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  • The Invisible Tax Cut

    It's hard to be optimistic about the economy, and with good reason given the spate of bad news coming out on an almost daily basis. Deteriorating labor market : check. A big slump in consumer spending : check. Lousy guidance from earnings reports: check. Throw in a credit market in flux (though slowly...
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  • Counterfeits Can Kill!

    So many critical issues face our members these days, from a devastating housing slump that has choked off demand for some electrical products, to a global recession combined with an increasingly strong dollar that will reduce member exports, to a credit crunch that is hurting our small manufacturers...
  • How to Buy an Ally

    During my first (of two) years working at the U.S. Embassy in Honduras in the ‘90s, electricity rationing was the norm. 12 regularly scheduled hours a day with and 12 without. I ate a lot of meals at the cafeteria in the Embassy – which had its own generators to keep the refrigerators running – and went...
  • Some Post-Election Analysis

    Just came back from a US Chamber/Leading Authorities event featuring election analysts Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg . Both had interesting takes on the recent elections: Charlie said that, while the GOP needs to regroup and determine where it's heading in the future, he doesn't think any Republican...
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  • Hot Shower, Clean Dishes, Energy Star

    Now, while you are busy contemplating the financial and political markets, don't take for granted what's delivering your next cleanup session under the showerhead or in the tub. As many of us know firsthand, whether it's run by gas or electric, a water heater tank is a failure waiting to...
  • Update on the Credit Crisis

    The majority of indicators are painting an increasingly dismal picture of the economy (see here , here and here for a few examples). With that in mind, we need to take a step back and check out the credit market to see if any improvements have been made since its near-meltdown last month, as that was...
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  • Labor Gears Up to Kill Secret Balloting

    A headline from a front-page Business Section article in today's WaPo : " Labor Seeks Election Rewards ." And what rewards are those? "Labor's top priority is passage of legislation that would make it easier to organize unions ...." That's the so-called "card check"...
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  • Several Firsts in Yesterday's Elections

    No doubt the most remarkable event yesterday was the election of this nation's first African-American chief executive. But after that, I'd have to say the thing that amazed me most was CNN's introduction of holographic television. If you didn't see it, check out two interviews -- one...
  • HR 1 in the New Congress? Bound to be Card Check

    Our annual membership meeting, Illuminations Weekend , has come and gone, but the memory of some of the discussions remains -- and in particular, the almost non-stop focus of the CEOs on one issue: "card check," or as US Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue prefers to call it, "the end...
  • The Open Source Smart Grid

    At the Department of Energy Renewable and Distributed Systems Integration Peer Review last week, dozens of DoE grant recipients showed the public what they've been doing with our tax dollars. One of the more innovative projects was GridLAB-D , an open-source platform to test new smart grid techniques...
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