Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cloth God to Visit Tucson

Tucson, Arizona. Why doesn’t it surprise me that a roach would invite a snake to Tucson to deliver distilled cloth in the pretense of doing something regarding the economic development of our community? Next month, the terrible TREO will have its annual cloth feast at the JW Starr Pass Marriott Resort & Spa. Hundreds of well-dressed, important looking people will enter the resort for a lunch of chicken and cloth speak.

Cost: Tickets are $85 for TREO investors and $100 for noninvestors. Tickets for both the private reception and luncheon are $125 for TREO investors and $150 for noninvestors. Does the information leave you with a warm fuzzy for the people paid six-figure salaries to improve our economy? Book signing? So Roach is in the business of selling books for this guy? Roach has invited Cloth God Richard Florida to speak at the resort. What Roach is to Tucson, Richard Florida is to the economic development planet, having published cloth books that inform us that economic development has nothing to do with a workforce possessing hard skills like mathematics, electronics, engineering, computer science, finance, quality systems, or human resources.

No, instead, a community must acquire artists, high "bohemians" (WTF!), gay men, and high tech workers. The first link is to Florida’s own content, not his critics. My dear readers are welcome to check it out and draw their own conclusions. When a man refers to himself as a guru, my dander goes full tilt. He reeks of snake. The second link is Wikipedia's take on the man.

Raytheon is not looking for engineers. IBM is not looking for computer scientists. What attracts and retains high paying jobs are musicians, gay male artists, and high bohemians, whatever they are. Employers are not concerned with the ability to hire the people that can do the jobs their operations require. Ironically, Roach asserts, "Labor drives all market decisions." Then why are we selling books for a guy that talks about artists and gay men? Our visiting genius has created measures including the "gay male index" to measure the "creativity" of various cities. Let’s consider a decade of job growth produced at the top ten most creative cities per the index and the job growth at the ten worst, "least creative" cities. Don't trust me. Visit the Wall Street Journal’s article for more.

Job Growth (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Top Ten Creative Cities 1993 – 2003: 17.5 %
Bottom Ten Creative Cities 1993 – 2003: 19.4 %
US Average: 17.3 %

Let’s do two decades:

Top Ten Creative Cities 1983 – 2003: 38.8%
Bottom Ten Creative Cities 1983 – 2003: 61.9 %
US Average: 44 %

Of hundreds of cities ranked, the top of the top in the nation underperformed the lowest of the low. They barely matched the US average and they were below the average for two decade performance. More on the snake here (extensive) and here (an article he wrote).

I appreciate art, but art follows art consumers. Why does Sante Fe have its art economic machine? Where does Wyland sell his art (most products over $15,000)? Answer: Laguna Beach. Why Laguna Beach? Consider that maybe the musicians, artists, and "high bohemians" FOLLOW the high paid workers and tourists that can PAY THEM!!

TREO funnels public money to Cincinnati’s glossy paper people KMK Consulting. How much did we pay KMK? Perhaps we will pay them to develop a marketing strategy. Let’s produce a pink streak. What do we put on the billboard in DC?

Oh, wait, maybe it’s not gay men and musicians. Let’s build a stadium. That’ll bring ‘em to town in droves and make tons of money, just like Tucson Electric Park.

Arizona is the fastest growing state in the country. Of course people and businesses are going to come here, and of course the cloth heads will take credit and gloat as it occurs. To understand reality requires comparing performance against the rest of the state. Compare their results to what is happening in Maricopa, Pinal, Cochise, Coconino.

The wages they care about are their own.


Anonymous Dustin said...


When I was working at raytheon, alot of times you could get bumped up to a higher paying job after taking a few classes at pima. I was about to start some of those classes right before the strike happened, but that is neither here nor there. This was especially the case for hourly workers. Is that something unique to them? The only reason I ask is that in "something else" you detail some jockeying between PCC and SAIAT. Honestly I'm not sure what I'm trying to get at. There is a connection that wants to form, but at the moment it's just not happening. I'll have to comment later when I can put it together.

