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By Steve Klass
Posted on: June 29, 2015
When was the last time you went to a national park? If you’re like a great many Americans, it probably hasn’t been too long. In Utah, our iconic Delicate Arch stands in the heart of a national park. Other national parks and monuments protect our shared heritage and contain irreplaceable treasures sculpted by forces beyond our comprehension, which nourish our spirits and those of millions of visitors.Much of this is due to the Antiquities Act, which that has provided economic and personal benefits to millions of Americans for over 100 years. Passed by a Republican Congress, the Antiquities Act... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: June 29, 2015
The world of corporations divides in two when it comes to mobilizing and motivating employees. Some, for example Starbucks and Southwest Airlines, take the high road. They pay above average wages, provide above average training and take steps to engage their workers and keep them happy. Other companies take the low road, cutting wages and benefits as far as possible, then pushing payroll costs even lower with exploitive on-call scheduling.For years, the successful high-road brands have been held up as examples for other businesses to follow. But these examples are often dismissed by... read more
By Connie Evans
Posted on: June 24, 2015
As the still fragile U.S. economy cranks out new jobs, with concerns that a jolt from a world event or higher interest rates could spark a slowdown, much of the public and private sectors have ignored the potential of the nation's smallest businesses to help fuel economic growth.These microbusinesses, enterprises with five or fewer employees, comprise more than 92 percent of U.S. businesses, annually generate $4.8 trillion, and contribute to the employment of more than 41 million people. Yet public policymakers and corporate strategies barely take notice, rarely implementing policies and... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: June 22, 2015
A year ago, economist Thomas Piketty stunned the policy world with "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," his analysis of global inequality . His book vaulted to the top of best seller lists, a rare feat for 700 pages of economics. Piketty forced elites to pay attention to inequality again, just as Occupy made inequality an issue in the streets.Now, presidential candidates of both parties profess to care about inequality, though they differ starkly about the causes and solutions. Against this backdrop a British economist, Anthony Atkinson, has come forward with a new book. In "Inequality:... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: June 15, 2015
Recently the Environmental Protection Agency issued a new rule to protect America's lakes, rivers and streams. The latest rule prevents the pollution of smaller streams, ditches and wetlands which drain into major rivers. The rule was needed because polluters have changed their practices in response to the Clean Water Act. Prevented from dumping directly into navigable rivers and streams, they move their dumping upstream. A polluter can legally dump toxic waste into a ditch that flows into a navigable river.Of course, the companies that pollute oppose the new rule. They argue that these... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: June 9, 2015
Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services reconsider what Americans should eat. Their Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee makes recommendations, but the process of approving these inevitably gets politicized: The USDA defends large, politically connected agricultural corporations whereas HHS seeks to combat diabetes and other diet-related illnesses. As with everything political, money is involved: USDA considers the profits of agribusiness; HHS considers how diet-related illness drives up America's health care costs.Meanwhile,... read more
By Alan Lewis
Posted on: June 3, 2015
When I asked Congressman Mike Pompeo’s office for a meeting to discuss the “DARK ACT”, the phone went silent. After a few moments, a voice sternly replied, “We don’t know anything about a dark act, but we would be happy to discuss the Safe and Affordable Food Act.”It’s actually the same legislation - “DARK Act” stands for Deny Americans the Right to Know. Whatever you call it, this legislation would prevent states from enacting laws that require labeling of foods made from genetically engineered ingredients. Proponents include the companies that sell the seeds, services and pesticides... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: May 29, 2015
The U.S. is esteemed worldwide for entrepreneurship. Talented, ambitious people come here to start companies, grow them and (if they're lucky) take them public. This process creates jobs for millions and real wealth for entrepreneurs, their senior staff and their investors.But at the same time, the U.S. is criticized for rising inequality. Since 2000, most of the gains in productivity were claimed by the top 10 percent. Incomes for the other 90 percent were stagnant and actually declined once the real estate bubble is factored out.Some say that inequality and entrepreneurship go hand in hand... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: May 22, 2015
This week's wreck of Amtrak Train No. 188 in Philadelphia killed 8 people and injured more than 200. The train was moving at 106 miles per hour through a tight curve with a speed limit of 50 mph. The train literally flew off the tracks.Why was it going so fast? Was the operator asleep? Did the throttle stick? We'll have to wait weeks to find out.Odds are, operator inattention or error caused the crash. This is not the first such accident. In 2013, an Amtrak engineer dozed off at the controls; his train was moving at 82 mph when it derailed on a curve rated for 30 mph.Accidents like these don'... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: May 21, 2015
As the military philosopher Carl von Clausewitz noted, the objective of war is not simply to win the battle; it is to utterly destroy the enemy's ability to fight.The political battle over the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a trade pact now being negotiated – shows the power of Clausewitz's dictum, but only one side of the battle perceives the situation correctly. The supporters of the trade agreement get it. The other side – the Democratic senators who initially broke with President Barack Obama this week – see the treaty in narrow tactical terms. They fail to grasp the broader, strategic... read more