Over-Regulation Leads to Under-Innovation

According to the 2013 Global Innovation Index, released by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization, the United States ranks as the fifth most innovative country, behind Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. While this is an improvement from 2012, when the United States was 10th, there is one root cause for America’s failure to be crowned the top country in innovation: this nation’s lack of support for entrepreneurs. Where do new ideas come from? From startups and visionaries that just need some support and capital to make their ideas a reality. This nation’s entrepreneurs drive innovation, job creation and our economy. Why can Sweden excel in innovation when the United States cannot? The answer is that Sweden... Read More

Senate Refuses to Play Let’s Make a Deal on Keystone XL Pipeline

The Senate vote on the Keystone XL pipeline this week was like that old game show Let’s Make A Deal. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., doing a Bob Barker impression, told Republicans if they looked behind Door Number One and voted for his energy bill, they could trade their vote for what was behind Door Number Two, which could be the Keystone XL pipeline, or some other prize. Republicans wisely decided not to play the game and blocked Reid’s energy-efficiency bill after Reid repeatedly blocked their efforts to vote on five energy amendments, including approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The entire affair was an exercise in futility from the start, since everyone knew that President Obama would veto the Keystone XL pipeline if it crossed his desk. The American Petroleum Institute... Read More

Why Some States Are Creating Jobs

We’re all familiar with the book, The Grapes of Wrath, the depression tale of millions of desperate families during the 1930s that headed to California for promised jobs. I’m not suggesting we’re at this stage yet, but for millions of unemployed Americans, they are finding that the local job market has dried up and they may need to relocate to more prosperous areas. The good news is that there are plenty of jobs, if you know where to look. Jobs these days, like real estate, seem to be determined by location, location, location. The governors of some states seem to be able to accomplish what the federal government can’t — creating good-paying, private sector jobs, while reducing taxes, regulations and the influence of labor unions. A perfect example is Wisconsin... Read More

Job Creation Stymied as Obama Strikes Out on Asian Trade Negotiations

A metaphor for President Obama’s recent trip to Asia was the widely aired game of soccer he had with a Japanese robot. In essence, Japan made Obama kick the impending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — which unites 12 economies around the Pacific Rim — down the road as trade talks stalled. How important is TPP to American trade? The Peterson Institute for International Economics projects that it could cause American exports to rise by $123.5 billion per year by 2025. With it would come millions of U.S. jobs. Once again, Obama set out to negotiate a trade agreement only to come back empty handed. He seemed to be disinterested and distracted. It says volumes about his lack of experience in foreign trade and tough negotiations. That never stops him from making huge pronouncements... Read More

Look to States – not the White House or Congress – for Economic Innovation

If your perception of this country’s economic outlook is based on the depressing news coming out of Washington D.C., you’re missing the big picture. Innovation, job creation and statesmanship aren’t coming out of the White House — they’re coming out of states like Wisconsin and North Dakota, which are unencumbered by flawed federal policies and uninspired leadership. I recently chatted with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on my radio show “Made in America,” and I came away with renewed respect for his leadership. Editor’s Note: Get These 4 Stocks Before 399% Stock Market Rally! Walker’s “Blueprint for Prosperity” has turned a $3.6 billion deficit in Wisconsin into a $2 billion dollar surplus. The word “surplus” has disappeared from our federal government... Read More

American Innovation Better Than Ever

Writing from Chicago at the annual Housewares Show, it reminds me how many American entrepreneurs are in this industry. From booth to booth, new entrepreneurs mingle with entrepreneurs who have been in this industry for decades. What they have in common is a vision and the inner drive to make their ideas a reality and risk everything to grab a piece of the American Dream. No nation can out-innovate the United States of America. Measured as patents per capita, the United States takes first place by a large margin, followed by Japan, Switzerland, Finland and Israel. The late Steve Jobs at Apple held 317 patents himself. So it’s not surprising that people attending the show represent nations throughout the world who are drawn to American innovation and product quality. They understand... Read More

Our Disappearing Labor Force

The year 2014 is turning out to be a reincarnation of 1978, when we had an out-of-touch Democratic president who failed to spur the economy and help create jobs. In fact, the labor force participation this year equals that of 1978, when only 62.8 percent of American civilians 16 or older had a job or actively looked for work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is estimated that more than 11 million people have dropped out of the labor force under President Obama, either because they can’t find a job or lack the skills for employment. Essentially, people have just given up. Ironically, these people don’t figure into the unemployment rate. So despite the fact that October 2013 marked the 59th straight month of a 7-percent-plus unemployment rate in the United... Read More

Obama Is Manufacturing His Manufacturing Numbers

Most presidents surround themselves with cabinet and staff members who have the skill sets required to handle the daunting tasks that they face each day. President Obama has taken a different approach. He hires fiction writers. If you spend any time looking at the unemployment numbers, for example, the Obama administration puts the national unemployment rate at just under 7 percent. That sounds very manageable, unless you take into account the 11 million Americans who have dropped out of the labor force and are no longer actively seeking a job. Conveniently, they aren’t accounted for in the unemployment numbers. If you counted them, the unemployment rate would be near 16 percent. So the Obama fiction writers understand that if you can’t actually improve the economy, you... Read More

UAW Killed the Golden Goose

The general consensus is that America’s auto manufacturers gave unions an open-ended check and when they cashed it, they cashed out the futures of thousands of workers when their plants began massive layoffs. The result is the UAW got a black eye from its members and from thousands of downstream workers who were impacted by the union’s role in the demise of the nation’s auto manufacturers. In Chattanooga, Tenn., this week, the nation will get a glimpse of the UAW’s clout when workers at the three-year-old Volkswagen plant with 1,500 workers vote on whether they want union representation. The situation is getting ugly, but if the perception of one VW worker as quoted by The Wall Street Journal is any indication, the UAW is taking a bad PR hit. “For a time,... Read More

Detroit Continues a Legacy of Inclusion

Some people count Detroit down and out. I’m not one of them. To do so would ignore the contributions that the American car manufacturing industry made to the world’s industrial and economic development. And its center was Detroit. Henry Ford is known as a visionary inventor, but he also saw the wisdom in creating a diverse workforce. According to a Ford Motor historical perspective, since its founding in 1903, “Ford has established itself as a premier American employer by supporting equitable and inclusive employment practices years before the law required it.” In 1913, when Henry Ford was paying the unheard of salary of $5 a day, Ford attracted thousands of immigrants and black Americans drawn to the prospect of earning twice the typical daily wage. The $5... Read More