Robin Hanson on Richard Florida

It starts off like this:

Economic growth is terribly important. Small differences in growth
rates eventually overwhelm most other considerations, so the clustering
and innovation externalities that create growth differences deserve far
more public attention. Unfortunately most people yawn at growth theory;
they prefer stories about conflict, status, moral fiber, heroes, and
epic changes.

Thank goodness Richard Florida has written a national bestseller on
economic growth, calling attention to the crucial externalities. But
curses, Florida has done this by telling people the kind of stories
they want to hear. Florida tells us that one side in today’s culture
wars is very right, while the other side is very wrong; our wealth, as
well as our morality, is at stake in the culture wars.

growth might once have come from boring stuff like raw materials,
trade, giant factories, distribution networks, and organizational
conformity, Florida says, an epic revolution over the last half century
has put growth in the hands of bohemians with diverse and unusual
dress, speech, hygiene, work hours, and sexual practices.


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