recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : states   18

Bloom and Bust by Phillip Longman | The Washington Monthly
"Yet starting in the early 1980s, the long trend toward regional equality abruptly switched. Since then, geography has come roaring back as a determinant of economic fortune, as a few elite cities have surged ahead of the rest of the country in their wealth and income. In 1980, the per capita income of Washington, D.C., was 29 percent above the average for Americans as a whole; by 2013 it had risen to 68 percent above. In the San Francisco Bay area, the rise was from 50 percent above to 88 percent. Meanwhile, per capita income in New York City soared from 80 percent above the national average in 1980 to 172 percent above in 2013.

Adding to the anomaly is a historic reversal in the patterns of migration within the United States. Throughout almost all of the nation’s history, Americans tended to move from places where wages were lower to places where wages were higher. Horace Greeley’s advice to “Go West, young man” finds validation, for example, in historical data showing that per capita income was higher in America’s emerging frontier cities, such as Chicago in the 1850s or Denver in 1880s, than back east.

But over the last generation this trend, too, has reversed. Since 1980, the states and metro areas with the highest and fastest-growing per capita incomes have generally seen hardly, if any, net domestic in-migration, and in many notable examples have seen more people move away to other parts of the country than move in. Today, the preponderance of domestic migration is from areas with high and rapidly growing incomes to relatively poorer areas where incomes are growing at a slower pace, if at all."



"Since 1980, mergers have reduced the number of major railroads from twenty-six to seven, with just four of these mega systems controlling 90 percent of the country’s rail infrastructure. Meanwhile, many cities and towns have lost access to rail transportation altogether as railroads have abandoned secondary lines and consolidated rail service in order to maximize profits.

In this era, government spending on new roads and highways also plummeted, even as the number of people and cars continued to grow strongly. One result of this, and of the continuing failure to adequately fund mass transit and high-speed rail, has been mounting traffic congestion that reduces geographic mobility, including the ability of people to move to or remain in the areas offering the highest-paying jobs.

The New York metro area is a case in point. Between 2000 and 2009, the region’s per capita income rose from 25 percent above the average for all U.S. metro areas to 29 percent above. Yet over the same period, approximately two million more people moved away from the area to other parts of the country than moved in, according to the Census Bureau. Today, the commuter rail system that once made it comparatively easy to live in suburban New Jersey and work in Manhattan is falling apart, and commutes from other New York suburbs, whether by road or rail, are also becoming unworkable. Increasingly, this means that only the very rich can still afford to work in Manhattan, much less live there, while increasing numbers of working- and middle-class families are moving to places like Texas or Florida, hoping to break free of the gridlock, even though wages in Texas and Florida are much lower.

The next big policy change affecting regional equality was a vast retreat from antitrust enforcement of all kinds. The first turning point in this realm came in 1976 when Congress repealed the Miller-Tydings Act. This, combined with the repeal or rollback of other “fair trade” laws that had been in place since the 1920s and ’30s, created an opening for the emergence of super-chains like Walmart and, later, vertically integrated retail “platforms” like Amazon. The dominance of these retail goliaths has, in turn, devastated (to some, the preferred term is “disrupted”) locally owned retailers and led to large flows of money out of local economies and into the hands of distant owners.

Another turning point came in 1982, when President Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department adopted new guidelines for antitrust prosecutions. Largely informed by the work of Robert Bork, then a Yale law professor who had served as solicitor general under Richard Nixon, these guidelines explicitly ruled out any consideration of social cost, regional equity, or local control in deciding whether to block mergers or prosecute monopolies. Instead, the only criteria that could trigger antitrust enforcement would be either proven instances of collusion or combinations that would immediately bring higher prices to consumers.

This has led to the effective colonization of many once-great American cities, as the financial institutions and industrial companies that once were headquartered there have come under the control of distant corporations. Empirical studies have shown that when a city loses a major corporate headquarters in a merger, the replacement of locally based managers by “absentee” managers usually leads to lower levels of local corporate giving, civic engagement, employment, and investment, often setting in motion further regional decline. A Harvard Business School study that analyzed the community involvement of 180 companies in Boston, Cleveland, and Miami found that “[l]ocally headquartered companies do most for the community on every measure,” including having “the most active involvement by their leaders in prominent local civic and cultural organizations.”

