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View Diary: How Will Our Economic Transformation Change Our Political Geography? (179 comments)

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  •  Well, I Certainly Don't Advocate Abandoning... (7+ / 0-)

    ..entire regions.  I'm using his stuff as an analytical tool, not a normative statement of preferences.  

    I largely avoided the Detroit section of his article because he's probably mostly right about the grim fortunes facing our hometown.  But he's got a major, major oversight in his analysis, that there are lots of "clustering" that influences industrial concentration.  The amount of engineering brainpower in the Detroit area is stunning.  It's why even the Europeans and Asians have major facilities in the Detroit area.  And it's why the US companies have largely eliminated the quality gap with the foreign nameplates.  Besides the obvious human problems, it would be horrifically wasteful from an economic standpoint to break up that creative mass of engineering talent and physical plant in Southeast Michigan.  

    Of course, beside the devastating effects of legacy costs and other factors mostly out of the control of the US auto companies, they have produced crap design after crap design for years and years and years.  And putting their design operations mostly in California probably hurt the Detroit.  

    "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

    by Dana Houle on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 05:06:11 PM PST

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    •  Oh, I agree (0+ / 0-)

      I didn't mean to imply that you were arguing that we should abandon cities like Detroit - that seems to be nearly what Florida is saying.

      I agree that things in Detroit are going to get worse before they get better, if they ever get better.  But there's a lot of good resources there (and in other cities) and it would be a horrible waste to let that all decay in a chase for a creative economy that may or may not materialize the way Florida thinks it will.

      The funny thing is, I'm probably a good example of what Florida is talking about.  I moved from metro Detroit to Oregon and then Seattle about 11 years ago.  I like it a lot here and will try to stay.  But as innovative a place as Seattle can be, it can also exhibit a kind of creative class provincialism that's irksome.

      Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

      by Linnaeus on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 05:13:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This Was Already Getting Too Long... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Phoenix Woman, Navy Vet Terp I axed mention of how my family story mirrors some of what he's talking about.  My grandparents came to Detroit in the 20's, from farms in Canada.  I'm now in DC.  And DC is obviously hugely influenced by the government, but a lot of what's here fits what Florida describes as creative class.  

        And like with and Seattle, I like DC.  I love my neighborhood and some of the surrounding neighborhoods.  But DC definitely lacks the edginess of Detroit.  When I go home, I end up spending most of my time hitting dive bars in Hamtramck and downriver, places down by Wayne State and the cultural center, I take my mom with me to get coney islands, I get Arabic food in Dearborn, and I see lots of people very unlike the "creative class" types all over DC.  I think there's a great degree of racial integration and comity here in DC, and that's a relief.  But DC could never produce the cultural ferment that's led to all the great music from Detroit.  

        In short, DC may be racially and ethnically mixed.  But it's not that mixed in terms of social class.  I miss that about Detroit.  

        I'll probably live here the rest of my life.  But Detroit will always be home.  

        "Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

        by Dana Houle on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 05:22:25 PM PST

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        •  Detroit may have it better than the Sun Belt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          While Detroit is on the ropes, it can be sitting pretty again if it transitions to the electric car in the next ten years and the economy in general starts to come around.  It really wouldn't take that much, if the Big Two and a Half can make it through the next five years.

          Many of the Sun Belt places don't yet have much beyond houses and people -- in fact, many of them are essentially warehouses for people -- and many of those people are resolutely non-creative.  With water issues being brought to the fore -- and with Los Angeles being able to afford better lawyers to grab more of the overextended Colorado River -- there may be a swift depopulating of places like Mesa.

          Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

          by Phoenix Woman on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 09:15:21 PM PST

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        •  dc used to be edgier. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          80's and 90's.

          then again, getting shot at in DC used to be a regular occurence
          and wandering into Klan meetings...

          maybe DC gets a bit edgier when you know escorts?

          Jesus ain't comin', go ahead and put the Nukes back now.

          by RisingTide on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 10:38:59 AM PST

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    •  Putting finance people in charge (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, RisingTide, Luthe

      at GM and Ford did more to destroy the US auto industry than moving the design centers.  As soon as GMAC and Ford Motor Credit began generating more profits than the production divisions, that put the nails in the coffin.  Crap designs don't come from lousy designers, they get approved for production by accountants.

      "Never let up. Crush bigotry and greed."

      by LouisMartin on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 08:20:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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