Daily Archives: 01/26/2013

Reallocating Electoral Votes

(Community Matters) If the Huffington Post’s analysis is correct . . . if Mitt Romney really would have won the 2012 election if electoral votes were allocated by congressional district, then I suppose there is a way for Rs to win the presidency again in my lifetime. I don’t see a way otherwise.

Exxon Mobil unseats Apple

apple(Community Matters) WSJ: “Losing the Crown: Apple was unseated Friday by Exxon Mobil as the world’s largest company after losing $245 billion in market value since September.”

HT: Playbook


Speaking of Recruiting to Austin

(Community Matters)  Move Your Startup to Austin for Free at SXSW

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 12.05.10 AM

In conjunction with Capital Factory‘s Demo Day at SXSWi 2013, one company will receive a relocation package worth over $50,000 to move their startup to Austin.

Here’s the package:

  • Three months rent in a 3 bedroom house (courtesy of HomeAway)
  • Six months of co-working at Capital Factory
  • Six months of server hosting (courtesy of Rackspace)
  • Moving expenses (courtesy of uShip)
  • Six months of a storage unit (courtesy of SpareFoot)
  • Six months of local groceries (courtesy of Greenling)
  • Six months of Ramen noodles
  • Feature story on AustinStartup

Jonathan Chait on Paul Ryan

ryan paul(Community Matters) If there were ever a poster child for Christopher Hayes’ Twilight of the Elite, Paul Ryan is it – the Congressman from a small town whose neighbors don’t even vote for him (seriously, he doesn’t even win the election support of his town, though markets well outside to the broader congressional district); someone who lived & went to school on his father’s social security death benefits but who begrudges others as takers vs makers.

While I’ve never met him, I don’t trust the guy. Jonathan Chait names the misgivings in this New Yorker article.

Henry Ford & America’s Middle Class

henry ford(Community Matters) I’m always citing the fact that while Henry Ford was not a nice man (anti-Semitic & racist) he seized the enlightened self interest of growing America’s middle class – stumbled upon this NYTimes column.

The context of these citations today (vs previously with my UT business students) is in the debate about increasing marginal tax rates. A thriving middle class will actually lift all ships.

Forbes: Austin #1 Fastest Growing City

sparefoot demo day(Community Matters) Forbes ranked the fastest growing US metropolitan areas in terms of population & economic growth, Austin ranked #1 (Houston #2, Dallas-Ft Worth #3, San Antonio #9) – unemployment and median salaries for local college-educated workers were also part of the calculations.

When Chuck Gordon and Mario Feghali started Sparefoot, the 25-year old entrepreneurs relocated to Austin, Texas, from Los Angeles, having received seed money from local tech incubator Capital Factory.

Perhaps not surprisingly, cities in Texas — which welcomed more than 427,000 newcomers from August 2011 to July 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — dominated our list. Houston ranked second, behind Austin, followed by Dallas in third place and San Antonio in ninth. Robust labor markets, unemployment rates under 6% (well below the national average),no state income tax, a business-friendly regulatory environment, and strong population inflows all contributed to Texas towns’ high rankings.

Of course I think Capital Factory & its founder Joshua Baer are runaway competitive assets to Austin’s entrepreneurial eco-system. Just met Chuck Gordan, Mario Feghali and their partners at Sparefoot – who we’re hoping will be new members of the Entrepreneurs Foundation soon.

as an aside, I hadn’t realized Forbes ranks Utah as the best state for business and careers.

Business Regulation

(Community Matters) Maybe we should require the government to remove one business regulation in order to issue a new one. Heck, I wouldn’t be opposed to a ratio of 2:1 or higher.

I’m not bashing government regulation – believing it’s a critical component of a free market economic system. While the best economic model ever created, it’s still grossly flawed – especially in terms of externalizing costs and protecting workers & consumers. Nevertheless, the sheer number of cumulative regulations and a rather byzantine regulatory system can be a drag on innovation and efficiency. Not to mention: bureaucracy is also cumulative *and* self perpetuating, and even when comprised of all good people with all good ambition, can become a drag on economic growth.

The Democratic Party should be known for both protecting and promoting the interests of America’s middle class *and* promoting and enabling economic growth and innovation. There is a balancing act here; and yes, citizens should win all ties . . . but if we look hard enough, we can usually avoid ties.