Utah Economy – Utah BBQ http://utahbbq.org/ Sun, 15 May 2022 14:35:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://utahbbq.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/cropped-ICON-32x32.png Utah Economy – Utah BBQ http://utahbbq.org/ 32 32 Dixie State ain’t no more, now it’s ‘Utah Tech’ https://utahbbq.org/dixie-state-aint-no-more-now-its-utah-tech/ Sun, 15 May 2022 14:35:04 +0000 https://utahbbq.org/dixie-state-aint-no-more-now-its-utah-tech/

ST. GEORGE, Utah — The university formerly known as “Dixie State” has unveiled its new logo, with campus rebranding beginning immediately.

Utah Tech University’s logo was unveiled on Sunday. It includes some intentional nods to the university’s past and the more inclusive state as a whole. It features a red and blue scheme, designed to represent the blue skies and red rocks of southern Utah. The “U” logo includes the outline of the state of Utah and a “1” is engraved into it to represent those who settled in the state of Dixie.

The university retains the existing bison mascot and “Trailblazers” name.

“Our students have been waiting for this,” said Dr. Richard “Biff” Williams, president of Utah Tech. “Our faculty, our staff, some members of our community. It’s good to have this process behind us and we can move forward.”

New name and logo come after contentious battle in southern Utah and on Capitol Hill to empty “Dixie”. University and student body leaders lobbied for a new name change, arguing that the term “Dixie” was hurting the recruitment and retention of students and faculty. Opponents of the name change argue that “Dixie” has regional significance, relating to the Mormon pioneers who settled in southwestern Utah grow cotton. They decried a ‘cancellation culture’ to strip the area of ​​its historic name.

But proponents of the name change pointed out the term’s ties to the Civil War and the Confederacy which was even on campus in the form of a “Rebel” mascot. There was also a yearbook titled “The Confederate” featuring blackface students and Confederate soldier statutes, even though Utah was never in the Civil War. Public opinion polls showed their support for a name change and the students said they were tired of trying to explain the Utah version of “Dixie”.

The institutional logo saying "Utah" with a red bottom and a blue top

The question reached its climax and the Utah State Legislature voted last year to rename Dixie State University to Utah Tech University as the school focuses more on polytechnic education. But as part of an agreement, the main campus will still be known as the “Dixie Campus”. This will appear on a new sign leading to campus. There will also still be memorials to early pioneer settlers on campus who invoke the term “Dixie” and the university has said there are no plans to remove the “D” on the cliff above St. George.

The name change doesn’t officially happen until July 1, but the university is accelerating the rebranding so that it’s completed by the start of the fall semester and more students return.

Dr. Williams told FOX 13 News he believes the community will eventually unite around Utah Tech.

“This is our sixth or seventh name change and they’ve always come back and always supported us, and it’s really about the students,” he said.

The UT logo with a blue border and red letters

While some alumni have threatened to cut funding for the new “Utah Tech,” Dr. Williams said they’ve more than made up for it with alumni contributions since the new name was announced.

“We haven’t seen any decline. In fact, we’ve seen an increase in donations from our university. We know some won’t donate,” he said.

Dr. Jordon Sharp, the university’s vice president of marketing and communications, told FOX 13 News that the number one question they’re getting on social media now is from former grads who want a reissued degree that says “Utah Tech University”. The college bookstore began selling new merchandise Monday with the “Utah Tech” brand.

“Former students outside of our area didn’t feel comfortable wearing our clothes. It’s really difficult because people love their former student, they’re proud of them, and yet some people felt bad about them. comfortable,” Dr. Sharp said.

The rebranding will cost millions to fully implement, but university leaders believe it is important.

“A new name for a new mission, a new type of student, a new economy and for the fastest growing city in America,” said Dr. Sharp.

This is breaking news. Updates on FOX 13 News and fox13now.com as information becomes available.

SLC is experiencing one of the largest rental price increases in the nation https://utahbbq.org/slc-is-experiencing-one-of-the-largest-rental-price-increases-in-the-nation/ Sat, 14 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000 https://utahbbq.org/slc-is-experiencing-one-of-the-largest-rental-price-increases-in-the-nation/

SALT LAKE CITY – Whether you’re renting or buying, it’s hard to find housing right now in Salt Lake City – or to continue to afford where you are. Indeed, the SLC metro area has seen one of the largest rent increases since the pandemic.

Of all major US cities, Salt Lake City has seen the 3rd highest rent increase in the past three years.

“It’s also a tough time for landlords,” said Paul Smith, executive director of the Utah Apartment Association. It’s stressful raising rents, it’s stressful not being able to find employees.”

Smith says Salt Lake City is booming for good reason.

He says our economy is doing well, people are moving here for jobs, but we are not building enough rental housing to meet the demand.

READ: Leaders praise downtown Salt Lake City’s growth

But part of the problem is that much of the new construction is a luxury, high-end development that’s out of most people’s price range.

Inflation also plays a vital role in the sharp increase.

