I remember being at a party about 6 weeks ago, and hearing from some people I went to school with that Ohio would be “where it’s at” in terms of being the center of economic regrowth and transformation in America. I can understand the reasoning: as a perennial swing state with a declining Rust Belt economy, the facile interpretation would be that obviously this should be a center of new investment. But this doesn’t really make a lot of sense. The economy has steadily shifted away from the sort of manufacturing/tangible economies of the Rust Belt toward more intellectually driven industries and services, and generally, it’s easier to amplify existing growth than to reverse stagnation or decline. Especially as home values decline, we should expect that people — as they always do — tend to go where the action is.
Anyway, this is all a long way of suggesting that everyone read Richard Florida’s piece in The Atlantic on how economic crisis will facilitate geographic change.