Top 10 Reasons to Rely on Private Sector Markets

4/27/2010 – John Pisciotta – Acton –
Americans have less confidence and trust in government today than at any time since the 1950s. This is the conclusion of the Pew Research Center survey released in mid-April. Just 22 percent expressed trust in government to deliver effective policies almost always or most of the time. With the robust expansion of the economic role of the federal government under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the Pew poll is evidence of an opportunity for advocates of freer markets.

That Americans distrust their government is not unadulterated good news. An effective rule of law, one aspect of which is a government that can be trusted to act justly and equitably, is a necessary precondition of the free and virtuous society. [Read more…]


Six Rules For Website Design | Crispin Porter and Scott Prindle | 4/1/2010
These days, its more crucial than ever to make a good first impression online. If your website is hard to navigate or just boring to look at, you’re probably not going to get many repeat visitors. Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s partner managing director of interactive Winston Binch, and Scott Prindle, the advertising and design agency’s VP executive creative technology director, share their ideas for getting the most out of websites. [Read more…]


Profit Over Principles | by Cal Thomas | 3/2/2010
When Toyota President Akio Toyoda testified last week before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, an attitude was exposed that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) correctly characterized as fostering a “cutthroat corporate” environment that placed costs ahead of quality and safety. Such a priority would have been anathema to Toyoda’s grandfather, Kiichiro Toyoda, who founded the company and turned it into an automotive juggernaut thanks to a business philosophy created by an American named W. Edwards Deming.

Deming believed in a business model that puts product quality and company relationships between workers and management first, favoring continual and systematic improvements of staff and of work processes. His philosophy dominated Toyota for more than 50 years. Quality products followed. Profit was the inevitable result. [Read more…]


Americans Suffer, While Government Workers Prosper

Yet another travesty is unfolding before our eyes in these United States of America. While tens of millions of Americans continue to struggle through difficult economic conditions, with hundreds of thousands more losing their jobs every month, tens of thousands more losing their homes and their businesses, and millions more facing salary cuts and pay freezes, government employees are prospering and getting rewarded financially more than ever.

As the economy struggles, incomes fall, and business bankruptcies and mortgage default rates remain at all time highs, the federal government spending is booming and its employees are enjoying increased hiring and higher salaries. [Read more…]


America’s ‘Free’ Falling Economy

Investor’s Business Daily | Feb. 1, 2010

The latest index of economic freedom shows America falling fast, being ranked for the first time as “mostly free.” We’ve fallen behind Canada, and it’s look out below.

Our accelerating descent into a command-and-control economy with government pulling the strings is taking its toll.

The Heritage Foundation’s 2010 index of leading economic indicators shows that the land of the free is only mostly free, falling to eighth in the world from sixth last year, now sandwiched between Canada and Denmark. [Read more…]


Crash Course

FT | Review by John Gapper | Jan. 22, 2010
Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry’s Road from Glory to Disaster – by Paul Ingrassia

Japanese car companies, which overtook US ones in the early 21st century, leading to the bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler last year, used a method of industrial innovation called kaizen, usually translated as “continuous improvement”. From a humble start, the Japanese companies had got better and better at making cars that were economical and reliable.

Meanwhile, Detroit perfected the technique of occasional improvement. As the Big Three – GM, Ford and Chrysler – slid deeper into trouble over decades of complacency, union obstructionism and mismanagement, they would occasionally stage a temporary recovery, with some new car or initiative prompting books and magazine articles about a Detroit revival. [Read more…]


Streamlining Innovation

Forbes | by Sramana Mitra | Dec. 11, 2009

America is in dire need of some breakthrough innovation that can crack open significant new horizons. Yet, every year, numerous corporate and academic labs spend millions working on projects that have no commercial future, no application, no real justification for their existence. At best, they represent the tinkering of a technologist with some cool ideas.

Against that backdrop, I recently spoke with Prith Banerjee, head of HP Labs, on Hewlett-Packard’s strategy to streamline innovation and make it relevant to real world problems. Banerjee, to set the stage, also has experience founding two electronics start-ups, and brings a good understanding of the entrepreneurship and venture capital worlds. [Read more…]


How to Liberate an Economy

Entrepreneurs understand the importance of freedom in the workplace.
City Journal | by Guy Sorman | October 21, 2009

Brian Carney and Isaac Getz’s Freedom, Inc. is a timely book. It’s also countercyclical and somewhat counterintuitive. After all, most of today’s writing about economics and business is haunted by the current crisis: nearly every author and commentator expects that either more or less government intervention will bring the economy out of its difficulties. But Carney and Getz remind us that without well-managed enterprises, there would be no economy at all.

