From: Brian Jasper
What does gay marriage have to do with creating a vibrant business climate? We are bombarded with the terms: bicycle paths, roundabouts, arts districts, downtown revitalization, outdoor sports facilities and parking garages. These terms continue to find their way into the news and public policy. What’s really driving these economic development schemes?
Actually, it all started in the late 1950s when venture capitalists began making semiconductors in what would become Silicon Valley. But Richard Florida ignores the facts and would have you believe it started with the 1990s’ tech boom when young people started tech companies during the dot-com bubble and made a lot of money. These kids were more concerned about a city’s night life than its tax rates, so that’s where they spent their money.
Florida grossly misunderstood the cause and effect relationship of this economic boom. He falsely assumed that to attract the best and the brightest you need a vibrant downtown and liberal social legislation because that’s the type of cities in which the tech boom took place. The circumstances were coincidental but unrelated. Florida’s list of boom cities happened to correspond to a list of cities with a high homosexual population.
Florida’s book, “The Rise of the Creative Class,” erroneously concluded that in this new economy, economic growth would no longer be generated by companies making profits or by low taxes but by creative workers who made alternative lifestyle choices.
The intended conclusion was, if you don’t want to miss the economic prosperity you must transform your city into a welcoming, gay-friendly place. Unless you reach out to the creative class, your city will be left behind.
Uninformed city planners, politicians and businesses lined up to buy into Florida’s phony economics. Even our own Columbus Economic Development Board’s website proudly affirms its devout adherence to the now-failed Florida doctrine.
Failure after failure began to mount. Even the very places that Florida had condemned were succeeding. Next came the flip-flop, his latest book, “The Great Reset.” He was forced to admit, “We can’t stop the decline of some places, that we would be foolish to try” and “at the end of the day, people — not industries or even places — should be our biggest concern.” His confession struck at the very heart of his doctrine of “place matters.”
In Columbus, genuine economic development is taking place along U.S. 31 and at the Interstate 65 exchanges. Since this growth didn’t occur downtown, it doesn’t get much news coverage, but mostly because this type of economic expansion is unacceptable. Businesses with parking lots are for the great unwashed, the uncreative “squelchers.”
How did so much growth happen in these locations and not downtown where it was planned? Two reasons: traffic flow and free parking. If you want to revitalize the downtown, reroute U.S. 31 through it and build a parking lot.
The Indiana primary election results exposed the final failure of the Florida doctrine. Voters rejected politicians who promoted gay marriage.
Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger can keep on preaching the false doctrine of our economic future being dependent on the homosexual lifestyle, but the voters have spoken and proclaimed, “We will not bow down to your gods.”
What does gay marriage have to do with creating a vibrant business climate? Absolutely nothing.