Is a $50,000 annual income wealth or poverty in North America? By historical or international standards such an income should be considered wealthy and luxurious, but most people I know consider it poverty because of the high cost of living.
We have just published a new report, "Smart Transportation Economic Stimulation: Infrastructure Investments That Support Strategic Planning Objectives Provide True Economic Development" which discusses factors to consider when evaluating transportation economic stimulation strategies.
Starbucks stores have seen a lot of protests. Due to its international brand recognition, the chain became an easy mark for activists looking to draw media attention to concerns from genetic engineering to union busting, from store placements in historically sensitive locations to the company’s opposition to Ethiopia’s application to trademark three types of coffee.
Deindustrialization has wreaked havoc across many American cities and towns. One only need visit the landscape of the rust belt, places like Buffalo, Detroit or Flint, Michigan to get a sense how damaging this transformation can be. Behind the ugly ruins of abandoned factories and shuttered stores are the lives of real people who have suffered. Manufacturing provided jobs, good paying ones at that, that helped create a blue collar middle class.
One of the more powerful concepts to come out of the information and services economy is the Long Tail.
The number of farmers’ markets has grown dramatically in the US over the past few years. The number increased by seven percent from 2005-2006 on top of the incredible 79 percent increase from 1994 to 2002. People love the festive atmosphere, the ability to meet the people who grow their food and the connection to the earth this experience provides, and the quality and freshness of the produce. Many patrons value local farmers’ markets as a means of lessening their impact on the earth by allowing them to eat more locally.
Yet in some places, farmers are abandoning the markets. They cite a number of reasons, including:
Two years ago I saw John Norquist, former Mayor of Milwaukee and current President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism, give a presentation on the state of America’s cities. During the slide show, Norquist used two sets of images to effectively convey a point about urban disinvestment in America. The first set of images was of Berlin and Detroit circa 1945. Unsurprisingly, the Berlin image displayed a war-torn and rubble-strewn city, while the Detroit image revealed why it was once called the Paris of the Midwest -- it was simply elegant. However, the second set of images displayed the same two cities 60 years later. It was as if Detroit had been through an epic war and not Berlin.