Today’s Links: October 12, 2011


ANNIE LOWREY: “Why Small Businesses Aren’t Innovative
“The stereotype of the small-businessperson as a start-up innovator is pervasive. But it’s not true, according to a new study. Scupper the image of Mark Zuckerberg handcrafting a new service to revolutionize how we socialize and adding thousands of jobs to the economy. Replace it with the image of a gas-station owner, servicing a crowded market, happy to be able to make his kid’s soccer games without a boss breathing down his neck, and more wary of innovation than eager for it. In a new paper, ‘What Do Small Businesses Do?,’ Erik Hurst and Benjamin Wild Pugsley of the University of Chicago says innovative whizzes and small-business owners are very different breeds. For politicians and policymakers eager to bolster job creation and foster American competitiveness, Hurst and Pugsley’s analysis could have important ramifications.”

RICHARD EPSTEIN: “Cafornia’s Kaftkaesque Rent Control Laws
“New York is not the only economically failing state that treats rent control as the road to salvation for its financially pressed citizens. California matches it stride for stride. In the California setting, the focal point is mobile homes. The 2010 decision in Guggenheim v. City of Goleta upheld a municipal ordinance that allows the tenant to hunker down in perpetuity so long as he or she agrees to cover the landlord’s increased costs, narrowly conceived. That gap between lease value and rental value sets in motion a set of procedural gimmicks, making it virtually impossible to give that landowner a fair shot at challenging these oppressive regulations, given the rigged rules now in place. ”

NICOLE GELINAS: “Apples and Oranges: Steve Jobs Was  Real Capitalist, as the Wall Street Protestors Seem to Understand
“When word of Jobs’s death got out to the Occupy Wall Street protest in Lower Manhattan, where some protesters have used Apple’s products to disseminate their message, “the typing stopped.” It would be easy to say that Occupy Wall Street’s grief over Jobs’s death is a sign of the movement’s hypocrisy. In their first official statement, didn’t the protesters say that they stand with people ‘who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world’? And aren’t they demonstrating against the ‘1 percent’ of the population to which Jobs belonged? But the protesters’ affection for Jobs isn’t necessarily a sign of bad faith or ignorance. Rather, it could be a healthy discernment, however poorly articulated. The point is not that Jobs was ‘this different, quiet billionaire,’ as one protester put it, but that he lived by the rules through which free-market capitalism should work.”


POLICE – NYPD Infiltration of Colleges Raises Privacy Fears
“Investigators have been infiltrating Muslim student groups at Brooklyn College and other schools in the city, monitoring their Internet activity and placing undercover agents in their ranks, police documents obtained by The Associated Press show. Legal experts say the operation may have broken a 19-year-old pact with the colleges and violated U.S. privacy laws, jeopardizing millions of dollars in federal research money and student aid.”

JOBS – White House Vows to Push Jobs Bill ‘Piece by Piece’
“The White House vowed to push forward with President Barack Obama’s jobs package ‘piece by piece’ if a vote fails on Tuesday in the U.S. Senate, as expected, to advance the legislation.”