Topic: Business Climate
News
Sept. 14, 2017

Organized labor doesn’t rack up a lot of wins these days, and Silicon Valley isn’t most people’s idea of a union hotbed. Nonetheless, in the past three years unions have organized 5,000 people who work on Valley campuses. Among others, they’ve unionized shuttle drivers at Apple, Tesla, Twitter, LinkedIn, EBay, Salesforce.com, Yahoo!, Cisco, and Facebook; security guards at Adobe, IBM, Cisco, and Facebook; and cafeteria workers at Cisco, Intel, and, earlier this summer, Facebook.

The workers aren’t technically employed by any of those companies. Like many businesses, Valley giants hire contractors that typically offer much less in the way of pay and benefits than the tech companies’ direct employees get. Among other things, such arrangements help companies distance themselves from the way their cafeteria workers and security guards are treated, because somebody else is cutting the checks. Silicon Valley Rising, a coalition of unions and civil rights, community, and clergy groups heading the organizing campaign, says its successes have come largely from puncturing that veneer of plausible deniability.

News
Sept. 12, 2017

Toastmasters Chief Executive Daniel Rex, who called the move "deeply emotional," said the costs of operating in Orange County were a major consideration in the move. The company employs about 180 people. Toastmasters reportedly already has several potential sites in Denver and will likely buy property. “When you look at the availability of workers, when you look at the cost of commerce and real estate, this is something that makes sense,” Rex told the Times. Toastmasters, which aims to help members improve their speaking and leadership skills, was founded in Santa Ana in 1924 and has had its headquarters in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, since 1990

News
Sept. 10, 2017

And then there’s the Public Records Act, California’s landmark law giving the public, mostly via news media, access to official documents, with some exceptions. Unfortunately, the list of PRA exceptions seems to be growing as legislators, who are not inclined toward openness in the first place, protect their fellow officials and/or do the bidding of powerful interests. The current session has had 79 bills involving the PRA. While most of the proposals amount to innocuous boilerplate, the Legislature is moving those that create more exceptions and blocking those that would expand access.

News
Sept. 8, 2017

The Nixon episode shows, says Mr. Cogan, that entitlements have been the main cause of America’s rising national debt since the early 1970s. Mr. Trump’s pact with the Democrats is part of a pattern: “The debt ceiling has to be raised this year because elected representatives have again failed to take action to control entitlement spending.” . . . Can an entitlement expansion, once granted, ever be taken back? Mr. Cogan refuses to say “never,” but says such rescindments “occur under rather extraordinary circumstances.” He offers a remarkable example: “You might ask, ‘Who achieved the largest reduction in any entitlement in the history of the country?’ Well, surprisingly, it was FDR, a person whom we normally associate with launching the modern era of entitlements.”

News
Sept. 7, 2017

Some mistake the corporate income tax as the entirety of a business’s tax burden. However, businesses pay many types of taxes outside of the corporate income tax, including sales tax, property tax, excise tax, payroll tax, and more. The corporate income tax makes up only 9.5 percent of total business taxes.

Today’s map shows how much state governments collect in corporate income taxes per capita. New Hampshire collects the most at $433 per capita, with Delaware shortly behind at $424 per capita. Delaware also levies a gross receipts tax in addition to the corporate income tax. Alaska’s ranking of fifth highest in the country may surprise people, but it is mainly due to a large number of extractive companies and the relatively small population.

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Nov. 17, 2017 / Andrew Khouri

Nov. 17, 2017 / The Editorial Board