July 29, 2008

Local Knowledge

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The Gulf Coast is slowly recovering from the destruction wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.  Many people and some institutions are contributing to the rebuilding effort.  We hear a lot about some of those people and a few of those institutions, but there's one critical group in this effort about whom most of us hear little: the entrepreneurs.

This issue of Local Knowledge seeks to change that by focusing on the role of entrepreneurs in rebuilding the Gulf Coast.  In this issue you can read research articles that explain what entrepreneurship is; that discuss how entrepreneurs and their businesses play a critical role in the response to and recovery after disasters; and that detail where and when entrepreneurs have played key parts in rebuilding.

In this volume, you will also meet a few of these entrepreneurs—six people who are using their business acumen and talents to rebuild their communities.  In short case studies and an investigative report, the entrepreneurs themselves explain who they are and why they do what they do. They are people on the ground. They are the people who must live and work with their decisions everyday. They are our guides to and fount of Local Knowledge.

Contents

 

Rebuilding the Gulf Coast: Entrepreneurs

VENTURES IN REBUILDING: THE ROLE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE POST-DISASTER CONTEXT
Frederic Sautet
The ingenuity of entrepreneurs can make a significant difference in whether a disasterstricken area rebounds or stagnates.

Case Study 1: Alicia Cool, Bloomers Flowers

THE USE OF KNOWLEDGE IN NATURAL DISASTER RELIEF MANAGEMENT
Russell Sobel and Peter Leeson
Who does a better job of providing disaster relief: the government or the private sector? A reprint from the Independent Review.

Case Study 2: Casey Kasim, Discount Zone

ENSURING DISASTER
Daniel Sutter
Natural disasters are called "acts of God," but the severity of their effects depends upon factors such as insurance regulations.

HURRICANE RECOVERY COMES OUT OF A BOX
Steven Horwitz
Big box retailers such as Wal-Mart were extraordinarily successful in providing help to damaged communities. This article explores why private retailers mounted an effective response.

Case Study 3: Ben Cicek, Da Parish Coffee House

DROWNING IN BUREAUCRACY
Veronique de Rugy
How has the Small Business Administration done in providing disaster loans to those affected by the Gulf Coast Hurricanes?

Case Study 4: Ronda DeForest, Flour Power

LOUISIANA'S PERFORMANCE IN THE NEW KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY
Jody Lipford and Bruce Yandle
Can Louisiana compete in the global economy?

Case Study 5: Tim Williamson, Idea Village

AN ARTFUL RECOVERY
M.Z. Hemingway
Entrepreneurship in the arts is helping to rebuild New Orleans.

Case Study 6: Luis Colmenares, Artist

Book Reviews

 

A Shocking Ideology
Curtis Melvin
Naomi Klein "hollows out" logic.

The Great Debacle
Daniel Sacks
Douglas Brinkley's The Great Deluge leaves the reader wondering, "Why?"

Tales of the City
Randal O'Toole
What is a City? raises more questions than it answers.

Picture This
Erin Agemy and Rosemarie Fike
Thomas Neff filters New Orleans's stories through his lens.