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April 2011

Oregon's sin taxes vs. our neighbors

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Articles - April 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
0411_SinTax_DataburstOregon’s taxes on products deemed “sinful,” such as alcohol, cigarettes and perhaps gasoline given its pollution, vary widely compared to neighboring states.
 

Trucking industry copes with rising costs

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Articles - April 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
0411_TruckingA new gas tax and soaring crude prices are prompting Oregon truckers to innovate to protect their bottom lines while passing on as much cost as they can to consumers.
 

Boeing, First & Main top April 2011's Dealwatch list

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Articles - April 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Big deals of the month.
 

Unpaid taxes burn a hole in the budget

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Articles - April 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
0411_UnpaidTaxesIt’s tax time again, unless you happen to be one of the thousands of Oregonians who don’t pay taxes.
 

E-waste industry helps boost jobs

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Articles - April 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
0411_EwasteAfter an uncertain start, the state law that bans trashing electronic waste has kept heaps of toxic material out of landfills and created jobs. But just how many jobs is unknown, and as the Legislature considers expanding the program it is also looking to tweak the rules with job creation in mind.
 

Shooting revs up for Oregon's best TV and film year ever

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Articles - April 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
0411_Productions_02Oregon’s film and television industry has never looked stronger. Vince Porter, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Film and Television, predicts that the state will pull in more than $90 million from television shows and films shot here in 2011. And that record windfall could be just the beginning.
 
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Editor's Letter: Power Play

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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:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

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!

— Linda


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