Crisis or no crisis, the engine of economic growth has always been, and will always remain, entrepreneurs. Nations without entrepreneurs—whether they drive them out with excessive taxes and regulations, or in more extreme cases, suppress, exile, or kill them—never reach prosperity. One can often ascertain the condition of a nation’s economy by assessing the cultural, legal, fiscal, and social status of its entrepreneurial class. [Read more…]


How Aaron Patzer of Made $170 Million in Two Years | by Aaron Patzer | October 2009

Aaron Patzer launched as a user-friendly alternative to Quicken and other personal-finance software out there. Little did he know that just two years later, Intuit, which makes Quicken, would fork over $170 million for his website. So how’d he do it? [Read more…]


Fix It – Even If It Ain’t Broke

FastCompany | by Kaihan Krippendorff | October 12, 2009

When something works, people grow fixated on it. They stop looking for alternative options. And this fixation creates an opportunity for those willing to reconsider the accepted approach. The company I introduced last week, Rosetta Stone (RST), hasn’t been satisfied with the fact that its products work. Instead, it continues to challenge the norm. [Read more…]


The French Model

The Washington Times | by Richard W. Rahn | Aug. 26, 2009

Why does it appear France is bouncing back more quickly from the recession than the United States? France has long been known for having an economy that suffered from too much government interference, too-high taxes and destructive union activity. Yet it grew 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2009, while the U.S. economy continued to decline.

The United States and Britain have had the largest “stimulus” programs of the major economies (as measured by increases in government spending and deficits relative to gross domestic product) and yet they are not moving toward recovery as rapidly as most other countries that had far smaller stimulus programs or none. [Read more…]


The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare

The Wall Street Journal | by John Mackey | Aug. 11, 2009

With a projected $1.8 trillion deficit for 2009, several trillions more in deficits projected over the next decade, and with both Medicare and Social Security entitlement spending about to ratchet up several notches over the next 15 years as Baby Boomers become eligible for both, we are rapidly running out of other people’s money. These deficits are simply not sustainable. They are either going to result in unprecedented new taxes and inflation, or they will bankrupt us.

While we clearly need health-care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction—toward less government control and more individual empowerment. Here are eight reforms that would greatly lower the cost of health care for everyone: [Read more…]


The Assault on American Business

The message from Washington is clear and getting louder by the day. If you run a successful business you face excessive government regulations and higher levels of taxation for years to come. The more productive and profitable you become, the more you will be forced to pay for the privilege of operating in this country. This threat is real and it appears that many companies and business owners are taking steps to protect themselves.

President Obama’s anti-business and anti-competitive campaign messages made executives and business owners apprehensive ahead of the January 2009 presidential inauguration and the Democrats obtaining control of Congress. Coming in the midst of one of the worst financial crisis and economic recessions in recent memory these promises had predictable results: businesses aggressively cut expenses, decreased their capital expenditures, drastically reduced their payrolls, and hunkered down to weather the current crisis and deal with the long-term consequences of punitive government actions. [Read more…]


The Three Most Important Rules in Business

Most Important Rules Business SuccessFrom my years of experience working for different companies and teaching various graduate business courses, I developed three rules that management must practice in order to achieve long-term profitability and success. Follow these rules and a business can remain healthy and prosper. Ignore them and failure is virtually guaranteed in the long term.

Rule #1 – Always Meet and Exceed Customer Expectations.
Meeting and exceeding customer expectations is the most important but often overlooked rule of business. The only way a company stays in business is if the customer is satisfied with its product or service. This generates profit, builds long-term stability, and meets the challenge of competitors. Meeting expectations should be considered the baseline for company performance. Exceeding expectations should be the ultimate goal. [Read more…]


It Isn’t the Economy, Stupid

Wendistry | by Wendi McGowan | May 2009

“Many companies that have gone bust didn’t die because of the recession. They failed for one reason: They treated customers poorly.” – Joel Spolsky

It’s your brand culture…. the fact that you treat your customers poorly and you blame it on the “economic recession.”

