Joel Kotkin is one of America’s premier analysts of urbanism, urban economics, demographic change, and social trends. His brand new book, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class, turns upside down the conventional liberal narrative about why the middle and working classes are under pressure. It’s not capitalism and markets, but their perversions, especially in the hands of the tech oligarchs of Silicon Valley and through the overregulation of basic occupations and industries that prevent aspiring people from attaining a middle class standard of living, especially on the left-leaning coastal regions of the country.

It does not take much imagination to make out the connections between the maladies Kotkin explains here and the riots and protests from the left of the last two weeks, but he thinks the real rebellion that we need is from the middle and working classes against this stifling neo-feudalism—a rebellion from the middle, so to speak, that will need to be both cultural and political.

 

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  1. RufusRJones Member

    I am three fourths through, but I have to say something before I forget it. Joel talked about density and transportation making the pandemic worse and the complications of density on families and human flourishing.

    The Democrat party is forcing all kinds of centralization and density in the Minneapolis area. They have an unaccountable political vehicle called the Metropolitan Council that makes it easier for them. Look at the riots. They don’t know how to police this town. If that was the only thing they focused on, think of where we would be. They force centralization and they can’t provide basic public goods or a decent cost of living. The light rail system is a fiscal and sociological disaster, and I don’t see this turning around. Crime, social problems, and it’s a money vortex. It kills people either in car accidents or pedestrian accidents far more than buses.

    People on the left think forcing centralization will jack up GDP. I think they are mostly bad at managing it, and it’s ridiculous to force it. Urban sprawl may have its problems but the downside is very limited.

    Now that we’ve had the riot, what is going to happen with capital flight and insurance rates? The only thing that is going to fix it is jacking up the police force and somehow encouraging commerce. I don’t see it happening.

    This is two minutes long:

    • #1
    • June 14, 2020, at 6:38 AM PDT
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  2. RufusRJones Member

    One other thing. They never solve the educational disparities in this state. We’re always around #50. Sometimes we get up to 40 but we are usually at 50. I recently heard that Minnesota leads in racial home affordability. The difference between what whites and blacks can afford. I totally believe it. The riots happened for good reason. 

    • #2
    • June 14, 2020, at 6:45 AM PDT
    • Like
  3. colleenb Member
    colleenbJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    I am three fourths through, but I have to say something before I forget it. Joel talked about density and transportation making the pandemic worse and the complications of density on families and human flourishing.

    The Democrat party is forcing all kinds of centralization and density in the Minneapolis area. They have an unaccountable political vehicle called the Metropolitan Council that makes it easier for them. Look at the riots. They don’t know how to police this town. If that was the only thing they focused on, think of where we would be. They force centralization and they can’t provide basic public goods or a decent cost of living. The light rail system is a fiscal and sociological disaster, and I don’t see this turning around. Crime, social problems, and it’s a money vortex. It kills people either in car accidents or pedestrian accidents far more than buses.

    People on the left think forcing centralization will jack up GDP. I think they are mostly bad at managing it, and it’s ridiculous to force it. Urban sprawl may have its problems but the downside is very limited.

    Now that we’ve had the riot, what is going to happen with capital flight and insurance rates? The only thing that is going to fix it is jacking up the police force and somehow encouraging commerce. I don’t see it happening.

    This is two minutes long:

    Thanks for this.

    • #3
    • June 15, 2020, at 3:45 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. RufusRJones Member

    What Minneapolis needed was way more police, a radical improvement in schools, and a less hostile business climate, none of which was going to happen.

    I forget where I heard this, it would be quite a bit better if the cops lived in Minneapolis which they are notorious for not living there, but who is going to do that if the schools are so bad? Plus it’s kind of bifurcated between gentrified and the opposite.

     

    • #4
    • June 15, 2020, at 4:48 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. colleenb Member
    colleenbJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    What Minneapolis needed was way more police, a radical improvement in schools, and a less hostile business climate, none of which was going to happen.

    I forget where I heard this, it would be quite a bit better if the cops lived in Minneapolis which they are notorious for not living there, but who is going to do that if the schools are so bad? Plus it’s kind of bifurcated between gentrified and the opposite.

    It’s not only the schools but also the housing. My son has to live in a city because of his job. It’s/going to be hard to find a house that he and his wife can afford. They plan to home school but most city workers are probably not going to be able to do that.

    • #5
    • June 18, 2020, at 8:22 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.