Archive for March, 2011

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Mar 30th 2011 at 10:30am UTC

The Conservative States of America

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

America is an increasingly conservative nation, by ideology and by political affiliation, according to  polling results from the Gallup Organization. While conservatives have long outnumbered liberals and moderates across the U.S., the study sheds new light on state by state patterns. The map below shows the pattern for the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Source: Map via Gallup.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Mar 23rd 2011 at 7:30am UTC

Why Are Some Cities Happier than Others?

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Earlier this week, I wrote about the new rankings of happy cities based on the 2010 edition of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The map below shows how 185 of America’s largest metros stack up on this happiness index.

In his book, Stumbling on Happiness, Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert notes that there are three great decisions in life that affect your happiness: “Where to live, what to do, and with whom to do it.”  The second two have been examined in great depth; the third, up until now, not so much.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat Mar 19th 2011 at 2:04pm UTC

U.S. Far Down the List of Globalization

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

The United States has dropped off the list of the top 25 most globalized nations, according to the new Index of Globalization released today by the KOF Swiss Economic Institute. The U.S. slipped to 27th place overall and 43rd on more specific measures of economic globalization, according to the report. The report notes however that “As a large economy, a high proportion of [the U.S.’s] trade is internal, which means that [it] does not ‘need’ to be as globalized as small countries.”

The overall globalization of the world economy has also slowed as a result of the lingering economic crisis, according to the Index, which tracks trends in overall globalization as well as in three specific categories – economic, social and political globalization.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Mar 18th 2011 at 10:00am UTC

Happy Cities, Revisited

Friday, March 18th, 2011

The new Gallup data on America’s happiest metro regions has just been released. Last year’s Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index ranked Silicon Valley as America’s happiest metro-region. This year Boulder, Colorado is the winner.  Boulder recently was named the best city for startups and registers highly on my own creativity rankings. College towns dominate the rankings. DC ranks tenth.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Mar 16th 2011 at 10:00am UTC

America’s Great Passport Divide

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

There are Red States and Blue States, rich states and poor states, and Bible and Rust-belt states. But now we must add Globe-trotting and Stay-at-home states to that list too – that is, according to new data on the percentage of Americans who have a passport. The map below – which has been getting a lot of attention on-line (via Grey’s Blog) – charts the trend for the fifty states.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Mar 11th 2011 at 10:30am UTC

Unions and State Economies: Don’t Believe the Hype

Friday, March 11th, 2011

“The bitter political standoff in Wisconsin over Governor Scott Walker’s bid to sharply curtail collective bargaining for public-sector workers ended abruptly Wednesday night as Republican colleagues in the State Senate successfully maneuvered to adopt a bill doing just that,” The New York Times reports this morning. “Democrats….condemned the move as an attack on working families, a violation of open meetings requirements….and a virtual firebomb in state that already found itself politically polarized and consumed with recall efforts, large scale protests and fury from public workers.” Rallies and demonstrations continue in the state.

As heated as it’s been, the rhetoric over unions is fast-approaching the boiling point; Wisconsin is just the beginning. The right accuses unions, especially public sector unions, of stifling economic competitiveness and putting state economies in the red. “The bottom line is we are trying to balance our budget and there really is no room to negotiate on that because we’re broke,” Scott Walker told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America. Or as Harvard economist Robert Barro wrote in the The Wall Street Journal: “Labor unions like to portray collective bargaining as a basic civil liberty, akin to the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and religion .…[but] collective bargaining on a broad scale is more similar to an antitrust violation than to a civil liberty.”

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Mar 10th 2011 at 7:30am UTC

Revolution Is Spiky

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

It wasn’t so long ago that we thought the world was flat.  Globalization had leveled the playing field, technology spelled the death of distance, and people were fleeing the cities for the comfort of the suburbs. We’d reached the end of history. And social media could never, ever be a tool of social activism.

Taken collectively, these popular nostrums shaped a vision of an unreal world inhabited by billions of solipsists – where, as Blair Kamin of The Chicago Tribune recently described it, people “lived in lonely isolation, lured away from the public square by the seduction of Internet chatrooms.” But the lesson of Egypt—and of Tunisia, Bahrain, Libya, Iran, and everywhere else that has been swept up in the wave of revolutionary activism—is quite the opposite. “The Web doesn’t supplant the public square,” Kamin declares, “It pushes people to it.”

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Mar 4th 2011 at 7:30am UTC

The Revolt of the Creative Class

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Some have already taken to calling the events in the Middle East “the Arab 1848.” Future generations, perhaps, will talk about the “spirit of 2011” when the ground begins to crumble beneath their own autocracies.

But are the same factors at work today as they were in past revolutionary surges? Some are undoubtedly similar – throngs of disgruntled people have taken to the streets, questing for freedom and economic opportunity.  Others, like the use of social media from YouTube to Facebook and Twitter, are undoubtedly new and different.  Do the unfolding events of 2011 fit with our existing understanding of revolution or might they warrant updating?

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Mar 3rd 2011 at 3:25pm UTC

Chart of the Day: Twitter Cities

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Great graphic from the Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

The Center monitored Twitter in selected global cities to identify patterns of use and networks in these places (via planetizen).

CCE Editor
by CCE Editor
Tue Mar 1st 2011 at 10:35pm UTC

Creative Spaces Series

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

CCG CEO Rana Florida’s HGTV Creative Spaces Series launched today. Check in every month to see some of the most inspiring designer digs.

Check out this interview.

Here are the featured spaces: