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The 2006 follow-up to The Rise of the Creative Class takes the argument to the next level. Arguing that this global competition for creative talent will be the defining economic issue of the 21st century. On this front, the United States may already be losing its traditional lead. What made the U.S. an economic superpower, Florida argues, was not its factories or raw materials or even military might alone – but the people it attracted to its shores from around the world. Now, in the wake of 9/11, there are ominous signs indicating that attractiveness may be waning.
As always, Florida’s forecast is not all doom and gloom, but offers strategies for the U.S. to regain its creative lead in the world economy. Finding ways to mitigate gross inequality, harness the creativity of all human beings, take on political polarization, and retain the traditional openness of American society to international influence will all be crucial to the success – or failure – of the United States.