By Robert Reich – What’s the most worrisome foreign intrusion into the United States—unauthorized immigrants, Chinese imports, or interference in our democracy?
For Trump, it’s immigrants and imports. He doesn’t care much about the third.
Yet Trump continues to assert that talk of Russian meddling in American elections is “a big hoax.” And his White House still has no plan for dealing with it.
In fact, Trump has it backwards.
Illegal immigration isn’t the problem he makes it out to be. Illegal border crossings have been declining for years.
And if the Chinese want to continue to send us cheap imports that we pay for with U.S. dollars and our own IOUs, that’s as much of a potential problem for them as it is for us.
But Russian attacks on our democracy are a clear and present threat aimed at the heart of America. more>
Posted in Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economy, History, Media, Net
Tagged Business, Congress Watch, Government, Internet, Leadership, Super regions, United States
By Annie Lowrey – Stock buybacks are eating the world. The once illegal practice of companies purchasing their own shares is pulling money away from employee compensation, research and development, and other corporate priorities—with potentially sweeping effects on business dynamism, income and wealth inequality, working-class economic stagnation, and the country’s growth rate. Evidence for that conclusion comes from a new report by Irene Tung of the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and Katy Milani of the Roosevelt Institute, who looked at share buybacks in the restaurant, retail, and food industries from 2015 to 2017.
Buybacks occur when a company takes profits, cash reserves, or borrowed money to purchase its own shares on the public markets, a practice barred until the Ronald Reagan administration.
The regulatory argument against allowing the practice is that it is a way for companies to manipulate the markets; the regulatory argument for it is that companies should be able to spend money how they see fit.
In recent years, with corporate profits high, American firms have bought their own stocks with extraordinary zeal.
Federal Reserve data show that buybacks are now equivalent to 4 percent of annual economic output, up from zero percent in the 1990s. Companies spent roughly $7 trillion on their own shares from 2004 to 2014, and have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on buybacks in the past six months alone. more>
Posted in Banking, Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economic development, Economy, History, Leadership, Regulations
Tagged Banking reform, Capital, Financial crisis, Government, Regulations, Stock buyback, United States
By Steve Denning – The article isn’t suggesting that firms embracing Agile are either angels or devils. I have yet to see a firm espousing Agile that has no flaws: those flaws must be seen for what they are and they need to be addressed.
If not addressed, they will cause serious financial, economic or social problems. Some of the flaws need to be addressed by the firms themselves and will be reinforced by the marketplace. Others may require government intervention.
Among the flaws for which the marketplace will by itself tend to generate corrective action are:
- Failure to continue innovating
- Sweat-shop workplaces
- Share buybacks
- Rethink “maximizing shareholder value”
- Abuse of monopoly power and privacy
We need to see Agile by the clear light of day, neither through rose-colored spectacles in which everything is kumbaya, nor through a glass darkly in which everything is evil.
The saying “you can’t have it both ways” doesn’t mean that we can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economy, Education, Energy & emissions, History, Leadership, Media, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Agile management, Broadband, Business improvement, Congress Watch, Government, Internet, Leadership, Productivity
By Javier Solana – After the recent G7 summit in Quebec, there can no longer be any doubt that the West is in crisis.
Yes, “Western” countries have often pursued divergent foreign policies (as illustrated by the Iraq War), and “the West” is itself a vague concept. But it is one that rests on a set of common ideological pillars, which are now crumbling under the weight of US President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda.
Trump and his co-religionists’ incessant slandering of allies – “we cannot let our friends take advantage of us” – is leaving its mark.
Just a few years ago, it would have been unthinkable for the US to refuse to sign a joint G7 communiqué. Nor would anyone have thought that an American administration could attack a Canadian leader using the language that Trump and his trade adviser, Peter Navarro, recently directed at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
If bad manners were the only issue with the Trump administration, we could all rest easier. But that administration is also pursuing concrete policies that are undercutting America’s most important alliances. more>
Posted in Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economy, How to, Leadership, Media
Tagged "West", alliance, Business, Government, Internet, Leadership, Super regions