Chuck Robb at the Arizona Republic makes fun of the economic worrywarts who are fretting that Phoenix isn’t the capital of the solar industry in the United States. “Apparently, no one has told them that those components are actually produced indoors.”

He mentions that the same economic worrywarts used to chase biotech and before that their cause celebre was the “creative class.”

The Creative Class

Adherents to the “creative class” faith believed places like Portland were cool and creative and Arizona was a backward backwater.

Here is Robb’s punch line.

Portland had the ninth-largest increase in college graduates in the country, 2005 to 2007… but Phoenix ranked first in the country. And not on a percentage basis but the absolute number of college graduates increased more in Phoenix than in any other area of the country.

“Phoenix area still has an unemployment rate substantially below the national average, 7.3 percent here compared with 8.9 percent nationally. And Portland? Well, its unemployment rate is 11.8 percent.”

Arizona Republic Leads the Crusades

What Robb doesn’t mention is that the Arizona Republic was a prime promoter of these Phoenix-is-bad crusades.

And Robb forgets to mention that Portland was held up as the oh so hip Promised Land that justified spending gazillions on the Phoenix light rail. Portland cool. Phoenix red neck.

One of the most interesting points in all this to me is what will happen in the future to such crusades when the Arizona Republic has only a fraction of its old influence.

Newspapers are a dying industry. I, for example, canceled the Arizona Republic years ago. The easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint and save some trees is to cancel the Arizona Republic.

In the future will such crusades be able to reach a critical mass of hysteria without a super influential Arizona Republic shepherding the public opinion?