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By David Levine
Posted on: November 11, 2014
Entrepreneurship is the pathway that many choose, leading to 66 percent of new jobs being created by small businesses. That’s why the federal government and so many others believe it is important for them to succeed. We agree. We appreciate the loans, technical assistance, and help navigating new rules and standards that are key components of the Small Business Administration’s mission. But this study by the Center for Effective Government raises important concerns about the role the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy is playing in the federal rulemaking process. The report... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: November 7, 2014
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” said philosopher George Santayana. This week, seven major U.S. regulatory agencies agreed to forget one of the most important lessons from the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-2008. This can’t help but end badly. One of the most important lessons from the mortgage crisis is that banks should keep some skin in the game when they originate and sell loans. Otherwise, banks have an incentive to write loans carelessly, pocket as much money as they can, and sell the loans to investors before borrowers begin to miss payments. It’s bad... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: October 31, 2014
After a rough start dealing with America’s first Ebola cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention appear to be getting the problem under control. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be more incidents; a health care worker was diagnosed with the virus in New York yesterday after returning from West Africa. But the CDC now seems better able to control secondary infections, particularly among health care workers, who are at the greatest risk. As the 21-day incubation period lapses without new infections in Texas, dozens of people are being cleared from the watch list. But Ebola lingers... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: October 24, 2014
In the fanciful world of economic theory, markets are highly competitive and self-correcting. This implies that the best thing government can do is to stay out of the way. Trust the market to get it right In the real world, many important markets are not competitive. If you don’t believe me, try to get a price quote for an appendectomy. Or, more simply, check your bill for Internet service. In San Francisco (where I live) competition among internet service providers is robust; I can get a high-speed connection for about half the price that Comcast Corp. or AT&T Inc. demand. But few... read more
By Bryan McGannon
Posted on: October 17, 2014
The changes made possible by the Clean Water Act have proven to be vital to the success of American businesses. Companies rely on clean water to produce safe, high quality products, and to protect their workers’ health. There has been great progress over the past 42 years, but more work lies ahead. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948, the predecessor of the Clean Water Act, came at a critical juncture in our country’s history. Decades of industrial development had adversely impacted our water quality, and had mostly gone unnoticed. The Act changed that, leading to increasing... read more
By Fleming Roberts
Posted on: October 8, 2014
Q: What does a tech start-up firm in Colorado have in common with an urban agriculture business in Texas, a carpet manufacturer in South Carolina and a rural electric utility in Alaska? A: They all have something to gain from the booming green building sector, and they’re all headed to Greenbuild in New Orleans this month. While the construction, renovation and operation of green buildings create more and more green jobs, American businesses from all sectors are recognizing the benefits of owning these buildings. The LEED green building certification program, authored by the U.S. Green... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: October 7, 2014
Around 1980, the U.S. economy took a dramatic and dangerous turn. From the end of World War II until the late 1970s, wages advanced roughly in parallel with productivity. As workers got more productive, companies got more profitable, and they paid their workers more. The split between the haves and the have-nots was relatively stable. Most people – at least most white, male people – had confidence that the rising tide of our economy would lift all boats. But in the 1980s the growth in productivity diverged from the growth in wages. Since the Great Recession, worker earnings have flat-lined,... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: October 3, 2014
This week, corporate America set a new high water mark in its support for sustainability. A powerful group of innovative technology companies — Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and Yelp — announced they were leaving the American Legislative Exchange Council, a business lobbying organization, largely in response to its stance on climate change. One by one, important corporations are taking a principled stand against short-termism and narrow self-interest. ALEC, the entity facing defections, is an influential group funded by corporations to advance its members’ policy agenda. It operates... read more
By Eric White
Posted on: October 1, 2014
Residential solar is still in its infancy in the United States, as less than 1% of single-family households have solar panels on their roof. Many early adopters of rooftop solar were drawn by the positive environmental impacts of renewable energy, looking to contribute to a sustainable environment. But times have changed, and as solar costs have continued to decline, solar is no longer just an environmental dream – it is an economic reality. More solar panels have been installed in the U.S. over the last 24 months than in the previous 30 years combined. To meet that demand, thousands of solar... read more
By David Levine
Posted on: October 1, 2014
Great opportunities lie ahead for America: strong consumer buying power from a workforce that isproductively employed in meaningful work, financial stability, accessible health care, food security, and a clean and healthy environment. These essential components of a sustainable economy will meet our country’s economic, social and environmental needs. And they’re all within reach – if business leaders take their leadership to the next level. Unfortunately, for too long now, institutional lobbying groups that say they represent business have opposed improvements based on the old notion that... read more