Wednesday, August 16, 2006


[21 August 2006 - BusinessWeek] The real contest is among communities, not nations. Check out these hot spots. ... America is losing its competitive edge. That premise has been pounded into our heads so often by pundits, and reinforced with each report on the rise of China and India, that it's almost taken as a given. But can a nation that has averaged 3.4% growth for three years and keeps posting sterling productivity gains really have a competitiveness problem? Or is that problem much more local? Here is a quick tale of two cities. In fact, they are two cities in one metropolitan area -- Boston. ...  Research by economists such as Harvard University's Edward L. Glaeser shows that communities with high concentrations of college grads also have the strongest economies. Trouble is, young talent is scarcer as America ages. Two-thirds of U.S. metro areas have fewer 25- to 34-year-olds than a decade ago, Cortright notes. To draw them, more cities are listening to George Mason University public policy professor Richard Florida, author of the 2002 best-seller The Rise of the Creative Class. Many cities and states produce plenty of college grads, but they don't stay. To thrive, Florida argues, communities need urban areas attractive to bohemians: "Competitive advantage is shifting to places that are very open to allowing people to express themselves." More

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