Posts Tagged ‘Economic Growth’


BUSINESS INSIDER , Monday, July 16, 2012

July 16, 2012

If the current version of   “It’s the Economy, Stupid” is starting to get you down, go to STARTRIBUNE.COM/BUSINESS and read the whole thing.  Today’s issue will put a positive spin on your day!

Here’s just a few uplifting comments from this morning’s articles:

Neal St. Anthony: “Do tax breaks for rich really ‘create jobs’?”

And the chief executives at many of the United States’ largest public companies are heading for their third year of record profits and paydays.

Pay particular attention to Dave Cleveland’s comments within the article as he offers evidence for why he thinks the wealthy do not come close to being the entrepreneurs that drive job creation.  I loved the quote “the best entrepreneurs don’t have toys, but they have passion and they want to build something and grow.”

Mark Haveman, of Minnesota Taxpayers Association, feels both political parties are over-stating their case and agrees with Cleveland that dynamic job creators tend to be disaffected former employees  and other innovators who start their own business with  help  from  family, an angel or their own equity, and with “sweat”.   

Both Cleveland and Mark Sellner, professor of taxation at St. Thomas agree that the biggest inhibitor to business confidence for expansion is the no-compromise tactics between political parties in Washington. 

As you read, don’t skip over “Amp ramps up approach” for the Non-Profit sector; “Vets seek job retraining in record numbers” -they get it and are taking advantage of federal funds to help impact that high vet unemployment rate;  MacKay’s “Critical thinking still is critical to your success”; Dr. Crimmins in the Movers and Shakers column reminds us that Minnesota already is on board with much of the Affordable Health Care Act and just needs to focus on improving so no need to fear what’s coming;  and then take some time to think about “ ‘ New normal’ haunts job recovery”.

William Blazer, oversees GROW MINNESOTA at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.  He shares that the optimistic  picture of growing domestic economy-1 in 4 companies surveyed plan to expand in next two years,  with  business reinvestments through product innovation, new jobs, and expansion , has a downside…a continuing shortage of qualified workers for the available jobs.   

And of course, this supports my continuing thoughts on the need to assess our education system and make some necessary changes.  It was encouraging to hear a qualified workforce is the foundation of strengthening the business environment and improving the lives of all Minnesostans .  That thought is being backed up by dialogs with the companies to determine workforce needs and skills, along with input from students and a thoughtful three step process to move us forward to future growth.   

 When I finished the section, I sat back, and thought once more time, how glad I am to be living in Minnesota!  Hope you have the same reaction. 





July 9, 2012

Rather than being a victim of the old saying “cannot see the forest for the trees”, I believe I have been so focused on the FOREST, that I overlooked a very important TREE in our world.

The headline of Lee Schafer’s column in the STRIB this morning proclaimed  ”Demographic trends favor US, if we do things right”, and although  I started to read it with some doubt, I quickly realized I had over-looked a very important reality as I ponder the changing demographics  of our future.

I have been so focused on what the growth of minorities mean to MSP, and the need for an understanding of interculturalism and how do we accomplish that in businesses run by whites for whites when our customers of the future will not be whites.  We are redesigning our city and talking about gateways and trying to project into the future-all based on the white world as we know it.  I have been almost overwhelmed as I see over and over that those projections STILL assume a white population in the majority for the duration of the 21st century…and I know statistics show that is not to be…and how do we avoid falling off another cliff in our urban renewal efforts? 

Of course, I know that by the time we realize those effects to the fullest, I will not be here.  However,  the sadness of being a part of a philosophy of city planning that I studied at the University in the 60s and how wrong it was, and how it has us in a box that is hard to escape from is difficult to accept.  We THOUGHT we knew but instead, today we have empty downtowns filled with parking lots and surrounded by interstate infrastructural barriers…all waiting for us to re-do.  We cannot make a second revitalization mistake.

And then, the attitude of disbelief written on faces as I talk about mid-century projections that show the white population will be in the minority causes more worries.  Will we be able to do all this right this time?  

As I think of all that, there are days that the forest seems just too big to conquer.

So Schafer’s column and message was a welcome reminder to me that I have been over-looking a major positive.  “Of the five largest global economies today, only the U.S will see significant growth in working-age population between now and 2050.”  Yes, the WHITE population is aging and there are fewer WHITE people that will be working-age in 2050 than those elderly ….but we will be talking about less than HALF the population of our country by then!

Shafer points out this has not been a government strategy, of course, but is happening by accident .  “To the contrary, many new workers will be children of people here today whom we tried to keep out.” 

Indeed.  Somehow, a good part of our country has forgotten it is built on immigration, or prefers to think, I suppose, that there is a secret document someplace that supports only WHITE immigration.  But white immigrants are not in a majority.  We are talking Hispanics, Asians, and Africans.

All of a sudden, the discussion of Social Security being unsustainable may not be a valid concern or argument. The age distribution changes create a potential for economic growth as well as a source of funding for Social Security.  We might just be caught up once again in a 20th century worry that has changed when we were not looking.

But, as the article states, “Whether or not this potential is captured depends on the policy environment.”

So we need the attention to shift to a bigger concern in my mind, and that is indeed, the policy challenges around educational achievement and access to higher education for these immigrants.

And along with that, we need to remember we cannot build an improved white student’s educational system, we need to build a new intercultural education system .  Do we have any idea how we might do that? 

Maybe we ought to invite a few Hispanic, Asian and African education experts to the planning table because we certainly have not gotten it right with our own African American population!