Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Financial literacy

Moderated by Rick Badie

It’s a new year — time, perhaps, for a financial resolution or two. Today, executives for two nonprofit organizations write about the need to achieve and manage personal finances. And a client of a national credit score improvement program offered at Ebenezer Baptist Church shares her success story. To comment, go to: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/

Financial literacy a must for all

By John Hope Bryant

With 40 million unbanked and underbanked people across the nation, America reflects a tale of two nations: the haves and have-nots. In Atlanta, that disparity is particularly acute.

You have the most promising city for African-American entrepreneurship and small-business ownership in the nation. You also have areas such as Vine City which, according to the FDIC, is the fifth-most unbanked area in America. Given that 47 percent of all employers now pull a credit report, one could argue the question now is not whether you have a public record, …

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Savannah harbor deepening

The U.S. House of Representatives cleared an obstacle to deepening the Savannah harbor with passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. It removes a spending cap on the dredging project. Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah praises the “pro-job, pro-America” legislation, while a coastal environmentalist deems it a “major setback.” To comment, go to: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/

Project squanders millions

By David Kyler

In the interest of taxpayers and full disclosure, some important considerations need to be brought to light regarding the recent approval of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Contrary to Rep. Jack Kingston’s praise for cutting “bureaucratic red tape” and expediting projects, the bill will result in billions in tax dollars squandered on projects of dubious benefit. Moreover, by eliminating important environmental evaluation requirements and spending controls, still …

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Transaction Alley

Moderated by Rick Badie

Call us “transaction alley.” Every time you swipe a credit card, you’re contributing to a leading industry in our region. Today, an industry executive writes that 70 percent of the nation’s credit card purchases are processed in Georgia. Also, the Gwinnett Chamber president touts that county’s growing economic ties with South Korea and an upcoming business trip to East Asia.

Transaction Alley

By Tony Catalfano

Americans will spend nearly $640 billion this holiday season. More than 37 percent of purchases will be made with credit cards. Seventy percent of consumers plan to give gift cards, bringing gift card spending to nearly $30 billion. Astonishingly, 70 percent of each credit swipe is processed in Georgia, and gift cards are mostly powered by local companies.

The Financial Transaction Processing (FTP) industry provides the infrastructure for, and processing of, financial transactions that take place every time a debit card is used for …

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Medical malpratice reform

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today’s issue: medical malpractice tort reform. Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus supports a compensation system that would take claims out of civil courts and wants the Legislature to adopt it. Meanwhile, William E. Silver, president of the Medical Association of Georgia, says such a system would prove even more costly to the health care profession.

Reform medical malpractice

By Bernie Marcus

President Barack Obama is scrambling to keep promises he made to Americans when he sold us the Affordable Care Act. But what happened to his pledge to reform the medical malpractice system?

Our current liability system drives costs far higher and denies compensation to patients harmed by doctors. It’s expensive and unfair, and the new law ignores the issue completely.

Reforming the way this nation compensates injured patients affects everyone. By not addressing the issue, Obamacare will cost Americans dearly — particularly doctors and patients — …

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The Equity Atlas

Moderated by Rick Badie

This year, Georgia moved from fourth to first place in a trade publication’s ranking of states with the best business climate. Today, the commissioner of an economic development agency explains why. Meanwhile, the founder of a non-profit challenges leaders to address the region’s economic inequities.

Georgia’s superb business climate

By Chris Carr

When Gov. Nathan Deal took office in January 2011, he made a promise to the people of Georgia that he wouldn’t stop until Georgia was the No. 1 place in the country to do business.

He kept that promise.

Earlier this month, Gov. Deal announced that Georgia is the No. 1 place for business in the United States, according to Site Selection magazine’s annual rankings of states based on their attractiveness to corporate facility investors.  Not only is this trade publication ranking a testament to the governor’s dedication to improving our state’s business climate, but it also speaks to the commitment …

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Braves – still a city brand?