“The main reason rents are going up in Utah is that prices keep going up,” Smith said. “It’s very hard for landlords to find maintenance, appliances, paint, carpeting – they’re all going up in price. Rents are going up dramatically, but only half the price of homes.”

Still, it is more affordable in most cases to rent in Utah.

“It’s becoming more and more affordable to rent,” Smith said. “Home prices are up 50% in Salt Lake County in two years; rents have only increased by about 25-30%. »

Smith says only about 9% of the rent comes back into the landlord’s pocket. The other 91% goes to costs, like maintenance.

Her suggestion for struggling tenants is to find ways to increase their income, consider finding a roommate, and most importantly, be patient.

“Not only are people moving to the outskirts, but they’re also getting creative, renting basement apartments, rooms in single-family houses — there are options, you just have to be creative,” Smith said.

Supply is a problem across the country. The United States has an estimated shortage of nearly 4 million housing units.

The two major metros that beat Salt Lake City for the biggest increases?

Our neighbor to the south, Las Vegas, is the second. Coming in first place: Sacramento.

The full study can be viewed online here.

Poll: Utahans support tourism, but trouble and frustrations are brewing https://utahbbq.org/poll-utahans-support-tourism-but-trouble-and-frustrations-are-brewing/ Thu, 12 May 2022 14:15:21 +0000 https://utahbbq.org/poll-utahans-support-tourism-but-trouble-and-frustrations-are-brewing/

Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Two new surveys have shed light on Utahans’ perceptions of tourism, showing statewide support and capturing residents’ concerns about the quality of life in nearby areas. high attendance.

“What we know from this survey is that Utah residents, as a whole, are really happy with the visitor economy,” said Vicki Varela, general manager of the Utah Office of Tourism. ‘Utah. “We also know we have trouble spots, and they’re a cautionary tale for all of us.”

The Gardner Policy Institute conducted the surveys on behalf of the bureau. One survey focused on statewide perceptions, while the other focused on the sentiment of residents in 14 tourism-affected communities.

“A majority of respondents said the positive effects of tourism outweighed the negative effects,” according to statewide survey results. “Many also indicated that tourism positively affects the state’s reputation and that Utah provides a positive experience for visitors.”

Both surveys were conducted in the fall of 2021. The statewide survey found that 75% of Utah residents feel optimistic about the impact of tourism on the reputation of the state, and 66% are positive about the effect of tourism on job opportunities.

The same survey found that 62% of Utah residents think tourism hurts housing affordability.

“It’s better for us to have those tough conversations and know where to improve,” Varela explained.

Results from a recent survey show the impact of tourism on Utah's overall reputation.
Results from a recent survey show the impact of tourism on Utah’s overall reputation. (Photo: KSL-TV)

The local community survey involved over 1,200 people.

“(In) no region did the majority of respondents agree with the statement ‘the government is doing a good job of balancing the needs of residents and visitors,'” the survey found.

He also found that most respondents are concerned about the effect of tourism on housing affordability, which is greater in areas with higher tourism.

“The Moab area expresses high levels of frustration, with a majority indicating that the negative effects of tourism outweigh the positive effects,” according to the Gardner survey.

Local survey residents also expressed concerns about crowds, traffic, environmental impact and quality of life.

“Park City’s responses also appeared to provide the most concerning views on the impact of tourism in their area and the community’s ability to accommodate current levels of visitation,” the survey said.

Varela said the national tourism board is committed to using lessons learned from problem areas and creating better strategies for the future.

“And plan other areas to avoid some of the problems they’ve had,” she said. The focus is on sustainable tours and better experiences for everyone involved in tourism.

“We are here for the long game,” Varela said. “It gives us the tools to develop a long-term strategy that will work for Utah residents and visitors alike.”

She said the state would double down on its Forever Mighty initiative that encourages visitors to be thoughtful and respectful of local communities.

Here are some of the open-ended responses the local survey received:

  • “Gunlock Waterfalls were overrun with tourists on their last run. Sand Hollow State Park closed regularly because it was at capacity and many of the visitors were tourists, so locals can’t enjoy their own area if too many tourists arrive,” a Washington County resident said.
  • “The number of jobs correlated with the amount of money paid by tourism dollars is not a living wage. We absolutely should not rely on tourism dollars to sustain a community, it should only be an extra,” said a resident of Carbon/Emery counties cast.
  • “People enjoy interacting with guests. It boosts the economy for jobs. Tourism here is very important to the economy,” wrote one Wayne/Garfield county resident.
  • “Food, gas, housing and real estate are expensive! Businesses cannot keep their employees because of the high cost of housing, so the quality of service is poor! The environment is trampled to death by the number of people and their machines! The noise is HIGH too. This place sucks!” said a Moab-area resident.
  • “Not just search and rescue, but other emergencies and public safety need tourism funds to help pay for tourists who get lost, injured or have other emergencies,” a local resident said. Springdale area.
  • “We have great environmental resources for the traveling public, and the experiences are positive,” said a Daggett/Uintah Counties resident.
  • “We need more restaurants that serve sit-down meals. We have so many fast food places, but few options for a quality dining experience,” one northern Utah resident wrote.

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Elon Musk and Tesla’s quiet success with a cobalt-free EV battery https://utahbbq.org/elon-musk-and-teslas-quiet-success-with-a-cobalt-free-ev-battery/ Fri, 06 May 2022 20:39:00 +0000 https://utahbbq.org/elon-musk-and-teslas-quiet-success-with-a-cobalt-free-ev-battery/

Four years ago, Elon Musk said his Tesla vehicles were going to have cobalt-free batteries.

In the first quarter of this year, amid the huge uproar of Musk’s desired acquisition of social platform Twitter, Tesla revealed that nearly half of its vehicles produced during that period featured cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.

Simon Alvarez, in Teslarati, writes that LFP batteries are not new but represent little of the electric vehicle market in the United States, Canada and the European Union.

In China, however, LFP batteries account for 44% of the market.

LFP batteries are a component of the electric vehicle market that is being sought after by a number of automakers as the demand for cobalt continues to rise – and therefore its price.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, as reported in TheStreet, expects more than 30% growth in cobalt demand due to new model launches and government legislation.

The cobalt problem: Like nickel, cobalt is found in the earth’s crust and is widely used beyond electric batteries, including in airbags, varnishes and paint drying agents. Despite its usefulness, cobalt mining is fraught with pitfalls.

China, in its quest for dominance in the electric vehicle market, had one of the world’s largest cobalt and copper mines in the Republic of Congo until a lawsuit sidelined the Chinese company in a dispute. on payments to the Congolese government, according to the New York Times. .

The Republic of Congo, which provides the majority of the world’s cobalt, uses children to mine the material in dangerous conditions, with many workers killed or maimed by tunnel collapses.

This practice continues despite international pressure and watchdog groups that have called for reforms.

The state of the critical minerals supply chain: He’s just in trouble. There is not enough mining to provide the materials needed not only to foster a clean energy economy, but also to enhance national security in the United States.

Although US President Joe Biden has set a goal for 50% of new car models sold by 2030 to be electric, some automakers warn that this is an unlikely feat.

RJ Scaringe, CEO of electric vehicle maker Rivian, was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying that “90% to 95% of the (battery cell) supply chain doesn’t exist.”

What they say : Observers accuse the Biden administration of being at odds with itself.

At the same time Biden is pushing for a clean energy revolution, his administration is derailing some national mining efforts, including a planned and licensed copper mine in Arizona and another in Minnesota. His administration also revoked a 25-mile right-of-way on federal land for Alaska’s Ambler mining district, prompting a stern rebuke from that state’s governor.

“In February, the Department of the Interior reopened an Environmental Impact Statement for the Ambler Access Project which had undergone seven years of rigorous federal review and requested the Ambler Road right-of-way be suspended,” said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. a statement distributed by Must Read Alaska.

He continued, “The Biden administration suspended that hold, saying sustenance and consultation with Alaska Natives was not considered enough, despite 18 hearings in rural communities and 29,000 written comments received at the total, and 50 pages of mitigation measures focused on preventing the disruption of livelihoods and protecting cultural resources.

The green energy policy: Biden invoked the Defense Production Act — a Cold War-era law — to support additional domestic mining to shore up supplies of critical minerals and rare earth elements. It happened this spring.

The problem is that his administration also rejects the Trump administration’s changes to the environmental review process if that mining takes place on federal lands. While the former president aimed to shorten that review process — which could take years, if not more than a decade — the Biden administration wants a return to the old, more thorough environmental reviews — which means long delays in mining projects.

Joe Lowry, a mining industry veteran also known as Mr. Lithium, observed: “You can build a battery factory in two years, but it takes up to a decade to build a lithium project,” as Bloomberg reports.

Some congressional Democrats are also attacking the nation’s mining law that has been in effect since 1872, seeking to institute reforms that include setting royalty rates for the first time on mining on federal lands and stricter environmental standards. These proposed reforms will be released at a press conference next week.

ChatFunnels Co-Founder Billy Bateman Recognized as One of Utah’s Top Entrepreneurs | News https://utahbbq.org/chatfunnels-co-founder-billy-bateman-recognized-as-one-of-utahs-top-entrepreneurs-news/ Thu, 05 May 2022 01:55:00 +0000 https://utahbbq.org/chatfunnels-co-founder-billy-bateman-recognized-as-one-of-utahs-top-entrepreneurs-news/

Billy Batmanco-founder of ChatFunnels is recognized as one of the from utah top 100 entrepreneurs by WIN in partnership with TechBuzz and Salt Lake Chamber. Billy is also set to speak at the tech industry’s largest virtual demand generation leadership summit for marketers and sales professionals to learn best practices for optimizing demand. ‘funnel.

SILICON TRACKS, Utah, May 4, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Billy Batmanco-founder of ChatFunnels, the leading account-based engagement platform for B2B industries, has been named one of the top entrepreneurs in Utah on April 28, 2022, by the Wasatch Innovation Network (WIN) in partnership with TechBuzz News and the Salt Lake Chamber. The WIN100 list is made up of the best entrepreneurs in Utah nominated by their peers and selected by a panel of judges. Nearly 1,200 entrepreneurs were nominated, representing a wide range of businesses spanning many sectors of the Utah economy and finally, 107 were selected. “These WIN100 entrepreneurs represent the best of the best in terms of innovation and ability to lead our growing ecosystem,” said Derek MillerPresident and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance.

