team actually be better off focusing on holding onto blue-collar voters in the Rust Belt, and Ohio in particular? In the weeks since, a healthy debate has sprung up on this front.

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 Era of Divergence (and Distinctiveness)
February 18, 2011

Germany vs. Spain. Texas vs. Florida. These aren’t predictions for the next World Cup final or BCS title game but rather examples of the regional divergence in economic performance and fiscal outlook described by Gillian Tett in the Financial Times last Friday. She argues that while international attention has been focused on the divergence of the Eurozone (between countries with strong, growing economies and those without), the U.S.

Burr Is Cold
August 21, 2010

By Beltway standards, Richard Burr’s first term in the Senate has been a pretty successful one. Elected in 2004 after serving ten years in the House, Burr was one of the “Magnificent Seven,” a slate of new conservative senators. A mere four years later, the North Carolina lawmaker was mentioned as a possible running mate for John McCain. And, last year, he took on a key leadership role (chief deputy whip). In his home state, however, Burr is anything but a star.

The Roadmap to a High-Speed Recovery
August 12, 2010

Speaking at a health care reform rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, in July 2009, President Obama declared that the worst of the recession was over. “We have stopped the free-fall. The market is up and the financial system is no longer on the verge of collapse,” he said proudly. A year or so later, with midterm elections looming and an electorate that is as fearful and angry as any in memory, the stock market has risen, but even a breath of bad news can send it tumbling. As dismal as housing prices continue to be, they have yet to hit bottom in some places.

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