Monthly Archives: February 2012

California to Open a Trade and Investment Office in China

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February 23  |  Government Relations, Tax Policy  |   Carl Guardino

“Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”  One of my favorite quotes, and entirely applicable after the great announcement last week that California Governor Jerry Brown is wisely re-opening a new trade and investment office in china.

California – the world’s 9th largest economy – has had no official presence in china, the globe’s second largest economy – since the Davis Administration moth-balled California’s trade and commerce offices in 2003.

The new office will provide California companies – especially small employers who lack the global resources – with business contacts throughout china.

Why is this important?

  • First, it underscores that Governor Brown, and his new Office of Business and Economic Development are leading efforts to help California employers compete globally.
  • Second, it follows in the footsteps of sophisticated actions by other states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, who are wisely helping their companies succeed, oversees.
  • Finally, the Governor’s team shows wisdom to provide a resource in a country that can bewilder small employers, and then “get out of their way” once they have played a strategically helpful role.

California’s economy can only strengthen by this strategic and cost-effective investment in china. Governor Brown, thanks for your leadership.

The 1 Percent

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February 15  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

You are the 1 percent.  And yes, so am I.

In fact, the overwhelming majority of adults who work in Silicon Valley today are easily part of the one percent.  Last month, if you were able to pay your mortgage, or pay your rent, buy food and own a car, you – and I – are part of the one percent of the wealthiest people on the planet.

And most of us do little or nothing to serve the other 99 percent.

Yes, with 7 billion people on earth, if you earn just $50,000 a year or more, you are part of the one percent.

Rather than feeling guilty, let’s feel empowered. As the wealthiest one percent, we can truly make a difference – today – to help others:

* For just $8, you can fund 25 fruit trees for farmers in Honduras.

* For $30, you can buy a first aid kit for a village in Haiti.

* For $73, you can purchase a new mobile health clinic to care for aids orphans in Uganda

Yes, there is income disparity in our region, state and nation. But lift up your eyes Silicon Valley; the real income disparity is around the world. To calculate your own wealth, check-out “globalrich” and type in your income. Then go to your check-book and make a difference.

Helping Our State and Nation Succeed

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February 2  |  Education, Federal Issues, Government Relations, Tax Policy  |   Carl Guardino

In the span of six days, President Obama and Governor Brown gave their State of the Union and State of the State Addresses.

President Obama said “We must keep the promise of America alive.”  I agree.

Governor Brown proclaimed that “California’s best days are in front of us.”  No argument here.

But how can Silicon Valley help our State and Nation succeed, and what should we expect from the Governor and the President to grow the Innovation Economy?

In California, job one is jobs.  We need an education system that prepares our young people for Innovation Economy jobs. Yes, our unemployment rate hovers around 11 percent, but if you have a college degree in ANY subject, the unemployment rate is 4 percent; with an engineering degree, one percent. A great education for potential workers is key, but a great business climate for those creating jobs is equally key. Regulations that are understandable, streamlined, and cost-effective sends a message that California is open for business. The Governor’s new office of Business Development – Go BIZ – is a welcome step in the right direction.

 In America, it’s global competitiveness. We can never forget that 95 percent of the world’s customers are outside our borders. As we educate our students at home, we must also attract the best students from around the globe. After we educate them here, we need to keep them here, rather than forcing them home to compete against us. The President must also realize that competing in the 95 percent of the world outside the U.S. necessitates people, facilities and equipment in those countries in order to compete. Penalizing companies for competing globally hurts American companies and American workers.