According to another survey of the literature on how corporate consolidation affects the health of local communities, “local owners and managers … are more invested in the community personally and financially than ‘distant’ owners and managers.” In contrast, the literature survey finds, “branch firms are managed either by ‘outsiders’ with no local ties who are brought in for short-term assignments or by locals who have less ability to benefit the community because they lack sufficient autonomy or prestige or have less incentive because their professional advancement will require them to move.” The loss of social capital in many Heartland communities documented by Robert Putnam, George Packer, and many other observers is at least in part a consequence of the wave of corporate consolidations that occurred after the federal government largely abandoned traditional antitrust enforcement thirty-some years ago.

Financial deregulation also contributed mightily to the growth of regional inequality. Prohibitions against interstate branching disappeared entirely by the 1990s. The first-order effect was that most midsize and even major cities saw most of their major banks bought up by larger banks headquartered somewhere else. Initially, the trend strengthened some regional banking centers, such as Charlotte, North Carolina, even as it hollowed out local control of banking nearly everywhere else across America. But eventually, further financial deregulation, combined with enormous subsidies and bailouts for banks that had become “too big to fail,” led to the eclipse of even once strong regional money centers like Philadelphia and St. Louis by a handful of elite cities such as New York and London, bringing the geography of modern finance full circle back to the patterns prevailing in the Gilded Age.

Meanwhile, dramatic changes in the treatment of what, in the 1980s, came to be known as “intellectual property,” combined with the general retreat from antitrust enforcement, had the effect of vastly concentrating the geographical distribution of power in the technology sector. At the start of the 1980s, federal policy remained so hostile to patent monopolies that it refused even to grant patents for software. But then came a series of Supreme Court decisions and acts of Congress that vastly expanded the scope of patents and the monopoly power granted to patent holders. In 1991, Bill Gates reflected on the change and noted in a memo to his executives at Microsoft that “[i]f people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.”

These changes caused the tech industry to become much more geographically concentrated than it otherwise would have been. They did so primarily by making the tech industry much less about engineering and much more about lawyering and deal making. In 2011, spending by Apple and Google on patent lawsuits and patent purchases exceeded their spending on research and development for the first time. Meanwhile, faced with growing barriers to entry created by patent monopolies and the consolidated power of giants like Apple and Google, the business model for most new start-ups became to sell themselves as quickly as possible to one of the tech industry’s entrenched incumbents.

For both of these reasons, success in this sector now increasingly requires being physically located where large concentrations of incumbents are seeking “innovation through acquisition,” and where there are supporting phalanxes of highly specialized legal and financial wheeler-dealers. Back in the 1970s, a young entrepreneur like Bill Gates was able to grow a new high-tech firm into a Fortune 500 company in his hometown of Seattle, which at the time was little better off than Detroit and Cleveland are today—a depopulating, worn-out manufacturing city, labeled by the Economist as “the city of despair.” Today, a young entrepreneur as smart and ambitious as the young Gates is most likely aiming to sell his company to a high-tech goliath—or will have to settle for doing so. Sure, high-tech entrepreneurs still emerge in the hinterland, and often start promising companies there. But to succeed they need to cash out, which means that they typically need to go where they’ll be in the deal flow of patent trading and mergers and acquisition, which means an already-established hub of high-tech “innovation” … [more]
us  inequality  urban  urbanism  coasts  economics  policy  politics  1980s  ronaldreagan  ip  intellectualproperty  wages  salaries  states  socialcapital  robertputnam  georgepacker  trusts  law  legal  regulation  business  finance  philliplongman 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Map Glyphs | The Ultimate CSS Map Font
"Map Glyphs has hundreds of scalable vector map icons of the world, continents, globes, countries and states."
maps  mapping  icons  svg  resources  css  continets  globes  countries  states 
september 2014 by robertogreco
1 | A New Map Of The U.S., Created By How Our Dollar Bills Move | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation
"Using a site that tracks dollar bills, a theoretical physicist noticed that our state boundaries are rather arbitrary, but that money tends to stay within new, more realistic boundaries."
maps  mapping  us  2013  currency  circulation  borders  boundaries  states 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Super Position – The New Inquiry
"Almost never do superheroes make, create, or build anything. The villains, in contrast, are endlessly creative. They are full of plans and projects and ideas. Clearly, we are supposed to first, without consciously realizing it, identify with the villains. After all, they’re having all the fun. Then of course we feel guilty for it, re-identify with the hero, and have even more fun watching the superego clubbing the errant Id back into submission."

"Costumed superheroes ultimately battle criminals in the name of the law—even if they themselves often operate outside a strictly legal framework. But in the modern state, the very status of law is a problem. This is because of a basic logical paradox: no system can generate itself.

