D-Day and Small Business: A Story of Success in World War II

Tomorrow is the anniversary of one of the greatest—and most terrible—days in human history: The D-Day Invasion of France. When we think of D-Day, we think of the landings at beaches called Omaha and Utah, Juno, Sword and Gold; brave U.S. Army Rangers scaling cliffs to take German Gun emplacements; fierce naval bombardment and air attacks. We think of the men on the battlefield who took those first, hard fought steps to liberate Europe from Hitler and his Nazi cohorts and it is right that we should think of them first, but we should also take a moment to reflect on the contributions made at home, especially by small businesses across the nation, that helped our soldiers and sailors in Europe and in the Pacific prevail. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation and the Smaller War Plants Corporation The aid small businesses received during the war years actually stems from programs that were developed in the early 1930s as a response to the Grea... [Read Full Article]

Earth Day 2008

A Little Perspective It began in 1970, on April 22nd, to be precise. It was the first Earth Day here in the United States and while it took the country by storm, kick-starting an environmental movement that is with us to this day, it also took the American political establishment by surprise. In fact, during the 1968 presidential race between Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey, the environment was little more than a campaign throw-away. John C. Whitaker was there and as Nixon's Cabinet Secretary (1969); associate director of the White House Domestic Council for environment, energy, and natural resources policy (1969-1972); and Undersecretary of the Department of the Interior (1973-1975), he saw it all. In an article for the July/August 1988 edition of the EPA Journal, Whitaker wrote: When President Nixon and his staff walked into the White House on January 20, 1969, we were totally unprepared for the tidal wave of public opinion in favor of c... [Read Full Article]

Everything Old is New Again: The Buy Local Movement

Imagine yourself living out west in the early 1800s in, say, what is today Illinois. You farm, produce food and other goods for your own use and to sell to your neighbors. They do the same thing as well. Money isn’t a central theme in anyone’s life where you are, though after the debacle of the War of 1812, the importance of a strong monetary policy (to finance major things like war) is foremost in the minds of the politicians and so the political camps headed on the one hand by the Federalist followers of Adams and on the other by Jeffersonian Democratic Republicans are going at it hammer and tongs over the need for a central Bank of the United States. That argument, like European luxury items, however, is very far away from your reality. You live in a kind of barter economy. Collin helps Grant bring in his harvest and Grant helps Collin raise a barn: A day’s labor for a day’s labor. Katherine makes splendid candles and she can trade them for Michael’s leather goo... [Read Full Article]