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|Articles - April 2014|
|Thursday, March 27, 2014|
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Spreading the wealth in the international commerce arena is one goal. Aligning trade policy with an increasingly tech-driven economy is another. Back in 1996, Wyden observes, he successfully introduced an amendment preventing Internet providers from being held liable for content posted on their sites. “Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act,” he says. “It created the legal foundation for 21st-century social media. Twitter, social media — I wrote the law that made it possible for them to invest.”
Taking credit for the rise of social networking companies may sound a bit like Al Gore taking credit for the Internet. But 18 years post-CDA, Wyden is considered something of a digital-commerce policy expert; when he talks about tech issues, tech leaders listen — and applaud. In 2012 he led the successful crusade to block the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), considered by many a threat to the basic structure of the Internet. Likewise, the Digital Trade Act, a bill he introduced in December with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) — “I’m very pleased with the bipartisan bill” — is intended to preserve a free flow of data across borders. “We need to bring trade policy in line with the times,” Wyden says.
Health care is another area where Wyden’s chairmanship will likely have a big impact — with Medicare reform in particular. “Any discussion of budget challenges has to take on Medicare; it has critical implications for the next generation,” says Wyden, whose wife, Nancy Bass, gave birth to their third child last year: Scarlett Willa Wyden. What’s it like parenting a 1-year-old at age 64? “Just the best!” says the exuberant father, who, with Bass, also has 6-year-old twins.
In January Wyden introduced the Better Care, Lower Cost Act of 2014, a measure cosponsored by Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga) and two House members. Resembling Oregon’s pioneering coordinated care model for Medicaid, the proposal would shift senior care from a fee-per-service payment system toward a single payment based on doctors and nurses working to integrate care for people with chronic illness.
The new structure may also benefit Oregon health care providers, who have long complained about the state’s low Medicare reimbursement rates; under the BCLC, that disadvantage would be mitigated.
Along with trade legislation, tax extenders and Medicare, Wyden has plenty of other unfinished business on his plate, including a Highway Trust Fund projected to run out of money this year and a controversial plan to boost timber harvests on Oregon’s federal forests, the lands once owned by the former O&C Railroad.
If the state’s history is a predictor of future success, Wyden’s chances of moving the needle on major policy issues may be better than it seems — contentious political environment notwithstanding. The last Oregonian to be Senate Finance Chair was Bob Packwood, the man Wyden replaced when Packwood resigned over sexual harassment and ethics charges. Packwood helped write a sweeping 1986 tax-reform package — the last major overhaul of federal tax law in the United States.
“We’ve been able to show on the big stuff that it’s possible to block things,” says Wyden. “Now the question is can you turn that around and get stuff passed. I’m very optimistic that we can.” And how does it feel to hold one of the most coveted committee chairmanships in the Senate? Wyden responds in character: “It’s an enormous thrill.”
Friday, October 24, 2014
A majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:
The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace.
Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.
This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay.
Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.
New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”
That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!
Sunday, December 07, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.
Friday, October 24, 2014
How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!
Thursday, December 18, 2014
BY MEGHAN NOLT
VIDEO: Under the radar — complete with a soda counter, the traditional Paulsen's Pharmacy looks to compete with big box retailers.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
BY RYAN CARSON | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
How do we skill up our future technology workforce in a smart way to take advantage of these high-paying jobs? The answer shouldn’t focus only on helping people get a bachelor’s degree.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
BY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
By now, anyone who knows about it has a position on President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The executive order is the outcome of failed attempts at getting a bill through the normal legislative process. Both Obama and his predecessor came close, but not close enough since the process broke down multiple times.
|A Complex Portrait: Immigration, Jobs and the Economy|
|Woman of Steel|
|Kill the Meeting|
|Number of auto recalls in 2014 breaks record|
|Sony says release of controversial film still possible|
|Debate surrounding Washington-Oregon I5 span heats up|
|Watchdog group takes issue with timber company's 'green' label|
|Labor dispute at the ports slowing Christmas deliveries|
|Fed stresses 'patience' regarding interest rate|
|Obama to announce end of Cuba isolation|
Is your business ready to join us in the call for action? This opening panel includes Oregon businesses who will discuss why they signed the Oregon Climate Declaration, the investments they are making to reduce carbon emissions, and how their actions are affecting their companies.
Get ready for two days of special events produced with the EPA, Portland Timbers and ISOS before and after the GoGreen Conference on October 16.
How sports tourism is driving economic growth and making cities across Oregon a better place to live.
Port of Morrow's business-ready attitude has a surprising global impact.
Through its support of the arts, the Cultural Trust is strengthening the business community.
Amy will practice in the firm's Business, Real Estate, and Tax practice groups.
While the Bend City Council ultimately upheld the approval which enables OSU-Cascades to move forward with the 10 acre site, it did also thoughtfully consider the nature of its code requirements, resident concerns and OSU-Cascade’s efforts and suggestions and crafted conditions of approval to address potential impacts of the site in the area.
Is my drug-free workplace policy up in smoke?