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    Bridging divides in policy, culture, and on campus

    Metaphors, stories, and parables help us glimpse the unseeable, touch the unapproachable, and plumb the unfathomable. We learn from experience and example. As knowledge of the world grows more specialized, the cost and likelihood of isolation also grow. Samuel Matlack explains in an elegant essay that “if it mattes…
    Joseph Coletti, April 23, 2018
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    Podcasts worth listening to this week

    Some great conversations made my time in the car much better this week Steven Teles is one of the most insightful people writing about conservatism and government, from the Federalist Society to the kludgy way government has evolved. He’s a liberal working with libertarians at the Niskanen…
    Joseph Coletti, April 19, 2018
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    Wait for it

    Some truths span cultures, even if we forget them from time to time. When somebody rediscovers one of these truths, it starts to show up everywhere. Consider the importance of waiting to have children until marriage, which should come after completing education and beginning work (or post-secondary education). The Journals…
    Joseph Coletti, March 29, 2018
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    More people can afford to get where they need, and that’s a bad thing?

    Advocates of public transit see an emergency in falling ridership of buses and subways. But the article acknowledges, “Reliability issues have hit low-income riders hardest,” and alternatives are more affordable. Transit is designed to carry large numbers of people in a small space, but it doesn’t always meet people where…
    Joseph Coletti, March 23, 2018
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    Can barbers spur local economic growth?

    Chuck Marohn is a city planner who tries to expose the game for what it is. In a recent Strong Towns post that then appeared at Philanthropy Daily, Marohn explains why bringing a barber into town once a week from the regional center would be a better investment than…
    Joseph Coletti, March 12, 2018
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    Using the public coffers for political theater

    Nathan Jensen, a professor a the University of Texas, Austin, explains to readers of the New York Times that corporate incentives are simply political theater. We’ve made the same point, but it cannot be repeated often enough. “If Amazon chooses Atlanta, politicians will point to all that they…
    Joseph Coletti, March 6, 2018
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    Fire Escapes in the Urban Landscape

    Fire escapes are such an iconic part of city buildings that a downtown Raleigh building has one as a mural on its southern face. Pippa Biddle has a fascinating account of the history of fire escapes in The Atlantic, covering the regulations and laws on their size and…
    Joseph Coletti, February 27, 2018
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    Federal Infrastructure Plan

    President Trump’s budget acknowledges that the federal government cannot provide money for everything, but then increases federal spending in some areas and anticipates states, localities, and the private sector will provide even more money. Nowhere is this more visible than in the president’s plan for infrastructure. The plan reverses the…
    Joseph Coletti, February 13, 2018