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Is homeownership an obstacle to change?

Analysis: 'Urban theorist' says renters are more nimble

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Incentives for homeownership are hampering the nation's shift from an industrial economy to one based on the exchange of information and ideas, even as workers abandon old industrial centers and migrate to "mega-regions." So says "urban theorist" Richard Florida, in an Atlantic Monthly article that argues that the key to recovery from the housing bubble and financial crash is to remove homeownership "from its long-privileged place at the center of the U.S. economy." Incentives for homeownership, whether they be tax breaks or subsidies to keep mortgage rates low, mean less investment in sectors that could drive U.S. growth and exports, such as medical technology, software and alternative energy, Florida argues. Florida notes the rise of mega-regions -- "systems of multiple cities and their surrounding suburban rings" -- like the "Texas Triangle" of Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. Cities that serve as the financial and comme...