An Attack on Intellectual Property Is an Attack on US Business

While the Washington Redskins trademark and logos are the source of heated debate, we seem to have ignored the fact that the team’s intellectual property belongs to them, as granted by the U.S. government dating back more than 80 years. Therefore, the U.S Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to revoke the trademark is an attack on intellectual property and the start of a slippery slope for businesses trying to protect their property rights. This is all about ideology, and not about the legality of a trademark. Does this mean that as a business owner I have to look over my shoulder for fear that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can void my intellectual property at any moment? Can the government now decide on a whim what trademarks are offensive? What powerful force... Read More

Corporate Tax Rate Driving American Companies Overseas

Time was when the United States was No. 1 in numerous economic categories. Unfortunately, we have traded our swagger in indicators that make us stronger for a tax code that makes us weaker: American companies face the highest statutory corporate income tax rate in the world — 39.1 percent. According to the Tax Foundation, this overall rate of 39.1 percent is a combination of the 35 percent federal rate plus the average rate levied by U.S. states. This puts the United States at a major competitive disadvantage in global trade. “Corporations headquartered in the 33 other industrialized countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), however, face an average rate of 25 percent,” the Tax Foundation notes. “Even corporations in... Read More

Hello New Carbon Tax; Goodbye 250,000 American Jobs

My father was born and raised in West Virginia, and is now buried in the heart of coal country. So President Obama’s war on coal and fossil fuels is not only a terrible policy decision, but it’s one that resonates with me personally. Stephen Moore, founder of the Free Enterprise Fund, was recently a guest on my radio show, Made in America, and predicted that the way the Obama administration is waging war on fossil fuels, the coal industry could be dead in 10 years. He characterized this as a “jihad against coal.” Moore made the interesting observation that part of the reason that the Obama administration takes credit for the improvement in the economy is due to the enormous progress in ratcheting up oil and natural gas production. With this new output came a... Read More

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

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

The Dangers of China’s Aggressive Strategy

China’s relationship with the United States is increasingly complex and competitive, and it’s bound to get even more complex as China pursues an aggressive growth strategy. When Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama met last weekend in California to try and mend their often tenuous relationship, it was clear that China had its own agenda. For China, this meeting was more show than a sincere desire for the two leaders to work together. And while Obama resolved to address cyber security, particularly serious Internet hacking charges against China, Xi could barely suppress a smile knowing that National Security Agency leaker, Edward Snowden, was stowed away in Hong Kong. Snowden, arguably America’s biggest turncoat since Benedict Arnold, was now fair game for interrogation... Read More

Increase Jobs by Reducing Regulations

When companies must spend money to comply with an ever-increasing flood of federal regulations, they need to make cuts in other areas. This usually means holding off on job creation or even cutting their existing work force and employee hours. What does it cost American businesses to comply with federal regulations? The Competitive Enterprise Institute puts the figure at $1.8 trillion a year — more than half what it costs to run the federal government. Government agencies spend $61 billion per year just to administer and enforce federal regulations — a 50 percent increase in the last decade. Our government has added more than 80,000 regulations in the last 20 years — 3,708 in the last year alone. This equates to a new rule being enacted every 2½ hours. In a press conference on June 29,... Read More

Better Late Than Never

As an exporter, I half-heartedly believed President Obama’s proposal to double U.S. exports in five years. That pledge was made in his State of the Union address in 2010, which means the clock is ticking on his plan to double American exports from $1 trillion to $2 trillion by 2015. His National Export Initiative (NEI) was supposed to “help farmers and small businesses increase their exports.” At the core of this plan was to create an environment that allows American exporters to compete freely and fairly with other countries. To date, Obama has not initiated a single free-trade agreement, although he likes to take credit for the free-trade agreements signed with Panama, South Korea and Colombia, which were all initiated and negotiated by the previous administration. Next... 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 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