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By Frank Knapp
Posted on: March 29, 2012
Small business owners strongly support ending government subsidies to gas and oil companies, with 60 percent supporting the idea even if it means a small increase in gas prices, according to opinion polling released today. These polling results support the policy position taken by American Sustainable Business Council to encourage renewable energy and reduce dependence on coal, oil, and gas. ASBC has opposed the Keystone XL pipeline and supported the EPA’s authority to regulate the pollution that causes climate change. 41 percent strongly favor eliminating subsidies, while only 10 percent... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: March 21, 2012
The U.S. Senate will soon consider a trio of bills passed by the House that aim to gut the federal rule-making process. These bills (the Regulatory Accountability Act, Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny, and Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011) aim to sharply curtail federal rule-making capacity, under the rationale that regulations prevent businesses from growing and creating jobs. The reality is far more complex. Some regulations are poorly designed or implemented. Many, though, promote business and job growth by accelerating the pace of innovation and... read more
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: March 16, 2012
Two recent news stories have challenged the universal belief that small businesses are the job creators.  An AP story on February 17 was titled, “The Truth is That Small Businesses Are Not Good At Creating Jobs.”  Seven days later a New York Times story’s heading said, “Small Companies Create More Jobs?  Maybe Not.” But before you swear off shopping with locally-owned small businesses and throw all your support to big box stores, I’ve read these two stories and the data and conclusions have some big problems.First the Times story.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a new analysis of... read more
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: January 31, 2012
Tomorrow the U.S. House Committee on Small Business holds a hearing featuring the results of a Gallup poll conducted in October last year.  The title of the hearing is The Path to Job Creation, but the better title might be The Path to Deceiving Congress.   The issue is the role government regulations play in small business job creation. The GOP mantra this election season is that regulations are hindering job growth and must be eliminated or severely reduced. Last year the House passed numerous bills to do just that. Those bills are now in the Senate where the majority party has a different... read more
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: November 30, 2011
This week the U.S. House is expected to start voting on legislation to turn back regulations and make it nearly impossible for federal agencies to develop new regulations in the future. If that happens, Congress might as well just stop passing any new laws because the rules for implementing them will never be developed. One of the big targets for the anti-regulation crowd is Dodd-Frank, the financial reform that passed last year to try to put regulations of big financial institutions in place so we won’t repeat this great recession. The majority party in the House, spurred on by the big banks... read more
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: November 19, 2011
Who doesn’t like the concept of accountability?  We instinctively understand that people and organizations should be accountable for their behavior.  Politicians and government should be accountable for their words and actions. Accountability is as American as mom and apple pie--except when it is just a phony adjective as in the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) being considered by Congress. The first warning that the RAA is just a bogus use of the word “accountability” is who is supporting the legislation.  There are well over 30 bills in Congress right now that have the stated purpose of... read more
By Paul Jaglowski
Posted on: October 30, 2011
Our nation's chemical industry seems committed to procrastination--continuously seeking to postpone any new health and safety requirements for as long as it can. Thirty-five years without reform is long enough.The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which was intended to give the United States Environmental Protection Agency the power to identify and regulate dangerous chemicals, has been a failure. Despite this, it has remained largely unchanged since its enactment in 1976. After years of failed efforts to revise the TSCA, and with the help of a motivated Congress, TSCA legislative reform... read more
By Shreya Barot
Posted on: July 30, 2011
The American democratic principles of “government of the people, by the people, for the people” are now being endangered by an overreaching Supreme Court ruling – Citizens United v. FEC. The Story of Citizens United, by the famous maker of The Story of Stuff, illustrates beautifully how the ruling enables corporations to spend unlimited money on public elections.Many business leaders believe that citizens should be the lead participants in our government and that a few large corporations will use the decision to shift the political outcomes in their favor. There are a number of businesses and... read more
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: July 22, 2011
OK. I admit that I got my hopes up upon hearing that U.S. Senate Democrats and Republicans were talking nice about the Gang of Six deficit reduction outline that included revenue increases as well as budget cuts. But as they say—the devil is in the details. And the details in the Gang of Six proposal are sketchy to say the least. But here is what we can garner from what has been made available to the public. If you like U.S.-based multinational corporations using offshore tax havens and tax loopholes to avoid paying taxes, then you’ll like the Gang’s plan. If you like these multinationals... read more
By Risa De Ferrari
Posted on: July 14, 2011
The passage of San Francisco’s Yellow Page ordinance (bill HR 910) has created the only opt-in program for receiving the Yellow Pages Directory in the country. It is not a ban of all physical books, but rather facilitates directed distribution to people who actually want a Yellow Pages book.The Supervisor’s office found cost savings for San Francisco businesses in reduced marketing expenses. This initiative demonstrates San Francisco’s commitment to a “Green Economy.” The three-year pilot program goes into effect in 2012.In the age of technology, most look to the all-powerful smart phone... read more