8/25/2007 3:51 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

This is sad, of course. Especially when we all know that the "cloth feast" is an end in itself and not really intended to accomplish anything. These types of events provide employment for the event planners, chefs, people who cook chicken and chop salads at hotels, and various administrators, coordinators, and other flunkies.

Our resources are misallocated, to be sure. But this is a service economy here in the USA. This is what we do. This is a service. It's not a particularly vital or even useful one, but that's what it is.

I'm sorry, x4mr. I know it hurts.

8/25/2007 5:56 PM  
Anonymous the doctor said...

I am not saying I didn't believe you, x4mr, but there was always a doubt about the extent of your allegations. Could so many people really be so stupid?

This is damning. The Wall Street Journal article is outstanding.

I have a deeper appreciation of "cloth."

I thought I got it before, but now I really get it. This also fits with Cigar Man. I mean, fits so well it's spooky. He knew you were dead in 2004! Wow.

Like he said, take comfort in the fact that you never stood a chance. Also take comfort in thinking about all of the people you helped while you could. From "Something Else" it sounds like you made a big difference for a lot of people. They will remember you and SAIAT.

I will never forget that part in SE where you were at the fancy party thinking about food and whether your students got to have dinner.

Today's post took my understanding to a new level. It's disturbing to think that even the local officials that live down the street are the same scum that we see in Washington.


8/25/2007 6:27 PM  
Anonymous The Navigator said...

Florida is an arrogant snake. The sham exploits flow of causality, a common tactic for such characters.

He is the Anthony Robbins for cities, and he is good at what he does.

The crux of the argument is that a "creative environment" of artists and musicians translates to creative entrepreneurial activity that promotes economic growth. The gay part, well, that's weird.

Regarding homosexuality, Tucson is already there. Tucson is already ranked among the most desirable and is known as a gay community haven.

I will not attend the TREO event. It will be interesting to hear how Roach translates this to Tucson.

As for artists, Tucson is also there. While fractured, Tucson has a pretty vibrant artistic community already. The well known Maderas is far more talented at marketing than art (I think she sucks, but art is art.)

As for music, I haven't any idea. It's not what I am about. Like x4mr (I guess), I don't see the increase of rock bands in Tucson doing much for the economy or, in particular, our low wage problem.

As x4mr has eloquently written in detail, our problem is the lack of a skilled workforce, and TREO's emphasis of this clown, as the doctor expressed, condemns TREO and Roach.

X4mr's math program was solid gold, directly injecting high octane skills right into the workforce with immediate and astronomical rate of return.

Roach is stupid and dishonest. Tucson is TOO bohemian. That's part of its problem. No one knows math, science, or computers. The town is under educated, not under artistic. The "hard skills" he mentions are exactly what this town needs.

By destroying SAIAT and workforce training to squander resources on making Tucson more "creative" TREO goes in the exact wrong direction.

The economic development community in this town really is as stupid as x4mr suggests. This is proof.

8/26/2007 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not in Tucson.

I am very familiar with Dr. Florida's work. You should dig deeper before branding him as a serpent. You overstep your place.

You are obviously very intelligent and informed, and I compliment you on having a very informative and interesting blog. You are correct far more often than incorrect.

Your animosity towards "Roach" seems most justified, but it has caused you to overshoot your venom towards Dr. Florida.

His ideas have powerful application in stiff east coast and midwestern communities choked by social intolerance and a culture of conformity.

I have not visited Tucson, but I know economic development, and your arguments regarding its economic development circumstance are sound. The idea that Tucson lacks bohemian elements and a socially tolerant environment is ridiculous to the point of laughable.

Summarizing, you fail to grasp where Dr. Florida's ideas can be productively applied, but you correctly observe that Tucson, Arizona is the last place where his views have value. As the prior comment notes, Tucson is already bohemian, already artistic, and already creative.

As you note, Tucson's economic development is crippled by its lack of hard skills and the state's reputation for having the worst education system (or second worst) in the country.

