|Special Election 2017 results, thus far|
Time for the weekly installment of Blogger Candidate Forum. Before we get started on today's subject: liberal cities, Blogger needs to comment on a couple of things. First, in the wake of the horrific Grenfell Tower Fire, a petition was posted on http://www.change.org, banning the use of foam insulation. Please go to this link and add your name to it. Second, yesterday there was a special election to fill the Sixth Georgia Congressional district.
Republican Karen Handel bested political newcomer Democrat Jon Ossoff in the race to fill the seat vacated by now Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price by a slender 3.8 percent. This follows closely similar defeats in Montana and Kansas, where Republicans held on to hotly contest districts. While the Red Team celebrated, the Blue Team was left crying in their beer (literally and metaphorically). What went wrong? In Blogger's own humble estimation, the Blue Team made these elections a referendum on President Donald Trump, the absolutely wrong approach. The right approach was "the economy stupid." Voters wanted to hear why a Democrat-controlled Congress would be better for the economy, healthcare, immigration, national security, et cetera than a Republican-led Congress. Quit making everything about POTUS and start focusing on the real issues that voters want to hear about. Give voters a real reason(s) to pick you, not another round of POTUS and Republicans are Satan's emissaries on earth. Alright, Blogger is done in the Speaker's Corner, now on to why big liberal cities are not big enough.
|New York City skyline|
Photograph by Lucas Jackson/Reuters
We should treat liberal cities the way liberals treat corporate monopolies-not as growth-enhancing assets, but as trusts that concentrate wealth and and power and conspires against the public good. And instead of of trying to make them a little more egalitarian with looser going rule and more affordable housing, we should make like Teddy Roosevelt and try to break them up. (http://www.nytimes.com: March 25, 2017, date accessed June 21, 2017)
|Portland, Oregon skyline|
Photograph by Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian/2013
Those of the urbanist persuasion were all too happy to mock these implausible, perhaps ridiculous proposals. City Observatory's Joe Cortright put it best,
What this misses is that cities actually create value through increasing returns, what economists call agglomeration economies. People in cities are more productive, more innovative, and have higher skills because they live in cities. Absent cities, the innovation and productivity upon which these industries depend for their success, they simply wouldn't exist. (http://www.cityobservatory.org; March 28, 2017; date accessed June 21, 2017)
...Cities enable workers to search over a wider range of firms, and to hop from one firm to another in case of a crisis. they enable service providers to reach their customers, and customers to access a dizzying range of service providers. Perhaps most importantly they enable the spread of ideas and new information. (http://www.washingtonpost.com; March 8, 2017; date accessed June 21, 2017)
Richard Florida notes, "Relatively speaking, however, America's cities and metro areas are not that big a fraction of the U.S. economy, compared to cities in other parts of the world."
|"Metro Share of National GDP"|
Taylor Blake/Martin Prosperity Institute
The map of the left was generated by Mr. Florida's colleague, Taylor Blake, at the Martin Prosperity Institute. Mr. Blake used data from the Brookings Institution's Global Metro Monitor, which presents the share of national output (GDP) based on a sample of large metropolitans around the world.
In the United States, New York City "generates 8.3 percent of GDP, Los Angeles accounts for 5.2 percent, Chicago generates 3.2 percent, Houston covers 2.8 percent, Dallas and D.C. each produce 2.5 percent, and San Francisco and Boston kick in 2.1 percent each."
By comparison, Toronto accounts for almost a fifth-"18.5 percent of Canada's GDP, Mexico City generates 22.5 percent of Mexico's economic output. Tokyo, London, and Paris churn out 30 percent in Japan, England, and France respectively; in Sweden, Stockholm accounts for 36 percent of GDP. Tel Aviv is responsible for 48 percent of Israel's economic output and Seoul generates more than half of South Korea's GDP."
If anything, it really does not square with President Trump's doom and gloom perception of American cities. Quite the contrary, Mr. Florida believes that U.s. cities should be bigger in order to optimize productivity benefits that result from clustering and agglomeration, "while balancing the costs of congestion or the other economic externalities from running a city."
|Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel|