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May 31, 2007

Richard Florida

It's All Connected

Immigrants and Baby Boomers Futures' Converge


From HispanicBusiness.com (hat tip:  Connie Majure-Rhett of the Wilmington NC Chamber)

The quality of life for some 80 million graying baby boomers in the U.S. may depend in large part on the fortunes of another high-profile demographic group: millions of mostly Hispanic immigrants and their children.

With a major part of the nation's population entering its retirement years and birth rates falling domestically, the shortfall in the work force will be filled by immigrants and their offspring, experts say. How that group fares economically in the years ahead could have a big impact on everything from the kind of medical services baby boomers receive to the prices they can get for their homes.

Full story here.

Who knew that the new immigration bill was going to impact the healthcare your parents are going to get??

posted by Kevin Stolarick

A little article in yesterday's WSJ, highlights how even the most popular companies are having to alter their plans/strategies in order to attract the most talented. Here is the blurb:

"One trend affecting those markets: Some traditional Silicon Valley employers have been looking for space in San Francisco because they have found their younger work force prefers an urban environment to the sprawling tech campuses. Google Inc., based in Mountain View, Calif., already subleased space at San Francisco's Hills Plaza from Gap Inc."

posted by David

For this week’s "By the Numbers," we release the third segment of our talent cluster analysis.   This week examine the top clusters for mid-sized metros (500K-250K).   

As we’ve done the past two weeks, we list the top three mid-sized regions for each cluster.     Our rankings are based on three criteria: size of the labor force, LQ, and salary.  Check out last week’s entry for an explanation of these criteria.

Mid_sized_2Next week, we will release our final set of talent clusters for small metros.

If you would like more detail or a complete list of rankings for regions, contact Steven or David.

Download CCG_TalentCluster_MidSized.pdf

posted by: Steven

May 30, 2007

Tolerance for Gay Rights at High-Water Mark


Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted each May, finds current public tolerance for gay rights at the high-water mark of attitudes recorded over the past three decades. There is still considerable public opposition to complete equality for gays, particularly with respect to marriage. However, after several years of lower support for gay rights, support is now springing back to the relatively high levels seen in 2003. The clearest example of the recent renewal in pro-gay rights attitudes comes from a question asking Americans whether they believe homosexual relations should be legal. Public tolerance for this aspect of gay rights expanded from 43% at the inception of the question in 1977 to 60% in May 2003. Then in July 2003, it fell to 50% and remained at about that level through 2005. Last year, it jumped to 56% and this year it reached 59%, similar to the 2003 high point.

Full story here.

posted by Kevin Stolarick

Richard Florida

Icky Thump

Immigration is becoming the defining political issue of the creative age. Here, the White Stripes take it on:

Hat Tip: Tyler


Posted by Amanda.

May 29, 2007

Richard Florida

Creative Britain

James Purnell, a Minister in Britain's government and of course an MP, slated to rise in the Brown government lays out the case for a creative policy.

... I therefore want to set an ambitious but achievable goal today: to make Britain the world’s creative hub. To meet that goal, there are two questions we need to answer: what makes Britain creative, and how can we turn that creativity into industrial success.   In other words, how can we turn talent into hits and hits into profits.

The whole agenda here is a must read. Whether you agree or not, look at how he sees Britain as the world's creative hub. He notes the US size, but says Britain is nimbler and is stronger pound for pound. I have been saying for a long time sooner or later someplace, somewhere will figure out how to leverage the emerging creative economy and build real policy infrastructure which can accelerate its growth. I have been also saying it is not likely to be China or India but a smaller, nimbler country or region or combination of regions. Lots of places have assets  - could be Britain, or Canada, or Sweden or some combination of Scandinavian regions or Australia or New Zealand.

But the real question is this: Could you even imagine a US Senator or Congress person or member of the Executive Branch who can even begin to think this way. Name one? What does that say about America's longer-run competitive advantage?

May 28, 2007

Richard Florida

"Falling Star Cities"

Robert Shiller of Irrational Exuberance fame takes on "super-star cities."

In a much-talked-about recent paper entitled "Superstar Cities," economists Joseph Gyourko, Christopher Mayer, and Todd Sinai argue that such high-status cities - not only London, Paris, and New York, but also cities like Philadelphia and San Diego - may show an "ever-widening gap in housing values" when compared with other cities  The authors seem to be saying, in effect, that a housing boom in these areas can go on forever. ... Many people view the superstar city theory as confirming their hunch that, despite the current slowdown in home prices elsewhere ..., investors can expect to make huge long-term gains by buying homes in these cities, even though the homes there are already expensive. But, as I have said in my debates with the authors, if one reads their paper carefully and thinks about the issues, one would see that there is no reason to draw such a conclusion.

(pointer via Mark Thoma). Shiller is a smart-guy, but I line up squarely with Gyourko and company.  Surely, a huge segment of the housing market is in for a blood-bath, but the advent of the spiky world ensures that super-star markets globally will outpace the rest. BTW, Gyourko et al say clearly the super-star cities are not immune from sharp ups and down. But that in the long-run their rate of appreciation far outpaces everywhere else.

Continue reading ""Falling Star Cities"" »

Richard Florida


Virgina Postrel on Tom Friedman:

If Tom Friedman didn't work for The New York Times and name-drop like crazy, nobody would read his books. His success proves that the world is not flat, whatever that means. (Ed Leamer's Journal of Economic Literature review is the definitive word on Friedman's book, combining entertaining metaphorical parsing and serious economic analysis.)

May 27, 2007

Or so Michael Arrington writes over at TechCrunch::

Times are good, money is flowing, and Silicon Valley sucks. I don’t know what it is, but the same thing happened in the late nineties before the bubble burst. Lots of startups got funded that made no sense but people got excited anyway. A unique, beautiful and well executed idea was not a story worth talking about until that first round of big, eye-popping capital. People become more anxious, and more likely to snap at someone in anger or jealousy. Rumor mongering spikes, and a crucial balance is lost. It’s no longer about beautiful products and genius developers. It’s about the money and the status, and hot PR chicks and marketing departments.

Read the whole thing here. Do you agree?

May 26, 2007

Dana McKenzie writing in the New Scientist:

"How in the image of material man, at once his glory and his menace, is this thing we call a city," said the architect Frank Lloyd Wright in a 1904 speech. He proceeded to elaborate on his metaphor of a city as a living organism: "Thousands of acres of cellular tissue, the city's flesh, outspreads layer upon layer, enmeshed by an intricate network of veins and arteries radiating into the gloom, and in them, with muffled, persistent roar, circulating as the blood circulates in your veins, is the almost ceaseless beat of the activity to whose necessities it all conforms..." Do cities actually work like biological entities?

The rest after the jump.

Continue reading "City, Scaling and Biological Systems" »