Friday Roundup: Superstar venture capital towns, the future of cars, domestic migration, e-commerce and jobs, paying students

There are always a few items we’ve read during the week that deserve more attention but don’t make it into our regular posts. So we bundle them for the Friday roundup.

Here’s this week’s bundle:

Wired: Colorado Schools Pay Students to Work With Local Tech Firms

The model of paying students for work they do in school is unusual, said Suzie Boss, an advocate for project-based learning and the author of 10 books on the subject. “But classroom walls are becoming a lot more permeable,” she said, citing examples in which a group of students in Georgia earned a patent for work they completed in school and seven districts in Iowa teamed up to help students spend part of their school days working for local companies.

“The desire to do this causes some really interesting conversations between schools and project partners,” Boss said. “Teachers push [academic] standards into these projects,” and schools don’t “want projects where kids are just an extra set of hands.”

Orange County Register (Kotkin): What does the future hold for the automobile?

Transit works brilliantly, as Wendell Cox and I demonstrated recently in a paper for Chapman’s Center for Demographics, to downtown San Francisco and a few other “legacy” urban centers, notably New York which accounts for a remarkable 40 percent of all transit commuting in the United States.

Yet, overall, 90 percent of Americans get to work in cars. Access to jobs represents a key factor. University of Minnesota research shows that the average employee in 49 of the nation’s 52 major metropolitan areas can reach barely 1 percent of the jobs in the area by transit within 30 minutes while cars offer upwards of 70 times more access. This practical concern does much to explain why up to 76 percent of all work trips remain people driving alone.

…perceptive transit boosters worry that the rise of services like Uber and Lyft could reduce demand for transit, as already has occurred in Los Angeles and even New York. In some places it could totally replace transit with subsidized rides. The final triumph for personalized transportation, owned or not, may come with the rise of autonomous vehicles. Such technologies could both relieve stress for drivers and increase the carrying capacity of the road system through better traffic management.

Redfin: Migration Patterns Show More People Leaving Politically Blue Counties

In the first half of 2017, more people moved from blue (Democratic) counties to red (Republican) counties than from red to blue counties, according to data on user searches. Counties were classified as “blue” if the Democratic candidate for 2016 won by more than 20 percentage points and vice versa for “red” counties.1

Overall, 7.4 percent more people moved out of blue counties than to them. Compare that with red counties, which saw about 1 percent more people moving in than moving out. Purple counties, where there’s a more balanced share of Democrats and Republicans, saw 3.9 percent more migrants moving in than out.

Wall Street Journal (Mandel op-ed): Get Ready for the Internet of Goods

But does e-commerce destroy more jobs than it creates? So far the answer seems to be no. From the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2017, brick-and-mortar retail full-time-equivalent jobs fell by roughly 123,000, or about 1%, according to my think tank’s analysis of the latest Labor Department data.

Over the same two-year stretch, the e-commerce industry has added some 178,000 jobs in fulfillment centers and electronic shopping firms. In addition, express delivery companies and other local couriers boosted their full-time-equivalent workers by another 58,000.

Manhattan Institute: Superstar Effect: Venture Capital Investments

Richard Florida posted an interesting analysis of venture capital investments over at City Lab.

Four cities dominate the charts: San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Boston, and Southern California. Call them the Big Four. No place else is even close.

It’s not just that they dominate in total dollars… They also dominate in total number of deals, with 52% of the nation’s total. So it’s not just a handful of big deals making the Big Four stand ou