Posts Tagged ‘Russell S. Sobel’

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Mar 27th 2009 at 1:10pm UTC

The Economic Case for Diversity is Winning Over Some Conservatives

Friday, March 27th, 2009

West Virginia politics blogger, Clem Guttata reports that, “The notorious Russell S. Sobel, author of the West Virginia Republicans’ (failed) blueprint for electoral success last cycle, Unleashing Capitalism,” has strong words of support forĀ state legislation that would provide equal treatment for gays and lesbians.

So why should a conservative state pass legislation that p the notorious Russell S. Sobel, author of the West Virginia Republicans (failed) blueprint for electoral success last cycle, “Unleashing Capitalism”, saying: provides protected status for gays and lesbians?The answer is because diversity and acceptance — not just tolerance — are among the missing pieces of the state’s economic puzzle, according to Russell S. Sobel, an economics professor and the James Clark Coffman Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies at West Virginia University.

It may be a small building block to success, but it’s still important, several interviewed said. That’s because entrepreneurship often starts with people who don’t always fit in with what is considered “mainstream” society and think about things in a different way than others might. Those different thoughts and approaches often lead to entrepreneurial ideas.

“The idea is real entrepreneurs are different people, strange, quirky. They think differently,” Sobel said.

He said Richard Florida’s studies on creative class theory, while more sociological than economical, has some credibility. Florida, who wrote the international bestseller “The Rise of the Creative Class,” teaches at the University of Toronto and has taught as a visiting professor at Harvard University and MIT.

Florida’s study said there is a link between the areas that creative people — such as architects, engineers, musicians and writers — live and work and the areas where gays and lesbians live and work.

Entrepreneurship tends to flourish in such areas, Sobel said.

“It makes 100 percent sense. More entrepreneurial climates are in more accepting, diverse areas,” he said.

Economists who study entrepreneurship also suggest there is a correlation between areas accepting gays and lesbians and business success, Sobel said.

“If we want the state to be entrepreneurial, we want a place that is accepting and diverse,” he said.