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President Obama’s Addresses Jobs and Growth at November 9 Press Conference

Posted by HH on November 16, 2012

Enclosed are the remarks of President Barack Obama from a press conference on November 9.

Well, good afternoon, everybody.  Now that those of us on the campaign trail have had a chance to get a little sleep, it’s time to get back to work.  And there is plenty of work to do.

As I said on Tuesday night, the American people voted for action, not politics as usual.  You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours.  And in that spirit, I’ve invited leaders of both parties to the White House next week, so we can start to build consensus around the challenges that we can only solve together. And I also intend to bring in business and labor and civic leaders from all across the country here to Washington to get their ideas and input as well.

At a time when our economy is still recovering from the Great Recession, our top priority has to be jobs and growth.  That’s the focus of the plan I talked about during the campaign.  It’s a plan to reward small businesses and manufacturers that create jobs here, not overseas.  It’s a plan to give people the chance to get the education and training that businesses are looking for right now.  It’s a plan to make sure this country is a global leader in research and technology and clean energy, which will attract new companies and high-wage jobs to America.  It’s a plan to put folks back to work, including our veterans, rebuilding our roads and our bridges, and other infrastructure.  And it’s a plan to reduce our deficit in a balanced and responsible way.

Our work is made that much more urgent because at the end of this year, we face a series of deadlines that require us to make major decisions about how to pay our deficit down — decisions that will have a huge impact on the economy and the middle class, both now and in the future.  Last year, I worked with Democrats and Republicans to cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending that we just couldn’t afford.  I intend to work with both parties to do more — and that includes making reforms that will bring down the cost of health care so we can strengthen programs like Medicaid and Medicare for the long haul.

But as I’ve said before, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.  If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue — and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes.  That’s how we did it in the 1990s, when Bill Clinton was President.  That’s how we can reduce the deficit while still making the investments we need to build a strong middle class and a strong economy.  That’s the only way we can still afford to train our workers, or help our kids pay for college, or make sure that good jobs in clean energy or high-tech manufacturing don’t end up in countries like China.

Now, already, I’ve put forward a detailed plan that allows us to make these investments while reducing our deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade.  I want to be clear — I’m not wedded to every detail of my plan.  I’m open to compromise. I’m open to new ideas.  I’m committed to solving our fiscal challenges.  But I refuse to accept any approach that isn’t balanced.  I am not going to ask students and seniors and middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me, making over $250,000, aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes.  I’m not going to do that.

And I just want to point out this was a central question during the election.  It was debated over and over again.  And on Tuesday night, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach — and that includes Democrats, independents, and a lot of Republicans across the country, as well as independent economists and budget experts. That’s how you reduce the deficit — with a balanced approach.

So our job now is to get a majority in Congress to reflect the will of the American people.  And I believe we can get that majority.  I was encouraged to hear Speaker Boehner agree that tax revenue has to be part of this equation — so I look forward to hearing his ideas when I see him next week.

And let me make one final point that every American needs to hear.  Right now, if Congress fails to come to an agreement on an overall deficit reduction package by the end of the year, everybody’s taxes will automatically go up on January 1st —  everybody’s — including the 98 percent of Americans who make less than $250,000 a year.  And that makes no sense.  It would be bad for the economy and would hit families that are already struggling to make ends meet.

Now, fortunately, we shouldn’t need long negotiations or drama to solve that part of the problem.  While there may be disagreement in Congress over whether or not to raise taxes on folks making over $250,000 a year, nobody — not Republicans, not Democrats — want taxes to go up for folks making under $250,000 a year.  So let’s not wait.  Even as we’re negotiating a broader deficit reduction package, let’s extend the middle-class tax cuts right now.  Let’s do that right now.

That one step — that one step — would give millions of families — 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses — the certainty that they need going into the new year.  It would immediately take a huge chunk of the economic uncertainty off the table, and that will lead to new jobs and faster growth.  Business will know that consumers, they’re not going to see a big tax increase.  They’ll know that most small businesses won’t see a tax increase.  And so a lot of the uncertainty that you’re reading about, that will be removed.

