This article calls for more emphasis to be given to the development of cities, including a stronger political role and a realization just how strong cities actually are. The problem is that many suburbanites don’t support the city and much of political policy is not directed towards making cities stronger.
California, it is often noted, accounts for more than a tenth of the national economy. That’s true—but somewhat misleading. The “California economy” is not evenly spread across the state, but rather it is driven by a few metropolitan areas. The Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas are responsible for more than half the state’s economic clout. Along with San Diego and San Jose, they together contribute 72 percent of the state’s GDP. True, if California were its own country it would have the eighth largest GDP in the world, but if these four metros alone were a separate nation, they would outpace India, Mexico, South Korea, and Australia.
Ryan Avent gives additional suggestions as to how the federal government could enable a stronger-cities policy.