“I am honored to be included in the 2022 WIN100 and to be recognized by other great entrepreneurs in Utah“, Billy said. “It’s really a credit to our team at ChatFunnels and all the great work they do to help businesses intelligently automate to identify, engage and close more clients”.

Additionally, ChatFunnels is hosting its 4th Semi-Annual Demand Generation Summit, an online summit for marketers and sales professionals to learn funnel optimization best practices. Billy will be the keynote speaker at the event where he will discuss strategies for using demand generation with account-based engagement and the pitfalls to avoid.

This FREE to register summit will take place on May 18, 2022. The summit will be a one-day virtual event featuring over 30 of the industry’s top sales and marketing leaders, where they will unveil the latest trends and growth strategies employed by some of the world’s leading B2B organizations.

Summit sessions are placed into three distinct tracks that indicate their positioning along the sales funnel: Drive Demand, Engage Demand, and Close Demand.

Billy will be joined by the following speakers, among others, who will be featured at the Summit:

  • G2 Vice President of Revenue Marketing, Robin Izsak-Tseng
  • Calendly Product Marketing Manager, Jeff Hardison
  • CMO of Demandbase, Jon Miller
  • Senior Vice President of 6sense Revenue Analytics, Saima Rachid
  • CMO of Domo, Marc Maughan
  • The principal and Chief Strategy Officer of the Pedowitz Group, Dr. Debbie Qaqish
  • CEO and Founder of Tenbound, David Dulany
  • CEO of FreshLime, Jay Bean
  • CRO of Demand Science, Chris Rack
  • Co-founder and CRO of Zonos, Daniel Johnson
  • Vice President of Marketing at Sendoso, Neil Shah

In addition to the speakers, the Demand Gen Summit Awards will be announced at the event. These awards recognize outstanding industry leaders who drive their businesses forward with demand generation and are nominated and voted on by the crowd. To register for free or to vote for the Demand Gen Leader Awards, go to http://www.demandgensummit.com.

Send inquiries regarding summit sponsorships to: tanner.sundwall@chatfunnels.com

About ChatFunnels

ChatFunnels is an account-based engagement orchestration platform designed to help your sales and marketing teams sell to your ideal customers. ChatFunnels lets you segment, identify, engage and convert web traffic with automated, template-based workflows. ChatFunnels is easily implemented in your marketing and sales teams to convert your website traffic into customers. ChatFunnels is used by major brands such as Domo, ObservePoint, Pantheon, Archive360 & Paytm.

Media Contact

Pete KetchumChatFunnels, 1 8018600123, pete.ketchum@chatfunnels.com


SOURCE ChatFunnels

As women return to work, remote work could lock in gains https://utahbbq.org/as-women-return-to-work-remote-work-could-lock-in-gains/ Tue, 03 May 2022 10:04:21 +0000 https://utahbbq.org/as-women-return-to-work-remote-work-could-lock-in-gains/

Lily Stateline coverage of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic “secession” is fading as more women return to work across the country, aided by new workplace flexibility that could stall future increases in female employment.

Remote working, an easing of constraints from 9 to 5 working days and scalable ideas such as “returns” to help women resume their careers after prolonged absences, all of which could facilitate the employment of women, in particular those who have children.

Women’s employment gains have exceeded those of men for six of the past eight months, according to a Stateline analysis of federal statistics up to March of this year. Data are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey provided by the University of Minnesota.

The number of women in employment is higher today than at any time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, although it is still below pre-pandemic levels. In the first months of the pandemic, women lost 1.7 million more jobs than men.

Women have already caught up to their pre-pandemic employment levels in New England and the West Coast, where there is a high proportion of white-collar jobs in the knowledge economy and in technology that can be performed remotely. The ability to work from home is particularly welcome for women raising families or caring for older relatives.

Women’s employment is lagging furthest in the Midwest, where many manufacturing jobs cannot be done remotely. In this region, women hold almost 800,000 fewer jobs than before the pandemic, according to the Stateline analysis. Meanwhile, in the West Coast region (which includes Alaska and Hawaii), there are more than 400,000 more women working in March compared to February 2020.

However, mothers of young children still lag behind fathers when it comes to returning to work nationwide, according to the Stateline analysis.

There are about 250,000 working mothers of young children than before the pandemic, compared to about 190,000 fewer fathers. More than 90% of fathers of young children are employed, a full recovery from before the pandemic. Mothers, however, still lag almost 2 points behind their own pre-pandemic employment rate, at 68.6%.

Debra Lancaster, director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said state governments “can and should set an example for the private sector” by providing flexibility to their employees.

According to an April report co-authored by Lancaster, more than one in five households in New Jersey faced lapses in child care last year, forcing parents to watch their children while they were working or quitting their job. But New Jersey’s new telework policy for state employees, announced in April by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, still requires parents to use paid or unpaid time off if they need to watch children during working hours. planned remote work.

