Category Archives : Blog


The college completion challenge

A recent article in the Washington Monthly is subtitled “The problem is not college debt, it’s low graduation rates. Fix that, and you fix the economy.” Probably an exaggeration. But correct in both that college completion is important to reversing the decline in American living standards and far more of a challenge than too high […]


Liberal arts as an asset

Readers of this blog know that we believe that a broad education is the key to building the skills needed for successful/prosperous forty year careers. Largely because globalization and technology are constantly making obsolete––in unpredictable ways––jobs, occupations and industries. So successful people will be those who are able to constantly adjust to changes in labor […]


Worth watching 3

Great You Tube video from Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution entitled: “Is America Dreaming?: Understanding Social Mobility” Highly recommended! Using legos and in less than four minutes he lays out the basic realities that America is moving farther and farther away from being a place of equal opportunity. Where your status at birth doesn’t […]


The community college challenge 1

I support President Obama’s proposal to make community college tuition free for those students who stay on track academically. Expanding education opportunity and outcomes is an essential component of raising the standard of living of all Americans. That said taking tuition off the table as an obstacle, is not nearly enough to dramatically change the […]


More wrong direction k-12 policy

Insightful Stephen Henderson Detroit Free Press editorial entitled: “Snyder hasn’t earned more leeway over troubled schools”. Henderson is writing specifically about the Governor’s decision to transfer the state school reform office from the Michigan Department of Education––which he doesn’t control––to the state Department of Technology, Management and Budget––which he does control. The case Henderson makes […]


Lower income and fewer jobs with the same unemployment rate 2

Michigan’s February unemployment rate of 5.9 percent is the lowest it has been in more than a dozen years. Since it was also 5.9 percent in October, 2001. Good news indeed! Unfortunately there the similarity in good economic news ends. Even with the same unemployment rate, Michiganders in 2015 are far behind where they were […]


Pittsburgh as a reinventor region 3

In our last post we reviewed the Centre for Cities report on what predicts economic success at the regional level in the United Kingdom. The report’s characterization of successful regions as reinventors and lagging regions as replicators is quite insightful and is as applicable here as in the U.K. Reinventor regions have knowledge-based economies. Replicator regions […]


Manufacturing and economic decline 2

In a City Lab article Richard Florida reviews research from the United Kingdom on which metropolitan areas are prospering, which aren’t and why. The research was conducted by Centre for Cities. An overview of their report can be found here. Their conclusion: Growth of Knowledge, not Decline of Manufacturing, Shaped 21st Century City Economies. 100-year […]


Forbes: (Metro) Detroit is dying 1

Important article in Forbes entitled Detroit Is Dying Because GM Stuck Around, New York City Booms Because Nabisco Did Not. Highly recommended! The article is authored by John Tammy. Tammy asserts that places that have moved away from manufacturing like New York City, Seattle and Los Angeles are prosperous, while those who have stayed concentrated in […]