Blog Posts

  • Blending Powers: Hamilton, FDR and the backlash that shaped the modern Congress

    Now available in the January edition of the Journal of Policy History (Volume 33, Issue 1). Abstract: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt shaped the role of the modern president in part with his relentless pursuit of grand policies and his ability to marshal historic legislation through Congress. In this article, I focus on one legislative tactic… Read more

  • Community Wealth Shapes Local Economic Development Programs

    Local economic development priorities say a lot about the wealth of a community. Municipalities with strong economies are less interested in jobs than those with a weak economy and are more likely to pursue environmental sustainability and social equity goals. Municipalities with weak economies focus primarily on the basics; jobs and tax revenues. The results,… Read more

  • A Survey of Local Economic Metrics in Virginia

    Local governments are a focus of economic planning ­– with varying degrees of state oversight. These entities, cities, counties, and unincorporated communities, are a logical focal point in part because they produce the most read and debated documents in government (annual operating budgets, long-term capital expenditure plans, financial statements, and general plans). These documents guide… Read more

  • Rethinking Metrics for Local Economic Development

    The unemployment rate is too simplistic a measure to use for gauging the condition of a local economy. It masks the number of workers underemployed and those making less than a living wage. The workers suffering under the current economy are those local governments need to perform at high level. Every chance I get I’m… Read more

  • Tourism for taxes or good jobs?

    Tourism for taxes or good jobs?

    Tourism is widely valued by cities across the United States. Public officials and their economic advisers champion the cause of tourism by using a variety of economic models to show how tourist spending gets converted to restaurant tabs and then to employee wages. In turn, these wages are used to buy groceries and consumables that… Read more

  • Making a case for the Just Host

    Making a case for the Just Host

    My current research looks at high tax, low-wage sectors from a local economic development perspective. First up is the hospitality sub-sector. I’ve presented some of this research at an academic conference and to fellow researchers during my PhD studies. In the months ahead, I will write about this ongoing research project, introducing elements that will… Read more