Archive for June, 2007
Forbes Magazine has a special issue on cities, with the following stories:
My favorite bit is the interactive map.
There’s also a pretty humorous little on-line poll asking where you would most like to live in: No. 1 is first world mega-city (27%), followed by mid-sized city (17%), small town (8%), farm (7%) and suburbia (3%). My favorites are 8% who want to live in space, 4% in "the past," 3% in their "parent’s basement," and 1% who would prefer a "bubble."
Check out this post commemorating the day the Earth went urban…
More Bloomberg. Video piece at YouTube. Google VP Sheryl Sandberg talks with NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg during an Authors@Google event. Topics include talent attraction and retention, technology, and cities. BTW, does your company offer an authors series?
Mastercard of all places has come up with a list of its 50 leading centers of world commerce. Here’s a quick list of the top twenty.
- New York
- Hong Kong
- San Francisco
Brookings Bill Frey has a new piece out. Here’s the abstract.
Aging baby boomers constitute this decade’s fastest growing age group,
expanding nearly 50 percent in size from 2000 to 2010. This group-more
highly educated, with more professional women, and more diverse than
its predecessors-will add new stresses to suburban and Sun Belt
locations where they are predominantly "retiring in place" with demands
for health, transportation, and other services.
Info/Law has a very nice summary of Scott McLeod’s CALI Conference keynote on this critical topic.
The Redistricting Game is designed to educate, engage, and empower citizens around the issue of political redistricting. Currently, the political system in most states allows the state legislators themselves to draw the lines. This system is subject to a wide range of abuses and manipulations that encourage incumbents to draw districts which protect their seats rather than risk an open contest.
By exploring how the system works, as well as how open it is to abuse, The Redistricting Game allows players to experience the realities of one of the most important (yet least understood) aspects of our political system. The game provides a basic introduction to the redistricting system, allows players to explore the ways in which abuses can undermine the system, and provides info about reform initiatives – including a playable version of the Tanner Reform bill to demonstrate the ways that the system might be made more consistent with tenets of good governance. Beyond playing the game, the web site for The Redistricting Game provides a wealth of information about redistricting in every state as well as providing hands-on opportunities for civic engagement and political action.
We always tend to think of the U.S. as a “nation of immigrants.” About 12% of the U.S. population today is foreign-born. It is eye-opening to put this number in perspective. Just look at some of the data collected by the U.N.
- Sweden, 12.4%
- United Kingdom, 9.1%
- Greece, 8.8%
- Spain, 11.1%
- Austria, 15.1%
- France, 10.7%
- Germany, 12.3%
- Netherlands, 10.1%
- Switzerland, 22.9%
It’s not just the relative size of the immigrant population in these countries that is remarkable. Equally interesting is that these countries became immigrant nations in a very short time–with little prior experience handling large population inflows. Combine this with an explosive mix of ethnic and cultural conflicts, and very generous welfare systems. No wonder the immigration debate in Europe is at least as heated as it is in the United States.
Australia, Canada and New Zealand also rank highly. And India and China are retaining more of their top people and attracting them back from the US and elsewhere. The erosion of the US century-long “immigration advantage” is already upon us. Its effects will be slow to register, as this is a long-term accumulated advantage, but they will be felt.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is on the front-lines of the global talent wars. He is all too well aware of how London is pummeling New York in the competition for financial talent and in global financial markets. To counteract this, he has been on a mission to make NYC more family friendly, improve its schools, make it greener and more sustainable. Now he sets his sights on our national “dysfunction” as this New York Times article (sub req) reports.
In unusually stark terms, Mr. Bloomberg
expressed his frustration with the state of the nation, touching on
campaign-style issues like the war in Iraq, immigration, education, health care and crime before a crowd of more than 1,000 employees at the Google campus here.
“Whoever out of those 20 becomes president I think has to do
something about a country that I think is really in trouble,” Mr.
Bloomberg said, referring to the current crop of candidates. “There’s
the war, there is our relationships around the world.”
“Our reputation has been hurt very badly in the last few years,” he
continued, criticizing what he called a “go-it-alone mentality” in an
increasingly interconnected world. …
Arguing that people have a much greater chance of being killed by
street crime than by a terror attack, he said: “Yet every press
conference, they all beat their chests and say, ‘I can protect this
country better from terrorism.’ Well, what about protecting them out in
the streets every day?” …
He ended the day in Los Angeles, where he assailed what he called
the “swamp of dysfunction” in Washington.
Update: Check out the video of Bloomberg’s remarks at google’s new public policy blog.