WBEZ | entrepreneurs http://www.wbez.org/tags/entrepreneurs Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Rauner Talks Candidly About Lack of Investment in African-American Communities http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-talks-candidly-about-lack-investment-african-american-communities-114535 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_774446373568_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner held a lengthy news conference Tuesday to explain a new program meant to connect minority entrepreneurs with successful mentors in business. But details of the program took a back seat as reporters pushed Rauner on what&rsquo;s driving the need for the program in the first place.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Speaking at a U.S. Bank branch on Chicago&rsquo;s far South Side, Rauner was asked why venture capitalists like him haven&rsquo;t put more resources into African-American communities.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s higher risk,&rdquo; Rauner said. &ldquo;The risk-return tradeoff isn&rsquo;t as favorable as going right back to Silicon Valley again. That&rsquo;s why. That&rsquo;s a fact.&rdquo; Rauner said money follows opportunity.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Here&rsquo;s what&rsquo;s happening: African-Americans are in Chicago in massive numbers,&rdquo; Rauner said. &ldquo;They didn&rsquo;t come here because we had a great welfare system or a great minimum wage. That&rsquo;s not why they&rsquo;re here. That&rsquo;s not why the people of Illinois are here. We&rsquo;re here for opportunity...That opportunity is being bled away. It&rsquo;s not about a government program. It&rsquo;s not about more government money. We are not competitive in Chicago. We are not competitive in the State of Illinois.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Rauner then related that lack of opportunity in Chicago&rsquo;s minority neighborhoods to how the state lost its bid to attract General Electric to move its corporate headquarters to Chicago. GE announced earlier this month that it was moving its headquarters to Boston.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;My perception is, if we weren&rsquo;t number one, we were right there,&rdquo; Rauner said. &ldquo;They wanted to be here.&rdquo;</div><div>Rauner said Tuesday the company held off on making its announcement to see if he would be successful in passing the policy changes he&rsquo;d been advocating for, which have included limits to collective bargaining and term limits for state lawmakers.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Democrats have rejected many of those policy changes, saying they would harm the middle class.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;I had to be able to look &lsquo;em in the eye and say, &lsquo;There&rsquo;s gonna be a balance of power between the insiders and government and taxpayers here.&rsquo; I couldn&rsquo;t say that and they ran out of time waiting,&rdquo; Rauner said. He would not say which of Rauner&rsquo;s policies GE supported. &nbsp;A company spokesman was not immediately available for comment.</div><div><div class="mediaelement-audio"><audio class="mediaelement-formatter-identified-1453322633-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//RAUNERGE_TA.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him<a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold"> @tonyjarnold.</a></em></div></p> Wed, 20 Jan 2016 14:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-talks-candidly-about-lack-investment-african-american-communities-114535 Why do we even have borders anymore? http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-10-21/why-do-we-even-have-borders-anymore-113449 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/A member of Egypt&#039;s security forces stands on a watchtower in North Sinai as seen from across the border in southern Israel July 1, 2015.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/story/images/border.jpg?itok=hWiYv2Cy" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="A member of Egypt's security forces stands on a watchtower in North Sinai as seen from across the border in southern Israel July 1, 2015. (Amir Cohen/Reuters)" /></p><div><p>As Philippe Legrain, former economic adviser to the president of the European Commission,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thetakeaway.org/story/how-migrants-could-boost-europes-economy/">told The Takeaway</a>&nbsp;last month, &quot;These asylum seekers and refugees can also play a very valuable role as workers, as taxpayers, very often also as innovators and entrepreneurs who can boost growth and help cope with an aging society.&quot;</p></div><p dir="ltr">Alex Tabarrok, a professor of economics at George Mason University, takes Legrain&#39;s argument one step further. Tabarrok, author of the forthcoming book &quot;How to Save Humanity,&quot; says the world should do away with borders altogether.</p><aside><div id="dfp-ad-pri_ros_atf_300x600-wrapper"><div id="dfp-ad-pri_ros_atf_300x600"><div id="google_ads_iframe_/1009951/PRI_STORY_ATF_0__container__"><div dir="ltr" id="ebDiv34065191028639674">&ldquo;Borders are fine for controlling governments; I&rsquo;m not against different places having different rules,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;But they&rsquo;re bad for controlling people. I&rsquo;d like to see a much more open world&nbsp;&mdash; a world in which people are free to move about.&rdquo;</div></div></div></div></aside><p>Tabarrok says that the world should do away with borders for both economic and moral reasons.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Some people in the world, through no fault of their own, are born in an economic desert, or they&rsquo;re born in a place where there&rsquo;s a civil war going on,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We have imprisoned them there by building walls, barriers&nbsp;and sending people with machine guns and saying, &lsquo;You can&rsquo;t move.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Though no serious leader of a nation-state would earnestly suggest the dissolution of national borders, Tabarrok says there is historical precedent for such an idea.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If you go back to the 19th century in the United States, for example, we had virtually completely open borders,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Anyone from anywhere in the world could come to the United States and make a home here with almost no paperwork whatsoever.