Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The Rise of the Creative Class and How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life / Richard Florida
I would not have finished this book but that my book club will be discussing it. The most interesting theses are trivial at best. Most of the work is a description of the the life preferences of "the Creative Class," a flattering term for what one would otherwise call the bourgeoisie, particularly the high tech bourgeoisie. Florida's quantitative support for his theses goes no deeper than the comparison of various "indexes" that mostly are mere rank-order lists of cities. He provides no data on the strength of the correlations that he asserts and often the relata are not independent. He generally disregards the contributions of the working class by, for example, generally attributing the value of high tech products to the work done by software engineers. He advocates city planning that intentionally caters to the wants of the wealthy and privileged. All of this in the pursuit of the sacred goal of "economic growth" regardless of disparities of wealth and the ecological limits of the planet. It's nothing more than euphemistic boosterism for some of the worst tendencies of the global economy.