Police in the city where the shooting death of Trayvon Martin ignited a national debate want to reinforce a rule that neighborhood watch volunteers like George Zimmerman should not be armed.
President Obama addressed hundreds of global investors and business people today at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, imploring them to put down financial roots here.
“There is no better place in the world to do business than the United States of America,” the president said. “Think about it -- globalization and technology mean, you can go just about anywhere. But there are a whole lot of reasons you ought to come here.”
President Obama went on to laud the American worker, the low cost of energy, and the country's steady economic growth.
In the halls and corridors of the Marriott hotel, investors from every corner of the globe mingled with economic development corporations from around the U.S., making connections and getting pitched on sweet deals and incentives to do business.
If you think the U.S. is the natural, number one place for the global investor to land -- think again.
“The United States share of global foreign direct investment has fallen a lot in the last ten years,” says Matt Slaughter, who teaches at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and is scheduled to address SelectUSA. He says in 2000, the U.S. share of foreign direct investment was around 37 percent and “by 2012 that share had fallen to just 17 percent.”
That’s bad for two reasons. One, foreign direct investment creates jobs that the U.S. desperately needs. Two, it creates good jobs.
“U.S. affiliates of foreign-headquartered companies in the United States pay compensation that is one-third higher than companies in the rest of the private sector in the U.S.,” says Slaughter.
Why is it then that the U.S. isn’t as attractive as it used to be? For one thing, emerging economies, such as Brazil or China, have become more attractive as they’ve grown. But that’s only part of the story.
“It's not so much the government dysfunction, that's kind of normal now," says Kent Smetters, professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. "It's more that tax rates have gone up, the corporate income tax rate in the U.S. is the second highest in the industrial world."
That won’t change without comprehensive tax reform, which the Congress has long put off.
“Events like SelectUSA Investment Summit can do a lot,” says Slaughter.
They can foster connections and networking, and they can let investors know they are welcome.
But a summit alone “cannot enact comprehensive tax reform, comprehensive immigration reform, it cannot rebuild our infrastructure,” he says. “Those harder policy changes are hopefully going to come in the future but time will tell.”
All of those factors contribute to the challenge of attracting foreign direct investment. So while the SelectUSA event may get foreign investors to come along for a date, they may need more to tie the knot and move in.
New numbers out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics say more people are quitting their jobs. In August, two million three hundred sixty four thousand workers told their bosses to take this job and shove it. That’s nearly 11% higher than last year – why?
Being labeled a quitter may sound like an insult, but when it comes to the economy – leaving your job can be a good thing.
“People quit jobs when they have an opportunity to go someplace else,” said Peter Cappelli a professor of management at Wharton. “Most everybody who quits voluntarily steps immediately into another job.”
The increase in quitters, says Cappelli, is about confidence in the economy.
“We know the quit rate always picks up when the economy picks up and the quit rate always falls when the economy goes down,” he says.
During the recession, employers pushed workers - hard. Some surveys found three quarters of workers at the time said they were going to look for a new job as soon as they could. For some, that meant waiting for affordable healthcare.
“That’s one of the biggest nuts to carry” says Andrea Grayson, a marketing consultant who recently quit her job to work on her own. Grayson lives in Vermont and credits her state’s plan to offer healthcare based on income with helping her to reach a decision.
“That definitely did add a level of confidence to my ability to be able to sustain my expenses when I’m out on my own,” she says.
Steve Kyle, a profess of applied economics at Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management notes that the economy needs more quitters like Grayson. After all, every time someone quits a job, it means a help wanted ad for someone else.
“The quit rate fell off a cliff and has since has been slowly trudging back into territory which we would more normally associate with a normal economy, but it’s not there yet,” he says.
To get back to a more normal quit rate, Kyle says America needs 2% of its work force to walk.
But don't worry. Wharton’s Peter Cappelli notes that there’s another way job opportunities can be created.
“A lot of employers these days create openings by laying people off so they don’t necessarily need people to quit,” he says.
It can be hard to feel anything other than soul-crushing frustration when you’re flying: the baggage fees, the security line, the cramped seats. Today, score one for us human sardines!
You were right. We all were right. Our readers and tablets aren’t going to bring down airplanes.
The FAA will allow electronic devices throughout the flight.
“My 17-year-old son thinks this is the coolest thing around,” says Federal Aviation administrator Michael Huerta. You’ll be able to keep on reading, or listening to music, but you’ve still got to turn off the cell phone part of your phone.
“This is a game changer,” says Joseph Schwieterman, a transportation expert at DePaul University. He added up all the digital time lost because of powering down during takeoff and landing and found more than 105 million hours of “disrupted technological activity.” “Now people will be able to plan to do work or plan to stay connected; people find it therapeutic to use their devices, so airlines certainly will welcome this,” says Schwieterman.
It’s also a win for airplane wireless providers. Shares of the in-flight wifi company GoGo rose more than 4 percent.
And, the rules mean flight attendants will get to stop nagging people to turn off their Kindles.
“We want to make sure there is consistency across the board in how this rule is implemented,” says Veda Shook, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants. She hopes it’s not going to be used as a marketing tool by airlines, as a way to get an advantage over each other. Flight attendants have already had to do their fair share of arguing about the rules.
Though claims dropped by 10,000, they're still running at a pace that signals a sluggish labor market.