Step into the New World…


I read an interesting article today: http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_ruse_of_the_creative_class

I have Richard Florida’s book, The Rise of the Creative Class, and have been interested in his assessment of the “New Economy.”  While I consider myself to be a creative, and many of the concepts Florida uses to distinguish the class and where it seems to fluorish were interesting to me, I was struck with how things haven’t really changed. Florida speaks of a class of people that are “inclusive” as it regards to race, sexual orientation, and a bevy of other factors. However, when it really comes down to it, the class, as Florida describes it, is still a club, with talent as it’s main entrance fee. There is still a hierarchy. Still unwritten bylaws based on newer social structures. And people are still excluded.

So…. what has really changed? The rules just got shifted around a little. People are still left behind. A new politically-correct-conventional-wisdom mindset is embraced with a new set of people excluded… Or are they? Florida honestly states that the “new economy” doesn’t really change the economic possibilities for those in  service and manufacturing sectors.  And he doesn’t have many new ideas to help them. Minorities who have been underserved and left behind in the educational system, even when they have natural creative talent…. and if you’re poor, you HAVE to be creative….. still may lack the experience and/or  business connections to enter existing markets with their products.

Personally, I believe part of this problem is that we don’t really make anything in this country to sell the world except entertainment and higher education. We also still manufacture some technology products. But we have moved fundamental industries into other world areas due to lower labor costs. Because of this, I think the quality of those products has also suffered, at least right now.

 I believe we are on the  cusp of entering a new era of basic energy technology. This technology could become our most innovative opportunity in the past century. However, pursuing the new means building new infrastructures and letting go of our current energy model: fossil fuels. Building new infrastructure means investment without a quick payback. It means patience and a radical change in the way we ALL live.

A little less independence…

A return to community-thinking…

Patience…

A return to simpler living…

Renovating our homes rather than building new ones…

We have become a service economy, which is really a barter-and-trade economy. and is limited because it lacks an infusion of economic value from outside the system. While it is true that many multi-national corporations have their headquarters and owners living in this country, the money for building factories and actual manufacturing goods goes into other countries. There is nothing wrong with that, IF we are still developing new technology which can be sold into the world markets. We aren’t doing that. We’re consumers. We’re borrowers. We’re spenders.

And we need to change…

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