Or, you could ask just two simple questions. Which of these two places—Houma, Louisiana or Austin Texas—would you bet on to have higher living standards, higher wages, and higher home price values in the next decade or two? And if you had to choose between Killeen, Texas or the Research Triangle area around Raleigh, North Carolina as a place for you and your family to live, which one would it be?
I know how I’d answer. And I think Mandel would likely answer the same way.
I’m actually staying in good old New Jersey, land of pharma company mergers.
Still, I encourage people to read Richard’s thoughtful pieces. I’m going to come back again after I’ve had a chance to process them some more. For now, I just want to make a couple of points. First, an unusual combination of factors in the past decade may have worked against the Creative Economy–an innovation shortfall, combined with a rising cost of energy and the threat of terrorism. If these factors reverse, especially the innovation shortfall, the Creative Economy cities may once again have faster growth. I’m moderately optimistic–when I was recently up in Rochester speaking on innovation and economic development, I suggested that life sciences may still be a good route to prosperity in the future, even if it wasn’t over the past ten years.
However–and this is a big one–we can’t ignore the possibility that the innovation shortfall will continue, that energy will continue to rise in price, and that the military situation will become worse. In this future, the Creative Economy arguments become less compelling.