Yesterday, over at TAPPED, Tim Fernholz commented on a Joel Kotkin piece from the Washington Post's Sunday Outlook section. Kotkin writes about cities a lot, despite the fact that he doesn't seem to like them very much. And based on his Sunday piece, he really seems to dislike Washington. I think Fernholz is on the right track in his understanding of the piece, but I think Kotkin deserves a little more criticism than he got.
No doubt you've already heard the news; Barack Obama has continued to demonstrate that elections matter by asking the EPA to reconsider its Bush-era position on tough emissions rules in California, and by pushing ahead measures to increase automobile fuel economy standards. This is unquestionably good news, but there are a few things that need to be said about the changes.
As a big supporter of rail and transit, the creation of the OneRail coalition is quite heartening. It is, in a nutshell, a group of rail advocacy organizations which have banded together to lobby for rail investment. The Hill reports:
Several trade and issue advocacy groups are part of OneRail, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Amtrak, the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association, the Association of American Railroads, and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership.
As fellow guester and Ligon Middle alum Neil Sinhababu notes, now is a good time to be borrowing if you're the American government. And while some of the forces that have reduced American debt costs (central bank demand for Treasuries and a general flight to safety) may ebb a bit in 2009, increased domestic saving will be there to help pick up the slack. (And suddenly high domestic savings rates are another reason why fiscal spending, as opposed to tax cuts alone, may be necessary; consumers are too spooked to do all that much with their windfall).