With all due respect to Kathy Shaidle, I didn’t need Steve Sailer to tell me that Richard Florida is full of shit. Saskatoon, for example, has failed Florida’s vaunted 3T criteria for success so miserably that it merely has the best economy in Canada.
Florida himself, in his role as an editor at The Atlantic, admitted last month what his critics, including myself, have said for a decade: that the benefits of appealing to the creative class accrue largely to its members—and do little to make anyone else any better off. The rewards of the “creative class” strategy, he notes, “flow disproportionately to more highly-skilled knowledge, professional and creative workers,” since the wage increases that blue-collar and lower-skilled workers see “disappear when their higher housing costs are taken into account.” His reasonable and fairly brave, if belated, takeaway: “On close inspection, talent clustering provides little in the way of trickle-down benefits.”
It’s really a devastating takedown of the whole creative-class-as-economic-driver myth which has been all too prevalent in our urban chattering classes.