Cherry-Picking the Employment Numbers

The White House trumpeted an unemployment figure of 8.3 percent as great progress. That would be encouraging if it were true. It’s not. The administration selectively chose the data that seemed to indicate a drop in unemployment while ignoring any numbers that would detract from their findings. Interestingly, this is exactly how the first unemployment figures were tabulated in 1878 by Carroll D. Wright, chief of the Massachusetts Bureau of the Statistics of Labor. According to the New York Times, he circulated a survey that asked town assessors to estimate the number of local people out of work, but only count adult men who really want employment. “By doing this, Wright said he understood that he was excluding a large number of men who would have liked to work if they could... Read More

A Wealth Gap or a Crisis of Confidence?

Winston Churchill once wrote: “You don’t make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.” If he were sitting in the House chamber during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address, Churchill would have been flabbergasted by the contention that a “wealth gap” was the cause of the nation’s woes. It’s not a wealth gap that is slowing recovery – it’s a crisis of confidence in Obama’s ability to lead the nation. Some of history’s most accomplished leaders, like Churchill, got their inspiration from time honored thought leaders and statesmen. In his State of the Union Address, Obama got his inspiration from the Occupy movement, and catered to this largely discredited group. This agenda is fraught with peril. It is clear that rather than face the lingering... Read More

A Cautionary Tale About Brain Drain

If you’re following the financial mess in Europe, the U.S. economy in comparison doesn’t look that bad. Yes, the United States is suffering through its worst economic malaise in more than a generation but our entrepreneurs, small business owners and inventors are giving us hope by slowly getting us back on our feet. That’s not the case in Europe, which is experiencing a domino effect as once financially viable countries are drowning in debt and are in danger of defaulting. What we do have in common with Europe is some of our best and brightest people are leaving our labor force, for many of the same reasons. Currently in Europe, the economic downturn is driving tens of thousands of skilled professionals away from their home countries. Spain and Portugal have been hit hardest... Read More

Welcome to the Department of Global Commerce

Last week, President Barack Obama asked Congress for authority to close the Commerce Department and create a new export agency. Obama wants to put the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM), Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC), the Trade and Development Agency (TDA), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and parts of the Commerce Department under a new roof — something that has been kicked around for years. As I point out in my book “Conscientious Equity,” we have created a bloated behemoth government infrastructure to manage our global trade relations that is uncompetitive and inefficient. Our exporters aren’t getting the support they need to combat foreign governments that erode our access to markets by... Read More

Five Hot Spots That Have Obama Running Scared

As we race toward the November election, you can be sure that President Barack Obama and his disciples will be ticking off his perceived accomplishments in his bid to win re-election. He will attempt to position himself as the tax-cutting, regulation-busting friend of small business. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If you listen closely, he will side-step the priorities he failed to accomplish in his three years in office, and won’t accomplish in 2012. They all have one thing in common: They are needed like blood to resuscitate a hemorrhaging economy where flat lining job creation is beyond the hope of recovery anytime soon. Here are the five issues he must address to create jobs but will fail to act on. 1. Using tax reform as a competitive advantage When a company spends... Read More

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

As I watch the general malaise gripping Washington, I find myself thinking about the lyrics of Tom Petty’s hit song: “The waiting is the hardest part.” I know I am not the only one waiting for something to happen to get this nation back on track. Our small businesses, entrepreneurs and 14 million unemployed feel an endless gnawing, the grinding of gears, as America performs like a broken clock. Time stands still. It has become all about the waiting. • The waiting for the Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare so we can get our future healthcare costs under control. The Affordable Healthcare for America Act is anything but affordable. When the majority of states consider it unconstitutional, something is very wrong. It’s just one more thing keeping small business from hiring.... Read More

US Has Its Work Cut Out in Revamping Tax Code

If you spent 6.1 billion hours doing something, you would think you would have created something most ingenious. Ironically, that’s how much time American taxpayers spent this year fumbling through stacks of confusing IRS forms. Americans spend about $300 billion a year in tax-preparation costs traversing a mind-bursting 3.4 million word tax code. The net effect of this archaic tax system is not only its compliance cost, but it ultimately punishes companies for being successful and discourages them from hiring. Taxing our corporations and businesses is a giant hoax. Taxes and tax related costs paid by our companies are simply passed on to the consumer. Those being impacted most from corporate taxes are the poor who have less to spend. The best way to protect the poor (and the middle... Read More

‘Made in America’ Will Build Jobs in Great Comeback

For those pessimists who believe America has lost its global leadership in manufacturing and China is destined to dominate the world market, it’s time for them to eat a little crow. In fact, some economists are predicting that by 2015, the fully loaded costs involved in operating a manufacturing facility in the United States won’t only match that of China, but will actually be less costly and far more efficient. China’s reliance on cheap labor is about to hit a great brick wall. Pay for factory workers in China has soared by nearly 70 percent between 2005 and 2010. Assuming that Chinese wages continue to rise at about 20 percent a year while U.S. salaries stay constant, American labor will be a bargain. There is already a steady shift of American manufacturers opting out of moving... Read More

Is Default Possible?

Is Default Possible?

According to some calculations, when taking into consideration our entire public debt at the federal, state and local levels, including unfunded entitlements and pensions our true debt picture exceeds $130 trillion. More than $100 trillion is attributed to entitlements. There needs to be a serious discussion on whether or not the United States can prevent itself from falling into default. This is especially troublesome considering a significant portion of our debt is held by China, and they have become increasingly vocal in their criticism of American economic leadership. The most powerful nation on earth defaulting on its debt obligations would seem to be pure science fiction. But truth be told, in 1933, the first year of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency, the United States did default... Read More

What Happened to President Obama?

What Happened to President Obama?

As I listened to the speech that President Obama delivered in Cleveland on Wednesday, a sudden shiver went down my spine. I had the eerie feeling that the President didn’t seem himself. In fact, I was startled to discern that aliens had abducted the President and replaced him with a look-alike. My suspicions were aroused when I heard this cloned look-alike announce that small businesses needed tax relief since the private sector creates most of the jobs. It was stunning. The original President Obama never said such things. And then I started searching the skies for more UFOs when this Presidential look-alike proclaimed that it was time to shrink the federal government. It froze my blood. After racking up trillions in debt through out of control spending on stimulus and social programs,... Read More