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By Joseph R. Blasi
Posted on: January 13, 2017
The United States is losing its once great middle class – and ways must be found to spread the fruits of economic growth if current trends are to be reversed. Capital ownership and capital income – ownership of companies, stocks, bonds, land, and financial instruments – have become very unequally distributed. Meanwhile, wages and salary gaps are growing, in part because the pay of many top earners is linked to capital income. The top ten percent of U.S. households now control almost three-quarters of all wealth and more than four-fifths of all financial assets. Half of households own no stock... read more
By John O'Neill
Posted on: January 4, 2017
The 2016 election gave Republicans control of the House, Senate, and White House. The last time Republicans held all three branches was during the Bush Administration from 2003 to 2005.Trump Administration policies – based on election rhetoric – are likely to be both right of center and controversial. That raises the question of how ASBC will address center-right, single-party rule?The answer: Express our strong opposition to policies that violate our core values. At the same time, we’ll look to collaborate with both President Trump and Congress when we share common interests. In both... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: December 23, 2016
Psychiatrists use the Rorschach test to plumb the depths of a person's character. They show the patient a large, irregular ink blot and ask the patient what it represents. But the image is just an abstraction, a picture of nothing in particular, and everyone imagines something different in it. One person might see a butterfly, another a burning tree, and a third might see a small child dragged off by flying monkeys.For many Americans, the rapidly approaching Trump administration is a Rorschach blot – an ambiguous image that each of us interprets according to our own hopes and fears. What kind... read more
By Eidlin and O’Donnell
Posted on: December 19, 2016
Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Small Business Administration (SBA), Linda McMahon, can actively facilitate job growth and a more robust economy just by leveling the playing field for small businesses.Small companies face big barriers such as federal policies favoring large companies, bank policies restricting access to affordable capital and banking industry consolidation that limits options. Yet small business development can broadly increase incomes and build wealth.McMahon will take over when many businesses are experiencing a shift in how they operate. More companies are adopting “... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: December 19, 2016
Elected on a promise to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), President-elect Donald Trump is now well-positioned to put a spike in its heart. With Republicans controlling both Houses of Congress, a bill to repeal the health care law could be passed and signed next month. But now there's a problem: It turns out most Americans actually like most parts of the law, raising political risks for those who repeal it without providing a suitable alternative.The Kaiser Family Foundation released a major new poll yesterday, probing American's views of the controversial... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: December 5, 2016
If you parked a car in Chicago anytime since 2008, you learned an expensive lesson about infrastructure. The city, strapped for funds, cut a 75-year deal to lease its parking meters to a newly created private company. The city was able to cover its immediate budget deficit, but within a year, residents were furious: Parking meter rates quadrupled, and the meters had to be fed four more hours every day. Worse, the $1.2 billion one-time payment made to the city of Chicago was nearly all spent within three years.The point of this story is that there are many ways to attract capital, and not all... read more
By Phil Powell
Posted on: November 28, 2016
The 2016 campaign is over and Donald Trump is President-elect. Much of the post-election analysis has focused on the repercussions of Trump’s unexpected victory—the protests, the rage, and the scramble to assemble a new cabinet, staff, and national security team. While sustainability cannot count on the new Administration, it did succeed in a number of ballot measures adopted in some states.Voters in Florida and Nevada, for example, voted to adopt policies that will lead to more resilient, reliable energy production and distribution.In Florida, voters rejected a state constitutional amendment... read more
David Brodwin, ASBC High Road Workplace
By David Brodwin
Posted on: November 17, 2016
“When they go low, we go high” said First Lady Michelle Obama at the DNC last summer. She was referring to political rivals and campaign tactics, but the same can be said of competing businesses these days.The High Road Workplace is emerging as a powerful strategy for corporations seeking to build lasting competitive advantage. It is a set of principles, developed by the American Sustainable Business Council, for reinventing the social contract that connects workers and employers in a web of mutually beneficial practices. The core idea is that when companies treat employees well, pay them... read more
By Chip Comins
Posted on: November 16, 2016
Marrakesh, Morocco: The 22nd UNFCCC Council Of the Parties (COP) has brought together 196 nations to negotiate details of implementing the Paris Agreement. In the wake of the November 8th U.S. election the policies and commitments of the Obama administration are now in question. That has generated a sense of fear, optimism as well as inevitability among the participants here. UN negotiators fear the new Trump administration will unwisely undo the hard work of years of very tough compromise and trade-offs between the industrialized north and the global south on carbon reductions in a newly... read more
Initiative 732
By Mike Massa
Posted on: November 7, 2016
On Nov. 8, Washington State voters will be the first in the U.S. to consider a similar proposal. Initiative 732 would levy a steadily rising tax on the carbon emissions from fossil fuels consumed in the state, plus imported fossil electricity. The rate would start at $15 per metric ton of CO2 in 2017, increase to $25/ton in 2018, and rise slowly thereafter to a maximum of $100 per ton (in 2016 dollars) by about 2060. All of the revenue would be returned to households and businesses by reducing the state sales tax rate by one percentage point; effectively eliminating a tax on the gross... read more