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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
ASBC David Brodwin
By David Brodwin
Posted on: November 2, 2016
The Wells Fargo Bank scandal has been driven from the headlines by the presidential election next week, but like the Terminator, it will be back. Wells Fargo's conduct in fraudulently opening two million retail bank accounts was so foul that both political parties felt compelled to join in castigating the company and its CEO John Stumpf. Stumpf soon resigned; even his offer to disgorge $41 million in pay was not enough to save his job.While all eyes are on the election, Democrats and Republicans skirmish over the lessons that the public will draw from Wells Fargo. They're fighting over... read more
By Rose Marcario
Posted on: October 20, 2016
With the election only three weeks away, it’s important to remember what David Brower said back in 1986 - “there is no business on a dead planet.” Business doesn’t live in a vacuum, but in an interconnected world. Any business that has not come to terms with the fact of our interconnectedness to the natural world and our own health and wellbeing is asleep at the wheel. We need to elect leaders who will protect our planet’s air, water and soil and defend the health and well-being of our families and communities.Consider the plight of our dying planet. Over 100 million Americans live where the... read more
By Frank Knapp
Posted on: October 17, 2016
A new report from the Center for American Progress has a dire warning for our nation’s future.Small business ownership rates have been trending down since the early 2000s.  “Looking at all households who are earning income, business ownership steadily declined from 14.6 percent in the period from 1998 to 2000 to 13.5 percent in the mid-2000s to 12.8 percent by 2010 to 2012,” says the report.Also according to the report, “African Americans are 5 percent less likely to have a business in their household compared with white households—even at the same levels of income, wealth, and education—and... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: October 12, 2016
This week, Americans learned that they had likely given Donald Trump a nearly 20-year break from income taxes, as a consolation prize for his losing nearly a billion dollars on real estate investments. His supporters called him a genius for legally avoiding so much in taxes, while his detractors wondered what kind of businessman can singlehandedly lose that much money.This particular use of tax laws to subsidize private business gets headlines. But meanwhile, out of the headlines, cities and towns give away tax dollars every day. The gifts are made in the guise of job creation, and the voters... read more
By John O'Neill
Posted on: October 4, 2016
When House Republicans released their “Built for Growth” policy paper on June 20, they provided an opening for serious tax reform. In particular, their paper included a proposal for a destination-based corporate tax. This includes a destination tax based on sales, whose implementation could end our self-inflicted penalty on U.S. exports.The tax-reform opening lies not just in the House proposal, but also with how it matches up to the international tax framework which the Senate Finance Committee released on July 25, 2015. That framework favors a territorial tax system, but one with rules to... read more
ASBC David Brodwin, Wells Fargo
By David Brodwin
Posted on: September 26, 2016
Wells Fargo got caught misbehaving again recently, but many commentators are drawing exactly the wrong conclusion. Wells Fargo's internal control system did not fail. It worked exactly as it was probably intended to work – and that's the real problem.First let's recap the facts, and then we can see why what looks like a failure is actually a success for Wells Fargo. The facts are that Wells Fargo created 1.5 million unauthorized retail bank accounts and 565,000 unauthorized credit applications. To put it bluntly, bank employees faked applications to open accounts that customers didn't ask for... read more
By Manisha Paralikar
Posted on: September 21, 2016
As I plugged away at reviewing a dozen company greenhouse gas emissions CDP reports these past few months, Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate saddled my brain.  One could bet that most of the thousands of company and city representatives reporting their climate abatement strategies and greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets had not read Klein’s book. Even if they did, it would still be no small feat to kick start the collaborative movement needed to implement Klein’s proposed solution to climate change: replace capitalism with a new economic model that... read more