Posts Tagged ‘working class’

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Nov 11th 2010 at 1:45pm UTC

Corruption and the Wealth of Nations

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

The United States and other advanced nations are stepping up their efforts to combat corruption in poorer, less developed nations by publicizing the corruption and by punishing their own companies when they engage in it. The U.S. Congress added a bipartisan amendment to pending financial reform legislation, requiring oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose every payment they make to foreign governments, according to a recent report in The Economist.

But can such efforts stem the tide? My own analysis suggests that before we can deal with systemic corruption we must first come to grips with the fact that it doesn’t occur in a vacuum — it is a symptom of deeply rooted economic and social maladies.

Source: Map from The Economist, data from Transparency International.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Nov 4th 2010 at 3:34pm UTC

After the Midterm Elections: Still Divided

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Here’s the longer, unedited version of my column published in today’s The Daily Beast – It Wasn’t About the Economy, Stupid.

The conventional wisdom among pundits, pollsters, and political analysts is that the Republican victory in the midterms represents a referendum on – and a stunning of repudiation of – the Obama administration’s stewardship of the economy. “U.S. registered voters choose economic conditions by nearly a 2-to-1 margin over any of four other key election issues as the most important to their vote for Congress,” according to a Gallup organization analysis, a result that held “across all partisan groups.”

But the geographic patterns of Tuesday’s historic election results reveal a curious paradox. While the economy was clearly the voters’ number one concern, economic conditions alone cannot explain why they cast their ballots as they did. A Wall Street Journal analysis of House races found that Democrats held onto their seats in congressional districts that were feeling the recession the worst. “Of the 25 congressional districts hit hardest by the recession—measured by joblessness, poverty rates, and housing prices—16 are currently represented by Democrats. Fourteen of them won re-election despite the Republican tide.”

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Oct 29th 2010 at 1:39pm UTC

More Toronto Election Maps

Friday, October 29th, 2010

They keep rolling in (h/t Chris Hardwicke). And they continue to reinforce the depth of the class divide.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Oct 28th 2010 at 12:30pm UTC

The Spiky Social Network

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Social media is redefining the landscape of everything we do, from the way we connect to family and friends, how brands and celebrities capture attention, to the way business and journalism function. Hundreds of millions of people across the world use social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If any technology promised to shatter the constraint of geography, overcome distance, and flatten the world, social media would be it.

But a quick look at the map below, from the NetProspex 2010 Social Business Report, shows this is not the case at all, certainly not for the United States.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Oct 26th 2010 at 8:00am UTC

It’s Not the Economy, Stupid

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

With the midterm elections only two weeks away and the Democrats in jeopardy, the prevailing wisdom is that the election will be a referendum on the Obama administration’s stewardship of the economy. A large fraction of 2008 Obama voters now cite the economy and jobs as the key reason they will vote Republican this year, according to an October 17 AP poll. “The president must zero in on the economy if he wants to help himself and his party,” writes Eleanor Clift. The basic notion here, promulgated by pundits and political analysts, is that the current political environment turns on the vagaries of the economy. This amounts to a cyclical theory of American politics. And, in fact, several decades ago, the political scientist Douglas Hibbs advanced his seminal theory of the “political business cycle” which argues that economic movements have a sizable effect on American elections.

But another line of thinking suggests that American politics turns on deeper structural changes in economy and society. In the influential Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State, Columbia University’s Andrew Gelman and his colleagues uncovered a paradox that both confirms and defies the conventional wisdom about American elections. While rich voters trend Republican, rich states trend Democratic, he found. The opposite holds as well. Though poor and minority voters overwhelmingly pull the lever for Democrats, poor states consistently end up in the Republican column. A second version of the structural approach comes from John Judis and Ruy Teixeira, who argue in The Emerging Democratic Majority that the rise of the post-industrial economy has tilted the playing field toward Democrats who gain advantage in wealthier urban “ideopolises” while holding onto the votes of the poor and minorities. A third perspective comes from Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan, whose detailed World Values Surveys identify a shift in political culture from the more traditional, religious, and materialist orientations of the industrial age to post-materialist values of self-expression, openness to diversity, secularism, and broad public goods like concern for the environment.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Oct 22nd 2010 at 9:17am UTC

No Longer One Toronto

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Here’s the long version of my column published in today’s The Globe and Mail.

Canadians often point to the angry red versus blue divide that is such a hallmark of American politics, with higher-income, more economically advanced places voting Democratic and less-affluent, more working class locales trending Republican, as a problem that Canada has risen above. But this same kind of cleavage has become increasingly apparent in Canada – glaringly so in Toronto’s upcoming mayoral election.

The most recent Nanos poll shows Rob Ford leading in Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough, while George Smitherman leads in old Toronto. The conventional wisdom is that this is a product of amalgamation and the rise of the mega-city, which brought two distinct constituencies into one political jurisdiction in 1998. But it runs far deeper than that. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Aug 31st 2010 at 12:30pm UTC

Where the Super-Brains Are

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Last Friday, my list of America’s Brainiest Cities ran over at The Daily Beast. Boulder topped the list, which comprised a mix of larger knowledge-intensive metros like Washington, D.C., Boston, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Austin, and Seattle, and college towns like Ithaca, Charlottesville, Madison, Iowa City, and Durham, North Carolina, among others.

The map above, prepared by Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute, shows the performance of all U.S. metros on our Brainiest Metros Index developed with my colleague Charlotta Mellander. The index is based on three variables: (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Aug 27th 2010 at 1:04pm UTC

Toronto’s Geography of Class

Friday, August 27th, 2010

A new report from our Martin Prosperity Institute team charts the geography of class in Toronto. The map below shows the deep underlying economic – class - divisions of the city and can also help us understand the current polarized mayor’s race.

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Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Aug 20th 2010 at 11:00am UTC

Where the Blue-Collar Jobs Will Be

Friday, August 20th, 2010

The United States has seen a steady erosion of blue-collar work over the past several decades. We define blue-collar, working class jobs as those which primarily make use of physical skill or manual labor. These occupations include not only factory work or production occupations, but jobs in construction, materials moving, transportation, installation, and repair. Blue-collar, working class jobs currently account for 23 percent of all U.S. employment. Blue-collar occupations and the regions that specialize in this kind of work have seen the highest levels of unemployment and the greatest vulnerability to the economic crisis. The decline of high-paying, blue-collar jobs for lower-skilled workers has caused considerable concern that the U.S. is losing an important source of good, family-supporting jobs, and that the American labor market is becoming more uneven and increasingly split between higher-paying knowledge work and lower-paying routine service work. But what will the geography of blue-collar work look like in the future? (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Aug 18th 2010 at 11:30am UTC

Where the Jobs Will Be

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Last Friday, my list of the 20 metros with the fastest-growing jobs was posted over at The Daily Beast. Jobs are the second-biggest issue facing the United States – second only to the economy, according to a recent Gallup poll – and a pending referendum on the Obama administration in the upcoming mid-term elections. As I noted:

The United States has lost an estimated 7.4 million jobs since the onset of the economic crisis. But, the economy is on track to create some 15.3 million new jobs looking out to 2018, according to projections done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). And more than 50 million total jobs will come open, as older workers retire and many switch jobs and careers. Total U.S. employment is projected to grow by 10.1 percent over the period, according to the BLS forecast, considerably better than the 7.4 percent growth rate for previous decade (1998-2008), and roughly in line with population growth of 10.7 percent.

But where will the new jobs be located? Which places will grow the most jobs and, conversely, which will see the biggest job losses?

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