Party Our Way to Regional Prosperity?

Lots of news recently about the potential for the City of Seattle to allow bars to serve alcohol past 2 am. I have no particular expertise on the effects of this decision, other than the fact that I enjoy drinking late at night, but the thing that caught my eye about the story was the framing of it in the consultant report. I’ve always understood this to be a public safety issue, trying to stagger the times that people are leaving bars so that the police don’t have to deal with a huge rush all at once.  But apparently, it’s also a global talent attraction and retention issue:

“In conclusion,” the study says, “the transition of 9-5 institutional systems to a 24/7 global economy has begun across North America. Some cities, such as Seattle, are embracing the transition and capitalizing on the growth of the city as a place to live, work, study and play.”

I think that the idea is that people have to work different hours here on the West Coast so that they can be up for the opening bell on Wall Street or the closing bell of the Nikkei (do they ring a bell at the end of the day of trading in Japan?). Or they’re negotiating trade deals with India, or selling airplanes to China.  And so their 2 am is actually 4 am.  I guess the knowledge worker of 2010 is the graveyard shift dockworker of 1950?  Regardless, I’m understanding the argument in the Richard Florida context of using bars and cafes to get the best and the brightest to locate in your city.

Partying our way to regional prosperity? Drinks are on me (at 3 am)!

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