Kotkin and Florida, Part II

MLewyn's picture

Richard Florida has responded to Joel Kotkin's attack on "creative class" centered policies.  Kotkin doesn't really deny Florida's point that places with high-skilled workers have higher wages, but says that wage gains in high-skill cities are outweighed by high housing costs. Florida agrees. 

It seems to me that despite the culture-war hipster-bashing, Kotkin sounds awfully leftist to me, and Florida a little less so.  Kotkin's position sounds to me like: "we don't want too much growth, or at least not the 'wrong' kind of economic growth, because it leads to higher housing costs."  In other words, Kotkin buys (at least selectively) into the traditional leftist argument that what helps the middle class hurts the poor: distribution trumps growth. 

By contrast, Florida comes across as the pro-growth moderate, saying that growth is good, even if we need a "new social compact" and housing deregulation to help those left behind.


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