Countercyclical Creatives


Via MR comes this little nugget:

As the nation’s most populous metro area feels Wall Street’s pain, the fourth-largest—Washington—is barely sensing the recession. In fact, Moody’s Economy.com estimates that metro Washington’s economy will actually grow 2.5% from mid-2008 through mid-2010. New York’s economy is expected to shrink 4.2%.

This doesn’t surprise me. I’ll bet it is because Washington has far more creative class workers than New York.

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Countercyclical Creatives

  1. Nice try Andrew. If you are going to responsibly administer a stimulus package in the trillions, what would you expect?

    Spending to go down, stabilize, or go up?

    Is it too much to ask for context?

    • Dot, I don’t know why you’re being so hostile to Potter. I read his reference to “creative class workers” as a wry little joke. The humor becomes more obvious when you check out the link to the Ottawa citizen article. Richard Florida is one of Potter’s Pet Peeves (alliteration).

      • I read it differently. Potter is free to elaborate, if he cares. He doesn’t need your help.

        • I wasn’t trying to help Potter, Dot. I was trying to help YOU understand a joke that sailed over your head.

          • When the rest of the world looks like klingons, you have to eventually realize where your head is at.

  2. I’d check the census numbers on K street.

  3. Of course Washington and Ottawa are doing well, they aren’t part of the normal economy. While private sector is shedding jobs by thousands, public servants in Ottawa are in clover because they receive 40% more in salary and benefits than the rest of us. And the trillions the Americans are spending is bound to attract lawyers, lobbyists, consultants and the like.

    • That was his point. See his recent discussion of the Florida report for Ontario where he criticized the very same thing – holding Ottawa up as a model city (creative, knowledge-economy workers) is asinine given its parasitic (in the nicest sense of the word) underpinning.

  4. So, lemme see — cyclical creatives are jobless?

  5. Here’s a good example of the problem when a reporter sets out to do a hatchet job on a report he has predetermined he doesn’t like. Facts are filtered/skewed, and malleable brains, unwilling to take the time to read the report themselves, start regurgitating the author’s biased editorial.

    jwl states: “public servants in Ottawa are in clover because they receive 40% more in salary and benefits than the rest of us.” I haven’t seen that fact before. Perhaps jwl can give us the source. Or better still, jwl, post your resume, tell us what you do and your salary/perks and let us see what we can find you in Ottawa. Seems fair giving his broad generalizations.

    Sean Stockholm states: “holding Ottawa up as a model city (creative, knowledge-economy workers) is asinine given its parasitic (in the nicest sense of the word) underpinning.” OK, that is essentially what Potter wrote. But on what basis?

    Keep in mind, Potter’s day job, when he is not posting here, or writing for Macleans is news editor at the Ottawa Citizen. And that is doubly interesting since it was a Feb 6th story in the Ottawa Citizen that he linked to above.

    The Ottawa Citizen story reported on a press conference given by Florida where it appears he stated: “We want to pose goals,” said Mr. Florida. “We can’t write the policy directions for the province. That’s a legislative and political process.” The exact same quote appeared in Potter’s article here on Macleans.

    Similarly, the O.C. story stated: “I think, to be quite honest, both Ottawa and Washington, D.C. are quintessentially post-industrial cities,” Mr. Florida told reporters, explaining their surprisingly advanced workforce.

    Potter, in his Macleans piece wrote: As Richard Florida told reporters, Ottawa, like its counterpart Washington, D.C., is a “post-industrial city” that is uniquely positioned to grow and prosper in the new economy.

    So, we know Potter is drawing heavily on an Ottawa Citizen story for quotes, that he in all likelihood edited. Has Potter himself even read the Florida report? He writes in his article: Meanwhile, care to guess which is the most creative city in Ontario? Hint—it isn’t Toronto. Not Kitchener-Waterloo either, despite the presence of RIM and a number of world-class research institutions. No, the most creative place is Ottawa, where 41 per cent of the jobs are filled by people who think for a living.

    Yes, if you look at it as a percentage of the workforce. But take a look at what Potter doesn’t tell us about the report.

    If you went by numbers, it’s Toronto, hands down, Ottawa is not even close. Toronto a whopping 47% compared to second place Ottawa at 13%. (see exhibit 15, page 27)

    Potter has written a skewed, poorly researched article and is trying to enhance/reinforce his claim by posting blogs like this one.

    Read the report yourselves – don’t rely upon one biased columnist’s selective reading of it.

    • Bold off

    • And btw., one thing I forgot to mention – the Florida report is ONLy for Ontario. It does not include the very highly educated cities of Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Vancouver etc etc.

    • “Through the fog of the past week’s political wars, nobody paid any attention to an explosive statistical report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. The gist of the CFIB report is easy to grasp in the eye-popping graphic above. It shows public sector workers, at all levels of government, earning wages and benefits that are as much as 40% above private sector workers.

      The CFIB numbers put the federal civil service issue in context. A dig through census data shows that workers in the same occupations working for the federal government earn on average 17.3% more than in the private sector. With pension and other benefits, the full-time earnings in the public sector are 41.7% higher that in the private sector.” Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, Dec 06 ’08

      And thanks, but no thanks, for the offer of a public sector job. I worked for Ont. one summer during university and I would rather live under a bridge and eat dirt before I repeat the experience of being a bureaucrat.

      • Ok, thanks. I’ll check out the T.C. column.

      • *If you believe Terence Corcoran’s deliberately skewed rendering of reality, then you are far dumber than I thought.

    • “…where 41 per cent of the jobs are filled by people who think for a living.”

      So what are Stephen Harper and his acolytes doing there?

  6. Interesting. greg on the Potter column writes:

    Amazing how this disreputable Florida character, who no one outside of Ontario listens to anymore, wrote this month’s cover story in the Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/current

    and within Florida’s own article in the Atlantic, he specifically identifies why:

    Only 15 areas were still expanding. Notable among them were the oil- and natural-resource-rich regions of Texas and Oklahoma, buoyed by energy prices that have since fallen; and the Greater Washington, D.C., region, where government bailouts, the nationalization of financial companies, and fiscal expansion are creating work for lawyers, lobbyists, political scientists, and government contractors.

    I suppose if we had uneducated people running government then Potter wouldn’t have a case to make.

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