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">At the time, the US&nbsp;government was trying to encourage settlers to move to its vast and newly-acquired Western territories, something that helped to push out existing residents, like the Native Americans. But Tabarrok says the American West still has plenty of land to offer newcomers.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;There is still plenty of room to grow in the United States, and in the developed world more generally,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We have lots and lots of room, and we could have a lot more people.&rdquo;</p><p>As technology breaks down barriers between communication and commerce, Tabarrok argues that it&rsquo;s time to fundamentally rethink the nation-state.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s quite amazing when you look around,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Ideas flow freely all throughout the world, and capital &mdash; money &mdash; flows freely throughout the entire world. The only thing which doesn&rsquo;t flow freely is labor. And yet, the right to vote with one&rsquo;s feet, the right to migrate, and the right to move &mdash; this is one of the most fundamental human rights. And yet, in our world today, we&rsquo;ve divided it, we&rsquo;ve separated it, and we&rsquo;ve created a system, really, of global apartheid.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">According to Tabarrok, economists have calculated that a world with completely open borders could double global GDP. And not just for one year, but for every year going forward.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Even if we allowed, just in the developed world, our labor force to increase by say, one percent, that alone would be worth more than all of the world&rsquo;s foreign aid combined,&rdquo; he says.</p><p dir="ltr">It seems like a nice idea in theory, but the political will for such a plan doesn&#39;t exist. But Tabarrok says the tide may one day shift.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We feel now today that it&rsquo;s wrong to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, gender, or sexual preference. And yet, we discriminate against people based upon where they&rsquo;re born,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I think when people realize this is a moral issue, they&rsquo;ll change their feelings about borders.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-21/argument-taking-down-all-worlds-international-borders"><em>via The Takeaway</em></a></p></p> Wed, 21 Oct 2015 13:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-10-21/why-do-we-even-have-borders-anymore-113449 Rustbelt city wants immigrants, skilled or not http://www.wbez.org/content/rustbelt-city-wants-immigrants-skilled-or-not-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-30/2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-30/3.JPG" style="width: 605px; height: 404px;" title="Deserted houses like this one mar Dayton’s East End. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)"></p><p style="text-align: left;">Lifelong Dayton resident Monica Schultz, 36, brings me to the East End block where she grew up. “This whole street was full of families,” she says. “Kids were running around playing, all within my age range.”</p><p style="text-align: left;">Now no kids are in sight.</p><p style="text-align: left;">Schultz points to a half dozen abandoned houses, including one right next door to her family’s place. She says the city has boarded it up a few times but stray cats keep finding their way in.</p><p style="text-align: left;">“We had a flea infestation problem,” she tells me. “People walking by could see the fleas or feel the fleas or get the fleas. All of the yards in the neighborhood here were becoming infested with fleas.”</p><p style="text-align: left;">Schultz says the city can’t keep up with houses like this. “It’s one of many that need to be bulldozed,” she says. “But it’s on a list.”</p><p> <style type="text/css"> div .inline { width: 290px; float: left; margin-right: 19px; margin-left: 3px; clear: left; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }div .inlineContent { border-top: 1px dotted rgb(170, 33, 29); margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 2px; }ul { margin-left: 15px; }li { font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }</style> </p><div class="inline"><div class="inlineContent"><a href="/frontandcenter"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-06/FC-logo-sm_0.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 38px;" title=""></a><ul><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-28/great-lakes-workers-faring-better-canadian-side-border-94389">Workers faring better in Canada</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/using-sound-find-leaks-and-save-dollars-94303">Using sound to find leaks and save dollars</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/gas-drilling-could-take-air-out-offshore-wind-93875">Gas drilling could take air out of offshore wind</a></strong></li></ul></div><div class="inlineContent">&nbsp;</div></div><p>Dayton’s population has been shrinking since the 1960s. Most of the area’s factory jobs are long gone. To save the city, Schultz has embraced a new idea: Help immigrants and refugees lay roots in Dayton.</p><p>Schultz, who owns a small marketing firm, helped lead community meetings that generated a 72-point plan called “Welcome Dayton.” City commissioners approved the plan this fall. The points range from better immigrant access to social services, to more translations of court materials, to grants for immigrants to open shops in a dilapidated commercial corridor, to a soccer event that supporters envision as a local World Cup tournament.</p><p>Schultz tells me the plan could revive a Dayton entrepreneurial spirit that sparked inventions ranging from the cash register to the airplane. “You would have small businesses,” she says. “You would have coffee shops and you would have bakeries and you would have specialty grocery stores.”</p><p>Dayton is among several rustbelt cities suffering from population loss and brain drain. To create businesses and jobs, some communities are trying to attract immigrants, especially highly educated ones. Dayton stands out for the attention its plan pays to immigrants without wealth or skills.