In fact, the Senate has already passed a bill doing exactly this, so all we need is action from the House.  And I’ve got the pen ready to sign the bill right away.  I’m ready to do it.  I’m ready to do it.

The American people understand that we’re going to have differences and disagreements in the months to come.  They get that.  But on Tuesday, they said loud and clear that they won’t tolerate dysfunction.  They won’t tolerate politicians who view compromise as a dirty word.  Not when so many Americans are still out of work.  Not when so many families and small business owners are still struggling to pay the bills.

What the American people are looking for is cooperation.  They’re looking for consensus.  They’re looking for common sense. Most of all, they want action.  I intend to deliver for them in my second term, and I expect to find willing partners in both parties to make that happen.  So let’s get to work.

Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.

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Is President Obama Doing a Good Job Managing the Economy?

Posted by HH on June 18, 2011

Make your opinion known at by voting yes or no.  Find the poll on copinionation by searching for Obama.

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Listen to the Podcast of the State of Black America Interview with Jeffrey Richard

Posted by HH on April 12, 2011

To listen to my interview with Jeffrey Richard, president of the Austin Area Urban League, click here: Jeffrey Richard – April 11, 2011 Interview.

Posted in African American, Economic Development, Economy | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW: The Empowerment Experiment: Buying Black Focus on February 21 Edition of Economic Perspectives

Posted by nchanel on February 20, 2011

Imagine a whole year where all your purchases were from black owned business.  This is the experiment that Maggie Anderson and her family, based in Chicago, decided to do to support Black businesses. Maggie is the author of upcoming book Our Black Year: Our Tale of Buying Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy, and co-founder of the Empowerment Experiment (EE).  Listen to my interview with Maggie Anderson by clicking here: Maggie and Monica Anderson Interview.

Anderson is speaking in Austin, Texas on February 25, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. at The University of Texas at Austin Student Union Center at an event sponsored by the UT Austin Center for Black Business History, Entrepreneurship, and Technology.  She is also speaking on February 26, 1 p.m., at The University of Texas at Austin LBJ Auditorium at an event sponsored by the Austin Black Newcomers Association.

Maggie Anderson

According to Maggie Anderson, EE converted the family’s pledge into a positive awareness campaign about the need for increased entrepreneurship and conscious consumerism in underserved minority communities.  The goal is to trigger a smart movement where Americans of all backgrounds will unite to support quality minority businesses and ensure that the American Dream truly applies to all.  In EE, the focus on uplifting Black businesses and empowering the Black community, as this community suffers disproportionately economically because it does not engage in self-help economics – like everyone else.  Due to this problem, Black businesses do not get the same level of support as other minority-owned businesses.

Dr. Moe Anderson

Also featured, Dr. Monica Anderson of the Austin Black Newcomers Association. The Austin Black Newcomers Association (ABNA) aims to foster community engagement by providing culturally sensitive programs and a network of supportive relationships for emerging leaders. Monica “Dr. mOe” Anderson is a practicing dentist on staff with St. David’s Foundation, a bestselling author, widely published journalist, and motivational speaker.

Posted in African American, Business, Economy, minority business | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The State of African American Employment Focus of February 7 Economic Perspectives

Posted by HH on February 4, 2011

Dr. Christian Weller will discuss trends in African American employment on the February 7 edition of Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM, at 5:30 p.m. According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, African American unemployment was 15.7 percent in January.  Unemployment for Hispanics was 11.9 percent, Whites 8.0 percent, and Asians 6.9 percent (not seasonally adjusted) in January.  Weller will be followed by an interview with Kent Lineback, author of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader. Listen live online at

Christian Weller

Weller, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, is the co-author of the  Center’s report, The State of Communities of Color in the U.S. Economy.  In the report, Weller and his co-authors write, “…structural differences in unemployment rates by race and ethnicity meant  that communities of color fell into a deeper hole in terms of economic security  during the recession and that communities of color will need to see much stronger  growth than is the case for whites to climb back out of this hole.  Communities of  color are in more desperate need of policy attention to jobs, wages, and benefits  than whites to just recover the losses they suffered during the recession since they  experienced sharper economic security losses.”   Weller is also an associate professor of public policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Being the Boss

In Being the Boss, Lineback and his co-author Linda Hill, bring their academic, consulting, and real life management experience to provide guidance for those struggling with management responsibilities.  Here are some great quotes from the book:

  • “…a certain amount of fragmentation, conflict, tension, instability, and general messiness is built into the basic nature of managerial work.  Only those who ignore the paradoxes think “good” management will produce a workplace of constant calm cooperation…”
  • “The political environment within organizations can lead to destructive or constructive outcomes, depending on how people conduct themselves.”
  • “A team’s purpose and goals, the future it’s trying to create, are the foundation of culture and must be clear.”

