NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The vanishing Middle Class leads decline

Joel Kotkin writes about Revenge of the rubes -- high-tech marches on in the hinterland in the Sunday, March 6, 2005, San Francisco Chronical. A must read for our local politicians, economic developers and planners.
What is to be done? Some argue the Bay Area should not even try to retain its middle class and should instead fancy itself as an exclusive area for the "creative" elite, and their requisite legions of service workers.
Is this were Nevada County is headed?
Perhaps, too, there is not the room to build enough new housing to bring down prices, or the political will to reform government so that young entrepreneurs and expanding companies may choose to locate there.
We have the same problem in Nevada County
Yet if that is the case, the region's future will probably be much less promising than it appeared just a few years ago. Having emerged in the late 20th century as one of the world's great magnets of opportunity, the Bay Area may now only look forward to a long, leisurely and graceful decline.
Writers and political leaders have often drawn parallels between the high tech industry in the Bay Area with the our little high tech, more applied tech, industry cluster. Now we might look at what is causing the Bay Area business decline and draw some more parallels.

Kotkin writes:
Under these circumstances, we can expect the continued migration of middle-class people and jobs to places where the cost of living, and often the business climate, is far more favorable to those less than extraordinarily well-heeled.

If we can not come to grips with our growing housing costs, by increasing the supply of affordable housing, then our middle class will move else where and we will become a County of "wealth" elites and a multitude as service people who can not live in the community. This is a recipe for a declining community. Here is the foothills we are not immune to the forces that are causing the Bay Area decline.

It is time for leadership. It is a time for action. Who is up to the challenge?

Tell me what you think


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