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Old 02-15-2004, 10:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Creative Class War

The thesis of this Washington Monthly article is that the current political culture, brought on by the Republican party and the Bush White House, jeopardizes our long term prosperity by discouraging the immigration of talented individuals in all fields from other countries.

It's too long to post the whole thing, but I'll paraphrase.

He starts out with this:

Quote:
He realized, he told me, that with the allure of the Rings trilogy, he could attract a diversely creative array of talent from all over the world to New Zealand; the best cinematographers, costume designers, sound technicians, computer graphic artists, model builders, editors, and animators.

When I visited, I met dozens of Americans from places like Berkeley and MIT working alongside talented filmmakers from Europe and Asia, the Americans asserting that they were ready to relinquish their citizenship. Many had begun the process of establishing residency in New Zealand.

Think about this. In the industry most symbolic of America's international economic and cultural might, film, the greatest single project in recent cinematic history was internationally funded and crafted by the best filmmakers from around the world, but not in Hollywood.
In a nutshell, that's what the article is about. Things that are American, like our culture, our science, and our technology are no longer necessarily produced here.

Quote:
What should really alarm us is that our capacity to so adapt is being eroded by a different kind of competition--the other pincer of the claw--as cities in other developed countries transform themselves into magnets for higher value-added industries. Cities from Sydney to Brussels to Dublin to Vancouver are fast becoming creative-class centers to rival Boston, Seattle, and Austin. They're doing it through a variety of means--from government-subsidized labs to partnerships between top local universities and industry. Most of all, they're luring foreign creative talent, including our own. The result is that the sort of high-end, high-margin creative industries that used to be the United States' province and a crucial source of our prosperity have begun to move overseas. The most advanced cell phones are being made in Salo, Finland, not Chicago. The world's leading airplanes are being designed and built in Toulouse and Hamburg, not Seattle.
Quote:
As other nations become more attractive to mobile immigrant talent, America is becoming less so. A recent study by the National Science Board found that the U.S. government issued 74,000 visas for immigrants to work in science and technology in 2002, down from 166,000 in 2001--an astonishing drop of 55 percent. This is matched by similar, though smaller-scale, declines in other categories of talented immigrants, from finance experts to entertainers. Part of this contraction is derived from what we hope are short-term security concerns--as federal agencies have restricted visas from certain countries after September 11. More disturbingly, we find indications that fewer educated foreigners are choosing to come to the United States. For instance, most of the decline in science and technology immigrants in the National Science Board study was due to a drop in applications.
He reasons as follows, and though it seems to me to have quite a bit of truth, it is a somewhat controversial idea.

Quote:
But having talked to hundreds of talented professionals in a half dozen countries over the past year, I'm convinced that the biggest reason has to do with the changed political and policy landscape in Washington. In the 1990s, the federal government focused on expanding America's human capital and interconnectedness to the world--crafting international trade agreements, investing in cutting edge R&D, subsidizing higher education and public access to the Internet, and encouraging immigration. But in the last three years, the government's attention and resources have shifted to older sectors of the economy, with tariff protection and subsidies to extractive industries. Meanwhile, Washington has stunned scientists across the world with its disregard for consensus scientific views when those views conflict with the interests of favored sectors (as has been the case with the issue of global climate change). Most of all, in the wake of 9/11, Washington has inspired the fury of the world, especially of its educated classes, with its my-way-or-the-highway foreign policy. In effect, for the first time in our history, we're saying to highly mobile and very finicky global talent, "You don't belong here."

Obviously, this shift has come about with the changing of the political guard in Washington, from the internationalist Bill Clinton to the aggressively unilateralist George W. Bush. But its roots go much deeper, to a tectonic change in the country's political-economic demographics. As many have noted, America is becoming more geographically polarized, with the culturally more traditionalist, rural, small-town, and exurban "red" parts of the country increasingly voting Republican, and the culturally more progressive urban and suburban "blue" areas going ever more Democratic. Less noted is the degree to which these lines demarcate a growing economic divide, with "blue" patches representing the talent-laden, immigrant-rich creative centers that have largely propelled economic growth, and the "red" parts representing the economically lagging hinterlands. The migrations that feed creative-center economies are also exacerbating the contrasts. As talented individuals, eager for better career opportunities and more adventurous, diverse lifestyles, move to the innovative cities, the hinterlands become even more culturally conservative. Now, the demographic dynamic which propelled America's creative economy has produced a political dynamic that could choke that economy off. Though none of the candidates for president has quite framed it that way, it's what's really at stake in the 2004 elections.
This makes a lot of sense to me. We need to protect America not just by killing terrorists, but by making sure that our efforts to keep bad elements out don't strangle our prosperity. The gripe is not only procedural; it's a Zeitgeist. Part of what makes America great is that we take so much from the world around us, not just in terms of resources, but in terms of people and their ideas and talents. We should encourage the world to come unto us, not shut it out in a blaze of patriotism and paranoia.
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Old 02-15-2004, 11:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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To late to get into it bit by bit but I think its a bunch of bullshit.

