A few of us will be discussing Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class on April 16. (If you are interested in how local and regional economies work, why the design of urban space matters, and why certain cities attract more creative, talented people than others, please join us).
Here is an abridged version of the preface to the new edition if you’re not familiar with the book. Here is Edward Glaeser’s review and Florida’s response to him. Steven Malanga accuses Florida of promoting a liberal, government-heavy economic agenda that doesn’t work.
Thomas Frank suggests Florida’s creative class exists to entertain the business class. Ross Douthat mentions Florida in a piece this week on “assortive mating.”
The Internet is great. But good and local reporting on important issues is getting harder to come by. Conor Friedersdorf explains why here.
For example, I’m pretty well informed on the debt crisis in Cyprus. But I need major help understanding what Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is doing to our local education budget. And our local crisis of education budgets is WAY more important to my life. So, Fort Scott Tribune, we need your very best reporting on stuff that really matters. A great education is a must for kids. Yet Brownback has slashed education spending in a way that will mean something between $22 and $75 less funding per student, a level far below the level of funding required by the courts. Even Moody’s responded with a “negative” rating on Kansas due to the underfunding of education. Brownback’s budget is garnering wide ranging ridicule from places like Salon, and the NYT. How about a little less on quilting circles and random opinion pieces and a little more actual journalism on stuff that matters?
Doubt, Deconstruction, Capitalism, & Church
This article by Jeremy John is a little dense at points. The spirit of the piece is prophetic. The only quibble I have is that it is a little flat-footed about “capitalism.” There is no one thing called “capitalism.” So I suggest inserting “capitalism as it currently exists,” or “unregulated capitalism,” or “dehumanizing capitalism.”
Is your city “vibrant”?
Thomas Frank on our penchant for over-using the word “vibrant” to describe where we want to live, the cultural invisibility of people who aren’t “cool,” and how it all relates to rural depopulation.