The conventional wisdom presumes that growing populations bring economic growth. But what drives wealth isn’t how many people a place is adding, but how much more productive its workers are becoming. Yesterday, I showed that population growth and productivity growth are unrelated on the level of states. Today, drawing on my ongoing research with Kevin Stolarick of the Martin Prosperity Institute and Jose Lobo of Arizona State University, I’ll take a look at the pattern for 350 plus U.S. metro areas. The disconnect is even more pronounced.
Archive for the ‘The Great Reset’ Category
This past weekend, I had an oped in the New York Daily News about the widespread fallacy that population growth and prosperity go hand in hand.
Yes, the Sunbelt is growing and the Frostbelt declining. That decades old meme was confirmed by the earliest releases of the new 2010 Census. “The quest for mild winters remains the great constant of American demographics,” wrote Walter Shapiro in a piece headlined “The Census Ratifies the Sunbelt’s Supremacy and Buoys the GOP. “For the first time in history, more than half of the nation’s population (308,745,538) resides either in the South or in the warm-weather states of California, Arizona and New Mexico.”
But are those states that are adding people also growing economically? Not so much, actually.
My latest columns:
A growing chorus of commentators believes America faces an increasingly jobless future. They argue that the US economy can no longer create meaningful numbers of high-paying jobs, especially for less skilled workers who lack college or more advanced degrees.
There is no question that millions of high-paying jobs have been eliminated and private sector job creation has been anaemic. The US unemployment level did fall to 9.5 per cent in the latest figures released on Friday, but this decrease was mostly because more than half a million people gave up looking for work at all.Periods of crisis and creative destruction such as the current one are when new categories of jobs are created as old categories of jobs are destroyed. The key to a sustained recovery is to turn as many of these – as well as existing lower-paying jobs – into better, family-supporting jobs.
More and more economic experts are saying the U.S. economy is headed for a “double-dip” recession. But actually it’s much more – and much more serious than that. Earlier this week, Paul Krugman speculated that the U.S. is headed for a Third Great Depression, noting that while recessions are relatively common and depressions quite rare, he fears our current economic circumstance is coming to look more like the Great Depression of the 1930s or the Long Depression of the late 19th century.
The first chart below from David Leonhardt of The New York Times shows the recent downturn in private-sector unemployment.
My interview with the New York Post’s Brian Moore.
To Richard Florida, calling today’s economic woes the “Great Recession” doesn’t begin to describe the tectonic forces at work. This is not simply a time when jobs are hard to find, says the urban theorist and best-selling author, who also runs the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s management school. Unlike previous downturns, such as the ones that kicked off the previous three decades, he believes today’s recession is a “great reset” that will fundamentally change the work we do and the way we do it.
“Great resets are mechanisms by which technologies change, productivities improve,” says Florida, whose latest book — titled, yes, “The Great Reset” — describes current and past transformations in American society. “But most important, they’re shifts in the way we live and work.”
Read the full piece here.
Richard Florida posted about The Great Car Reset, talking about how America’s passion for cars might be waning a bit. In another story, with video, Florida talked about how we should rethink home ownership …
I grew up thinking home ownership was the goal. I have a loft in northern Massachusetts that’s about 955 square feet, with a wife and two kids and two cats in it. It’s a wee bit small. So, I’ve been thinking about homes and clicking the occasional real estate link that Kat sends me. But do I want to own?
We use to think homes were important places to store equity. Wow, that sure didn’t work out for a lot of people in the last few years. Even if a home stores equity, you can’t actually get at that money until you sell, so it’s money that’s not being used. In essence, it’s not earning you anything if it’s just sitting there in the home, still. So, a home as a simple residence isn’t exactly a great investment these days (at least by some people’s thinking).
Check out Richard Florida’s Big Think interview in its entirety in the video below, or visit Big Think to view the interview in segments which cover the economic crisis, home ownership, employment, New York and Detroit, and more.
To bring the concept into my own experience, the Great Reset is the shift that we are counting on to make the indie craft & design movement work. It’s the shift that provides a hope for creative people to find real value in work that represents their true passion and for others to accept the true value of passionate work…
Florida has a similar thought, ‘the Great Reset is not the result of overarching government policy – it’s the result of the multitude of tiny resets that individuals are making all over the world.‘
One of these tiny resets happens every time you – or a neighbor – decide to buy handmade instead of from a huge corporation…
The indie craft movement is full of people who have made the jump from work that pays the bills to work that pays the bills and feeds the soul.
My essay on Korea 2020 featured in the JoonAng Daily:
South Korea has clawed its way out of poverty by becoming a manufacturing powerhouse. But to stay a world-class economy will require the country to draw on a different set of skills. In the future, it will be the ability to create – as distinct from the ability to produce – that will foster innovation, and with it, sustainable economic growth.
Whether it is new ideas, new business models, new cultural forms, new technologies or new industries, it is creative capital that will drive the world economy. The ability to harness creativity will be the biggest challenge, as well as the biggest opportunity, for Korea.
Our analysis of data from 45 countries shows that the following four key factors – we call them the “4Ts” – drive economic growth and prosperity: technology, talent, tolerance and territory assets. Each is critical to generate the social and cultural conditions forming the ecosystem of an enduring, successful creative economy.
How to revitalize America’s great industrial cities? How to balance people- vs. place-oriented policies? And why mega-projects and bailouts don’t work, but organic, community, bottom-up efforts do. The Montreal Gazette excerpts a section of Chapter 12, The Death and Life of Great Industrial Cities, from The Great Reset.
One response to the problems of rusted-out industrial cities such as Detroit has been a new urban reclamation effort called “shrinking cities.” The idea, perhaps inspired by Pittsburgh, has caught on in smaller cities in the American Midwest, such as Youngstown, Ohio, and Flint, Michigan, and their European counterparts. The basic notion is that older industrial cities need not grow to improve. They can be better places by making do with less, by focusing on improvements in the quality of life for their residents, and by bringing their level of infrastructure and housing into line with their smaller populations. A June 2009 story in the U.K. newspaper the Telegraph bore the wince-inducing headline “U.S. Cities May Have to Be Bulldozed to Survive.”