Lineback, now a writer and collaborator, spent nearly thirty years as a manager and executive in business and government. He is the coauthor (with Randy Komisar) of the bestseller The Monk and the Riddle.

Posted in African American, Books, Business, Economy, Employment, Interview, Radio | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Forum on Impact of Technology, Buying Habits, and Regionalism on Central Texas Economy Focus of November 8 Economic Perspectives

Posted by HH on November 2, 2010

Heather McKissick will discuss Leadership Austin’s 2nd Annual fastforward Issues Forum – Rising from Recession: Central Texas Strong and Sustainable on the first segment of the November 8 edition of Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.  Listen live online at  McKissick is the president of Leadership Austin.

Heather McKissick

The forum will feature policy makers, influencers, grass-roots activators, and Leadership Austin friends and alumni exploring the future of the Central Texas region in the following contexts:

  • Emerging Technologies and the Local Economy
  • Buying Habits and Their Impact: What’s the Next Big Thing?
  • The New Regionalism: Are we the next “Megaregion?”

Richard Florida, author of The Great Reset and The Rise of the Creative Class will be the keynote speaker.  To listen to an excerpt of an interview with Richard Florida about his book, The Great Reset, conducted on KAZI Book Review, click here: Richard Florida Interview Excerpt – 6 minutes, 44 seconds.

Leadership Austin is a non-profit organization where people of diverse backgrounds and experience come together to learn about civic leadership, engage in meaningful dialogue about important public issues, and collaborate to make a difference in Central Texas. Since 1979, thousands of individuals have graduated from the Leadership Austin Essential Class or enhanced their leadership capacities through its open enrollment programs.

Posted in Books, Economic Development, Economy, Interview, Radio | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Economic Development Expert Richard Florida & Negotiator George Lucas Featured on Economic Perspectives October 18

Posted by HH on October 18, 2010

An interview with Richard Florida, author of The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity, is featured on the first segment of October 18 edition of Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM.  The second segment features an interview with George Lucas, co-author of the The One Minute Negotiator. Listen live online at

Looking toward the future, Florida identifies the patterns that will drive the next Great Reset and transform virtually every aspect of our lives—from how and where we live, to how we work, to how we invest in individuals and infrastructure, to how we shape our cities and regions. Florida shows how these forces, when combined, will spur a fresh era of growth and prosperity, define a new geography of progress, and create surprising opportunities for all of us.

Florida is also the author of the global bestseller The Rise of the Creative Class and Who’s Your City?, a national and international bestseller and book of the month. He is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and a regular columnist for The Globe and Mail. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Economist, and The Harvard Business Review.

In The One Minute Manager, Lucas and his co-author Don Hutson say that the key to successful negotiation  is flexibility. Most books on negotiation preach one of two gospels: thou shalt collaborate or thou shalt compete. Either everybody works together toward a common goal or the process is basically adversarial. The problem is no two negotiations are alike — one strategy cannot fit all. The One Minute Negotiator teaches you four potential strategies and shows how to choose the one best suited to the situation, your own inclinations, and the strategy being used by the other side.

Lucas is a senior consultant and member of the board of directors for U.S. Learning.  He has conducted negotiation seminars on six continents and is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Contented Achiever and Marketing Strategy.

