Utah the 4th most fiscally healthy state in U.S., report says

SALT LAKE CITY — State Treasurer David C. Damschen announced Thursday Utah has been ranked the fourth most fiscally healthy state in the nation in a report by the George Mason University Mercatus Center in Arlington, Virginia.

Titled “Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition 2017 Edition,” the report comparatively determines state financial health through analysis of each state’s revenues, expenditures, cash, assets, liabilities, debt and ability to meet both short- and long-term financial obligations.

According to the report, the top five states are Florida, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. New Jersey came in last.

“Utah policymakers must be extremely vigilant in considering both the short and long-term fiscal consequences of every policy decision — because ultimately all policy decisions in some way directly affect our state’s fiscal health,” Damschen said in a press release.

“Utah is currently a national fiscal leader with enviable economic growth due largely to our staunchly conservative approach to state finances, and I applaud the Utah team for this collective achievement. Fiscally conservative financial practices prevail long-term — plain and simple.”

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Source:: Deseret News – Business News

6 entities honored for enhancing energy efficiency in S.L. buildings

SALT LAKE CITY — Mayor Jackie Biskupski has awarded select businesses, building owners and managers with the 2017 Mayor’s Skyline Challenge Awards, which recognizes organizations that have taken action in enhancing the energy performance of their buildings.

The winners of the third annual event are the Boston Building, the Goldman Sachs Group, VCBO Architecture, XMission, Zions Bank and Dominion Energy, formerly Questar.

Launched in May 2014, the challenge encourages organizations to proactively improve the energy performance of their buildings and enhance their environmental and economic impact.

“When a business demonstrates that it has minimized energy waste, it communicates its sense of responsibility for good environmental stewardship,” the mayor said in a statement. “We want people to think of Salt Lake City as an environmental leader with a prosperous future. A high-performance building stock is an important part of that vision.”

The 109-year-old Boston Building earned the Project of the Year award for installing software that allows the property management and engineering teams to track the building’s energy use in real time, leading to numerous energy saving strategies.

The Goldman Sachs Group earned the Tenant Leadership award for its companywide energy reduction goals, as well as the significant energy efficiency projects it’s spearheaded in its Salt Lake offices.

VCBO Architecture earned the Employee Engagement award for demonstrating that low- and no-cost behavioral energy conservation actions can result in a substantial improvement in a building’s energy performance.

XMission earned the Highest Energy Star Score award for achieving an Energy Star score of 100.

Zions Bank earned the Benchmarking Champion award for its efforts to measure energy performance across 23 local buildings, taking action that resulted in an improvement in its Energy Star score and maintaining a majority of its office square footage at Energy Star-certifiable levels.

Dominion Energy earned the Energy Data Leadership award for its efforts to create and implement …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

The Limits of ‘Made in America’ Economics

The White House has branded this, the 29th week of the year, Made in America Week. As part of the week, administration officials are promoting American products and outlining a strategy to roll back the North American Free Trade Agreement, arguing that their policies will boost wages for the middle class and create jobs in manufacturing communities. “We’re going to end up having a level playing field,” Trump said this week. “I don’t want to say anything more than level, but if the playing field were slanted a little more toward us, I would accept that also, O.K.?”

The most controversial part of this policy initiative—not yet announced, not yet certain, but widely anticipated—would be placing additional tariffs on foreign steel. “Steel is a big problem,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One, coming back from the Group of 20 meeting in Germany earlier this month. “I mean, they’re dumping steel. Not only China, but others. We’re like a dumping ground, O.K.? They’re dumping steel and destroying our steel industry. They’ve been doing it for decades, and I’m stopping it. It’ll stop.”

Many economists and industry experts agree that the United States faces unfair competition and artificially low prices that have damaged the domestic steel industry. But they don’t agree that a tariff is the right approach for addressing the problem. They argue that tariffs could backfire, hurting American businesses and workers without doing much to revive the Rust Belt.

Trump promised to restore the heartland with tariffs on imported goods during his presidential campaign, often in offhanded and extreme terms and often targeting China in particular. “They want our people to starve,” he said before becoming president, saying there was “no choice” but to start a trade war with the country. (He added that he …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Business