Stian Westlake joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the future of productivity and how institutions and policymakers can adapt to the new "intangible" economy.
Throughout history, as documented in the book Capitalism Without Capital by Westlake and coauthor Jonathan Haskel, firms have invested in physical goods like machines and computers. As society has grown richer, companies have invested increasingly in "intangible" assets: research and development, branding, organizational development, and software. Today's challenge is to build the institutions and enact the policies that will maximize the new economy's potential.
Rafael A. Mangual joins Seth Barron to discuss New York City's plan to replace the jail complex on Rikers Island with four borough-based jails and what it could mean for public order in the city.
New York City jails currently house a daily average of about 8,000 people, in a city of 8 million residents. Under the new plan, the borough-based jails (once constructed) will be able to house 3,300 people—less than half the city's average daily jail population today. As Barron writes, the new target "will likely require a significant realignment of expectations about public safety."
Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America, joins City Journal contributing editor Nicole Gelinas to discuss the state of U.S. infrastructure and how federal spending could be used more effectively to improve safety and reduce fiscal waste.
The federal government spends between $40 billion and $60 billion on transportation infrastructure annually. In recent years, congressional leaders and the White House have pushed a $2 trillion plan to upgrade roads, bridges, and more. But such proposals, Osborne argues, "would throw more money into the same flawed system."
Heather Mac Donald joins Seth Barron to discuss homelessness on the streets of San Francisco and the city’s wrongheaded attempts to solve the problem.
"San Francisco has conducted a real-life experiment in what happens when a society stops enforcing bourgeois norms of behavior," writes Mac Donald in City Journal. For nearly three decades, the Bay Area has been a magnet for the homeless. Now the situation is growing dire, as residents and visitors experience near-daily contact with mentally disturbed persons.
Mac Donald's essay, "San Francisco, Hostage to the Homeless," appears in City Journal's Autumn 2019 issue; an adapted version was published in the Wall Street Journal.
Howard Husock joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss Husock's new book, Who Killed Civil Society? The Rise of Big Government and Decline of Bourgeois Norms.
Government-run social programs funded with tax dollars are thought to be the "solution" to America's social ills. But in his new book, Who Killed Civil Society?, Husock shows that historically, it was voluntary organizations and civic society, operating independently from government and its mandates, that best promoted the habits and values conducive to upward social mobility.
Learn more about the Civil Society Awards and fellows program on the Manhattan Institute website.