Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Federal minimum wage: $7.25 or $10.10?

Jon Krause/NewsArt

Jon Krause/NewsArt

Moderated by Rick Badie

Whether to raise the minimum wage remains a divisive political issue. President Barack Obama wants the federal hourly rate raised from $7.25 to $10.10. Today, a small-business proponent says a wage increase would hurt employers, while the founder of a liberal advocacy group offers an opposing view. Meanwhile, the head of a nonprofit wants the federal government to do more contract work with small businesses.

Support pro-growth policies

By Kyle Jackson

The debate over raising the minimum wage isn’t about policy. It’s about politics and playing to people’s emotions rather than good economic sense.

The argument in favor of raising the minimum wage comes down to this: You can’t raise a family on $7.25 an hour. If you were a politician, it would be awfully tempting to try to win votes by telling voters you think they deserve a 39-percent pay raise.

The truth, though, is that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour wouldn’t …

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Congress: Act on Immigration Reform

Moderated by Rick  Badie

President Barack Obama says Congress will pass a comprehensive immigration reform measure before he leaves office in 2017. Businesses that need workers can’t wait that long, notes the president of a Georgia-based poultry-processing plant, so Congress must act now. Meanwhile, an executive for a nonpartisan public-interest group says there’s a surplus of idle workers, but employers prefer foreigners who work for less. Finally, a Gainesville attorney outlines the path to citizenship, or lack thereof, for Mexicans.

Congress: Act on Immigration Reform

By Tom Hensley

Immigration reform is too important to put off another year.

We are a chicken producer and processor in northeast Georgia. We have about 4,700 full-time employees and help sustain jobs in a broad range of businesses in the local economy. A significant number of our processing plant folks are Mexican or Central American. Few U.S. workers apply for these jobs. Those who do don’t stay long. We need …

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Transatlantic Trade Agreement

Moderated by Rick Badie

The prospect of a Transatlantic Trade Agreement between the United States and the European Union might provide additional export opportunities for Georgia businesses. Today, an international chamber official touts the economic benefits of the trade agreement now under negotiation, while a local chamber executive highlights the 2014 Atlanta Science Festival.

Trade agreement grows jobs

By Martina Stellmaszek

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a trade agreement being negotiated between the European Union (EU) and the United States. The negotiations began in July 2013 and will continue in 2014. If the agreement passes, it will remove trade barriers, create jobs and potentially affect millions of people on both sides of the Atlantic.

The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States helps to promote the economic and business interests of entities that work to develop and/or preserve ties between this region and the …

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The rebirth of Fort McPherson

Moderated by Rick Badie

Some say redevelopment of the Fort McPherson Army complex, which closed in 2005, could be Atlanta’s Next Big Thing. An official with a state authority charged to oversee the rebirth of the 486-acre complex offers an update on what’s transpired so far. Meanwhile, a real estate executive questions the snail’s pace of progress in comparison to a tech-focused project in New York City.

Base to become a vibrant community

By Jack C. Sprott

Atlanta was 50 years young when Fort McPherson was established in 1885 on five tracts of land several miles south of town. The location was rural and disconnected from the economic activities of the railroad hub to the north.

Over the past 129 years, the city of Atlanta has expanded its boundaries. Expressways and heavy rail now serve the local transportation needs of our citizens. Fort McPherson is no longer isolated. This historic 486-acre property is completely within the city limits, on a MARTA line and just four miles …

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Clean Technology

Moderated by Rick Badie

Metro Atlanta strives to be a global industry leader in clean technology. A Metro Atlanta Chamber official writes about that organization’s push to recruit green companies here and spur job growth. Meanwhile, an adviser to a clean-tech entrepreneurial program heralds our region’s emerging start-up sector in the field. Also the executive director for All About Disabilities, writes about state funding support to help employ young people with disabilities.

Clean tech’s a growing sector

By Carol Jordan

Much has been written, and deservedly so, on Atlanta as an emerging hub for technology startups.

Most of the light on start-ups – from the news media, investors and economic developers – shines on entrepreneurs with perceived potential to scale large and fast with their mobile/digital/Internet apps.

Little attention, however, has so far been directed to the products, services and technologies emerging from the small but growing clean technology sector in …

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How lucrative is Georgia’s renowned musical moxie?