Blame Bush for everything, (tech visas would be down perhaps because the whole tech industry is down?), ignore decenting views on his own (global climate change bit, the Kyoto treated was rejected by the senate 99-0 during Clinton's tenure), and when you call 90% of America 'hinterlands' you know you have a bug up your ass.

I could rewrite the bit with "blue" patches representing the talent-laden, immigrant-rich creative centers that have largely propelled economic growth, and the "red" parts representing the economically lagging hinterlands.

As with the "blue" patches representing the crime-laden, illegal immigrant rich, centers of welfare and economic inequity, and the "red' parts representing the traditional communities.

Better watch out for dem rednecks, they don't look kindly to your kind in these hear parts.
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Old 02-15-2004, 11:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok I just checked out the other articles from that site. It explains a lot. I'll start quoting NewsMax articles now
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Old 02-16-2004, 12:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
Ok I just checked out the other articles from that site. It explains a lot. I'll start quoting NewsMax articles now
So long as the forum rules are followed, that's ok.
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Old 02-16-2004, 10:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I've got to side with Ustwo.

Bush is to blame for everything bad, Clinton was a god.

Lets face it, he's an ultra-liberal cinematographer who's only political classes he's ever taken were probably required.

The rural US isnt the "hinterland" as Ustwo put it.

Quote:
Less noted is the degree to which these lines demarcate a growing economic divide, with "blue" patches representing the talent-laden, immigrant-rich creative centers that have largely propelled economic growth, and the "red" parts representing the economically lagging hinterlands.
Ok... so if you're a democrat you're talented, creative, and cultured... and if you're a republican you're a backwoods redneck with a shotgun hole in your leg. I was going to accept this guy's article for only mild-bs until I read this one....
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Old 02-16-2004, 11:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, if you want to argue that rural america is a center of economic, cultural, and technological progress that drives our economy, be my guest.

And one more bit to clarify. The issue is cultural. Our society no longer sends the message that it wants to be on the cutting edge of engineering and biology. The most sophisticated stem cell research is going on in the UK right now. The tallest buildings are being built in Asia. In addition, other countries are more actively competing for the world's supply of human capital.

Does a guy making a movie in New Zealand matter? Absolutely. Literally thousands of jobs, many of them technical, creative, and high paying were created simply because of this movie. Why do you think LA has so much prosperity? Culture is big business.
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Last edited by Scipio; 02-16-2004 at 11:44 AM..
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Old 02-16-2004, 12:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scipio

And one more bit to clarify. The issue is cultural. Our society no longer sends the message that it wants to be on the cutting edge of engineering and biology. The most sophisticated stem cell research is going on in the UK right now. The tallest buildings are being built in Asia. In addition, other countries are more actively competing for the world's supply of human capital.

Does a guy making a movie in New Zealand matter? Absolutely. Literally thousands of jobs, many of them technical, creative, and high paying were created simply because of this movie. Why do you think LA has so much prosperity? Culture is big business.
Yes and its all Bush's and his evil backwards republican henchmens fault!

First off the US is still the center of research. In biology (my speciality) we often farm human projects out to places like Sweden, where the rules on human experimentation are less stringent, but the US is still the center of scientific research. Try going to an international research symposium, the US has about 1/2 of the projects, which when you think of how big the rest of the world is, says quite a bit don't you think?

Also correlation does not equal causation. I am rather successful, I employ 15 people, and I live in a 'blue' area, but that doesn't make me a liberal democrat now does it? Take out the urban poor and see where blue and red line up.
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Old 02-16-2004, 05:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What a biased report. The quotes from that article made so little economic sense that I'm not even going to get into it. Straight BS.
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