Monday, June 24, 2013

If 2/3rds of our people live in urban areas that produce 3/4ths of our GDP why do we give so much political power to rural areas?

I quote from an interesting speech by Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution
The real heart of the American economy lies in 100 metropolitan areas that after decades of growth take up only 12 percent of our land mass, but harbor two-thirds of our population, generate 75 percent of our gross domestic product and, on every single indicator that matters—innovation, human capital, infrastructure—punch above their weight at dizzying levels. 
This is the power of concentration and agglomeration: the network effect of firms, universities, institutions fertilizing ideas, sharing workers, extending innovation, enhancing competitiveness and catalyzing growth.
In the aftermath of the Great Recession, U.S. cities and metros are recognizing that with our federal government mired in partisan gridlock and most states adrift, they are essentially on their own to grapple with super-sized economic, social and environmental challenges. The cavalry is not coming. Washington is not riding to the rescue. 
Fortunately, cities and metros—and the networks of leaders who govern them—mayors for sure but also business, civic, community, business, labor and environmental leaders—are responding with pragmatism, energy and ambition to, as we say in America, “get stuff done.”

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