Tag Archives: Creative Class

Does Lexington Need the Creative Class?

Bad news on the local economic front today:  at least a $2 million shortfall in Lexington’s budget.  Not terrible, given the conditions, but pretty stark nonetheless.  Of course, most people have seen this coming for a long time.  Our city revenues, and the services they fund, are too dependent on payroll taxes, which means we are at the mercy of global economic trends that are eliminating our jobs and forcing wages downward for those that remain employed.

For many people, the solution to this problem is simple:  let’s just get us some of themthar creative class folks.  If we can just make ourselves purty enough, why the gold mine will come to us!  Yes sir, those creative types will do nothing all day but create high tech something or others that will employ everyone and we’ll all get rich! We too will be a winner in the global economic sweepstakes! We’ll pity those lesser places, the uglies, that can’t get themselves no creative classers.

Ok. Sorry.  Couldn’t help it. But that in a nutshell is the premise of the creative class theory.  And every city in the USA has bought into it, including ours.

Yet in fact it seems to me that we really don’t value creativity much at all in our city.  Yeah, we talk about its importance, but it sure feels like we value conformity, blandness, homogeneity, and a safe and comfortable suburban life a LOT more than creativity. Continue reading

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Filed under Economy, New World Planning

Lexington is Flunking the Creative Class

In 2002, Richard Florida published “The Rise of the Creative Class.”  His thesis was simple:  creative people would fuel a city/region’s economy. The way to get those people was to nurture talent, utilize technology, and offer a tolerant atmosphere. In the book, Florida ranked all the principal cities of the U.S. according to their ability to capitalize on the Creative Class.  Lexington was ranked 9th of 63 in the small cities category, meaning that according to Florida’s insights, we had the right elements to succeed.

We’re not doing so hot.  Read on…… Continue reading

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Filed under Economy