But how much do big companies actually matter to a city? Not as much as small companies.
Big companies certainly have their benefits. They are generous philanthropists and tend to have more stable employment, so they help cities weather downturns. But over the past 50 years economists have shown that urban growth is much more highly correlated with the prevalence of small companies, suggesting that entrepreneurship is more important than big employers for a city’s long-run prosperity, according to Edward Glaeser, an economics professor at Harvard who studies cities.
The good news for San Diego is that it has entrepreneurship in spades. The city is a center of start-up activity and venture capital investment, so while it does not have big recognizable companies — like Los Angeles does with its Hollywood studios or San Francisco with its tech giants — in the long run, Qualcomm or no Qualcomm, the city seems to be doing just fine.
“We’ve lived under the shadow of L.A. and San Francisco for a long time,” said Jerry Sanders, the city’s mayor from 2005 to 2012 and now chief executive of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We have chosen a different path. Small business and smaller organizations are the ones that have made their way in San Diego, and I think that we take great pride in that.”
(Please note: We regularly highlight articles on news sites that have limited access for nonsubscribers.)
• President Trump sent Congress a $4.4 trillion budget. It makes steep cuts to domestic programs and entitlements like Medicare while increasing military spending. [The New York Times]
• California’s cops have made up their minds: They want Antonio Villaraigosa for governor. [The Sacramento Bee]
• In July, China unveiled a plan to become the world leader in artificial intelligence. To technologists in the United States, it was a direct challenge. But months later, industry experts say that the White House has been slow to react. [The New York Times]
• Robert Percy lost his eye after he helped defend his mobile home park from the October fires. Now he is one of several survivors in Sonoma County struggling to secure government aid. [The Press Democrat]
• The atmospheric conditions that helped create the drought have returned. Is California in for another long dry spell? [The New York Times]
• In the wake of fake news and other trouble at tech companies, universities are rolling out ethics courses for aspiring computer scientists. [The New York Times]
• California has poured billions of public dollars into studying stem cells. Now the state has its first royalty check. [The San Francisco Chronicle]
• At Giphy Studios in Los Angeles, actors are busy creating GIFs as original content. As one actor put it, “You know you’ve made it when you’re a GIF.” [The New York Times]
• Mirai Nagasu, of Arcadia, became the first American woman to land a triple axel during the Olympics. Her performance helped lift the United States to a bronze medal in the team figure skating competition. [The New York Times]
• Chloe Kim, of Torrance, more than lived up the hype, landing back-to-back 1080s in the halfpipe to earn her first Olympic gold medal. [The New York Times]
• Tom Hanks is headed to the stage to play Shakespeare’s Sir John Falstaff — at, of all places, the West Los Angeles V.A. campus. [KPCC]
• Wally Moon, whose “moon shot” home runs helped propel the Dodgers to a World Series title in 1959, died on Friday. He was 87. [The New York Times]
And Finally …
Think you are bad at math? Well, it turns out that may actually be part of the problem.
Having a positive attitude has been thought to affect how much a child learns and achieves academically, and researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine think they now know why.
In a recent study, they found that when elementary school students maintained a positive attitude about math while doing problems, an important memory center in their brains — the hippocampus — functioned better. Put another way, if you’re interested in math and believe you’re good at it, that attitude enhances your memory and makes your brain better at problem solving.
“Attitude is really important,” Lang Chen, the study’s lead author, said in a news release. “Based on our data, the unique contribution of positive attitude to math achievement is as large as the contribution from I.Q.”
But don’t fire the tutor just yet. Dr. Chen cautioned that there are limits to what confidence can do.
A good attitude “opens the door for children to do well,” Dr. Chen said, but it “does not guarantee that they will.”
California Today goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: [email protected].
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.