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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
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: July 10, 2011
Deloitte has just released its 2011 Survey of Health Care Consumers: Global Report and the results don’t look good for the United States in spite of us spending 17.6% of our GDP on health care (far more than any other country included in this survey).Here are just a couple revealing survey results.Only 22% of U.S. consumers give our health care system an “A” or “B” grade. That puts us just ahead of Portugal (18%) and Mexico (15%). Brazil brought up the bottom at only 8%. Which health care systems were liked the best by consumers? Luxembourg (69%), Belgium (57%), Switzerland (52%), France (51... read more
By Risa De Ferrari
Posted on: June 17, 2011
Certified Benefit Corporations (B Corps) are a new classification of business joining the ranks of certifications such as: sole proprietorships, standard incorporations (C Corps or S Corps), and limited liability corporations (LLCs) to name a few.  B Corps are unique in that they build upon the legal framework of an organization the opportunity to legally consider the impact decisions will have on the triple bottom line: business, society, and the environment. This differs from current corporate structures, which legally restrict the focus of the company to maximizing shareholder value. B... read more
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: May 6, 2011
In case you missed Wednesday afternoon’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, all five of our Republican members cast a vote that would result in either small businesses losing health insurance tax credits or forcing them to change health insurance plans.  H.R. 3 passed largely along party lines. All of these elected leaders—Joe Wilson, Tim Scott, Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy, and Mick Mulvaney—were made aware of the potential negative impact of H.R. 3 on small businesses. A letter from The South Carolina Small Business Chamber opposing the bill was widely circulated. Before the vote, I... read more
By Mark McLeod
Posted on: May 3, 2011
President Obama gave an important speech summarizing his Administration’s position on energy-related public policy on March 29, 2011.  It was wide-ranging, intelligent, articulate, broad-minded, diplomatic, and ecumenical. While all Presidents from 1968 onward have delivered similarly ambitious energy proposals, only a small percentage have actually been implemented and realized.  With that in mind, I believe ASBC needs to understand this speech from three different vantage points: 1) that of the Administration; 2) that of outside energy experts, and 3) that of a historian. Vantage Point 1:  ... read more
By Jeffrey Hollender
Posted on: March 29, 2011
Though the corporate tax rate is 35 percent, 115 of the 500 companies in the Standard & Poor’s index paid total corporate taxes of less than 20 percent over the last five years. Consider that:     Boeing paid a tax rate of just 4.5 percent;     Southwest Airlines paid 6.3 percent;     Yahoo paid 7 percent;     Prudential Financial, 7.6 percent; and     General Electric, 14.3 percent. Surprisingly, those paying more than the average were Exxon Mobil, FedEx, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Starbucks, Wal-Mart and Walt Disney. The Business Roundtable and the Chamber of... read more
By Jeffrey Hollender
Posted on: February 12, 2011
Yesterday, Matt Madia, a policy analyst at OMB Watch, Robert Weissman, president at Public Citizen, Peter Iwanowicz of the American Lung Association, and I participated in a media briefing to call attention to Representative Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) plans to hold hundreds of hearings to investigate the Obama administration this year, including the oversight hearing on “job-killing” regulations that took place on Thursday. This is a misguided effort that distracts our government from dealing with the real reasons our economy is suffering. Government regulations don’t strangle job creation. This... read more
By Jeffrey Hollender
Posted on: February 10, 2011
Today for close to one-and-a-half hours the Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis sat patiently, deeply engaged as she listened to the challenges and opportunities small business faces in a country dominated by the influence of large multinational corporations. These small companies believe in livable wages, health care for all, and reversing the concentration of wealth that threatens to tear our society apart. Almost 20 of us sat around the table representing the 65,000 companies that are part of the American Sustainable Business Council, businesses that are all committed to a just, equitable,... read more