History of the Stateline

Working parents face continued chaos despite schools reopening

In Hawaii, lawmakers are considering a plan to subsidize child care wages to address worker shortages, said Khara Jabola-Carolus, executive director of the state’s Commission on the Status of Women. Nationally, there are 150,000 fewer child care workers than before the pandemic, according to the Stateline analysis.

Last year, another bill in Hawaii sought to prohibit employees from using their childcare responsibilities to justify remote work, Jabola-Carolus said. The bill has been delayed due to criticism from the state employees union, which insists that legislation changing working conditions should be part of collective bargaining.

That leaves Hawaii state employees in limbo, able to stay home for childcare only if their supervisors agree, under pandemic emergency rules. Jabola-Carolus, who has two young children of her own, said she was lucky to have an understanding boss, but not all employees were so lucky.

“I spent nearly a year looking for daycare for my youngest, and had to send my other son away from the ocean to stay with my mom in California for a while. It really hurt, the family separation,” Jabola-Carolus said. Her frustrations with pandemic working conditions, expressed in an autoresponder to her work email in the summer of 2020 that went viral after she shared it on Instagram, have become a rallying cry for pandemic mothers.

“I hope to reply to your message soon,” she wrote in the post, which has since been deleted. “Like many women, I work full time while caring for an infant and toddler full time.” She noted that “the average length of an uninterrupted work shift for parents during COVID-19 was three minutes and 24 seconds.”

Utah has the highest proportion of children in the country, about 29% of its population in 2020. It has the first state-sponsored “comeback” program to help women return to work after an absence, usually to take care of young children. .

“What we’re seeing is that while women have left the workforce in droves due to the pandemic, a lot of our returns are coming back not due to the end of the pandemic, but due to the end of the pandemic. inflation and rising costs,” said Shay Baker, program manager for the Utah Return Program. “Staying at home with families is more difficult than before.”

Returns are a form of mid-career internships that began in the late 2000s at financial services firms to bring more women into leadership roles, despite gaps in their resumes since education children or the career move of a spouse, said Carol Fishman. Cohen, a consultant who helps design the programs.

More companies are revamping their comeback programs to help with pandemic career disruptions, including Goldman Sachs in October, T-Mobile in November and PepsiCo this month. Some are reducing the time away required, typically two years, to accommodate shorter pandemic disruptions, and offering faster pathways to employment and more remote work for parents who still have to stay home. home.

History of the Stateline

Mothers are 3 times more likely than fathers to have lost their jobs during the pandemic

Women who are mothers of young children have been particularly hard hit, with school closures at the start of the pandemic forcing them to take on more childcare duties and helping toddlers learn from a distance. Even when schools reopened, there were unpredictable quarantines during outbreaks that made it harder for parents to work.

The types of jobs women hold now have changed from before the pandemic. There are 1.3 million fewer jobs for them as administrative assistants, waitresses, retail clerks, practical nurses and childcare workers, while the gains are in areas such as mail order, warehouses and steeds that thrive in remote conditions.

“Coming out of the pandemic, we’re seeing big renegotiations, including more women in better-paying, full-time jobs in male-dominated fields like warehousing and transportation,” said Ariane Hegewisch, Director of the Employment and Income Program at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. in Washington, D.C.

“Nursing and child care jobs are notably missing from the recovery,” Hegewisch said. “Unless these [jobs] have also become rewarding jobs, the recovery will remain very partial for women.

Stephanie Aaronson, labor economist and director of the economic studies program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., said it’s too early to tell whether the job recovery for women will continue, but it doesn’t look like more to the “shecession” than it once was. called.

“At this point, women aren’t particularly trailing men in the recovery anymore,” Aaronson said. “There’s not a huge difference now in how men and women are doing.”

But the fact that mothers and fathers still fare differently is a sign that societal norms as well as policies must change if men and women are to have equal access to employment in the future, according to a discussion paper released last year by Massachusetts. based at the National Bureau of Economic Research and co-authored by Titan Alon, assistant professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego.

“The pandemic is likely to bring about changes in the post-pandemic workplace that open the possibility of a significant reduction in gender inequalities in the labor market,” the paper concludes.

“But for this potential to be realized, changes in the workplace are not enough; there must also be a change in social norms and expectations that lead mothers and fathers to make more equal use of the extra flexibility.

History of the Stateline

Federal aid supports child care. It’s not a long-term solution.

COMMENT: “Iowa is a pro-growth fiscal leader” | Columnists https://utahbbq.org/comment-iowa-is-a-pro-growth-fiscal-leader-columnists/ Sun, 01 May 2022 18:00:00 +0000 https://utahbbq.org/comment-iowa-is-a-pro-growth-fiscal-leader-columnists/

John Hendrickson Guest Columnist

For fifteen years, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has produced Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index. This broad index measures 15 policy variables that the ALEC has deemed important for economic growth, with a particular focus on tax and spending policies.

