- Taschenbuch: 352 Seiten
- Verlag: HarperBusiness; Auflage: New ed. (20. Februar 2007)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0060756918
- ISBN-13: 978-0060756918
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,2 x 22,9 cm
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The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 20. Februar 2007
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“A compelling and seductive thesis.” (BusinessWeek)
“Policy makers and independent professionals alike must quickly take Florida’s argument aboard--and, just as quickly, act.” (Tom Peters)
“Required reading for elected officials, policy makers, educators, business leaders and every citizen concerned about the future of this country.” (Alan M. Webber, Founding Editor, Fast Company magazine)
For the first time, the United States is in danger of losing its most crucial economic advantage--its status as the world's greatest talent magnet, argues economist Florida. Where America was once the first destination for foreign students and the last stop for scientists, engineers, artists and entrepreneurs wishing to engage in the most robust anAlle Produktbeschreibungen
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I think that his recommendations about education are excellent. He does NOT say that a college education is a necessary prerequisite for prosperity; rather, he points out that the present U.S. educational system doesn't foster (and indeed squelches) the creativity, flexibility, and initiative that students need to succeed in today's volatile economy. While training a nation of workplace drones and mindless consumers might have been expedient in the age of large factories, it's counterproductive today and represents an immense waste of human abilities, especially if we're losing the influx of immigrant talent and ambition that has fueled our economy up to now. (Current educational reforms, e.g., No Student Left Behind, are a step backwards in their focus on rote memorization and standardized tests; the aim appears to be to create easily measurable results to make a political point.)
It's noteworthy that RF doesn't take sides politically: while he bewails the political climate that has led to the "flight of the creative class," he also deplores the increased polarization of the major parties, which has more to do with Washington power politics than with voters' actual beliefs. (He's right about that: it's a pity that the "purple America" map from the 2004 election reproduced so poorly in the book, because it makes the important point that we're not nearly as divided a nation as we're made out to be.) He faults the Republicans for being wedded to old-money industries such as oil, but faults the Democrats equally for buying into the nineteenth-century business model by catering to unions. And both parties have failed equally in recognizing what truly drives the U.S. economy (hint to some previous reviewers: it's not just money).
As for the commonly expressed criticism that RF is glorifying an effete, self-centered "creative class" while ignoring the unwashed masses, do the math: these people prospered economically not because they inherited money, but because they WORKED FOR IT. Regional success stories such as Silicon Valley and Seattle were built, not by trust-fund babies (or, for that matter, on Enron-style accounting), but by people who committed themselves passionately to a project, took financial risks, and worked long hours. His suggestions in the later sections of the book have to do, not with keeping the "creative class" exclusive, but with improving both the work environment and the educational system so that the rest of society can draw upon their own creativity to achieve the same personal and financial success.
Florida argues that the United States must now compete globally for talent in order to succeed. We are currently failing, he argues, by limiting opportunities for immigrants which are the key to diversity and economic drive. Florida's is not a gloom and doom image, but a suggestion that the playing field is leveling -- although the US currently has an important advantage of having vibrant, connected and exciting cities to attract creative talent.
Florida's boldest argument in political terms is the importance of immigration. Immigration is the lifeblood of a creative economy, and Florida notes that immigration is important both in its quantity and its diversity. Immigrants from varied countries will add to the creativity the new economy requires. The current drop in immigration alarms Florida; immigrants must make up, for example, the shortfall in current science research by that of American citizens. This interchange of immigrants benefits all: this is not merely about the US succeeding but the benefits economies and expertise of home countries too.
Florida's examples are varied and sometimes surprising. His emphasis on the paramount importance of education explains why Ireland succeeds while Italy languishes. Successful cities such as San Francisco and Seattle provide the elements of 1. technology, 2, talent, 3. diversity he sees necessary for the right creative mix. Curiously New York City is absent from much of his discussion. He notes that due to lack of a creative element to their economy, China and India are not the future of economic development. On the downside, Florida warns that the creative economy has losing cities too, and has the consequence of stratifying an economy to extremes of wealth and poverty, such as St. Louis, Detroit, and Buffalo.
Although this is an excellent book, as a nitpicky complaint I would add that the charts Florida uses -- 2d information drawn as a 3d aspect -- are cheesy and flawed, as presenting 2d information in perspectival view visually exaggerates the force of charted information. The arguments are interesting enough with this ridiculous razzle-dazzle.
Florida expands this thesis to a wider canvas in this second book: In the Global economy, as the world becomes more "flat," American cities won't just be competing against other American cities for talent. They will be they will be competing against cities in Australia, India, Ireland, Sweden, etc. In other words, a city like Pittsburgh won't just be looking to keep talented grads from Carnegie Mellon from migrating to Austin; those grads may decide they want to go to Dublin, Ireland to live and work.
Florida outlines how important immigration has been to our nation's economic development and how two major factors with regards to immigration are beginning to make some erosive headway. The first is outsourcing, which is moving up the skill scale from customer service to application development. While certainly a difficulty, Florida thinks that outsourcing is a manageable problem, and that the jobs we lose from outsourcing can be replaced with new jobs created by innovative companies.
However, the second "pincer of the claw" is the increasing difficulty that the United States experiences in attracting and retaining the talented, super-educated knowledge workers who will be the innovators. If the erosion of that class of workers continues, eventually we will not be creating the new jobs to replace the outsourced ones.
Rather than a doomsday now scenario, Florida admits that the United States still holds a Technological edge and probably will hold that dominance for a little while yet. However, he shows that there is no doubt that other countries have made at least some headway with patents in certain areas where America held sway uncontested.
It is the other T's that Florida focuses on in the latter half of the book. Where is the Talent going? And how can we create a more diverse, open society? Using studies and statistics, his research tracks where people are moving globally, and he examines how our immigration policies and our increasing class divisions may be contributing to our difficulties in retaining talented innovators and entrepeneurs.
Flight of the Creative Class has more focus than Rise of the Creative Class, and the benefit is a more compelling read. There are still some issues I think holdover from the first book. For instance, it is very hard to pin down exactly who is the Creative Class, and Florida seems to avoid any significant discussion of how unions will play out in this mix.
Contrary to many criticisms I have seen here on Amazon and elsewhere, Florida does look at factors such as housing affordability, and he is extremely sensitive to the inequalities the Creative Class itself can create.
My paperback edition includes the essay, "The World is Spiky," which is Florida's Atlantic Monthly article responding to the growing acceptance of Thomas Friedman's idea that "The World Is Flat." Florida argues that the while globalization is helping to economically develop some areas, the peaks and valleys created by the "spikyness," of that world map are making it more treacherous for those in the lows than it has ever been.
If you read Florida's book with an open mind and the confidence to challenge your patterns and perceptions, you realize that he dares himself and others from many realms to see the wider ripples in our global pond. I work with a group of employers and community leaders facing the real issues this book addresses. The best part about Florida's work is that while each of our individual corporate or community members may find certain `dot connections' in the books they may question, they all have been energized by the ideas which stimulate a more comprehensive dialogue.
Don't rely on any one review - rely on your intuition... if people are so passionate in responding to the book, it is worth reading...especially if you are a critical thinker yourself. It is not about separating classes further or offering one complete solution for our economic future. It actually gives you interesting material and exercise for your brain to come up with solutions which apply to your own corporations and communities. Engaging more sectors to work together is a solid step, just as a successful leadership team in any organization includes people with very different talents. This is where new solutions are born, and where the broad appeal of Florida's work is having a tangible impact.
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