San Diego Soliloquies

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

David Frum is an idiot

But you knew that, didn't you.

Now the man who (according to his wife) gave us the Axis of Evil, wanders blithely into Urban Geography. Knowing nothing of the subject he therefore brings the conservative perspective to the discussion. This entry to his diary describes the "demolition" of a theory that "gays, bohemians, and urban trendies" contribute disproportionately to the success and growth of cities. I include the link because as usual, Frum's description is not what the theory (developed by Professor Richard Florida, a of the regional economic development at Carnegie Mellon University) is all about.

The article Frum cites that "refutes" Professor Florida is published in American Enterprise magazine (I'm shocked), and not on-line (double my shock level). However, if the example Frum cites as the killer counter to Florida's argument is in the article, its author is just as incompetent as Frum

Frum (in continuous promote the wife's book mode) cites the growth of the "Inland Empire" as evidence that family-friendly, church-attending suburbs are the future because they are currently the fastest growing areas. Well duh! They are also the places with the cheapest land costs, where familes can afford to live, and churches can afford to build! (Frum sayeth nothing about the effect this growth has on schools, roads, and other infrastructure of course. Because fixing those things would require taxes, heaven forbid). But look where they are located. Each of these FFCA suburbs is in the metropolitan area of a bohemian, trendy, and still growing city. Also, high percentage growth is easy when you have a low starting population.

Once the Kotkin article comes on-line I will read it to see if he's as incompetent as he is portrayed by Frum. Kotkin would have to be completely unaware of the basics of Urban/Econoomic Geography such as Central Place Theory and its modifications in view of diffences transportation, political and communications landscapes, in order to mangle his argument as completely as Frum has. But then, isn't that what scholars and fellows of the American Enterprise Institute get paid to do?


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