Moderated by Rick Badie

Georgia’s film’s industry has become an economic blockbuster with an impact of $3.3 billion in 2013, according to the the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office. Could the state’s renowned musical moxie — a palette of hip-hop, country and rock — prove just as lucrative? That’s the subject for today.

Market Georgia music

By Ben Harbin

Last fall, the House music industry study committee and I set out to examine the music industry in Georgia and explore strategies to grow it. We knew the names of many Georgia artists, and a 2011 study showed the industry had a $3.77 billion economic impact and supported 20,000 jobs. But until we visited Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Macon and Savannah and heard testimony from more than 100 individuals, we had no idea how expansive “Georgia music” really is.

The committee heard from artists, composers and producers who create content that is performed,streamed and licensed for use in movies, television, games and …

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South Georgia’s economy is going crazy over nuts

Moderated by Rick Badie

Call us the Goober State. Peanuts, an economic engine in rural South Georgia, represent a value that exceeds $2 billion. Today’s topics deal with record crop yields, a slight decline in exports to China, and the potential for growth due in part to health-conscious consumers.

Nuts: The economic health of Georgia

By Don Koehler

In our developed economy, most of us find ourselves taking our needs and wants for granted. Save a weather disruption, we never worry about our food supply and, frankly, the supply of anything. We are fortunate to live in a state with a strong and growing economy.

In rural South Georgia, one of the drivers fueling Georgia’s economic engine resides beneath the ground.

In 2012, Georgia farmers produced more than half of the U.S. peanut crop, up from 45 percent. These amazing little peas are a legume, like a pea. Geographically, they are grown below a line from Augusta to Macon to Columbus. Once the farmer harvests his crop, they are …

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Atlanta: A tech hub to watch

Moderated by Rick Badie, a web magazine, recently named Atlanta one of the top 10 emerging tech hubs in 2014. Today, the magazine’s editor-in-chief explains why our region’s techie culture is considered one of the nation’s most innovative and creative. Meanwhile, an executive with AT&T Mobility writes about the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s new Mobility Task Force.

Atlanta: A tech hub to watch

By Dan Blacharski

The South is getting a lot of attention this year from tech entrepreneurs, and Atlanta is leading the charge for the New South.

Although there are plenty of companies like AT&T, Dell SecureWorks and First Data in Atlanta, the city is also home to more than 150 mobile tech-related startups and one of the most exciting small-business entrepreneurship communities in the country. Atlanta is 12th in the nation for number of tech start-ups. There have been several new co-working communities, start-up incubators and funding organizations working together to develop and …

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Moderated by Rick Badie

What if Georgia companies did more business with each other? That’s the purpose of the state chamber’s Georgia2Georgia initiative. A chamber executive writes that its 2014 campaign goal is to get participants to do 2 percent more business with other area companies. Meanwhile, the head of a local company that specializes in agricultural machinery notes the global importance of modernizing Africa’s farm economy.

Think “Georgia first”

By Ernest Greer

Imagine the impact if Georgia companies did more business with each other — if we all thought “Georgia first” when purchasing goods or services. That’s the goal of Georgia2Georgia, an initiative recently announced by the Georgia Chamber.

Its purpose is as simple as its name: To encourage the idea of doing more business with the companies that create jobs, contribute to our tax base and support communities statewide.

Why is this so important? Because stronger companies lead to stronger communities. Stronger …

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The Affordable Care Act: Can Millenials Afford It?

Moderated by Rick Badie

Millenials accounted for a substantial swath of President Barack Obama’s re-election results. So how do they feel about the president’s Affordable Care Act? Like they’ve been sold a bill of goods, writes the president of a conservative nonprofit who cites sticker shock as the reason why. Meanwhile, two other authors tackle U.S. health care: One says Obamacare provides young people medical options they never had, while the other author criticizes veterans’ care. To comment, go to:

Obamacare picks our pockets

By Evan Feinberg

President Barack Obama has a problem with millennials. We brought the votes and the noise in 2012, but the honeymoon may be officially over.

Young Americans were once the most enthusiastic supporters of the Affordable Care Act. Now, they’re the law’s most ardent foes. A recent poll shows 57 percent of people between 18 and 29 disapprove of this law; only 13 percent of my generation “definitely” …

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