There’s a philosophical debate about what is “sustainable.” The two dominant camps tend to advocate on behalf of either the hyper efficient dense city or bucolic rural self sufficiency. Personally, I’m not a fan of either. The more finely tuned and efficient any system is the more vulnerable it is to disruption. There’s also an … Continue reading Suburban Sustainablity
People talk about how respectable families need to live in the suburbs because inner city schools are really bad. But whenever I explore the suburban landscape I discover that the suburbs are also divided up by school district. For every one desirable suburban school there are five or six substandard ones. Keep in mind, the … Continue reading Bad Schools: That’s A Feature, Not A Bug
I recently had a conversation with an acquaintance who had lived in Pasadena in the 70’s and 80’s. She explained that back then the town was in decline. Once grand buildings sat half empty. Shops on Colorado Blvd. were failing. Crime had become a problem. The new mall that had been heralded as the savior … Continue reading Pasadena, Big and Small
I have a unique perspective on the topic of the working class, the poor, and the homeless. It isn’t an abstraction for me. I experienced these things directly in my own life. My parents were teenagers when I was born in 1967. In keeping with the spirit of the times they lived in a Volkswagen … Continue reading Poverty Revisited
Some years ago there was an advertising campaign that appeared on billboards and the sides of buses all over the city. No product or service was mentioned for the first month. The ads simply proclaimed, “You really feel the extra four inches.” It was cheeky and suggestive. On the second month of the campaign the … Continue reading “You Really Feel The Extra Four Inches”
Joel Kotkin is fond of pointing out that you can almost always get a bigger better house at a lower price point in a new suburb on the edge of the metroplex compared to a shoe box apartment downtown. James Howard Kunstler describes suburbia as, “the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the … Continue reading Suburbia: The Discount Rate Utopia
What exactly does the working class look like these days? There’s a lot written about it. People have all sorts of opinions on the topic. But what’s the reality? I’m in and out of a lot of homes in the neighborhood. Along the way I meet people busy doing work that doesn’t pay much in … Continue reading Working. Poor.