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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 21, 2012 3:09 PM. The previous post in this blog was Bike share: It's a white male thing. The next post in this blog is Nuke "die-in" for Japan in Portland tomorrow afternoon. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Creative class" spiel was pure hot air

But you knew that all along, right?

Comments (24)

I can make one counterpoint to this article, and this is how encouraging hipsters and other artistic wannabes to a city can lead to economic growth. Of course, this is done by arguing that they're almost always arriving on someone else's dime, with nothing other than a vague idea of what they plan to do. All they know is "Portland is cool" and "the people in Portland are just like me." When you consider some of the arrogant free-range Soylent Green that makes the move, their figuring that they're moving to be with people just like them should scare the hell out of you.

And that's where things get funny. Sure, encouraging the hipster contingent brings in money, but it's almost invariably borrowed from parents, not gained by their own merits. When Mom and Dad run out of 401(k) money to lend out so their precious snowflakes can play into their forties, the man-children have two choices. They can try to find a real job where they are, in which case far too many discover that they don't even come close to having usable skills, and that "getting a position with a weekly newspaper" was a dumb idea even back when employment in journalism wasn't as big a joke as it is today. Or, or, they can move back home, go back to that life in Culdesac Falls, and wait until they inherit the house when their parents finally die. Let's just say that I've watched a few too many characters I knew when I lived in Portland do just that.

Good article, thanks for the find.

I have always looked at the creative class as white kids that didn't want to get their hands or brains dirty doing real work.

With the constant drum beat of "get a college degree, you will only be worth something with one" it's not surprising this creative class has sprung up.
They spend 4 to 8 years in college, on someone else's dime.
Then find that they have no real marketable skills.
Since they are brainwashed that working with their hands is beneath their station in life they continue to sponge off others.

Reality is they should have learned to be a machinist or welder or carpenter.

Well, it's not totally worthless hot air. It attracts a certain kind of tourist, which is better than none at all... some just stay for several years until they try someplace else or return home.

Texas Triffld Ranch's capacity to discern the true nature of a situation always is positively impressive to me.

Ranch is absolutely right. Out-migration will be staggering as boomers die and aging hipster-kids relocate to squat in the homes they grew up in. I've already seen this happen as well.

The truth is that there is very little in Portland to keep people here without a decent job. High taxes + crappy schools

"Reality is they should have learned to be a machinist or welder or carpenter."

Those aren't necessarily such hot jobs these days either...especially for carpenters these days. My step dad was in construction in the early 70's when the recession hit...not pretty when you are the bread winner for 9 kids, and the economy goes down the toilet. It was pretty embarrassing to get free lunch tickets and watch my Mom using food stamps at the grocery store.

There is nothing wrong with getting a college degree. The point being made here is that these "educated" people are spoiled brats who think that they can make a living out of thin air somehow. After I graduated college I worked in a meat packing plant, delivered pizza and then landed a comparatively good job...selling insurance. I quickly moved on from the insurance job and went to grad school and found my place in the professional world. It wasn't in my DNA to sit around and think something great was going to land in my lap just because I moved to a place where all the cool people lived.

"The prob­lem is with the idea of the Cre­ative Class itself.
Look­ing back, it was strangely lib­er­at­ing to have real­ized that the Cre­ative Class was a myth"

It should be renamed the Bullchit Class.

I know many young people in their mid to upper 20s. Not a one is caught up in any of the BC.

So where and how does it all get inflated?

Why at Bullchit Central of course. Government Central Planning.

Thank you so much for this link. Should be required reading for Powers That Be in Portland.

Texas..I so enjoy your posts. You are always spot-on. I also catch you over at die hipster and howl with laughter.

In taking a job where you work with your hands they just might have learned some work ethic.

Concerning the need for welders we just had a story last week how there is a shortage..

Having lived many years in inner SE Portland before moving further out, I'd like to point out that Portland's "creative class" is probably integral to the city's barfly economy.

Tankfixer - No disagreement with what you have to say my friend. I agree that the parents who let these screw balls lay around doing nothing deserve what they get in return. Glad to hear the welders are in demand these days. It's hard work that requires lots of skill and they deserve every dime they earn and then some. More work for the skilled blue collar community is always good news in my book.

Well, it's not totally worthless hot air. It attracts a certain kind of tourist, which is better than none at all... some just stay for several years until they try someplace else or return home.

Except that they vote while they are here. The results show.

Back in the late 60s, early 70s I had several friends who were in different stages of higher education. But notable is that many had jobs like welders or working at ESCO working the furnaces. They made money. Even then they wondered if it was worth it to get some meaningless degree.

More importantly is that Planners hadn't yet started to type-cast, pigeon hole groups of people. The idea of having labels like "creative class", and people like Florida making labeling a career, then having politicians like Sam perpetuating labels without any proof of their significance is disgusting.

Last decade's vacant Creative Class Kalaber Building that PDC (thus us) lost $Millions on symbolizes the patheticism of having government labeling, then institutionalizing labels. Go by bio-tech.

""Creative class" spiel was pure hot air"

Well, actually I think the creative class is a lot closer to non-fat double tall latte than hot air.

Who knows maybe one day, one local politician will actually realize how jobs get created one day in the far future.