Since the inception of Rich States, Poor States, Utah’s economic outlook has been ranked number one on the index every year. This year, North Carolina prospects received the second-highest ranking. Both Utah and North Carolina adopted conservative tax policies that reduced tax rates and kept them low. North Carolina, especially in recent years, has been the gold standard for other states to reap the benefits of an improved economy by controlling spending and lowering tax rates.

Beginning in 2013, North Carolina implemented several rounds of significant tax cuts. Last year, their legislature reduced the flat personal income tax rate to 4.99% and the rate will continue to be lowered until it reaches 3.99% in 2027. The tax rate 2.5% corporate tax will be entirely eliminated by 2030. As a result of these types of tax reforms North Carolina has significantly improved its rankings in both rich and poor states over the past decade.

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In 2012, the index ranked North Carolina 23rd in terms of economic prospects. That same year, Iowa was ranked 22 in the economic outlook. Since then, North Carolina has steadily climbed the rankings while Iowa now sits at 32. North Carolina has had a tremendous turnaround due to tax reform.

Interestingly, Iowa didn’t slip in the rankings because we splurged or raised tax rates. On the contrary, Iowa essentially stood still while North Carolina and other states gradually embarked on the path of pro-growth reforms. In a competitive economy, the status quo is not enough.

The good news for Iowans is that our state is no longer standing still. In fact, Iowa sparked a tax reform movement this year, continuing a recent trend. Since 2018, Governor Kim Reynolds and the Legislature have enacted three rounds of tax cuts that have lowered personal and corporate income tax rates. In addition, the legislator has abolished inheritance tax, which will soon be completely abolished. By 2026, Iowa will have a flat income tax of 3.9% and corporate income tax will be slowly reduced until it reaches a flat rate of 5.5%.

When fully implemented, Iowa’s improved tax code will almost certainly lead to higher rankings in both rich state and poor state rankings. Governor Reynolds and the Legislature understand that Iowa is in economic competition with other states and that more and more people are reacting to tax rates by voting with their feet. This is one of the reasons they passed such a sweeping tax reform measure this year.

However, even with Iowa’s recent progress, policymakers need to think about what’s next. Other states are also enacting significant tax reforms, and they will continue to do so. As an example, Missouri is considering legislation that would not only further reduce its personal income tax rates, but also eliminate corporate income tax by 2023. According to the ranking of this year, Iowa sits squarely in the middle of our neighboring states, a reminder that appeasement is not an option.

Finally, Rich States, Poor States is another notice that Iowans are suffering from a heavy property tax burden, hitting 38 this year. High property taxes not only hurt taxpayers, they also discourage economic growth. Iowa taxpayers demand a political solution for high property taxes. A priority for the 2023 legislative session should be the enactment of a strong property tax reform measure on Truth in Taxation that will finally deliver relief.

Iowa and North Carolina had nearly identical prospects a decade ago. Since then, North Carolina has rightly been called the gold standard for tax reform. It won’t be long before people across the country are talking about Iowa’s reform story in the same way.

John Hendrickson is Policy Director of the Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation

John Hendrickson is director of policy for the Iowans for Tax Relief Foundation.

How have states handled the COVID-19 crisis? New analysis shows Utah, Nebraska and Vermont were the best with Montana and Florida close behind https://utahbbq.org/how-have-states-handled-the-covid-19-crisis-new-analysis-shows-utah-nebraska-and-vermont-were-the-best-with-montana-and-florida-close-behind/ Fri, 29 Apr 2022 23:41:13 +0000 https://utahbbq.org/how-have-states-handled-the-covid-19-crisis-new-analysis-shows-utah-nebraska-and-vermont-were-the-best-with-montana-and-florida-close-behind/

The Committee To Unleash Prosperity (CUP) has released the most comprehensive analysis to date on how states have handled the COVID-19 crisis. These results were also published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.


The State Report Card measures and compares state performance on three metrics: economy, education, and virus mortality. It answers the question: how have states managed to balance the health of their citizens, keep their economies functioning and limit job losses, and keep their schools open so that the children of school age do not suffer long-term educational setbacks.

Each of these three measures was weighted equally. The states that received an F grade were New Jersey, New York, California, Illinois and Washington, DC. These states scored poorly on every measure. They had high age-adjusted mortality rates; they had high unemployment and large GDP losses, and they kept their schools closed much longer than almost any other state.

The top performers were Utah, Nebraska and Vermont with Montana and Florida close behind.

The study verifies other studies that found the lockdown of businesses, stores, churches, schools and restaurants had almost no impact on health outcomes in any state. States with strict lockdowns performed almost no better on Covid death rates than states that remained mostly open for business.

The study also found that keeping schools closed had almost no impact on child or adult death rates, but had serious implications for students’ academic progress.

Learn more about CUP

You can read the full study here: https://committeetounleashprosperity.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Which-States-Handled-the-Covid-Pandemic-Best.pdf

Why This Economy May Be Stronger Than It Seems https://utahbbq.org/why-this-economy-may-be-stronger-than-it-seems/ Thu, 28 Apr 2022 09:00:00 +0000 https://utahbbq.org/why-this-economy-may-be-stronger-than-it-seems/

From inflation to war in Ukraine, there seems to be plenty to worry about the economy these days, but things are looking pretty good for the busy Haya Hotel in Tampa, Florida.

