Bedroom community? For who? For what?

There's a new report out today about the state of Center City (h/t Atrios) and here's what I don't get:

-- Philadelphia is becoming more of a bedroom community, and more dependent on college, hospital, nonprofit and tourism jobs.

A bedroom community...but for what? It seems to me that if your local economy doesn't actually make anything, then it's all a big Ponzi scheme that's going to collapse eventually. I spent a couple of days in Pittsburgh this past winter for a chapter in my book, and I couldn't help but notice that everyone I talked to worked either a) in the local hospitals, which are just huge, especially with the older population in western Pennsylvania or b) local government services like fire or police. We have to start making something -- not the Wal-Mart trinkets they make in China -- but some kind of high-tech high-end products or something. Our whole economy is cops protecting nurses treating people injured at a slots parlor. Good luck with that.

And good luck this weekend -- remember, tomorrow's a Halladay.

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