According to Richard Florida, cities in other parts of the world are outscoring American cities on measures of new talent, diversity and brainpower. Brussels is fast becoming a creative-class center to rival Boston, Seattle and Austin. Vancouver and Toronto are also set to take off: both city regions have a higher concentration of immigrants to help drive their creative economies than do New York, Miami or Los Angeles. As creative centres, Sydney and Melbourne rank alongside Washington and New York.
What should alarm U.S. economists and legislators, according to Florida, is that metropolises from other developed countries are transforming themselves into magnets for higher-value-added industries through a variety if means: from government-subsidized laboratories to partnerships between top local universities and industry. Most of all, they are attracting foreign creative talent, including American from graduate students to established intellectuals and top scientists. The best young creative minds are no longer flocking to America, as they did for decades. As a result, future cultural and industrial revolutions are less likely to begin in the United States.
To strengthen our creative economy so that it produces more jobs to replace the ones we're losing, the U.S. desperately needs economic, cultural and political leadership with enough savvy to bridge ideological, geographical and international gaps. Florida concludes. Until politicians on both sides of the aisle catch on, the responsibility will surely fall to American economic leaders to create business and trade environments that are increasingly diverse, tolerant and inclusive, and to draw on the immense reservoir of foreign and domestic talent that will pull the American creative economy out of its current stall.