How Traffic Circles Became Ground Zero for the French Middle Class

Garrisoned in Roundabouts, ‘Yellow Vest’ Protesters Want Urban Elites to Respect Their Suburban Dream

Just over 50 years ago, Jacques Tati’s Playtime opened in French movie theaters. In the comedy, Tati once again features his iconic character, Monsieur Hulot, the confused but courtly Parisian who confronts the challenges of a rapidly modernizing France. This time, Mr. Hulot tries to navigate the shining and sleek newly developed periphery of Paris, suddenly bristling with buildings and streets that are indistinguishable from one another. The camera captures the hopelessness of Mr. Hulot’s quest when it focuses on a rond-point, or traffic circle, around which slow-moving cars and buses, …

The Walls Are Too High in the Kingdom of Ventura

Growth Restrictions Have Saved Open Space in California, but Wealthy Elites Also Use Them to Keep the Middle Class Out

Ventura County is the most glorious and verdant of California kingdoms.

Just ask its princes and princesses—those fortunate enough to be able to afford to live and vote there. Most of …

What Does China’s Growing Middle Class Desire Most? Blue Skies.

Decades of Rapid Industrialization Created Massive Pollution, Now Wealthier Chinese Are Demanding a Cleaner Environment

Over the last 35 years, China’s economy has completely transformed itself, thanks to urbanization and industrialization.

As their country has become the “world’s factory,” hundreds of millions of Chinese people …

How Ronald Reagan Peddled Laundry Detergent

Borax Promised Americans a Ticket to the Middle Class and a Mythic Piece of the Western Frontier

One fall evening in 1881, a prospector named Henry Spiller knocked on the door of Aaron and Rosie Winters’ modest stone cabin about 40 miles due east of Death Valley …

The Pain Behind the Pennsylvania Primary

Trump's Working-Class Supporters Are Reeling From Job Losses, Drugs, and a Spike in Suicides

What’s driving disaffected voters to political outsiders like Donald Trump? One big factor is America’s abandonment of labor-intensive manufacturing, and its rush toward a hi-tech, eco-friendly, creative economy that excludes …

This Is How We Saved the Middle Class in the 1980s

We Faced Inequality and Unemployment 35 Years Ago. What We Did Then Could Work Again Now.

It’s easy to think that, in the world of employment and anti-poverty programs, nothing ever changes, that the same joblessness continues even as the government spends billions of dollars each …