Ideas. Cities. Social Innovation.

Good question:

Then there is the American anti-government predilection. We look at government as something outside ourselves, rather than a reflection of us. So a fancy new City Hall building can become a symbol of waste, rather than something everyone can be proud of. Politicians pick this up, and while they like their names on public works, some have become loath to spend any of their constituents’ money on anything that makes a structure look good. Architects and civil engineers have told me of something being cut out of a public project because it “looks expensive.” Sometimes one of these features might even save money, but that doesn’t matter.

Some sort of retraining/rapid skills development program is needed to meet rising demand in the manufacturing sector:

Strange as it may sound, America’s manufacturing companies are struggling to find enough qualified workers. In fact. over the last two years the number of manufacturing job openings in the U.S. has more than doubled.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 264,000 job openings in the manufacturing sector at the end of last year, compared with approximately 100,000 two years ago.

I’m wary, and have concerns about the environmental impacts of fracking and other methods, but this would be quite a remarkable story if it happened:

"This is really the classic success of American entrepreneurs," he says. "These were people who saw this coming, managed to assemble the capital and go ahead."

Small energy companies using such controversial techniques as hydraulic fracturing, along with horizontal drilling, are unlocking vast oil and natural gas deposits trapped in shale in places like Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Texas. North Dakota, for instance, now produces a half-million barrels a day of crude oil, and production is rising.


"The submerged state" is Cornell professor Suzanne Mettler’s term for  the slew of government policies that most Americans don’t know exist or  don’t realize are government policies. As part of her paper — gated, sadly — exploring how these invisible programs affect the  politics of social policy, she designed a study asking people first  whether they’d ever used a government program and then later whether  they had ever taken advantage of 19 specific programs. The percentage of  people who didn’t think they used government programs and then admitted  using government programs is shockingly large.

So, yeah. Contrary to popular rhetoric, government does good, and people benefit.
I’d love to see something like this for Canada, in advance of our upcoming austerity budget.

"The submerged state" is Cornell professor Suzanne Mettler’s term for the slew of government policies that most Americans don’t know exist or don’t realize are government policies. As part of her paper — gated, sadly — exploring how these invisible programs affect the politics of social policy, she designed a study asking people first whether they’d ever used a government program and then later whether they had ever taken advantage of 19 specific programs. The percentage of people who didn’t think they used government programs and then admitted using government programs is shockingly large.

So, yeah. Contrary to popular rhetoric, government does good, and people benefit.

I’d love to see something like this for Canada, in advance of our upcoming austerity budget.

Food stamp rolls exploded during the downturn, which began in late 2007. Even after the recession came to its official end in June 2009, families continued to tap into food assistance as unemployment remained high and those lucky enough to find jobs were often met with lower wages.

Much of what McClendon says is misleading – wind power is as cheap as gas in some places and falling fast, and cutting back on gas doesn’t have to mean burning more coal. But his plan is clear. He’s not going to back off until every last square foot of shale rock in America is drilled and fracked and sucked clean of gas. McClendon may rely on sophisticated new drilling technologies, but at heart, he’s driven by the same dream of endless extraction that has gripped oil barons and coal companies since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. In the end, all his talk of energy independence and a cleaner, brighter future boils down to a single demand, as simple as it is disastrous: Drill, baby, drill.

“It looks like—you’ve got $21 billion on this side, $100-something billion over here—the scale is actually suggesting that the marginal benefit of regulation is quite a bit bigger than the marginal cost, at least over the sample,” Syverson told about 40 people gathered in a campus lecture hall.

Given the growing importance cities and regions will play in the next economy, there are three ways Michigan’s state leaders can support the growth of these communities: 1) strengthen the link between innovation and manufacturing to increase regional exports and attract global investments; 2) support strong regional systems to train workers and 3) make targeted investments that leverage distinct assets in urban and metropolitan areas.

This is why I cringe when I see pharmaceutical makers shipping more and more of their production and development capability offshore, or when I see semiconductor tool makers move their manufacturing from the U.S. to Asia.

The bottom line is if a country loses the ability or the capacity to manufacture, its innovation space will be truncated. To me, that is why we have to manufacture in the United States.

After years of financial security, many have to learn how to be poor.

But who teaches them about food stamps, local soup kitchens, filing for unemployment, seeking government assistance? The answer is, people in this community teach one another.