Word: Is Atlanta a good bet?

Last week, Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, writing in the New York Times’ Economix blog, posed the question of whether Atlanta is in the midst of transforming from boomtown to nowheresville, joining the ranks of Detroit and other once-thriving major metropolitan cities.

"Nearly 43 percent of adults in the city of Atlanta have college degrees, as opposed to 27 percent in the nation as a whole, and 41 percent in Boston… Skills have long led to urban success, especially when mixed with large urban size. Smart money never bets against the ability of a huge concentration of smart people to weather an economic storm. Don’t count Atlanta out."

—    Glaeser, in a March 9 Economix blog post entitled, “Betting on Atlanta”

"Put the glass of Kool Aid down. The only good thing Atlanta has is a few private universities. Atlanta stopped being a good place to live in the early 1990s."

—    “Mary,” a D.C.-based hater commenting on the NYT blog

"Atlanta is a city without a soul, without borders and where (theoretically) unlimited personal enrichment is not only allowed but encouraged, even at the expense of community values."

—    “Ty,” a New York City-based hater commenting on the NYT blog

"You guys can trash Atlanta all you like but the key point of the article is that it's the 'dominant agglomeration' of people in the South. That's not going to change."

—    “widmerpool” from Atlanta, commenting on the NYT blog

"That’s a very strange term to describe why something should succeed. A dominant agglomeration of monkeys with keyboards have yet to type out Romeo and Juliet."

—    “Ridgelandistan” from Atlanta, commenting on the Decatur Metro blog