A note from Patrick Pylvainen:
Students Engaged in Global Aid (SEGA), together with GlobeMed, is bringing a speaking event to campus called 1.4 Billion Reasons. This presentation is put on by the Global Poverty Project, and is a traveling speaking event that goes to universities, churches, and other meeting places to bring the issue of global poverty to the forefront. The goal is to engage and inspire audiences to understand and get involved in the movement to end extreme poverty.
The presentation is built around five sections:
- What is extreme poverty?
- Can we do anything about it?
- What are the barriers to ending extreme poverty?
- Why should we care?
- What can I do?
The event is Tuesday at 6:30 in the Wriston Auditorium.
The answer depends on whether it manages to preserve its history of entrepreneurship, says Edward Glaeser in his piece Start-Up City in New York’s City Journal. He argues that the strength behind the spectacular economic development New York City has experienced in most of the past two hundred years grew out of entrepreneurship. Industries have come and gone, but the entrepreneurial spirit remained. But will this be the case after the Fall of Finance? Glaeser worries that the financial firms that have come to dominate the City aren’t small and entrepreneurial, but relatively large, possibly undermining that culture of entrepreneurship. Moreover, in several studies and surveys New York state and New York City show up as one of the worst places to do business in the US. One other piece of this picture that I think deserves more attention than Glaeser is granting is the constant influx of immigrants that New York has experienced for a long time. See this paper by Waldinger on immigrants and the famous New York garment industry, or this study by the Kauffman Foundation on immigration and technology entrepreneurs in particular. Of course when great numbers of immigrants became entrepreneurs in NYC, it was in small-scale manufacturing industries such as the garment industry, where no knowledge of English and no higher education were required. My great-uncle has several childhood friends who successfully became such entrepreneurs in the US, and spoke rather limited English to the day they died. It is doubtful that such a mechanism of low-skilled immigrant entrepreneurship could function today. But, as the aforementioned study suggests, technology may be the new garment industry.