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Richard Florida should visit North Dakota

Adam R.'s picture

Posted June 5, 2009

Guess what country has the nation's best economy?  Did you guess North Dakota?  Well, then you might be right.  Sure, it is hard to exactly define best, or to pick a measure that captures the entirety of "good."

Still, North Dakota excels.  It has a budget surplus.  Imagine that! It has an unemployment rate of just 4 percent.  In the last year, its state GDP grew 7.3 percent.

Still, it lacks a high quotient of baristas.  Its probably among the worst states in the US to get an espresso or a machiatto.  Its a good place, though, to get a 49 cent cup of coffee (watery) at a gas station outside of Fargo.

That's interesting, but its also something of a challenge to Richard Florida's ongoing idea of the resilience of creative economies.  Florida doesn't go so far as to say that more baristas will lead to more jobs, but then again, he doesn't go too far from that suggestion, either.

It made sense when our best economies were in California and New York, paced simultaneously by high tech and high finance.  Today, our economy is changing.  Agriculture and raw resources seem to be more stable.