As defined by Richard Florida, the creative class constitutes more than 30% of the American workforce and is growing because creativity (the ability to create new meaningful forms) has become the decisive source of competitive advantage for virtually every industry.
"Better than any other country in recent years, America has developed new technologies and ideas that spawn new industries and modernize old ones, from the Internet to big-box stores to innovative product designs. And these have proved the principal force behind the U.S. economy's creation of more than 20 million jobs in the creative sector during the 1990s." But America’s position as a creative leader is waning.
“Once upon a time, the United States nurtured innovation and then exported it to the rest of the world. But American venture capitalists say that more and more technology is being developed abroad and marketed to burgeoning regions, bypassing our own shores completely. The risk is that the influx of talent that used to come to America, bringing with it great energy and innovation, will start to stay home.” –Fast Company
Florida’s ideas for stemming the tide (via Frank Ramirez) include many action items for Washington. “Having talked to hundreds of talented professionals in a half dozen countries over the past year, I'm convinced that the biggest reason [that talented foreigners would avoid the Us] has to do with the changed political and policy landscape in Washington.” Food for thought when voting time comes again.