Spring 2022

Infrastructure Bonanza

It promises to be a busy couple of years for Vincent Valdes. As the federal government begins to pump $1.2 trillion into the nation’s infrastructure, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission he leads is in the thick of discussions around how to spend the region’s share, which will be counted in hundreds of millions of dollars and …

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America – Where Agency Flourishes

“In the beginning all the world was America.” — John Locke Previously in this series: On Agency Part VII Turning from China to the West Last week we observed human agency as it collapsed in Rome but was championed by the Germanic tribes that would eventually defeat the Roman Empire. The “freedom of the German …

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A Troubling Economic Picture

The Pittsburgh metropolitan statistical area’s economy enters 2022 in much the same condition as it exhibited prior to the pandemic. That is, growing, but doing so at a pace below the national average and under the yoke of subpar labor market conditions. Even though the bar has been lowered as to what economic growth targets …

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A Bowl of Porridge by Any Other Name (Oatmeal!)

I went to college in Maine, where winters were long and white, and spring, as we think of it, didn’t really arrive until May. My intended escape from the tundra came junior year when I spent the spring semester studying at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. But while snow was rare in Dublin, and Ireland …

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Fuller Brook Dreams

I had seen the stream many times before, in my dreams. As someone averse to synthetic sleep aids, I’ve always relied instead on my mind to take me to one of my happy places: a rugged and undeveloped coastline with soaring seagulls and salty air; my grandmother’s kitchen table; a sweet stream flowing through the …

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