The Great Reset:
How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity
by Richard Florida
$26.99 List Price
Sure, the economic collapse of 2008 impoverished many Americans, but it also enriched our language. Back in the days of home-equity-funded Viking Ranges and perpetually solvent 401(k)s, our cultural dictionaries were shockingly bereft of terms like "credit default swap" and "collateralized debt obligation." One mere global financial panic later, they're on everyone's lips. It was only a matter of time, then, before celebrity geographer Richard Florida—who spent the fat years introducing Americans to the "creative class"—arrived on the scene with a trendy new coinage. Too late to christen the panic proper, Florida aims to label the Great Recession's aftermath: The Great Reset, he calls it.
The Great Reset isn't so much a book as a hastily assembled collection of Florida-isms. As much as one hears that the burst bubble changed everything, Florida's reset comes off as replay. The arguments here will be familiar to anyone who caught the media-savvy University of Toronto professor on TV or the lecture circuit in support of The Rise of the Creative Class (2002) and Who's Your City? (2008). The basics: Economies that foster arty, bohemian types, good. Public policy that props up outmoded manufacturing work, bad. Hooray for immigration, tolerance, diversity, and employers who seek to harness the creative energies of even the lowliest janitor. Boo to spending tax money on stadium megaprojects, deus ex machina factory schemes, and failing auto companies. Better to lure experimental theaters, WiFi-enabled coffeehouses, and graphic-design concerns.
The dislocations of the past couple