September 24, 2013• By Jim Russell
Almost a month ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Ireland Is Dying.” I did not intend to probe into an existential crisis. When I tease that “X” place is dying, I play with the geographic stereotype of communities in decline. One week, Detroit is dying. The next, San Jose is the victim with essentially the same problem:
“We’re Silicon Valley, we’re not Detroit,” said Xavier Campos, a Democratic city councilman representing San Jose’s poor East Side. “It shouldn’t be happening here. We’re not the Rust Belt.”
According to venture capitalist Danny Rimer, San Jose is the Rust Belt. Perhaps Rimer is right and Campos is wrong. But for our dearly held geographic folklore, nothing in Silicon Valley can be Rust Belt. It does not compute. Dying cities are only located here. Geography is a social science, not a map of objective reality. Birmingham, Alabama, the Pittsburgh of the South, is located in the Sun Belt:…To Read More….