I read the article and thought it was pretty cool the author actually did some research. Radical!

The counter-theory to the "Creative Class" wasn't that more welders are the answer: "[T]he amount of college-educated peo­ple you have in an area is what dri­ves eco­nomic growth, not the num­ber of artists or immi­grants or gays, most of whom also hap­pen to be col­lege edu­cated. [...] Hoy­man said[,] “[...] We’re in a knowl­edge econ­omy, where human cap­i­tal is worth a lot more than just show­ing up for work every day.”"

Personally I'm not so sure about "a lot more," and I'm also quite nervous about whether most college educations are really worth what people are paying for them these days. But I can believe there are good things about keeping and attracting college graduates to Portland.

For what it's worth, I moved here when the chemistry/biotech startup I worked for relocated to Portland. The president was a Reedie from Corvallis and he suggested it; most of the rest of us were happy to make the move from southern CA. The company has since added dozens of high-paying jobs and has stayed in downtown Portland. I left it years ago for family reasons, but it's fair to say it was a success story for Portland, and it was the qualities of the city and the area that made it happen.


So glad to see this Florida nonsense debunked somewhere people will pick it up, follow the link and and actually read the real story.

So, back to what many of us have been saying for decades: education, education, education! Most bars and strip clubs per capita is not the metric we want to keep winning. Best educated kids would make all the difference in the world.

But, then, Super Carol and her entourage didn't know we had a HS dropout problem until the Oregonian said so. (I figured they knew but were just politically chicken to duke it out with the Sam/Rand Gang over their TIF losses.) Why isn't Super Carol being fired as we speak? And, if even one of those PPS Board members who didn't know there was a problem because the bOregonian hadn't said so yet gets re-elected it will be a crime against both our kids and our city's future.

If you aren't outraged, you aren't paying attention.

Be careful what you wish for, too. The "well, but at least..." answer of tourism is a terrible Faustian bargain. Tourism is the direct route to a growing intractable underclass. All the baloney about what tourists spend is exactly that. Only a small fraction of it stays in the community, and what does goes mostly directly from the pockets of minimum wage service workers into the hands of slumlords who neither spend nor re-invest. The rest goes to Walmart and ever-inflating over-strapped utilities.

The obvious reality that the trendy delusionalists, including Sam/Rand don't like to see:

" Krätke broke Florida’s Creative Class (which includes accountants, realtors, bankers and politicians) into five separate groups and found that only the “scientifically and technologically creative” workers had an impact on regional GDP." (bold added)

Plain simple common sense. To bad there is none of that at Metro, County or City Hall.

Thanks
JK

"The Rise of the Cre­ative Class was filled with 'self-indulgent forms of ama­teur microso­ci­ol­ogy and crass cel­e­bra­tions of hip­ster embour­geoise­ment.' That’s another way of say­ing....the 'hip­ster­i­za­tion' of wealthy cities....was what was caus­ing those cities to be wealthy. As some crit­ics have pointed out, that’s a lit­tle like say­ing that the high num­ber of hot dog ven­dors in New York City is what’s caus­ing the pres­ence of so many invest­ment bankers. So if you want bank­ing, just sell hot dogs. 'You can manip­u­late your argu­ments about cor­re­la­tion when things hap­pen in the same place,' says Peck."

It doesn't get any better than that, analysis-wise. Thanks, Jack.

Hipsters + unions + rain + gorgeous physical environment + unchecked illegal immigration
=
Distressed schools/ delusional public policy-makers/deluge of depressed and unemployable beauty-seekers (all with bubbles coming out of their brains and mouths, containing the words, "it's all good".)

Reading the biography of Steve Jobs. An interesting snippet early in the book reveals that in the first year of middle school, Jobs threatened his parents that he would drop out of school if they didn't send him someplace better. Dear God, what the world might have lost if Clara and Paul Jobs hadn't done what it took to get their child out of the gulag of a shitty public middle school. It just burns me up whenever I hear about constructions bonds for PPS, when their real problem is UNIONS, but no one ever, ever even mentions this within the corridors of their fiefdom.

What an excellent read. I love how he pre-imagines the responses "You're against creativity!? You're against gays!?" ...because those are exactly the kinds of response an analysis of this sort leads to. They never care that they are sinking a city's entire economy just to get a few points up on some meaningless index somewhere. Most wired? Most bike friendly? Your giant government bureaucracy will not be supported by baristas and bartenders who think they are writers or filmmakers. (And I love how many will brag about how they vastly under-report tips in order to avoid paying taxes, but then consistently vote for higher taxes. They fully support "the man" and then brag about how they're sticking it to him).

Years ago, The Baffler had a great essay basically ripping Florida and his bunk theories that have been so popular here apart. Great stuff, and great to see they're publishing again. Worth a read if you see it around...

The creative class in Portland: Those who find creative ways to have the government finance their lifestyles rather than working full time and paying taxes.

Portland gets what Portland deserves.

More gays (not that there is anything wrong with that), more hipsters, more baristers, more spandex bikers, more creatives.

What does it deliver?

More SamRands and a brand new Mayor ADHD!

Keep Portland Weird and Creative, and therefore much more prosperous!


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