Think Locally, Act Globally
May 26, 2010
Did anyone notice that NEC director Larry Summers quietly exploded old-fashioned urban policy last week? He didn’t mean to. In a speech at the Brookings-White House Council on Automotive Communities summit on May 18, Summers set out to talk about the economy, and how to stimulate manufacturing in general and auto manufacturing in particular. He identified four policy areas that are particularly important: the availability of credit; exports; innovation and R&D; and human capital. More credit, more exports, more innovation, and more educated workers could, in conjunction with huge and su
A Responding Sensibility
March 03, 2010
Meyer Schapiro Abroad: Letters to Lillian and Travel Notebooks Edited by Daniel Esterman (Getty Research Institute, 243 pp., $39.95) I. Meyer Schapiro Abroad is an astonishing book. It consists of seemingly commonplace materials--the love letters that a graduate student wrote while traveling to work on his dissertation, plus a selection of sheets from his research notebooks. Yet taken together these pages present something extraordinary and nearly unique: an intensely evocative account of the process and the experience of historical discovery.
Recovery? Depends Where You Look…
December 15, 2009
The latest edition of MetroMonitor--our ground-up view of the recession and recovery--is out today, looking at economic indicators through the third quarter of 2009. The bottom line: It’s still a big country. Some places had largely recovered by September, while others still hadn’t bottomed out yet. Check out the report for all the details, but here are a few amuse- bouches to whet your appetite: The manufacturing belt surges… but it may be temporary.
How to Save Detroit
December 09, 2009
For much of the United States, Detroit has become shorthand for failure--not just because of the dilapidation of the town’s iconic industry, but because the entire metropolis seems like a dystopian disaster.
Seasons Change… Unemployment Rates
September 02, 2009
The Wall Street Journal reports this morning, based on new figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that unemployment rates continued to climb in July in metropolitan America. It’s probably true, based on BLS estimates that the nation overall shed another 247,000 jobs in July. But BLS’ metropolitan data don’t exactly show us what’s going on from month to month. That’s because they don’t take account of the natural fluctuations in employment levels that occur everywhere due to seasonal labor market changes. Or, in data-wonk terms, they’re not “seasonally adjusted.” Why does this matter f
Panic in Detroit
December 03, 2008
General Motors has come to Washington, begging for a $25 billion bailout to keep it and its ailing Detroit counterparts going next year. But nobody seems too thrilled about the prospect. Liberals dwell on the companies’ gas-guzzling sport-utility vehicles. Conservatives obsess over all the well-paid union members with gold-plated benefits. And people of all ideological backgrounds remember how they used to buy domestic cars, years ago, but stopped because the cars were so damn lousy.
Stopped Making Sense
May 07, 2008
To build a building is hard; to criticize a building is, by comparison, easy. For a serious critic, the impulse to write uncomplimentary things should always provoke a bout of preliminary introspection. Does one write from the lofty principle that truth must be spoken to power, or at least to fashion? Will the reader come away from this exercise in scorching criticism of buildings and urban spaces with a heightened appreciation for the built environment and its importance to our daily lives?
Everything You Need To Know About Primary Day
March 04, 2008
Good morning. It's Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island primary day. Today could be the mother of all primaries; the primary to end primaries; the primary royale--so make sure you're up to speed. Read our in-depth primers on the Texas and Ohio contests; check out Jonathan Cohn's up-close look at Hillary's last minute pitch to the voters in Toledo, Ohio; game out every possible scenario with Noam Scheiber, and keep your eye on tonight's bottom line with Jonathan Chait. --Barron YoungSmith