Even with gas prices exceeding $4 a gallon, people are commuting from neighboring states and flocking to the hotel.

“They saved their money during the pandemic, and now they want to get away from it all, wherever that takes them,” says hotel general manager Peter Wright.

It may not be obvious when a new economic bulletin is released on Thursday. The Commerce Department is expected to see little to no growth – or maybe even a contraction – in the country’s gross domestic product for the first three months of this year, a stark contrast to the final months of 2021, which saw one of the fastest growths in decades.

But economists say it’s not as worrisome as it sounds. Consumers continue to spend freely and businesses continue to invest, despite the sharp decline in overall GDP growth.

“We shouldn’t take this as a signal of the direction of the economy,” said Ben Herzon, senior US economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. “If we peel back a few layers and just look at underlying domestic demand, the economy seems to be picking up a bit.”

Take Tampa. More than three-quarters of hotel rooms in the city were booked as of mid-April, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, according to hotel analysts STR.

Strong demand pushed the national average price of a hotel room up more than 14% compared to 2019.

“We also see a lot of stays,” Wright says. “There was a lot of pent-up demand, so we’re seeing a lot of locals coming in for a few nights and enjoying the restaurant and the pool. They’re looking to spend some money.”

Spencer Platt/Getty Images


Getty Images

People stand in a security line at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on April 19.

“Buy and Buy and Buy”

While the omicron wave of coronavirus infections discouraged some people from traveling and eating out in the first few weeks of the year, that gave way to what Herzon calls a “COVID spring.”

“People are taking their masks off,” he says. “They’re starting to consume the services they were consuming before the pandemic again. It’s a pretty powerful push that will help propel consumer spending – and GDP in general – higher in the second half of the year. ”

At the Tulip Festival in Wamego, Kansas, this past weekend, Becky Rawls-Riley was showcasing a colorful collection of custom hats and scarves that she makes.

“Everybody’s back, which is great,” she says.

Craft festivals are returning after a one- or two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s a relief for Rawls-Riley, who depends on the events for sales and customer feedback.

Sales were “gung-ho” in February, she said, but looked a little weaker in March and April.

“Some will buy and buy and buy,” she says, while others “watch their pennies.”

Fatboy Slim performs onstage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California on April 24.  Festivals and other gatherings are returning despite the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella


Getty Images for Coachella

Fatboy Slim performs onstage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California on April 24. Festivals and other gatherings are returning despite the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

All is not rosy, of course

This does not mean that the economy is without challenges. Supply chains are still tangled and employers are still struggling to find enough staff.

Rawls-Riley, for example, invested in new displays this year, as well as industrial sewing equipment, but both have been delayed by supply chain bottlenecks.

“If you can make a product but you can’t display it for someone to see what you have, you’re in trouble,” she says. It also raised its prices to compensate for the rising costs of cotton, polyester and spandex, as well as higher wages for its employees.

“You can’t maintain your price forever,” she says. “It’s just not possible.”

A survey of small business owners by SCORE, a nonprofit mentoring service, found that two-thirds faced rising costs from vendors and suppliers and more than half had raised their own prices, on average about 11%.

At the Haya Hotel, Wright also had to deal with rising expenses and the challenge of recruiting workers. Hotels and restaurants have been adding workers at a rapid pace in recent months, but the industry still employs about 1.5 million fewer people than before the pandemic.

“A lot of people have left our industry for a lot of reasons,” says Wright. “We have to be more creative than we have ever been in the past because there is such a shortage in the hospitality industry.”

A shopper selects a potato at a supermarket in Rosemead, California on April 21.  Inflation remains a major concern for the Federal Reserve.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images


AFP via Getty Images

A shopper selects a potato at a supermarket in Rosemead, California on April 21. Inflation remains a major concern for the Federal Reserve.

Inflation is always a headache

With strong demand and a tight labor market, the US economy is considerably hotter than Thursday’s GDP figure suggests – too hot, in fact, for the Federal Reserve.

As annual inflation hit a four-decade high last month, the central bank began raising interest rates in a bid to calm demand. The Fed is trying to control prices without tipping the economy into recession.

“That’s our goal,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said during a roundtable discussion last week. “I don’t think you’ll hear anyone at the Fed say it’s going to be straightforward or easy.”

The Fed raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point in March, and it is expected to follow that with a half-point hike next week. Rising borrowing costs are already weighing on the housing market, where mortgage rates are now above 5%.

Pandemic shutdowns in China could also slow economic growth, potentially leading to lingering supply chain challenges and putting upward pressure on inflation.

Economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics lowered his forecast for GDP growth this year to around 3% from the 4% he forecast in January.

Still, he says the US economy has proven remarkably resilient to one challenge after another.

“There’s a lot of money in people’s bank accounts, and that should help them keep spending and weather any kind of storm that blows,” Zandi said. “And clearly the Russian invasion, rising gas and food prices and inflation are a storm.”

Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Looking to start a hydrogen hub in your state? Here’s what the experts say it will take https://utahbbq.org/looking-to-start-a-hydrogen-hub-in-your-state-heres-what-the-experts-say-it-will-take/ Tue, 26 Apr 2022 15:25:19 +0000 https://utahbbq.org/looking-to-start-a-hydrogen-hub-in-your-state-heres-what-the-experts-say-it-will-take/

With a third of its economy tied to power generation, Wyoming is not a state that plans to sit back and watch energy transitions pass, taking its longtime livelihood with it. But building a new industry in a relatively small state is no easy task, according to Glen Murrell, executive director of the Wyoming Energy Authority.

“This is a competition for capital,” he said. But larger states with bigger balance sheets can offer various incentives to attract private companies; Wyoming’s options are limited.

The federal infrastructure bill could very well change that. Among the myriad of funding opportunities for projects such as large-scale carbon capture pilots, the infrastructure bill has allocated $8 billion to be split among four new “hydrogen hubs” in regions at select by the US Department of Energy. And while Wyoming isn’t about to put all its eggs in one basket — funding carbon capture or other demonstration projects certainly wouldn’t hurt — the scale of the hub’s funding, Murrell said, represents a “once in a generation” opportunity.

“If you consider how frugal the approach has historically been with respect to various constructions, you can’t look at the infrastructure bill and say it’s not enough,” Murrell said. “It’s 10 times, maybe even 20 times more than anything that’s happened in the last 10 to 20 years.”

Wyoming, of course, isn’t the only state to take notice of the federal government’s $8 billion offer. At the Electric Power Research Institute, Jeffery Preece, director of research and development for low-carbon resources, said he’s had conversations with about 15 regional groups seeking help with their requests. to become hydrogen centers – although the DOE has not yet published specific selection criteria.

The sentiment that the first regions to make significant investments in hydrogen will reap the greatest economic rewards is justified, Preece said. But while it might be easy to point to states like Ohio, California and Texas, where hydrogen investment has already begun, as the likely hydrogen hubs of the future, Preece doesn’t think the decision will be so simple. Winning the hub designation, he said, will take more than just the ability to create hydrogen – hubs will need to secure buyers, ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place and form a new massive workforce.

But even with all those pieces in place, the future of hydrogen is uncertain, Preece said. Selecting various hydrogen hubs – each with their own specialty – may be the best strategy for success.

Calling all buyers

Most conversations around hydrogen continue to focus on how it will be made, but potential production capacity is unlikely to be the limiting factor in creating future hydrogen hubs, Preece said. The real challenge, he said, will be ensuring production can connect to potential applications, especially given the DOE’s interest in funding shovel-ready projects almost immediately.

“The big issue in this area will not be hydrogen supply,” said Brett Perlman, CEO of the Center for Houston’s Future. “The real driver is going to be on the demand side – we have to go where the customers are.”

It’s also one of the Houston-area’s strongest selling points as it aims to become a hydrogen hub. Houston already produces about a third of the nation’s hydrogen, which means most of the biggest users and necessary infrastructure are already there, Perlman said.

“Today all of the hydrogen is used in feedstock, and therefore 95% of the petrochemical industry is on the Gulf Coast of Texas,” he said. “These are massive factories, worth trillions of dollars of investment, that can’t be anywhere. ”

Hydrogen in the region is currently produced using steam methane reforming to separate natural gas into its constituent elements, which means that the current hydrogen industry is carbon intensive. So the top question for hub planners in Texas, Perlman said, is which users will be the first to agree to pay a premium for green hydrogen, typically produced by using electrolysis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

They’re still working on answers to that question, Perlman said, but industries with higher margins such as specialty chemical makers seem likely candidates, and Texas has ample supply of low-cost wind and other forms of renewable energy to drive electrolysis. .

Bringing hydrogen to the masses

Murrell, Wyoming, agrees with Perlman and Preece on the importance of securing potential customers for their hydrogen. But that’s one area where Wyoming’s enforcement might struggle. The state has all sorts of options to create the alternative fuel – enough natural gas for conventional techniques, experience in carbon capture to mitigate emissions, vast wind resources, and nuclear presents an option for emerging technologies.

“The problem in Wyoming is about consumption,” Murrell said. “We can produce enormous quantities of hydrogen, all clean. But Wyoming is a very small state, and being able to complete the demand chain was our big challenge.

To address this shortcoming, Wyoming signed an agreement in late February with the states of Utah, New Mexico and Colorado that proposes the creation of a four-state hydrogen hub region in the Mountain West. Wyoming and New Mexico, with their wind, solar and natural gas resources, could focus on production while supplying buyers in the larger, more urbanized states of Utah and Colorado.

“It’s going to be a tough challenge for other hubs, to have all the pieces in place, and this interstate region has all the pieces checked,” Murrell said. “And the simple geography is good for us – we are in the central part of the country, and many other hub concepts are on the coast. If we want to build a national infrastructure, a hub in the middle creates a strategic piece.