Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reading :: The Great Reset

The Great Reset: How the Post-Crash Economy Will Change the Way We Live and Work
By Richard Florida

I'll make this a quick review. Florida's The Great Reset tackles the question of what's going to happen to our economy post-crash. He presents his argument in a series of very short chapters, often as short as four pages, in which he grounds his points in interesting stories and statistics. It's like visiting a tapas bar.

Essentially, Florida presents a wave version of economic development in which economic crises function as "resets" that broadly and fundamentally transform the economic order. Previous resets were the Great Depression of 1929 and the Long Depression of 1873, both of which remade the US economy through technical innovations, systems of innovations, upgrades in education, and changes in the way we live. Florida argues that before a crash, innovation slows down because the system doesn't reward them properly; a Reset changes the incentives and releases innovation.

Florida looks at a number of indices to understand what might be at the other end of this Reset, and he comes out hopeful. He believes that cities will be bigger than ever, that trends such as collaborative consumption will intensify, that fewer people will buy their homes (since home ownership makes less sense without lifelong employment), and that innovations will generate new kinds of prosperity. I hope he's right.

No comments: