Thursday, January 3, 2008

Creative corridor

The Detroit News reports on the state's efforts to attract the film industry to Michigan, including a 35% rebate on film production costs and low- or no-interest loans. This is part of a broader effort to transition the economy to serve "the creative class": young professionals, media workers, and the bohemian types who are supposedly the key to our economic future. MetroMode reports that local leaders hope to draw such workers and build the economy by making Woodward a creative corridor lined with media-oriented and "knowledge" jobs.

A creative corridor sounds smart to me. Woodward is already lined with creative businesses and cultural institutions , and there's every incentive to add more. That's what's happening in Midtown, and it's encouraging to see. But I don't think media-work is likely to replace the auto industry any time soon as Detroit's economic engine.

And incentives for film production? More than three dozen states are trying that. We'd be better off supporting the growing local film industry than competing in a race to the bottom to attract Hollywood productions.

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