Disrespecting Business Success Goes Global

I thought that America under the Obama administration was the only government that actually tries to prevent businesses from making money. Through an onerous tax system, oppressive regulations, an ill-conceived energy policy and a lack of banking options, American entrepreneurs are castigated for succeeding and making a profit. The exceptions, of course, are companies that give big donations to Obama’s Democratic Party. But China has mastered the art of not only diminishing successful companies, but also jailing their owners. A small news item in The Wall Street Journal notes that “it’s gotten so bad, that 30 Chinese officials, including managers of state-owned enterprises, are known to have committed suicide this year.” There is a belief that once a company starts... Read More

In Defense of the Ex-Im Bank

The good news is that it looks like the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank will be reauthorized for the short term. The bad news is that it is widely misunderstood, to the detriment of small businesses and entrepreneurs. To complicate things the Ex-Im Bank is a misnomer. It has nothing to do with imports and is not a bank. It provides loan guarantees to private banking institutions on behalf of American exporters. It also provides credit insurance. Everything it does, it does so at market rates. It generates a profit. Imagine for a moment any federal agency generating a profit for the taxpayer? This is needed because private American financial institutions will not collaterize foreign receivables or inventory. Without this, legions of small businesses and entrepreneurs that want to export their... Read More

Sacrificing Immigration Reform on the Altar of Cynical Politics

In February 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama said this about immigration: “Number one, it is important that we fix the legal immigration system, because right now we’ve got a backlog that means years for people to apply legally. And what’s worse is we keep on increasing the fees, so that if you’ve got a hard-working immigrant family, they’ve got to hire a lawyer; they’ve got to pay thousands of dollars in fees. They just can’t afford it, and it’s discriminatory against people, who have good character, we should want in this country, but don’t have the money. So we’ve got to fix that.” This was President Obama last week during an NBC interview: “The truth of the matter is that the politics did shift mid-summer... Read More

Burger King’s Acquisition Should Be Celebrated, Not Castigated

In 1974, Burger King introduced a jingle that encouraged diners to “Have It Your Way.” Ironically, the Obama administration has usurped the jingle and altered it to “Have It Our Way” to describe their approach to business — pay our taxes, conform to our regulations and support our causes or will we castigate you. Burger King has the audacity to expand their market share by acquiring Canada-based Tim Hortons, a causal fast food chain known for their donuts and coffee, and in the process is considering moving their headquarters to Canada from Florida. Immediately they were accused of being unpatriotic. In fact they are not. They are simply following in the footsteps of some two dozen U.S. companies, ranging from Liberty Global to Sara Lee, that have quietly moved... Read More

Obama Needs to Lift Crude Oil Export Ban This Year

University of Texas’ annual energy poll found that 58 percent of Americans incorrectly thought that America’s major source of foreign oil is Saudi Arabia and another 15 percent say it’s Iraq. The truth, of course, is that America’s biggest oil suppliers is Canada, which provides 28 percent of U.S. oil imports. If you add in Mexico and Venezuela, that number goes up to 50 percent. How much oil do we actually get from the Middle East? Saudi Arabia and Iraq provide just 22 percent of U.S. oil imports. This misperception dates back to the 1973 oil embargo by OPEC, when U.S. drivers waited in long lines for gasoline. This isn’t likely to happen again. The reason is that the United States has been moving to self-sufficiency for many years, and today, U.S. field... Read More

American Citizens Are Relegated to the Back of the Line for Jobs

When it comes to President Barack Obama, I have always maintained his race has never been a factor in the rejection of his policies. The color of one’s skin shouldn’t matter in this country. Yet, as our first black president, it appears he has turned his back on America’s black labor force. The black unemployment rate stands at more than 20 percent, and has been at that level for a long time. The unemployment rate for black youth is astronomical. Yet, now as part of Obama’s immigration policy, he has indicated at the minimum he will double the number of green cards issued, which will allow unskilled immigrants to directly compete with black workers — and most of them are U.S. citizens. It also appears that while the Obama administration doesn’t use the word “amnesty,”... Read More

Our Broken Immigration Program Stems From a Broken Trade Policy

The flood of refugees into the United States is not only a sign of a failed immigration policy, but of a trade policy that ignores the underlying reason for this humanitarian crisis. Robert Zoellick, who served as president of the World Bank, U.S. trade representative and deputy secretary of state, recently wrote an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal in which he maintained that if President Obama had been paying closer attention to Central America, he could have stemmed the tide of immigrants seeking the security of the United States. Zoellick reminded readers that when President Clinton and the Republican Congress launched Plan Colombia in the late 1990s, it helped set that country on the road to stability by stamping out the violence that was tearing the country apart due to terrorism... Read More

America’s Corrupted H-1B Visa Program Is Killing American Jobs

There was a time when I was a big proponent of the H-1B visa program, which is a temporary non-immigrant employment visa for highly educated foreign professionals in “specialty occupations” that require at least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent. The visa lasts for three years with the option to renew for an additional three years for a total of six years. H-1B visa holders can be sponsored for permanent visas by their employers. This visa program, when initially created, helped American companies fill highly valued tech jobs and jobs requiring other unique skills that were needed to spur growth and innovation. But it has been hijacked by companies that are corrupting the program to replace American workers with foreign workers who will accept much lower wages. As... Read More

China’s Real Intentions Toward America

These days, America competing with China is like an American runner competing against a Chinese runner, except that the American runner has to carry an anvil. It may be against the rules, but there’s little anyone can do about it. The Chinese have the advantage. But let’s not delude ourselves about China’s aims. China want to surpass the United States as the world’s leading economy. And they want to replace the dollar with the yuan as the world’s preferred currency. They are making progress in both areas. So it’s not surprising that during the recent annual U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue, China was not in the mood to compromise on anything. Although they did agree with passing something against wildlife trafficking, which is a nice idea,... Read More

Rail Dispute Over Keystone Pipeline Follows a Long Tradition of Cronyism

Our nation’s railroad system has always been a source of pride. It helped America expand from coast to coast, and by 1860, nearly every major city was linked by rail. In addition, most farms were within five miles of a rail line so they could ship produce and livestock. Yet, with this growth has come a long history of cronyism connected to the nation’s rail system. We usually recall fondly the golden spike that marked the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States, which connected the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads. What gets glossed over is that railroad companies were given taxpayer-funded government bonds and enormous tracts of land with which to build. Then, much like today, they hired lobbyists to ensure that in exchange for votes, politicians... Read More