Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

our great cities need a new social compact

In short there is a real danger that such riots are a feature, not a bug, of cities in the global era. If our great cities are to prosper, they now need a new social compact. That entails more than the old statist recipe of public housing, public medicine, dead-end make-work jobs and public welfare, which helped to create a more or less permanent underclass in the first place. Such an approach must recognise every resident as a source of creative energy.

This means early childhood development programmes and efforts to channel young people’s talents into new urban enterprises and creative endeavours that benefit society. It must also focus on turning rapidly growing, currently low-wage, low-skill service jobs into higher-paying, more fulfilling and more productive work.

That's a helluva lot of hat hangin on "turning low-wage service jobs into fulfilling productive work."

Richard Florida on "The Inchoate Rage Beneath Our Global Cities" @ Financial Times