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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A SENSE OF BUSINESS OPTIMISM

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

- Is a go-go era in the offing?

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During President-Elect Trump's news conference held January 11th in New York, he made the observation there is a new sense of business optimism in the country. He pointed at the news regarding Fiat Chrysler and Ford building new plants here in the United States as opposed to Mexico. News reports regarding companies such as Carrier, who will remain in Indiana, is also welcomed as are other reports of companies returning home.

In all likelihood, Trump was pleased with the recent Bloomberg report, "U.S. Small-Business Optimism Index Surges by Most Since 1980." The report notes a significant index jump as reported by The National Federation of Independent Business's. The NFIB reported respondents to the survey expect better business conditions in the next six months as the Trump era begins.

The Bloomberg report is re-enforced by another study recently produced by Gallup reporting a new high in people optimistic about the potential for good jobs in the United States, the highest in 15 years of Gallop polling.

Most of this appears to be a result of the election of Donald Trump and his "Big Stick" approach encouraging businesses to stay in this country. Even before his election, he took steps to reach out to businesses and encourage them to stay while promising new economic policies are in the offing. It is no small wonder this is trickling down to the American people who are beginning to regain confidence in business.

Another area of change is in "Right to Work" legislation where Kentucky recently became the 27th state to adopt such legislation. Other states include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Because states such as Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin recently enacted such legislation, it may very well influence other Midwest states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Missouri.

"Right-to-work" laws are highly controversial as they are perceived as a threat to labor unions. Back in 2012, when Michigan became the 24th state to adopt it, the "Wall Street Journal" claimed that "between 1980 and 2011, total employment in right-to-work states grew by 71%, while employment in non-right-to-work states grew 32%." They went on to report, "Since 2001, right-to-work states added 3.5% more jobs, while other states decreased by 2.6%. Similarly, inflation-adjusted compensation grew 12% in right-to-work states, but just 3% in the others."

It should therefore come as no surprise that "right-to-work" legislation is gaining momentum. A 2016 survey by Rasmussen reported, "One-in-three Americans say they have been a member of a labor union at some point in their lives. But while 44% view unions favorably, 45% share an unfavorable opinion of them." They went on to report, "A sizable majority of voters believes labor leaders are out of touch with their rank-and-file membership. Fifty percent (50%) think labor unions have too much political influence."

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump adopted the motto, "Buy American, Hire American," and the message appears to be embraced by the country. Whereas it was originally thought Mr. Trump's lack of political experience was a liability, now it appears his business acumen has become an important asset in reinvigorating the economy and jobs. He seems to be the first president in a long time who knows how to aggressively kick start the country's economy, and in the process, the country is gaining confidence. If he is able to follow through with his promises on such things as trade and taxes, America could very well be on the verge of a go-go era in business and once again become a dynamo. At least, that is what the American people seem to believe.

Also published with The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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