Elitism Unmasked

Posted on July 22, 2005
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Despite the sweltering heat, there's much to love about Phoenix. It's the 16th best place in the country to do business, boasts some of the nation's most affordable housing, and has an unemployment rate well below the national average. But there's a naysayer in every crowd, and Phoenix is no exception.

In "San Diego, Phoenix: 2 growth formulas," Jon Talton of the Arizona Republic downplays Phoenix's success and suggests that San Diego thrives largely due to things like light rail and "technology sectors." Yet, Phoenix ranks ahead of San Diego on dozens of quality of life measures.

You can't help but think Talton's views on Phoenix may reflect personal preferences more than reality. While he concedes that "Phoenix is adding population faster than San Diego," he says, "San Diego is attracting more of the people who add the most economic value in the global economy." Though masked in economic terms, such a statement has more to do with elitism than economic growth.

Talton concludes that "low taxes and regulations won't help us prosper." By that reasoning, we can tax and regulate our way to prosperity. It's simply bad economics and bad business.

If San Diego is more to your liking, that's fine. But on objective measures of economic health, Phoenix is indisputably a leader.

Key Links:
-Talton: "San Diego, Phoenix: 2 growth formulas"
- Inc. Magazine: "The Best Places for Doing Business in America"
-Study: Phoenix Rising: A City of Aspiration

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