Secretary Elaine Chao



Recent Editorials

  • Embracing her old Kentucky home

    Deep in the heart of Kentucky’s rugged Eastern Mountain region there lives a woman who has fascinated and inspired me for two decades. She is known locally these days as “Mayor Nan” — the octogenarian chief executive of Hazard and advocate for its 5,467 residents. Read more.

    November 7, 2013

  • Procrastination no longer an option

    Asteroid deflection is a fascinating field of scientific research. The goal is to avert catastrophe by identifying threats far enough in advance that even a small nudge can alter a massive asteroid’s path sufficiently to avoid impact with Earth, allowing mankind to avoid the fate of the dinosaurs. Unfortunately, few of Washington’s political minds are as forward-thinking. Indeed, over the years they have taken the exact opposite approach to governance. Instead of modest budgetary course corrections to avoid an obvious collision between federal spending, changing demographics — most notably the aging baby boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964 — and revenue, every administration and Congress in modern times has accelerated our nation toward the inevitable “fiscal cliff.” Read more.

    December 5, 2012

  • Concentrate on Needs of Employers

    Toward the end of the campaign, President Obama mentioned the need for a “secretary of business” to consolidate functions such as small business loans and export assistance. Coming so late in his first term, and given that there already is a secretary of Commerce, the notion was widely lampooned. But in this notion lay the seeds of the essential truth of the president’s second term: his presidency will be judged on the success or failure of America’s private sector in creating jobs. Read more.

    November 8, 2012

  • Winter of recovery not likely with current policies, inaction on taxes

    This December will mark the fifth anniversary of the official beginning of the recession, and the U.S. economy is exhibiting no positive momentum. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research’s official Business Cycle Dating Committee, the recession ended in June 2009. Yet three years later, the official unemployment rate is 8.2 percent, comprising 12.7 million Americans, and 42 percent of those have been out of work for longer than six months. Initial unemployment claims hover uncomfortably and persistently near the 400,000 mark that indicates a worsening job situation. Read more.

    July 11, 2012

  • Government and Industry Must Invest

    It may be hard to believe that in this dreadful economy there are a significant number of job openings going unfilled because employers are having difficulty finding qualified applicants. This phenomenon had been a growing concern among employers and some policy makers even when the economy was booming in the last decade. The situation has been alleviated by overall growth in unemployment, but it has not disappeared. Read more.

    July 9, 2012

  • Demand More than ‘New Normal’

    All eyes are on Friday’s employment report, with the focus apparently on whether the Obama administration can reach 200,000 a month in April. Our question is why? Why has creating 200,000 jobs become the litmus test of a successful jobs report? Given the deep jobs deficit in which our economy finds itself, we need a lot more jobs than that. In the first 24 months of the average postwar recovery from recession, the economy created 147,000 payroll jobs on average. In the first 24 months in this recovery: 52,000. The administration is fond of trumpeting the recent rise in the pace of job creation in the recovery, but to date the average is only 87,000. Read more.

    May 3, 2012

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