The Cost of Permanent Patients

The United States currently has an estimated 11 million immigrants who entered this country illegally. According to the National Research Council, the migration of these individuals into the United States costs American taxpayers $346 billion annually. Now we are starting to get a feel for the costs being absorbed by one sector — the U.S. healthcare system — to treat this population. And the cost is staggering. The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that the current cost of treating uninsured immigrants who entered this country illegally at all levels of government to be $4.3 billion a year, primarily at emergency rooms and free clinics. This doesn’t take into account the billions being absorbed by in-patient care delivered by hospitals. Who is picking up these costs? Every... Read More

Congress Is Full of Hot Air

There are 26 million unemployed and underemployed Americans, and we’ve just suffered the worst terrorist strike in this country since 9/11. So our Congress has snapped into action by concentrating on critical initiatives to push our nation forward. Let’s begin with the House moving to reauthorize the Federal Helium Program. That’s right. America needs to marshal its forces to keep blimps in the sky with the production of helium. Without blimps, how do we get those great overhead shots of football games? At least all the people sitting at home without jobs will have something to keep them occupied. So as we tackle flawed technology of the 19th century, we also are spending $5 billion on all-electric vehicles, the flawed technology of the 21st century. They don’t work... Read More

The End of Outsourcing?

After years of building what they hoped would boost profits by enhancing overseas operations, many U.S. manufacturers have become disillusioned by the lack of return on investment they had anticipated. Instead of finding cost-saving benefits overseas through outsourcing, they are finding headaches, which have spurred a growing number of American companies to head home and build upon the sturdy and sure bedrock of American stability and predictability. This trend has come to be known as “nearsourcing.” It has been defined in professional publications as “producing products closer to where they are ultimately sold” or “the practice of getting work done or services performed in neighboring countries rather than in your own country.” Jimmy Alyea, writing for Supply Chain Analysis, provides... Read More

How Congress Is Killing the Entrepreneurial Spirit

It is still galling that this nation’s entrepreneurs and small businesses — our country’s job creators — don’t get any support. Our political parties rail against each other, determined not to let either side win. This is a giant roadblock toward economic security. But elsewhere in the world, differences are being hashed out that are designed to help small businesses thrive. And it’s happening in an area that’s the least likely to promote economic peace: Israel and Palestine. That’s right. According to reports, economic collaboration between Israelis and Palestinians has been hobbled by the lack of a neutral forum for settling disagreements between Israeli and Palestinian businessmen when they arise. Palestinians and Israelis face restricted access to each other’s territory... Read More

The United States of California

If you want to see where the country is headed under the Obama administration, look at California: a state in deep financial trouble that will collapse under its own weight if it does not wean itself off debt, excessive taxes and paralyzing regulations. The same forces that are hurling California toward insolvency are beginning to affect the rest of the country. I recently acquired a manufacturing company in the Sacramento area that is an incredible company with an incredible legacy and workforce. Every time I visit, I relish interacting with the people and the area’s majestic beauty. But there is a feeling of uneasiness bubbling under the surface. Outwardly, everything looks fine, but underneath, people in California are very concerned because of years of mismanagement. Their state will... Read More

The Rebirth of Vocational Schools

It took a moribund economy and unemployment combined with underemployment exceeding 25 percent for the United States to wake up to the realities of vocational schools. Apprenticeships and on-the-job training can be traced back to our nation’s founding. But as America prospered throughout the 20th century, workers turned their backs on manufacturing jobs, which they perceived as dirty and unglamorous. Today, the most glamorous goal for the 20 million unemployed and underemployed Americans is to have a job. Therefore, vocational schools look pretty good today. An estimated 600,000 skilled, middle-class manufacturing jobs remain unfilled nationwide, most of which have starting salaries of $50,000 to $60,000. Yet, U.S. companies can’t find enough machinists, robotics specialists and other highly... Read More

What America and India Have In Common

America has the largest economy in the world. India is ranked 9th. Yet, as a result of failed energy policies in both countries, America and India have more in common than you might think. We all read or heard about the huge power outage in India that impacted 680 million people late last month. According to news reports, it affected eight Indian states, equal to nearly double the populations of the United States and the United Kingdom combined. Trains were delayed for as long as six hours, while traffic lights went out, snarling traffic for hours. The airports were on emergency power. Businesses lost goods and customers. According to The Wall Street Journal, “The outage showed the failure of India’s efforts to boost its power infrastructure. … More than half of India’s power-generation... Read More

Some Olympic Lessons for the U.N.

As I watch the Olympics and marvel how nations around the world can compete in peace and without rancor, I wistfully begin to imagine what would happen if the Olympics and the United Nations traded places. The U.N.’s General Assembly meets in regular session each year from September to December. Over the past years, the U.N. has become hyper-politicized, attacking nations they don’t like and ignoring their charter to forge peace and end poverty around the world. It has become an impotent body that only highlights their inability to become a model of civility. So the question becomes, do they really need to meet each year? How about meeting every four years, like the Olympics? Would anything less get done? Besides less hostility, it would also save the American taxpayers’ hard-earned cash. The... Read More

When a President Mocks Small Business

As an entrepreneur who has worked my entire life to create new businesses, hire more than 200 employees and risk everything I own on my companies, I join the chorus of Americans who are outraged by President Barack Obama’s recent outburst, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” This is clearly the most definitive proof that Obama does not understand small business, does not like small business and lacks the rudimentary knowledge of how this country has prospered through the sweat and toil of entrepreneurs — our nation’s risk takers and job creators. Contrast Obama’s comments with those of President Ronald Reagan, who wrote, “The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away.” Reagan was clearly... Read More

EU Turns Its Back on Intellectual-Property Theft

When nations such as Brazil, China and India steal our intellectual property (IP), they are stealing from American companies, their employees and from the American people. This should become an issue vital to every American. Our economy suffers, our employment picture suffers and our prestige suffers when our patents are stolen or ignored. So I was astonished and disappointed to see the European Parliament reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a multinational treaty designed to better protect IP around the world by creating an international system of anti-counterfeiting and property-rights protection measures. ACTA has been strongly supported by the United States, and there’s a reason. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative estimates that the U.S. economy lost between... Read More