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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rant of the Month

And it's about the "creative class" snowjob:

a deliberate blueprint for making the city less and less affordable to older, less ambitious, low-wage or working class people by molding it into a place that Yuppies want to move to, e.g., making sure that lots of "lofts," "live/work" condos and other hasty infill development provide fakey "urban" places where the f***s can take out a big mortgage to live in close proximity to caramel lattes; run up their credit cards indulging their stupid lifestyles like good little consumers; work 60+ hour weeks to keep on top of it all; and eventually, of course, crowd out as many of the original uncool neighbors as possible.
Hysterically funny -- and so true.

Comments (19)

I thought the creative class were all those college graduates moving here to fill all those barista jobs that Portland has to offer.

There's this one girl in the coffee shop in the lobby of my office building that makes the most creative little swirls on top of her cappuccinos.

We've already got a bunch of musicians here. The rents are too high for them and they end up double and triple bunking somewhere.

So bring it on!


They already got more public funding from the city than Amanda Fritz and I don't hear Amanda claiming that she is "privately funded".

You will have to look up four county economic development corporation to find the gift from the city. I have a copy of their Articles of Incorporation somewhere in my paperwork mess, noting their corporate purpose by reference only to anything not prohibited of any non-profit under state statutes.

portland gentrification has a real gift for rant. one of my favorite pdx blogs.

yep. Florida's been roundly criticized for his wonkish nonsense--including by me. portland gentro covers well-trod ground, Internet-wise.

meanwhile, Portland in reality looks nothing at all like Florida atttempts to portray it. Vera Katz, though, absolutely adored him and his book.

The smart people are way ahead of the herd of "creative" types coming into PDX.

The smart folks are either already gone across the river to Clark County, or are moving out of Oregon entirely.

With its increasingly high costs, oppressive tax and project spend policies, and increasingly extreme liberal government, Portland has already played itself.

It's sad to see what was not too long ago a rational state with a bit of an independent streak, become California North.

Florida/Cortright/Hovee's "creative class creates jobs" is right up there with (1) the check is in the mail, (2) I'm from the government and I'm here to help, and (3) I'll still respect you in the morning.

4)let private sector efficiency take care of it; 5)let the competitive marketplace lower prices; 6)lower capital-gains taxes; 7)lower the corporate tax rate to stimulate jobs; 8)easy loans="ownership society"....etc etc

Despite the tedious cliches of the previous two posters, there is an economic benefit to attracting (or keeping) young, creative and frequently entrepreneurial people. Portland isn't the only city doing this. In fact, Chicago is trying its damndest, too. And they have the Cubs.

The PDC/City strategy, however, is amiss. Creative class types don't all want condos and lofts. That period lasts a couple of years, then they have children and want a real house. So they move out to Beaverton, Hillsboro, Troutdale or Clark County. Portland needs to figure out how to encourage the building of affordable family homes.

The so-called genius of the marketplace doesn't seem to grasp this, either, as developers, given their way, would be building huge McMansions for rich people's second or third homes, and a whole bunch of them also built condos around town without any subsidies.

Re. McMansions . . . A recent article about the yearly Street of Dreams noted that not one home on last year's street had sold. Developers worried about getting enough developers interested in building a house for a 2008 SOD and decided to go ahead with more ruinously expensive McMansions that will also probably sit vacant or end up being occupied by the developer in self defense. With Legacy Homes in bankruptcy and others possibly following, this does not seem like a very smart move and certainly the cities, counties and states shouldn't encourage the event with any sort of subsidies.

You ever see Better Homes and Garden and the pristine perfect homes inside and outside featured. There's a certain amount of obsession to such homes. If having such a home scene was my goal, I would spend enormous amounts of time and resources to accomplish this goal. But for most of us, we want to have a balanced life and not overly obsess about the perfection of our homes.

This is what I think is wrong with Portland cityhall. They obsess about making every corner of the city bright and shiney as though there is no limit on finanacial resources or the infringement of individual freedom in favor of perfecting the city in the Better Homes and Garden vane. I think Yuppification is very much in-line with living within the confines of Better Homes and Garden. That's today's Portland too me. Too Yuppiefied.

A few years ago PDC, using taxpayer's money, created a "creative class building". They could only get 15% occupancy with all forms of subsidies for the tenents. It failed then PDC had to move into the building to save face. Or did they plan it this way?

This constantly fascinates me that a group of govt employees (the least creative jobs in the world) would know how to attract a real world job. They wouldnt know creative jobs if they stepped in a pile of 'em.

Now if they were recruiting fantasy jobs, I might give them some credence.

lw says: They could only get 15% occupancy with all forms of subsidies for the tenents.

If I recall correctly, PDC blamed 9/11 for that one.

Being a member of the creative class (Young, educated at a private university on the other side of the continent), I really could care less about the proximity of caramel lattes to my residence. What concerns me is that now that I am approaching child rearing years is the dismal shape of the educational infrastructure in this city. That maybe what drives me out of Portland and back to one of the dismal cities of the midwest.

"creative class" is just another political buzz phrase like "sustainability". They can't define it. They don't have a clue about it. It is specious.


What's your point? At least these "McMansions" as you call them aren't wasting tax dollars in some ridiculous TOD (ala The Pearl or SoWhat).

So there might not be a Street of Dreams this year. Who cares? It's a privately funded and operated event.

The PDC continuously spends millions of our taxes on wasted efforts aimed at 'diversity' and 'sustainability.'

Which is more desirable to you: private companies cutting back or the government wasting tax dollars?

Creative class, or hipster doofus?
Some quotes from various web sites when you google "hipster doofus":

"1. Someone who has taken being hip and unique to an extreme and therefore worn the "cool" out of the hip. 2. What Jerry called Kramer on the show Seinfeld.
"He is such a hipster doofus, and has not changed at all since college. Do you think he knows he is a hipster doofus?"

"-Someone working an analyst role with a ponytail and shirts that don't tuck in..."

"-urban bike culture is insufferable...dudes who show up to parties looking scruffy with their jeans rolled up wearing messenger bags and ranger caps, gtfoohwtbs. I don't care how practical it is, you look like a hipster doofus."

"-bad tattoo's, wannabe rasta dreads. Can't see the wallet chain but I'm sure it's there. They probably think Tarantino is a god. NERD ALERT! NERD ALERT! NERD ALERT! NERD ALERT! NERD ALERT!"

Hey, I like my wallet chain. Swear by 'em. Don't care if it makes me look like a dweeb.

One night in 1994, back when I used to deride wallet chains as something worn by hipster doofi, I lost a wallet with hundreds of dollars in it while out carousing. I know better now.

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