Richard Florida on Location in Silicon Valley
By Arnold Kling
He speaks on this video. He is a very powerful speaker.
One theme of the talk is the importance of really creative people to the economy. This may be a valid form of elitism, although I’d like to leaven his views with those in, say, Common Genius (which I have not yet read). But I am worried about the ease with which that sort of elitism slips into the elitism that says that government knows best. I’m not accusing Florida of that, but I think that a lot of his favorite clusters of people do slip into it.
Near the end of the talk, he discusses the potential for backlash against the elites. Usually, this issue is framed as one in which the lower classes will demand wealth at gunpoint. Actually, my guess would be that the lower classes resent elitist politics at least as much as they resent others’ wealth.
The latest issue of The Atlantic has a book review of Austerity, which describes Britain after World War II. I get the sense from the review that the economic egalitarianism was not much appreciated by the folks who supposedly benefited, perhaps because of the political arrogance.
Anyway, be sure to watch the video. There are lots of interesting things in there, about the importance of mobility as well as other issues.