Monday, November 22, 2010
THE GREAT RESET: HOW NEW WAYS OF LIVING AND WORKING By Richard Florida -- PART 2
THE GREAT RESET: HOW NEW WAYS OF LIVING AND WORKING
By Richard Florida
Review by Steve Wright
Author Richard Florida writes that we must admit that the U.S. is a service-based, not factory economy, so we must work to convert low-paying, unrewarding service jobs into middle class careers that engage workers as a source of innovation.
Florida, the director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, cites some innovative companies that empower even their lowest level retail workers and provide them with the opportunity to be rapidly promoted.
Florida, founder of the Creative Class Group, also believes the American Dream should no longer be homeownership -- it should be mobility.
Mobility, he said, can be achieved by making more people renters instead of homeowners.
Florida states that research proves that government policies incentivizing home ownership can actually be detrimental to the new economy.
He said a family underwater on its home loan is unlikely to sell at a huge financial loss to move to another region or state for better job opportunities.
But that is exactly what it must do in the era of the Great Reset and if more people rented, they could pick up stakes and more to prosperous regions much more quickly and easily.
While he is a progressive known for praising cities that accommodate gays, artists and other urban pioneers, Florida is no fan of the lion's share of the Obama
Administration's stimulus billions being spent on road projects.
Florida said road building is a short-term fell good, not a long-term plan in an era prolonged austerity in which many families will not be able to spend tens of thousands of dollars per year on a two or three automobiles.
He writes that it is better to focus on transportation infrastructure that is not automobile-centered.
Florida prefers big spending on airports, because most of these essential transit hubs for business in America have fallen into disrepair and our nowhere near as efficient or innovative as their foreign counterparts.
TOMORROW: PART 3 -- SALVATION THROUGH TRANSPORATION, INCLUDING HIGH SPEED RAIL
Wright is the author of 5,000 published articles on urban life, architecture, public policy, planning and design. He is active in working to make sure universal design, which provides barrier-free access to people with disabilities, is incorporated to the essential and rapidly-evolving practice of sustainability.