Category Archives: Utah Business Columns

Our Northern Neighbor: Comparing the Economies of Utah and Idaho

Originally published in Utah Business.

I love the state of Idaho. I love the spectacular mountains, the rivers and the farmlands. I enjoy visiting the small towns and view Boise as an up-and-coming metropolitan area with an urban vibe. I love Sun Valley in the winter or summer and always welcome the chance to take my family there for a getaway. Mostly, I appreciate the people of Idaho for their friendliness, hardiness and industrious spirit. We are fortunate in Utah to have such a wonderful neighbor to the north.

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The Economics of Trump and Clinton: Comparing the policy positions of the candidates

Originally published in Utah Business.

I stopped writing about the presidential election several months ago because I entered into a funk. But never mind that … election day is nearly here and I feel compelled to share my thoughts about the economic policies of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Because of my funk, or what you might call nervous depression, I’m going to give a pass to several things that bother me. I’m putting my anxieties about Clinton’s email server, Benghazi and Bernie Sander’s-inspired liberalism on a shelf. I’ll do the same with Trump’s 3 a.m. Twitter tirades, lack of any prior experience in public office, and his offensive language toward women, Mexicans, veterans and really anybody he wants to lash his ugly tongue at. I’m looking purely at the efficacy of selected economic policies.

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Adapting to the future

Originally published in Utah Business.

I recently attended Sen. Mike Lee’s Utah Solutions Summit. The focus was Utah’s workforce and economy. The program not only included a who’s who of education, business and economic leaders, but keynote presentations by Indiana governor and Donald Trump running mate Mike Pence, and former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. I left the conference thinking about the Utah economy and Utah’s future and want to share a few thoughts.
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Make gentle the life of this world

Originally published in Utah Business.

My husband and I ride our bikes together along the Jordan River Parkway several times a week. We love cycling because you see and feel things in a different way. The Wasatch Range, sunsets, wildlife, and other details feel closer and more real. There is a depth of feeling that you just can’t find when you are behind a windshield or on a city street.
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Rio 2016: Learning from the Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games

Originally published in Utah Business.

Hosting the Olympic Games is not for the faint of heart. The spotlight is bright, the logistics are complicated, and the cost is substantial.

Nobody knows this better than Rio de Janeiro, the host for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The Rio Olympics have been beset by extraordinary challenges, including the Zika virus, doping scandals, serious crime, environmental problems, political mayhem, and the nation’s worst recession since the 1930s.
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Drift v. Mastery: Finding a path forward in difficult times

Originally published in Utah Business.

The American intellectual Walter Lippmann warned in 1914 that the United States had entered a period of drift. He recognized rapidly changing forces in society and suggested the country should address tensions by creating more balance. Extremism brings drift, moderation brings mastery. There’s something about his thesis that deserves attention today.

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Minimum Wage Debate: Utahns should consider alternative ways to lift families out of poverty

Originally published in Utah Business.

Many times in public policy we share a common goal, but choose a different path. This is the case with the minimum wage debate. Utahns share a sincere interest in helping low-income families secure a more stable future. Some policy makers choose the minimum wage policy path to lift these families out of poverty. Other people, like me, choose a different path. I favor enhanced training opportunities and the earned income tax credit as superior policy interventions.

With California, New York and other jurisdictions pursuing a $15 minimum wage, it’s time to consider the right policy intervention for Utah.

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The soul of our city

Originally published in Utah Business.

I’m a native Salt Laker, so I should know how to describe Utah’s capital city to someone new to our state. Still, when I’m asked by a non-Utahn to describe Salt Lake City, I struggle with the right response. Salt Lake City, for all its stereotypes, is difficult to fit in a box.

The British poet John Betjeman invented a word that captures my feelings about this place. He combined the words topos, which means “place,” with the Greek word philia, which means “love of,” to coin the term topophilia or “love of place.” For me, it’s the combination of love and place that makes me so proud to be a Salt Laker.

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The Gateway Re-Imagined

Originally published in Utah Business Magazine.

When my daughter got her driver’s license I remember asking her if she could find her way around town. She turned to me with a confident smile and said, “I know how to get to The Gateway.”

Her answer spoke volumes. A 16-year-old, newly minted driver, who lived in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, knew the directions to a downtown shopping destination eight miles away. The Gateway was THE place to go and she had found it.

A lot has changed in the intervening years. The Gateway today is a shadow of the gathering place it once was. Thankfully, Phoenix-based developer Vestar recently purchased the property and will invest $30 million to support an inspiring vision. I couldn’t be more exited to welcome Vestar to town.

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Moment of truth: A confounding presidential election year

Originally published in Utah Business.

By the time this column is read, the 2016 presidential election will be in full gear. Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina will be a fait accompli or thereabouts. No longer will voters be able to settle for entertainment and cheap talk. It’s time to vote.

If you are like me, you find the 2016 presidential election absolutely confounding. One need to look no further than to the remarks made by Gov. Nikki Haley in her official Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address. Instead of focusing her criticism on the Democratic Party, she challenged the front runner of her own party: “During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.”

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