Take Circuit City, for example. Out of business in January. Most people didn’t even bother with their going-out-of-business sale. Why? Because you’d have to actually deal with CC unknowledgeable employees, and overpriced merchandise, and unbearable garage-sale-like experience. [Read more…]


Making the Most Out of a Bad Economy | by Michael Alter | Mar. 31, 2009

With all this economic gloom and doom, business owners are no doubt finding it a challenge to stay positive. What some might not realize, though, is that along with the challenges of a downturn comes huge opportunity.

When times are good, it’s easy to overlook problems and inefficiencies in your business. After all, a small crack in the windshield isn’t much of a problem, and it’s easier to ignore than to pay for a costly replacement. That’s the wrong attitude, especially during leaner times that call for closer scrutiny of business operations. Eventually the crack becomes larger and more inconvenient, and you might have to shell out for a much more expensive ticket than if you would have just fixed it in the first place. [Read more…]


Surviving the Downturn: Lessons From Emerging Markets

The Wall Street Journal | by Martin S. Roth & Richard Ettenson | Mar. 23, 2009

As Western companies struggle to navigate the worst economy in generations, here’s one piece of advice: Look at places where volatility is business as usual — emerging markets.

In these countries, companies have learned they can’t just hunker down when bad times strike. They have to go on the offensive. In Eastern Europe, South Africa and Latin America, managers look at tumultuous times as a chance to implement bold, creative ideas, outflank rivals and boost their business. [Read more…]


Street Smarts: Surviving the Recession | by Norm Brodsky | March 2009

It requires conquering your fears and making the right choices. Many business owners won’t do either

Fear can be a motivator, but it can also lead you into bad decisions, particularly in times like these. I have no doubt that a lot of business owners have spent the past couple of months implementing cost-saving plans and survival strategies that will weaken their companies and damage their long-term prospects. They’ve done it because they’ve been afraid, and fear makes us shortsighted. With the economy falling apart around us, we forget that recessions always end. Yes, some businesses will go under, but some companies will emerge stronger. If you want yours to be among the latter, you need to be careful about which costs you cut and which deals you offer your customers. [Read more…]


US Companies Pay the Highest Taxes in the World

US High Taxes Corporations Businesses It may come as a surprise that US companies pay the highest taxes in the world. Yes, you read that right! American businesses, large and small and across all industries pay from 35% to 41.6% of their income in combined state and federal taxes. The 41.6% maximum rate is scheduled to rise to 46.2% in 2010 when President Obama’s promised tax increases are implemented. Compare that to socialist France where companies pay only 34.4% in taxes, to China where the rate is 25%, or Russia which levies a mere 24%. Corporations in Ireland, Europe’s fastest growing economy for the last 18 years, pay just 12.5% in taxes.

Because of its dual taxation system, US businesses and individuals are required to pay both state and federal taxes on their income. When combined both these taxes range from a minimum of 35% in states like Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming that do not tax business income, to a maximum of 41.6% in Iowa, the state with the highest corporate tax rate of 12%. [Read more…]


Fool’s Golden State

Investor’s Business Daily | February 19, 2009

The world’s leading maker of microprocessors plans to create 7,000 jobs in new and expanded plants that will churn out computer chips 30% more powerful than the current generation of chips. But California-based Intel won’t make them in California.

Instead, the company is expanding in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico. Anywhere but California, which is now so unfriendly to business, even its home-grown firms don’t want to expand there.

This is bad news for the Golden State, which has one of the worst business environments in the country. And it won’t be helped a bit by the recent budget deal reached between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democrat-led legislature. [Read more…]


US Corporate Tax Rates vs. World’s Largest Economies

Comparing US Corporate Tax Rates to the World’s Largest Economies (2008)
The United States is the world’s largest economy. When compared to the next 14 countries that represent the world’s largest economies (number 2 through 15) by gross domestic product (GDP) as of 2008, here’s how the US stacks up. (Wikipedia & CIA World Factbook) [Read more…]


Something for Nothing – Book Review

The All-Consuming Desire that Turns the American Dream into a Social Nightmare.

Brian Tracy’s book, Something for Nothing, is an honest and critical look at many of the societal and cultural problems our society is facing. Tracy is
most concerned with the natural tendencies and drives of our human nature, how they have been misdirected and abused, and how, as a result, they have contributed to creating and perpetuating those social and cultural
problems. Driven by his desire to understand and explain human behavior, the author relies on his experiences and insights to present a comprehensive and clear picture of how humanity’s misguided approaches in actualizing our desires to get “something for nothing” have brought about many unintended and dreadful consequences to not only individuals themselves but our society in general. [Read more…]