Category Archives: Blog

Global Ambassadors — Economic Impact of LDS Missionaries

Originally published in Utah Business.

I apologize for being personal, but I experienced something recently that many Utahns have experienced either personally or as a parent: I dropped my son off at the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC) to start his volunteer service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those who have done this know it is a riveting moment filled simultaneously with joy and sadness. It’s very hard to let go of the people and things you love. It’s also a sacrifice that contributes to Utah’s economic success. Faith preferences and traditions aside, the Mormon missionary program pays dividends to the Utah economy.

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An economist walks into a bar…learning from economic humor

Published originally in Utah Business.

Winston Churchill once said if you put two economists in a room, you get two opinions, unless one of them is Lord Keynes, in which case you get three opinions. It’s a clever way of saying economics is an inexact science, and economists are known for equivocating. But do they also possess a sense of humor? Let’s consider both equivocation and humor and see if there are lessons to be learned.

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Involve Utahns in National Monument Declarations

Originally published in the Deseret News.

We learned yesterday that 14 senators support the creation of a new national monument in southeastern Utah. They sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting he use the power granted to him under the Antiquities Act to declare greater Canyonlands a national monument and expand protection from 337 thousand acres to 1.8 million acres, a more than fivefold increase. Earlier this year the president foreshadowed such an action when he said in his State of the Union address, “I’ll use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations.”

News of another national monument by presidential fiat should send shivers down Utahns’ spines. And it’s not because these lands aren’t worthy of protection. They are. It’s because people, particularly those closest to these lands, deserve a voice in the process. Without meaningful dialogue, presidents often make choices without full information and through the single lens of political gain. Even worse, they contribute to the public land wars that divide this state and stand in the way of true protection.

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Gail Miller would make a great governor

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Gov. Gary Herbert made big political news recently when he told a group of high-placed donors his intention to run in 2016. A source who attended the breakfast at The New Yorker quoted Herbert as saying, “I just want to be very clear. I’m running. I’m announcing that today.” While the governor’s spokesperson later said the governor is keeping all options open, the message sent by the governor was clear — beware potential challengers.

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Hispanic Business is Utah Business

Originally published in Utah Business.

We should always walk like one family.
We are all in the same cause and need.
Together we make up the same future.
Alone we are not worth anything.
Together, we have great value.

                                     – Cesar Chavez

If you ever get the chance to interact with Javier Palomarez, take it.

Palomarez is the president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He not only sees the future, but he is also living it as the leader of America’s largest Hispanic business association. Our country’s economy benefits from his vision, hard work and commitment to commerce. By heeding his counsel to harness the strength of this country’s young, growing, creative and hard-working Hispanic population, we will be more prosperous as a state and nation.

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World Cup Soccer Fever

Originally published in Utah Business.

I love World Cup summers. It’s a time to give your work-a-day life a pause and pay attention to what really matters in life—futbol, or what us yanks like to call soccer. It turns out I’m not alone—far from it. The cumulative viewing audience for the 2014 World Cup will exceed an estimated 5.9 billion people, making it, by far, the world’s most watched sporting event.

Get ready for the global GDP to take a temporary hit as human productivity suffers. Here’s one soccer fan and economist who really doesn’t mind.

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Summer Reading: Insights from the Lessons of History

Originally published in Utah Business.

There must be hundreds of business books worthy of reading this summer. I recommend you add to this list a 1968 masterpiece I pull off my shelf from time to time called The Lessons of History. Authored by Will and Ariel Durant, this gem of a book will refresh your thinking, challenge your intellect and feed your soul.

Be forewarned … this is no ordinary book. The authors spent 40 years writing an 11-volume set on the history of civilization. As if that wasn’t a daunting enough task, they then distilled the lessons learned into this single-volume, 100-page book that includes profound insights about our world. It’s certain to give you more of a sixth sense about your business and your life.

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A Diversity of Gifts

Originally published in Utah Business.

I recently met with a business leader who shared an instructive thought about the value of diversity in an organization. She said, “When I’m in a meeting and all the people are the same, I think, ‘What’s the point?’ Someone could leave the room and you would make the same decision.” She told me she valued diversity because it brought needed perspective to her leadership.

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