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The Impact of Post 9/11 Travel Rules

Travel and leisure, including visitors from foreign countries, is a primary driver of economic activity in the District of Columbia. According the study below from the U.S. Travel Association, millions of foreigners are avoiding visits to the United States due to the onerous restrictions and conditions levied on travelers after 9/11. Considering that many, if not most, of these visitors will spend at least some time in the District, it is in our interest to ensure that immigration reform includes revisions to the process for entering the country for travel and leisure. Reform of these rules could mean many millions of travel and tourism dollars for the District and additional tax receipts for the District government.

Another False Endorsement

The campaign of Alyssa Silverman has also claimed what looks like an endorsement from our Executive Director Dave Oberting and Economic Growth DC without authorization. Economic Growth DC does NOT endorse Alyssa Silverman for city council in this month’s special election, just like it hasn’t endorsed Anita Bonds or Leon Swain. Economic Growth DC will not be making an endorsement in this election. We have not seen indications that any of the candidates are sufficiently pro-growth to earn our endorsement.


Capitalism’s Corruptions by Daniel Henninger WSJ

Capitalism is not the dirty word that starts with a “C” — it’s the corruption, collusion and cronyism that sometimes infects capitalism that must be rooted out. An economic system is not inherently corrupt, it’s the people who manipulate it and use it to their advantage that are corrupt. The old saying about how capitalism is the worst economic system ever invented — except for all the others — still holds. We’ve got to fix this one instead of looking to some other system that is bound to fail.

False Endorsements

Update 4/2 — Both campaigns have taken these pages down from their respective websites. Thanks to both of them for working quickly to correct this error.

Just a quick note — the campaigns of Anita Bonds and Leon Swain (candidates for the DC city council position in April’s special election) have listed our Executive Director Dave Oberting and Economic Growth DC as supporters of their campaigns in what looks like an endorsement on their websites. This is incorrect. We have not and do not endorse Leon Swain or Anita Bonds for the open city council seat. We are sure they are fine individuals, but they have improperly claimed what looks to be an endorsement. We have asked them to take this down from their websites.

What is Poor?

A good analysis of the various techniques used to define poverty. Our guess is that the true poverty line in DC is twice the national average.



About Economic Growth DC

Welcome to the online home of the DC Economic Growth Action Fund, also known as Economic Growth DC. We are a non-profit incorporated in the District of Columbia under Title 29, Chapter 4 of the DC code. We are organized within the meaning of section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code as a social welfare organization dedicated to promoting the common good and the general welfare of the residents of the District of Columbia through a robust and dynamic economy.

Economic Growth DC intends to facilitate the conditions that create such an economy by engaging primarily in three activities: 1) Advocating before all elements of the government of the District of Columbia on behalf of legislation and regulations that enhance economic growth; 2) Supporting local and neighborhood business associations, business improvement districts, economic development corporations, civic associations and other civic groups dedicated to establishing and maintaining an environment conducive to robust economic growth; and 3) Supporting pro-growth candidates for elective office in the District of Columbia.

Our mission is to catalyze an acceleration in the rate of growth of the economy of the District of Columbia and ensure its permanence. Put more simply, we want to make the District’s economy grow faster, higher and stronger. We will also strive to make the District a better and easier place to do business. A place where existing businesses would like to relocate to so that they might take advantage of the most highly educated population in the U.S., and where entrepreneurs would like to come to start new businesses.

The District’s economy grew at an average rate of 2.198% from 2002 to 2011. The figures for 2012 will be released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis in June of 2013. The District has a number of spending priorities from affordable housing to Medicaid to its education system. To fully fund these priorities, economic growth must accelerate. In addition, the District derives over 35% of its gross state product from government spending. The national average is 12%.

Economic Growth DC believes that the District of Columbia has two economic imperatives: a) to accelerate the rate of growth of the District’s economy into the 5% range and keep it there; and b) grow the private sector portion of our economy fast enough so that the percentage of our state domestic product derived from government spending drops to under 17% by 2023. Economic Growth DC exists to promote policies that accomplish these goals. Our other goals include a 100% high school graduation rate, an unemployment rate of less than 5% in all eight wards, and statehood for the District.

The Minimum Wage

This is inevitable. Just understand the tradeoffs involved in raising the minimum wage. It means higher hourly earnings for a smaller group of workers. It will also have a disproportionate impact on young people. About 30% of the workers in the U.S. earning the minimum wage are teenagers. The logic is pretty straightforward: if I’m a small business owner and my wage costs are increased significantly without a corresponding increase in my revenues, I have to cut costs elsewhere in order to maintain the same level or profitability. Instead of 15 minimum wage workers, I’ll make due with 13. If you ask why that business can’t just make due with less profit, you don’t understand how things work. The vast majority of small businesses bring in less than $5 million and operate on thin margins as it is.

Capitalism and Inequality by Jeffrey Z. Muller

This was the cover story in the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs by Professor Jeffrey Z. Muller at Catholic University in Washington. It has profound implications.

Capitalism and Inequality


Words to Live By

Seven Dangers