Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Percy Walker Discovers Richard Florida

Greensboro's most charming billionaire writes,

Fact: The average income of adult gays is $53,500 (compared with $32,000 for the general population).With that kind of brain power and economic clout, shouldn't we be recruiting more gays to move here? Yes, we should! ...

First, get the NC legislature to pass pro-same-sex marriage legislation. Second, offer $100,000 to every gay that moves to Guilford County ($50,000 if they are only bisexual).
Ed Cone wryly calls this a "bold new plan." Bold, yes!

But it's not new. Economic development maven Richard Florida has been saying for years that gays are an important part of the "creative class," and constantly emphasizes that communities who want to keep up in the information-based global economy need to be friendly to gays. He wrote in his book, The Rise of the Creative Class,
My list of the country's high-tech hot spots looked an awful lot like [Gary Gates's] list of the places with highest concentrations of gay people. When we compared these two lists with more statistical rigor, his Gay Index turned out to correlate very strongly to my own measures of high-tech growth. Other measures I came up with, like the Bohemian Index---a measure of artists, writers, and performers---produced similar results.
Action Greensboro has been pursuing the "attract the creative class" strategy already for several years with the formation of its SynerG group, "an active organization that supports progressive cultural and policy-based initiatives in order to help build a city that is dynamic, vibrant, and diverse."

But other recent news from Greensboro shows that Percy and SynerG have their work cut out for them.

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