Defect in U.S. tax law motivates companies’ overseas moves

A researcher trying to find ways to keep black bears away from humans once summed up the problem for me with a simple calculation: Animals are driven to obtain the maximum number of calories for the least amount of effort, and people leaving high-calorie food out attract the bears. The same drive applies to executives […]

Time for an overhaul, possible elimination, of state incentives

Is it a business incentive or corporate welfare, a tax break or a tax giveaway, an enterprise fund or a slush fund? The debate over spending taxpayer money to benefit private businesses is the subject of intense debate as cities, states and even countries compete for jobs and investment. Texas lawmakers have begun examining the […]

Electronic health records need more attention to reach full potential

When Dr. Kathi McCree enters the exam room, she carries her tablet computer with the patient’s electronic medical record pulled up and ready to start the exam. After she evaluates her patient and goes over her conclusions and orders, she enters her findings into the tablet, orders lab tests and writes prescriptions that are all […]

Asian steel in the oil fields cost Texans jobs

When most people see a flatbed truck loaded with drill pipe rolling west on Interstate 10, it’s a reminder of the thousands of oil and gas wells that are driving the booming Texas economy. When steelworkers in Bellville see those trucks, though, they’re reminded why their plant, which makes similar pipe 60 miles west of […]

Guidelines Could Make Oil Companies Better Neighbors

In Yorktown, Texas, they put locks on fire hydrants to keep oil workers from stealing water. Meanwhile, the ammonia level at the water treatment plant has been rising, and officials suspect it’s from oil field workers illegally dumping used wastewater into the sewage system of the small town, 150 miles southwest of Houston. “It’s easy […]

Texas Businesses Need Immigration Reform Now

The legal entanglements of 50,000 children entering the United States illegally this summer may have highlighted our broken immigration system, but Texas businesses are warning that Congress’ failure to pass comprehensive immigration reforms could create a bigger long-term economic crisis. Leaders in Houston’s manufacturing, construction and agriculture industries joined colleagues in 40 other cities across […]

Export-Import Bank Creates Jobs, Opens Markets and Makes Sense

Greater Houston is the No. 1 exporting metropolitan area and Texas is the nation’s No. 1 exporting state, but that could end if some ideologues in Washington get their way. After campaigning on adding jobs and increasing manufacturing, folks calling themselves conservatives want to shut down an 80-year-old institution that boosts exports, generates business for […]

Conservation Efforts are Best handled Locally

Here’s a little-known fact about species proposed for federal protection: They are everywhere. They are in every Texas county, all but two Texas rivers and are found above ground, underground and in the water and the air. Susan Combs, the state comptroller, told me her team has totaled 129 so far, 12 of which are […]

Business Solution Can Ease Problem of the Under-banked

Providing financial services to the poor and credit-challenged is big money in America, generating $89 billion a year in fees and interest. But companies that once eschewed these customers are seeing the chance to profit, while potentially improving people’s lives. Houston happens to be one of the three most “under-banked” cities in America, and Texas […]

A SLAPP Silences Stay-at-Home Dad in Magnolia

Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough attracts attention for his financial tip service by attacking what he calls “Old Wall Street” on Twitter, ridiculing analysts and belittling their track records. So what does McCullough do when a stay-at-home dad in Magnolia, Texas, challenges him? Sue for defamation to silence him, of course. Hedgeye’s lawsuit has all the […]