Any power capable of creating a system of law cannot itself be bound by them. So law has to come from somewhere else…

We’ve gone…from a situation where the power to create a legal order derives from God, to one where it derives from armed revolution, to…"
systemsthinking  systems  occupywallstreet  ows  dictatorship  dictators  legal  law  tradition  fascism  comicbooks  comics  spiderman  superman  darkknight  christophernolan  batman  walterbenjamin  conservationoftradition  conservatism  states  violence  superheroes  2012  davidgraeber 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Colorado Springs cuts into services considered basic by many - The Denver Post
"tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks & feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of urban fabric. More than 1/3 of streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday...police helicopters are for sale on Internet...city is dumping firefighting jobs, vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops...parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them w/ signs urging users to pack out litter. Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once per 2 weeks...Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; flower & fertilizer budget is zero. City rec centers, indoor & outdoor pools & handful of museums will close for good March 31 unless they find private funding...Buses no longer run on evenings/weekends...city won't pay for any street paving, relying instead on regional authority that can meet only about 10% of need."
infrastructure  collapse  taxes  peakoil  states  gop  colorado  politics  urban  news  coloradosprings  services  cities 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Tuttle SVC: RI, the South, and the Chance for Success Index [Funny that this appears just after discussing California's constitutional and economic crises, Prop 13, high taxes in New Jersey, the state of public schools, and the such with the old man...]
[...When I mentioned that NJ taxes have bought some of the best public schools in the country, he scoffed.] "One thing that's funny is that the next day there was a post on Flypaper about the sad state of New Jersey's schools, which rank #2 on the unmodified CFSI score and #1 on the adjusted CSFI.

Beyond that, there is precious little movement in the top states based on this analysis: some middling states go down to low and some low go up to middling, but the top states, all in the northeast, mid-Atlantic, midwest or Virginia, are consistent.

Whatever this analysis is worth (and it may not be much), it is the kind of thing that makes me scratch my head about the steadily increasing Southern influence on education policy in Rhode Island and Providence. We keep pulling in more Southerners, who seem to have had some success in pulling their states from terrible to OK, but if we were just up to the level of our New England or Mid-Atlantic peers, we'd be way above Florida, Texas, etc."
policy  education  leaders  money  taxes  politics  us  national  tomhoffman  states  newjersey  california  texas  newengland  florida  experts 
january 2010 by robertogreco
StateStats
"This tool shows you how popular a Google search query is in each U.S. state, giving a ranking like the one you see in the left column. It then compares this ranking with other ways of ranking states, like average income or population density, using Spearman's rank correlation. The middle column shows the results of these comparisons, with the strongest correlations listed first. High numbers (close to 1.0) mean that the rankings "line up" closely, which may indicate a relationship between the search query and the ranking metric. For example, mittens tends to be searched by users who are in northerly states (high latitude) and states with a lot of frost. Low numbers (close to -1.0) indicate a negative relationship -- that is, the rankings are close to being opposites, as in "yoga" and "VotedForBush"."
search  google  visualization  geography  us  statistics  demographics  politics  states  maps  mapping 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Storefront for Art and Architecture | Ramak Fazel: 49 State Capitols - An exhibition at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, NYC
Traveling by camper van, he drove a total of 17,345 miles and spent 78 days on the road. The entire narrative of his trip constitutes an unconventional glimpse into contemporary America: the capitol buildings are shown contextually, their views interrupte
art  exhibitions  photography  us  capitols  states  society  surveillance  interrogation  travel 
january 2008 by robertogreco
radicalcartography - U.S. TERRITORY [Bill Rankin, 2007]
"What is the “territory” of the United States?..This wall map is my attempt at an answer. As the subtitle suggests, what I think emerges isn't a unified system of territoriality, but a hodgepodge of different attitudes toward the land and its inhabita
cartography  government  infographics  maps  mapping  us  military  states  territory  geopolitics  influence  world  international  global  geography 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Ironic Sans: 50 States in 10 Minutes
"Everyone takes out a piece of paper, and numbers it from 1 to 50. Then you get 10 minutes to write down every state you can remember."
games  geography  memory  states  us 
march 2007 by robertogreco
NationMaster.com - Where Stats Come Alive!
"NationMaster.com, a massive central data source and a handy way to graphically compare nations. NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, UN, and OECD. Using the form above, you can generate maps and graphs o
data  research  states  maps  population  visualization  demographics  world  international  statistics  reference  immigration  information 
april 2006 by robertogreco
StateMaster.com - Where Stats Come Alive!
"StateMaster.com, a unique statistical database which allows you to research and compare a multitude of different data on US states. We have compiled information from various primary sources such as the US Census Bureau, the FBI, and the National Center f
data  demographics  reference  statistics  research  states  information  maps  population  visualization  us 
april 2006 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read