</p><p>The plan even addresses people without permission to be in the country. One provision calls for police officers to quit asking suspects about their immigration status unless the crime was “serious.” Another point could lead to a city identification card that would help residents do everything from open a bank account to buy a cell phone.</p><p>City Manager Tim Riordan, Dayton’s chief executive, says welcoming all types of immigrants will make the area more cosmopolitan. “I think there would be a vibrancy,” he says. “We’d start to have some international investment of companies deciding they ought to locate here.”</p><p>Foreign-born residents so far amount to 3 percent of the city’s 142,000 residents. For a mid-sized U.S. city these days, that’s not many.</p><p>But Dayton’s immigrants and refugees are increasing their numbers and, Riordan says, they’re already making a difference. He points to a neighborhood north of downtown where some Ahiska Turks have settled. “They were refugees in Russia," he says. "Here they’ve bought houses. They’ve fixed them up. And, sometimes when I talk to hardware store owners, people will come in and they’ll buy a window at a time. ‘I’ve got enough money to put in another window.’ It’s slow-but-sure change.”</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-30/2.JPG" style="margin: 4px 18px 2px 1px; float: left; width: 275px; height: 280px;" title="A Dayton pizza parlor run by Ahiska Turks adds life to a decaying neighborhood. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)"></p><p>Not everyone in Dayton is on board with the plan.</p><p>In a corner tavern on the East End, a 62-year-old bartender serves the only customer what she calls his last can of beer for the night. It’s a Friday, just 11 p.m., but she’s closing. “The owner can’t pay me to stay any longer,” she tells me, speaking on condition I don’t name her or the bar.</p><p>The bartender says the tavern could be on its last legs and tells me what happened to three other East End bars where she worked. They all shut down. She says that’s because many of the neighborhood’s Appalachian families, who arrived for manufacturing jobs after World War II, have moved away.</p><p>“NCR closed down, Dayton Tire and Rubber closed down, GM and Delphi and Frigidaire,” she says, pausing only when her customer slams down the beer and bellows something about a “last paycheck.”</p><p>The bartender tells me she doesn’t like how Riordan and other Dayton officials are handling the exodus of families who’ve been paying local taxes for generations. “Why won’t he try to keep those kinds of people here?” she asks. “He wants to welcome the immigrants to come in here. What can&nbsp;they&nbsp;do? Where are they going to get the money to fix up anything? What jobs are they going to get to maintain what they fix up here? There are no jobs here. None.”</p><p>It’s not just locals like the bartender who have doubts about “Welcome Dayton.”</p><p>Steven Camarota, research director at the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington group that pushes for strict immigration controls, acknowledges that attracting immigrants would increase the size of Dayton’s economy. “But that’s different than arguing that there’s a benefit,” he says. “Growing an area’s gross domestic product, but not the <em>per capita</em> GDP, doesn’t mean anything. It wouldn’t be very helpful. In fact, there might be problems with that.”</p><p>Camarota says the low-skilled immigrants would put downward pressure on wages for workers on Dayton’s bottom rungs.</p><p>But Italian-born economist Giovanni Peri of the University of California, Davis, says low-skilled immigrants would bring what Dayton seeks—and more: “One, they will increase the variety of local restaurants, local shops. Second, they will provide a variety of local services, such as household services, care of the children, of the elderly. Third, they will also develop and bring an atmosphere of diversity and higher tolerance.” Peri says these low-skilled contributions would all help Dayton attract immigrants with more resources.</p><p>The willingness of many immigrants to perform manual labor for low pay, Peri adds, could create jobs for longtime residents. He points to landscaping companies: “They will need people who mow the lawn but also they will need accountants, salespersons, a manager and drivers.”</p><p>Dayton’s approach—welcoming immigrants with and without skills—is the “optimal strategy,” Peri says.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-01/4.JPG" style="margin: 4px 18px 2px 1px; float: left; width: 275px; height: 219px;" title="A Dayton church translates sermons to Spanish through headphones. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)">Whether a city’s immigrant-integration plan can actually attract many people is another question. About an hour east of Dayton, the city of Columbus launched an immigrant-friendly initiative in 2002 and saw its foreign-born population grow fast. But that city’s economy is much more robust than Dayton’s. It had already been attracting immigrants for years.</p><p>The results of “Welcome Dayton” could depend on how it works for city residents like a 25-year-old mother whom I’ll call Ana López. (She&nbsp;doesn’t have papers to be in the country so I agreed not to use her real name.) López says she came from the Mexican state of Puebla as a teenager at the urging of a friend who had arrived in Dayton earlier.</p><p>López says her first job was in a restaurant with a big buffet. “We didn’t come to take work away from anyone,” she tells me in Spanish. “Rather, there are jobs nobody else wants.”</p><p>Now López and her husband have three kids, all U.S. citizens. The family has managed to buy a house. And it’s found a congregation, College Hill Community Church, that provides simultaneous Spanish interpretation through headphones.</p><p>But Dayton hasn’t always been hospitable. López says police officers caught her brother-in-law driving without a license and turned him over to federal officials, who deported him.</p><p>Looking at the “Welcome Dayton” plan, López says providing the ID cards and removing the police from immigration enforcement could make a difference for families like hers. “These families would tell their friends and relatives to move to Dayton,” she says.</p><p>That’s exactly what city leaders want to hear.</p></p> Thu, 01 Dec 2011 11:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/rustbelt-city-wants-immigrants-skilled-or-not-0