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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Huge orange flying boat rises off a lake / Thousand-year-old petroglyphs doing a double take / Pointing a finger at eternity / I'm sitting in the middle of this ecstasy
— Bruce Cockburn, Wondering Where the Lions Are
March 14, 2009
Richard Florida in the Atlantic Monthly

The March 2009 cover of the Atlantic Monthly featured a series of “regional” covers highlighting an article by Richard Florida called How the Crash Will Reshape America. Apparently, the Atlantic considers Canada one region as the Vancouver area edition featured not Vancouver (mentioned in the article) and not even Seattle (the economic hub of our region) but Toronto. Yes…Toronto. 4000km away.

Although my feelings on Florida are mixed, the article isn’t bad. He addresses some good points and every time a hole in his logical circle poked up he managed to plug it like a good little dutch boy. Some excerpts.

How the Crash Will Reshape America
Richard Florida, The Atlantic Monthly, March 2009

“The world’s 40 largest mega-regions, which are home to some 18 percent of the world’s population, produce two-thirds of global economic output and nearly 9 in 10 new patented inventions…Cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, Raleigh, and Boston now have two or three times the concentration of college graduates of Akron or Buffalo…as globalization has increased the financial return on innovation by widening the consumer market, the pull of innovative places, already dense with highly talented workers, has only grown stronger, created a snowball effect…successful cities, unlike biological organisms, actually get faster as they grow older.”

“Perhaps no major city in the U.S. today looks more beleaguered than Detroit, where in October the average home price was $18,513, and some 45,000 properties were in some form of foreclosure.”

“In Chicago, for instance, the country’s 50 biggest law firms grew by 2,130 lawyers from 1984 to 2006…Throughout the the rest of the Midwest, these firms added a total of just 169 attorneys.”

“Bank of America has taken to the banking like a shopaholic with a new credit card; it has been bargain-hunting and cutting some astonishing deals. Bank of America will come out the other side far better than in any fantasy it might have entertained previously.”

“To an uncommon degree, the economic boom in these cities was propelled by housing appreciation: as prices rose, more people moved in, seeking inexpensive lifestyles and the opportunity to get in on the real-estate market where it was rising…Local homeowners pumped more and more capital out of their houses as well, taking out home-equity loans and injecting money into the local economy in the form of home improvements and demand for retail goods and low-level services.”

Posted by skooter at 4:06 AM This entry is filed under Politics, Technology.
This entry is tagged: Articles, Economics, Politics, Technology

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