The Role of Law
Elgar Law and Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Megan M. Carpenter
Chapter 1: Introduction
Megan M. Carpenter In the book Creativity, Law, And Entrepreneurship,1 I discussed growing up with the comforting undertones of the mine reports on radio stations in Appalachia in the 1970s. “Loveridge, will work. Blacksville, will work. Sentinel, will work.” For a mining community, the mine reports provided announcements for the workers as to which coal mines (and therefore, which coal miners) would and would not work on any given day. More indirectly, those reports served as an indicator of economic vitality. There was a comfort in hearing those reports in the mornings. There was stability in the mines. Men would set their career path at the age of 18 or 19, and they were thereafter part of a much larger economic engine. Eventually, however, the economic climate shifted. Mechanization of mining activity created less demand for workers. The mine reports did not report “will work” as often. Eventually, the reports stopped altogether. The small town where I grew up is like thousands of other communities in the United States. This small town had in its boom been dependent upon primary and secondary sector industries—specifically, mining and manufacturing. Because of a decrease in traditional industry, the economy of the town at large began to suffer; this problem was exacerbated in the downtown area when a shopping mall was built outside city limits. By the time I was growing up, the town seemed much closer to bust than boom. The tales recounted to me by my grandmother, tales of a...