Moderated by Rick Badie

The Atlanta Braves have announced plans to build a new stadium in Cobb County and begin play there in 2017. At that point, Turner Field, also known as “The Ted,” is to be demolished. Today, we discuss the economic impact the move may have on the city as well as nearby neighborhoods like the Pittsburgh community.

Braves remain a city brand

By William Pate

As a lifelong Atlanta resident and Braves fan, I share the disappointment of many with the Braves’ decision to move to Cobb County. It is difficult to imagine the team leaving a historic part of town where Hank Aaron surpassed Babe Ruth, where the Braves won their first World Series in Atlanta, and where Atlanta hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the Centennial Olympic Games.

Emotionally, this move is very hard to accept.

But it is equally important to keep this announcement in perspective. Atlanta is not losing its baseball franchise. The team is simply moving ten 10 miles up the road. …

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The tale of two Georgias

Moderated by Rick Badie

When it comes to the economy, it’s been said that there are two Georgias: the vibrancy of metro Atlanta, then the rest of the state — specifically, rural counties dependent on agriculture and an occasional factory. Today, a College of Charleston assistant professor highlights socioeconomic factors that plague our state, while an executive for a nonprofit writes about depressed regions across the South.

Rural decline concerns us all

By Tammy Ingram

Atlanta may be the largest city in the Deep South, but every Georgian knows that Atlanta — or ‘lanter, as I thought it was called while growing up in South Georgia — is hardly representative of the state, much less the entire region. The metro area is home to more than half the state’s population and most of its best-paying jobs. But if you want an accurate snapshot of the rest of the state, you’ll have to crop out metro Atlanta.

That snapshot isn’t pretty. Rural counties have the highest …

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Restaurants and social media

Moderated by Rick Badie

Georgia relies on innovative technology and a trained workforce to grow its manufacturing base. Today, a Georgia Tech professor writes about the possibility of long-term growth if the state remains committed to this mass-production sector. An executive with Georgia Quick Start writes about that program’s role in training a skilled labor force. Meanwhile, an entrepreneur writes about the role of social media in marketing restaurants. To comment, go to: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/.

Social media a way of life

By Robby Kukler

In the restaurant business, we see it often: Customers sit down to eat and inevitably pull out a smartphone at least once during the meal to post a picture on Instagram, check in on Foursquare, send a tweet or update their Facebook.

Social media is a way of life.

Social media reviews via Twitter, OpenTable, Yelp and more is a given in the service industry. What’s critical for executives is knowing what to do with that …

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Chinese Consumers

Moderated by Rick Badie
In August, Gov. Nathan Deal led a business, trade and tourism mission to Asia, accompanied by a delegation of state officials and business leaders. Today, an executive and state official who partook in the trip write about this region’s budding relationship with what’s considered the world’s fastest-growing economy.

China: Rich with opportunity

By William Pate

China’s economy continues to expand and provide significant opportunities for business sectors across the United States. One of the most rapidly growing segments is tourism from China to the U.S.

Last year, more than 67 million international visitors traveled to the U.S. China was the seventh-largest international inbound market. By 2015, China is expected to become the fourth-largest market. This rapid growth creates a significant opportunity for Atlanta.

In 2012, metro Atlanta welcomed 47,000 tourists from China. While China was our seventh-largest inbound market, it ranked second in …

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Affordable Care Act: A land of options or socialized medicine?

Moderated by Rick Badie
As of Tuesday, Georgians without employer-provided health care could start shopping for insurance plans through a federally run exchange. Today, we continue our discussion of the Affordable Care Act with  guest writers, Vice President Joe Biden and economist Peter Morici.

Real health care isn’t politics

By Joe Biden

I don’t expect the political debate about Obamacare to end any time soon. Republicans in Congress are going to demonize it, run against it, do what they can to sabotage it.

But now, Americans can see for themselves that the Affordable Care Act isn’t about Washington politics. It’s about regular people shopping for insurance they can finally afford, and purchasing security and peace of mind along with it.

In 2010, because of President Barack Obama’s perseverance, we passed the Affordable Care Act. Some of its provisions took effect soon after, with dramatic results.  More than 100 million Americans have taken advantage of free …

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