Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blacksmith or Blackberry?


Great article - headlined ‘Old School Economics’- in the New York Times magazine today about the way the presidential candidates speak about the economy and jobs. Christopher Caldwell writes:

“Why do presidential candidates touting their concern for the economy pose with factory workers rather than with ballet troupes? After all, the U.S. now has more choreographers (16,340) than metal-casters (14,880), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More people make their livings shuffling and dealing cards in casinos (82,960) than running lathes (65,840), and there are almost three times as many security guards (1,004,130) as machinists (385,690). Whereas 30 percent of Americans worked in manufacturing in 1950, fewer than 15 percent do now. The economy as politicians present it is a folkloric thing.”

Is it – perhaps – the same with cities? Are we still looking at blacksmiths instead of blackberrys as economic drivers? Is our economic development world view really current with what’s happening now? And more importantly, are we accurately tuned to what’s happening next? In my experience, economic development tends to be reactionary – responding to what comes through the door and the tailoring marketing to more of that. Perhaps a more aggressive, nimble, entrepreneurial approach is needed. BioOrlando may be an example of that new approach – if it can deliver results as well as vision.

4 comments:

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Christopher said...

No need to post my comment, but have you seen the news lately? The city announced the old Amway Arena will be demolished. Developers will have until the end of this month to submit proposals to develop the land into a Creative Village. More to come, keep an eye out.

http://www.wesh.com/money/23028267/detail.html

http://www.wftv.com/countybycounty/23027818/detail.html

Laura Guitar said...

Christopher ... Thanks so much for reaching out! Wasn't sure anyone other than me was aware of this dusty old blog. As you can see, it's been resuscitated with the recent activity at the City. Things should get interested very quickly. Feel free to continue to comment as you like. ... Laura

Christopher said...

When one googles "Creative Village Orlando", your blog is one of top search results . I just don't feel like the city has advertised this project enough! Glad you keep the site updated. It gives people a chance to research what the project is all about. It's exciting to see how our city will change. Keep us updated if a little bird leaks anything to you ;)