After the dust settles, the tsunami recedes or the cookie crumbles, depending on your metaphor of choice for our present economic condition, who will be left standing? More specifically, what regions of the country can expect to rebound quickly and which ones are headed for even deeper trouble?
That’s the provocative topic of Richard Florida’s Atlantic Monthly essay this month, which is the starting point for my column in this Monday’s newspaper. It’s long (Florida’s article, not my column!). And it contains some predictions of doom for certain cities and states that must give them pause. For the record, he expects the Pacific Northwest, from Vancouver, B.C., to Eugene, to do just fine — he jumped on our bandwagon in his book “The Rise of the Creative Class” way back in 2002, after all. He doesn’t think the same for Phoenix, Cleveland and Detroit.
Early in that article, Florida mentions Elizabeth Currid’s book, “The Warhol Economy,” as he explains why he thinks New York City, even though the hit it has taken from the collapse of the financial sector is massive, will continue to thrive. Currid, who teaches at USC, did a “case study” of the creative class in New York, specifically the music, fashion and art scenes, and found that these interwoven “industries” were 1) far more important to the city’s economic health than commonly understood, and 2) when linked to the national media outlets and the rest of the city’s creative economy of designers, theater, and the other arts, were absolutely crucial to the city’s identity as an international center.
Continue reading Please Coraline, save the economy!