Economics Web/Tech

Creative Class War

I’d not thought of our “red” and “blue” states (an artifact of TV graphics in the 2000 presidential election) as surrogates for creative/technology centers until now.

Richard Florida makes a compelling case explaining this phenomena in the current issue of Washington Monthly.

In 1980, according to Robert Cushing’s detailed analysis of the election results, there wasn’t a significant difference between how high-tech and low-tech regions voted for president; the difference between the parties still depended upon other factors. By 2000, however, the 21 regions with the largest concentrations of the creative class and the highest-tech economies voted Democratic at rates 17 percent above the national average. Regions with lower levels of creative people and low-tech economies, along with rural America, went Republican. In California, the most Democratic of states, George Bush won the state’s 14 low-tech regions and rural areas by 210,000 votes. Al Gore took the 12 high-tech regions and their suburbs by over 1.5 million.

Florida, whose 2002 award-winning book explores the same subject, hypothesizes that not only have we undergone a seismic cultural transformation, but we are also on the verge of losing our competitive edge in “white collar” fields like creativity and technology.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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