I want to run this theory by you to see what you make of it. I'm putting this in the lounge because I want to keep this academic, this isn't about political parties anyway...
I make a living now helping building the tech part of startups (a startup is generally a company less than 10 years old), and I'm learning as much as I can about how complex areas such as investment and marketing work. The draw to creating and supporting startups in this country is huge, there are literally thousands of startups out there now in all industries. Most of them won't make it, statistically speaking, but there is clearly an enormous population that is not adverse to risk, and a large pool of investors with different specializations looking to fund these better ideas. Some might call these sorts of successes the American/North American dream, although it takes an enormous amount of work to build a successful company, as many of you know. You are doing exceptionally well if you are making significant money within 4 years.
State and local governments have intense interest in these sorts of startups, because the ones that make it create a lot of jobs. As such, many local governments are very interested in developing/bolstering a startup community, with dense urban development that is attractive to a growing startup that wants to attract the best possible employees. Some cities are further ahead than others, but you don't have to be a big city to have a healthy startup community. Boulder, Colorado, for instance, has a healthy one and they are only big-ish. A healthy startup community often means being interested in creating a nice arts scene, being gay friendly, and creating nice working spaces/tech parks, etc.
Driving around some cities, it kind of feels like many are in the process of reinventing themselves in creating these spaces, and you can see a lot of these new companies replacing old ones. Some cities have a ton of abandoned factories and older companies that are just hanging in there. This reinvention of environments in urban areas requires a reinvention of the people that are taking these jobs. I'm wondering if what we're seeing now is older people with outdated skill sets slowly being phased out, and being replaced with more tech-centric companies and tech-centric workers. By "tech" I don't necessarily mean high tech, or computer tech, but just jobs with a more progressive way of operating (including marketing/sales) which usually involves a tech component. There is a study that says that in the state of Indiana 53% of businesses don't even have a website, so there are still a lot of companies with pretty much zero tech to them. My wife and I know a few people that seem to have skill sets that are no longer terribly attractive, although they once were.
Could some of this reinvention of our cities and training be manifesting in some of the economic slowdown that we've seen in recent years? Again, I don't want to make this political, but it seems like this is a reasonable theory - something has to happen with those older people that operate in old-school ways in industries where it is difficult to get away with this, right?
Just a theory I've been toying with. Be nice.