Quoted – High-Tech Tax Subsidies Do Little Good – Heartland Institute

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High-Tech Tax Subsidies Do Little Good

Pennsylvania’s attempts to lure high-tech companies by offering big tax incentives have brought only marginal gains, according to a new study.

The Keystone State had a net gain of 43 high-tech employers between 1990 and 2006, but a net loss of 2,850 jobs, according to the study, funded by the Pittsburgh nonprofit Heinz Endowments and conducted by a Washington nonprofit organization called Good Jobs First.

Some, though not all, of these jobs go overseas. Others go to Silicon Valley or other areas with established technology infrastructures that include potential business partners and support businesses—such as law firms—and low-cost utilities and other resources.

“I love Pennsylvania. I live and work here; it’s a beautiful state,” said Scott Testa, professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia. “But it’s not the center of the universe as far as technology is concerned.

“That’s Silicon Valley or, to a lesser extent, the Boston area,” he added “Most tech start-ups are small anyway, so they would have a very small tax burden. High-tech companies want a good ecosystem of technology business partners, lawyers, accountants, and talent. Despite globalization, there’s something to be said for being close to the people you are going to do business with.”

Expects States to Persist
That’s why many tech companies, including start-ups, gravitate to Silicon Valley despite a high cost of living and other expenses higher than those offered through some incentive programs, Testa said.

Yet Testa expects state governments to continue to offer targeted tax breaks because they are much easier to get approved than across-the-board corporate tax cuts.

“It’s a lot easier to use a pistol than a shotgun,” Testa said.

http://www.heartland.org/article/27129/Study_HighTech_Tax_Subsidies_Do_Little_Good.html

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Quoted – Smart Spending: How to Save on Valentine Flowers – ABC News

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Smart Spending: How to Save on Valentine Flowers – ABC News

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that prices of red roses increase right before Valentine’s Day. But Romeos on a budget don’t have to fall prey; they just need to act fast, now that Valentine’s is only three days away.

Ordering online from sites that work directly with growers is generally the best way to save on Valentine roses. You can get up to 30 percent off — and often get fresher flowers, says Scott Testa, assistant professor of business administration at Cabrini College, in Radnor, Pa. Just remember you’ll usually have to arrange them yourself.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wirestory?id=9807718&page=1

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Quoted – Consumer credit contracts at slower pace – Medill Reports

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Consumer credit contracts at slower pace

December’s consumer credit figure, released by the Federal Reserve Board Friday, declined by $1.8 billion to $2.46 trillion from about $2.47 trillion in November, a drop of 0.07 percent. This follows a 0.5 percent drop of $13.8 billion in October. The drop in December was well under the $10 billion contraction estimated by economists in a survey by Bloomberg LP.

“I think things are starting to loosen,” said business professor Scott Testa about the nation’s overall credit market. But Testa, of Pennsylvania’s Cabrini College, cautioned that an improvement of credit would be slow.

“It’s not stuff that happens overnight,” he said.

Revolving credit, which includes credit card financing, continued to slide, falling another $8.5 billion to $866 billion from $875 billion in November, a drop of almost 1 percent. This follows a 1.6 percent drop of $13.8 billion from October.

“It’s all about the jobs,” Testa said of the drop, emphasizing that the figure reflects the weak job market, consumer spending and the remaining but decreased fear banks have about lending.

“It’s an indication that banks are nervous about extending credit,” he said.

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=155826

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Quoted – Costco sails on while Walmart’s Super plans stall – Lodi News Sentinel

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In Lodi, the community has virtually rolled out the red carpet in anticipation of the Costco that could soon be built in the Reynolds Ranch center.

Meanwhile, attempts to construct a Super Walmart on Lower Sacramento Road and Kettleman Lane have been met with bitter resistance for the better part of a decade.

What is the difference?

However, one professor understands that this is a situation where perception and reality are the same thing.

Scott Testa, a marketing professor at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, said the public’s beliefs about the two companies are shaped by how they treat both employees and customers.

“Costco has an image portrayed as not anti-union because it pays its workers better and their health benefits are better,” he said.

He said he isn’t attacking Walmart or hyping Costco, but merely stating the public perception.

“It is what it is,” he said.

http://www.lodinews.com/articles/2010/01/30/news/2_costco-walmart_100130.txt

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Quoted – AOL Back in Black – Ecommerce Times

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AOL Back in Black

AOL posted a slim profit during its first quarter on its own again, even though its revenue was down from a year ago, and subscriptions continued their sharp decline. Cost-cutting — particularly by reducing its workforce — is credited for the improvement.

AOL’s profit could also be attributed to some savvy financial management — at least from the perspective of shareholders.

It significantly reduced its headcount as it launched.

“Employees are usually the biggest expense for these companies, so that was a smart move,” noted Scott Testa, a business professor at Cabrini College.

http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/AOL-Back-in-Black-69263.html

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