Thursday, June 2

Richard Florida interview/article

The Flight From America
By Lakshmi Chaudhry, AlterNet. Posted May 31, 2005.
Richard Florida's new book warns that an isolated and hostile post-9/11 America may find itself on the losing end of the global competition for the ultimate economic prize: creative talent.

We believe, at the highest level, that our military power will save us, but it won't and it can't. I think that this world, like you said, is a much more multi-centered, multi-polar world where people no longer have this one choice, America, in terms of where to live. And the other thing is that because we're a big and somewhat isolated and insulated country, they tend to say: Well, if some Indian people, Asian people, Europeans don't come here, that's fine; we're a big country. No one understands that creative talent is now spread completely around the world.

What I fear is that this creative impetus can migrate globally. It's not likely to migrate back to communities in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City, or Tulsa. These places are no longer are competing against San Francisco and Boston, and Austin and Seattle. They're competing with Sydney, and Melbourne, Vancouver, Toronto, Dublin, Amsterdam, Stockholm. We keep looking at our great creative advantages as invincible when we have rates of housing affordability and income, inequality we haven't seen since the Great Depression.
People like my grandparents or like you came to the United States -- even 20 years ago -- saying this is the place where I want to be. Now the United States is no longer that place. That's the important thing.

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