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By Jenny Kassan
Posted on: October 10, 2017
When you hear the word “investor,” what do you picture? When I ask most people this question, they describe a man in a suit (or, if in Silicon Valley, maybe khakis and a button down shirt) in a fancy office spending every work day combing through pitch decks, executive summaries, and due diligence and barking tough questions at terrified entrepreneurs.Most people picture the type of investor who I call professional investors. These are wealthy individuals and organizations, sometimes investing their own money and sometimes investing on behalf of others. They come in many flavors such as angel... read more
By Thomas Dudley
Posted on: September 27, 2017
The U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs last month and is near full employment with a reported unemployment rate of 4.4%. Stock markets and corporate profits are at record highs. But according to Gallup, more Americans think the economy is getting worse than those who think it is getting better.Economists and pundits point to several factors that help explain this disconnect: slow wage growth, widening income disparity, the decline of traditional careers, and the rise of a new “gig economy”. In each case, what’s needed is a stronger connection between profits and people. That’s why I believe that... read more
By John Pudner
Posted on: September 15, 2017
With everything else  on your desk right now, why care about campaign finance reform?Because it’s not just about “campaign finance.”  It’s about the future workability of our democracy.   Special interest money in politics completely distorts not just our system of government – but also our economy and, increasingly, our culture and sense of community. ‘Dark’ money skews the ability of small and mid-sized companies to have their voices heard.It hits each of us in our pocketbooks, through higher taxes – an estimated $1,300 more per taxpayer per year to pay for government spending that benefits... read more
By Michael Peck
Posted on: September 5, 2017
Pogo’s prophetic and pathetic observation holds: “we have met the enemy and he is us.” Today’s polarized and polarizing United States, under siege from itself, is proving too internally cowed, under-imagined and social media pigeonholed to buck predictable spheres of influence. More than just another rare bipartisan opportunity, getting worker ownership equations right could heal the breach between mutually-assured destructing left and right populism by empowering and freeing workers to think, act, provide, invest and vote for themselves.Placing a concerted worker ownership cultural thumb on... read more
By Mac Clemmens
Posted on: August 23, 2017
At this point you’re probably getting tired of hearing long, complex arguments about the importance of Net Neutrality.The thing is, it’s not complicated at all. It’s as simple as “Leave the internet alone.”Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon the corporations whose backfired lawsuit ultimately brought the net neutrality protections we now enjoy, need to mind their own business and get back to building better broadband across America. Right now, we’re 23rd in the world and falling, not only in speed, but in the price we pay.  Why? Because big telecom has stopped betting on infrastructure. Instead of... read more
By Holly Ensign-Barstow
Posted on: August 8, 2017
B Lab and ASBC are excited to celebrate new benefit corporation legislation. Since the beginning of 2017, benefit corporation legislation has been signed into law in Kentucky, Kansas and Texas. In Kentucky and Kansas, legislation became effective on July 1, 2017 and will go into effect in Texas on September 1, 2017. With these three states, a total of 35 jurisdictions around the world have benefit corp. statutes. Other states that are moving forward include Alaska, Wisconsin and Ohio. A number of countries are also pursuing benefit corporation legislation, with bills in process in Australia,... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: July 31, 2017
With efforts to repeal Obamacare all but dead, the 2018 budget has taken center stage. It's easy to let your eyes glaze over on this, but don't: The proposed House budget dramatically reallocates both national priorities and taxpayer dollars.The politics of the budget bear an uncanny resemblance to those of the health care bill, and the outlook for budget legislation may not be much better. Too many conflicting promises have been made to too many different factions. The GOP health care proposal aimed to make good on multiple promises: to repeal Obamacare, to NOT repeal the parts of Obamacare... read more
By Marilyn Waite
Posted on: July 28, 2017
So the United States has pulled out of the Paris Agreement.Now what?We’ve still got a lot of work to do. Many of the most vocal and disappointed critics of leaving the Paris accord are not doing much about tangibly reversing climate change. Angry tweets will only get us so far, and pouring millions into political campaigns has brought us to where we are today, for better or worse.Let’s look at what we can actually do, on a practical level, to address climate change. Project Drawdown is a climate change mitigation project started by Paul Hawken in 2013, with the input of more than 200 scholars... read more
By Michael Stumo
Posted on: July 13, 2017
The US imported $500 billion more goods and services than it exported last year. We are the biggest trade deficit country in the world, absorbing the oversupply of a few major countries such as China, Germany, Japan and South Korea (surplus countries). This causes US growth stagnation, wage stagnation, under employment and an eroding middle class. ASBC member businesses struggle more than they would if the economy, wages and consumer spending were growing.Because there is so much misinformation in the press, I would like to give you a structure to think about trade. First, the volume of... read more
By Connie Evans
Posted on: July 3, 2017
President Trump released his full Fiscal Year 2018 budget yesterday, and it calls for a reduction in the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund from $248 million to a paltry $14 million. This essentially amounts to elimination of the crucial fund, which would be a heavy blow to small businesses in distressed rural and urban areas. The administration’s reasoning behind their decision is that the program has been so successful that it is no longer necessary. The first part of that statement is accurate. The last part is dangerous.The CDFI Fund supports hundreds of mission-focused... read more