Your transportation infrastructure, your tax structure, and your pathetic education and the ignorant workforce it creates are your problems. That your economic development professionals fail to see this shows they are inept.

If you deepen your genuine understanding of Florida's ideas, your rhetoric will soften. As for TREO, for the reasons you state they sound like morons.

8/26/2007 8:14 PM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

There is certainly a need for creativity in economic development. Lack of creativity (or, perhaps, individuality) has often been cited as an issue in developing Asian economies, especially Japan, and it's been something those cultures have been cultivating the last couple decades.

Having said that, I am convinced Florida overstates the case. If I want to start a technology company, I am not looking for painters, sculptors, musicians, actors - I want engineers, scientists, mathematicians.

Silicon Valley isn't Silicon Valley because of San Francisco's bohemian, gay-friendly life style. It's because you have two of the premier research institutions in the country within 30 or 40 miles of each other (a great climate doesn't hurt).

If you have nothing but engineers, scientists and mathematicians you can develop a lot of new ideas or products which will drive your economy. If you have a lot of artists, they may be wild and creative, fun to be around, create a more pleasant environment in which to live ... but they won't do nearly as much for your economic development.

A colleague of mine was a professional musician back in the 70s ... pretty good too, played with a couple well-known bands. He still plays, and has a band he organizes and has fun with. All neat stuff ... but without his Computer Science degrees, he wouldn't be working with us.

Artists are a very nice, even necessary, adjunct to driving an economy (or society). However, they are not, and never will be, a key to developing an economy. Engineers, scientists, mathematicians are keys.

8/27/2007 7:29 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Okay, anon, to respond requires me to take a slightly deeper cut.

Regarding his academic credentials and his articles and books, I am sympathetic to many of the ideas, certainly equality for both sexual preferences and "creative" individuals of bohemian lifestyles. What Florida is causing to occur is fine with me, and I can accept that some southern or midwestern cities might benefit.

I stand by my reptilian assertion and think Navigator nailed it by calling him the "Anthony Robbins for cities." Florida is smart and saw a gold mine. These cities have economic development idiots that don't understand relationships and causality.

The guy is left of center, and fine with me if he gets a bunch of soft, overweight white Republicans to recruit gay populations and embrace diversity while he and his company laugh all the way to the bank.

He refers to himself as the "go to guru" on his OWN Web site. SNAKE.

How interesting that they have twenty or thirty grand to help the Cloth God sell books, but they don't have the money to support a tiny training institute when the most crippling issue in our community's economy is the skill level of our workforce.

8/27/2007 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a different anonymous from the earlier one.

This is very annoying. I cannot believe what I am reading. While reading I thought this was a joke.

You were good to get away from the cloth people. As whoever said, what a bunch of morons.

And we wonder why everything is a mess.

I hope they cover this in the news. If it were in the middle of town, I'd go for a minutes but not attend just to see what idiots would pay $100 to hear how Tucson's "gay male index" will raise our wages.

You really got people to raise their wage $2.50/hr in three months? How did you do that?

That doesn't seem possible. If the average wage rose $2.50, that means if someone didn't get a raise, another person had to get $5/hr raise.

You have built up a lot of credibility, so I will believe. That is IMPRESSIVE.

I have heard of that class (years ago), but never met anyone who took it. The One stop people know about it.

8/27/2007 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and I bet the reason they have it so far away and make it expensive is to keep any "real people" from attending.

It will be bunch of do nothings while everyone else is at work doing a real job.

8/27/2007 12:37 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...


I promise it's true about the wage increase. Math Skills Enhancement was not just a math class. It was a full blown program led by a course leader that included transformational concepts.

See Chapter Eight of Something Else.

Some left an existing job to get another one. More common was a promotion with their current employer.

Transformation is difficult to believe without witnessing it first hand. I had one kid learn eight years of math in three months. He was a different human being after the course. One woman went from being a dignified clerk to running a department. Her wage almost doubled.

It was not algebra that produced her results. It was, well, uh, Something Else.

8/27/2007 3:20 PM  

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