Sunday, November 21, 2010
THE GREAT RESET: HOW NEW WAYS OF LIVING AND WORKING By Richard Florida
THE GREAT RESET: HOW NEW WAYS OF LIVING AND WORKING
By Richard Florida
Review By Steve Wright
Class: our assignment today is to read 200-plus pages written by an economist who takes us back to the Great Depression of the 1930s and Long Depression of the late 1900s to find answers to what ails us during the Long Recession of the early 21st century.
Sounds about as enticing as sock drawer rearranging or dental work, doesn't it?
Trying to decipher the thoughts of an economist could be a painful exercise in these painful times.
But not if the economist is Richard Florida, author of the highly readable bestsellers The Rise of the Creative Class and Who's Your City?
Florida is an urban thinker who urges us to get past our handwringing over lost factory jobs that are never coming back and peak home values that are not going to rebound.
He would rather that we use the current economic collapse as a catalyst to motivate ourselves to finally focus on a future dependent on creativity, human capital, mobility and innovation.
His The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive the Post-Crash Prosperity calmly and clearly tell us that all the bailouts in the world will not save manufacturing in America.
The Great Reset (Harper Collins, $26.99 in hardback) also explains that while foreclosures are gut-wrenching, we never were better in an era of artificial wealth that inflated the price of a concrete box condo in the Miami sky to half a million dollars when its true value was likely half that.
Florida argues that Americans have to understand that a manufacturing-based economy has been declining for half a century and we can no longer expect to measure prosperity in terms of automobiles being made in Detroit.
TOMORROW PART 2 -- MOBILITY, THE AMERICAN DREAM
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.