The notion of the "Creative Class" as a driver of economic growth was popularized by economist Richard Florida. His model proposed that economic growth is strongest in areas with large numbers of "creative" professionals and areas which are tolerant.
This argument counters a prevailing orthodoxy within economics that attritubes economic growth largely to capital investment, often in things like plants and equipment, thus favoring a tax policy that undertaxes capital investment, while overtaxing earned income. In contrast, Florida's model argues that economic growth is driven by investments in education and a focus on creating a tolerant society where entrapreneurs with ideas that challenge the status quo can thrive.
Among the controversial aspects of his model is that it shows a strong relationship between places that have large gay populations and economic growth.