[TheWorld] Critics toward Richard Florida
Very critical paper coming from City Journal:
But cities rushing to embrace Floridas ideas have based their strategies more on wishful thinking than clear-eyed analysis. Neither the professor nor his most ardent adherents seem worried that the Internet generation formed its eccentric capitalist culture during a speculative bubble, when billions of dollars of free-flowing investment capital gave workers and their bosses the freedom to ignore basic economic concerns, and that now, with that money vanished and many companies defunct, a focus on such old-economy ideas as profits and tax rates has re-emerged.
Moreover, as Floridas ideas reach beyond urban-planning types and New Age liberal politicians, they are at some point likely to find resistance from the hard-core urban Left, composed increasingly of social-services activists and representatives of public-employee and service-industry unions, who demand ever more government spending for social programs, not art and culture. Indeed, the professors relentless argument that governments should help furnish bobo-friendly amenities ultimately comes to sound like a new form of class warfare: old-economy workers have no place in his utopian dreams.
But a far more seriousindeed, fatalobjection to Floridas theories is that the economics behind them dont work. Although Floridas book bristles with charts and statistics showing how he constructed his various indexes and where cities rank on them, the professor, incredibly, doesnt provide any data demonstrating that his creative cities actually have vibrant economies that perform well over time. A look at even the most simple economic indicators, in fact, shows that, far from being economic powerhouses, many of Floridas favored cities are chronic underperformers.