Living Long and Prospering

  Over my sabbatical year, I visited dozens of communities across the United States. I appreciated the welcome that I received from each place, but certainly each community had their differences, whether political, economic, demographic, etc. That’s part of living in a diverse republic. But I was also fascinated by the shared ideas that many… Continue reading Living Long and Prospering

Generation Means

    With every major economic report, whether it’s quarterly GDP or monthly unemployment, new op-eds churn about Millennials’ poor economic fortunes relative to older generations. Some insist that we are better off. Others go on the counter-attack. We were at war with Eurasia—or was it Eastasia?   David Brooks, writing last week about the… Continue reading Generation Means

Book Review of Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity

  I enjoy a good town motto. Not a nickname—like “the city that never sleeps”—but a motto: a phrase that conveys the essence or mission of a place. Some are quite literal. Before visiting Cleveland, I did not know that its motto was “progress and prosperity,” fine ideals for any city to aspire to. San… Continue reading Book Review of Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity

A Note of Gratitude

    As many of you know, the pandemic partly inspired me to take a sabbatical to write a book. There were many events over the pandemic years that one could feel hopeless about—the toll of the disease, our country’s continuing legacy of racism, political polarization, school shootings, climate change, student and household debt, the… Continue reading A Note of Gratitude

Community and Therapy

  One of the pleasures of conducting research interviews is that you can discover things along the way that had not occurred to you when planning the project. Or these unexpected discoveries cause you to rethink your perspective on a given subject, even if you thought you knew it well. Whether it’s the second or… Continue reading Community and Therapy

Where’s the Land?

      Before getting into the content of today’s post, I think it is important to acknowledge the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The bill may be a far cry from what Democrats campaigned on in recent years, but I think there are many things in the Act that will… Continue reading Where’s the Land?

Alternatives to Busywork

    Last week, the New York Times ran an op-ed with the temptingly clickable title of, “It’s Time to Stop Living the American Scam.” Good millennial that I am, I eagerly clicked on this piece, looking for further validation and confirmation of my generation’s collective economic angst (see also). By then, 2,000+ people had… Continue reading Alternatives to Busywork

Housing Complexity

    As some of you know, I officially started my one-year sabbatical this week. I plan to start traveling to conduct interviews in mid-August, with the goal of wrapping up my travels and interviews sometime around February 2023. Before traveling, though, there’s still a lot of preparatory work to be done (and posts/newsletters to… Continue reading Housing Complexity

Halfway Back to the Land

I recently finished Dona Brown’s Back to the Land: The Enduring Dream of Self-Sufficiency in Modern America, and I highly recommend it as an insightful history of the back-to-the-land movement in the United States.    I admit that I was initially skeptical of the back-to-the-land movement. My preconceived notions were that the back-to-the-landers came from… Continue reading Halfway Back to the Land

Towards Community Motive

The pandemic inspired the creation of this website. Specifically, what the pandemic highlighted about life in the United States inspired this website. The problems mentioned below have deep roots going back many years. But, for many of us, the pandemic brought these problems into clearer focus and amplified their urgency.   Inspirations   I. Basic Needs… Continue reading Towards Community Motive