Posted in Community Development, Economy, Interview, Radio | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Austin Metro Area Economy Growing But Living Standards Falling Says Economist in Economic Perspectives Interview

Posted by HH on August 24, 2010

“Back in 1999 and 2000, at the height of the go go technology days here in Austin, per capita income, we actually saw it grow to about 110 percent of the U.S. average. And given all the growth that’s happened in the past 10 years in Austin, you know, we make all the best stuff lists, we have one of the best metro area economies in the United States,  you would expect that standards of living would be increasing along with all that economic activity.  That’s not what’s happening.  We’re down to about 91 percent of U.S. per capita income as of 2009 so we’ve actually fallen in terms of living standards despite all the growth,” said Brian Kelsey, principal of Civic Analytics, in an interview on the August 23 edition of Economic Perspectives.  To listen to the entire interview (approximately 17 minutes) click here: Brian Kelsey Interview.

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Economic Development and State of Economy Focus of August 23 Economic Perspectives

Posted by HH on August 22, 2010

“But at some point we will have to recognize that economic development, as measured by new jobs and growth in GDP at least, may not be filtering down to workers in the form of higher wages and incomes. Growth statistics ring hollow for people who don’t see any improvements in living standards. Figuring this out is our next challenge,” writes economist Brian Kelsey in his Civic Analytics blog.

Kelsey will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the Austin, Texas, and U.S. economy on the August 23 edition of Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.  He is principal and founder of Civic Analytics, a consulting firm that provides research and strategic planning services for economic and workforce development.  Listen live online at

Brian Kelsey

In his blog Kelsey writes that “in 1999, at the apex of the go-go technology days, per capita income in the Austin region peaked at 110.4 percent of U.S. per capita income. By 2009, we had fallen to less than 91 percent, which we haven’t seen since 1989.”

Prior to joining the consulting world full-time in May 2010, Kelsey was Director of Economic Development at the Capital Area Council of Governments in Austin, Texas, serving a region of 10 counties, 60 cities, and 1.8 million people.

Previously, he was a research associate with the Council on Competitiveness in Washington, DC, a non-partisan, non-governmental organization of CEOs, university presidents, and labor leaders focused on U.S. economic competitiveness. Working under Randall Kempner, Kelsey co-authored Measuring Regional Innovation, a guidebook on regional economic development funded by the Economic Development Administration.

Kelsey is a frequent speaker on economic development and regional trends. He’s presented for the International Economic Development Council, Texas Economic Development Council, National Association of Development Organizations, and many community and regional groups. Kelsey’s blog at Civic Analytics has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Global Corporate Xpansion, and Economic Development Now.

Kelsey earned a master’s degree in public affairs from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in economics and history from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with highest distinction.

Posted in Economy, Interview, Radio | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Federal Reserve Reports Economic Recovery Slowing Down

Posted by HH on August 10, 2010

The following statement was released by the Federal Reserve on August 10

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months. Household spending is increasing gradually, but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. Business spending on equipment and software is rising; however, investment in nonresidential structures continues to be weak and employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls. Housing starts remain at a depressed level. Bank lending has continued to contract. Nonetheless, the Committee anticipates a gradual return to higher levels of resource utilization in a context of price stability, although the pace of economic recovery is likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated.

Measures of underlying inflation have trended lower in recent quarters and, with substantial resource slack continuing to restrain cost pressures and longer-term inflation expectations stable, inflation is likely to be subdued for some time.

The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.

To help support the economic recovery in a context of price stability, the Committee will keep constant the Federal Reserve’s holdings of securities at their current level by reinvesting principal payments from agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in longer-term Treasury securities.1 The Committee will continue to roll over the Federal Reserve’s holdings of Treasury securities as they mature.

The Committee will continue to monitor the economic outlook and financial developments and will employ its policy tools as necessary to promote economic recovery and price stability.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; James Bullard; Elizabeth A. Duke; Donald L. Kohn; Sandra Pianalto; Eric S. Rosengren; Daniel K. Tarullo; and Kevin M. Warsh.

Voting against the policy was Thomas M. Hoenig, who judges that the economy is recovering modestly, as projected. Accordingly, he believed that continuing to express the expectation of exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period was no longer warranted and limits the Committee’s ability to adjust policy when needed. In addition, given economic and financial conditions, Mr. Hoenig did not believe that keeping constant the size of the Federal Reserve’s holdings of longer-term securities at their current level was required to support a return to the Committee’s policy objectives.

Posted in Economy | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »