Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Shantytowns of Silicon Valley

From Rod Dreher:
Charlotte Allen has a dynamite piece in The Weekly Standard, taking a tour of Silicon Valley and observing the stark wealth and class divide there — a chasm that is likely a picture of America’s future. Excerpt:
The extreme economic and social inequality that characterizes Silicon Valley is not exactly the way it was supposed to be. Globalization and de-industrialization were supposed to free up Americans for better-paying, more interesting work; all they had to do was retrain themselves for the information age. The 2002 book The Rise of the Creative Class, by Richard Florida, then an urban studies professor at Carnegie Mellon University (he is now at the University of Toronto), urged Americans to embrace what Florida called “the knowledge economy” and touted high-tech entrepreneurs as massive job-creators. Florida launched a lucrative side-career for himself advising Northeastern cities ravaged by deindustrialization on how to attract some of those entrepreneurs and other affluent young professionals by reinventing themselves as hip, gay-friendly, arts-promoting hubs where the cool people would want to hang. As recently as late October of this year, Florida, in a blog entry for the Atlantic, was promoting Silicon Valley and its environs as America’s number-one jobs-generator. Florida wrote: “[H]igh-paying, high-tech jobs are key factors in economic growth and prosperity.” (Read more.)

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