Why people hate government

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By Barry Bluestone | Boston.com | October 7, 2012

In 1965, according to a national Gallup Poll, 35 percent of Americans considered “big government” to be the biggest threat to the country in the future. Slightly fewer (29%) named “big business” as the biggest threat while just 17 percent put this onus on “big labor.” This was the era of Lyndon Johnson and the federal government’s massive “War on Poverty.”

By 1983, fully 50 percent of those polled listed big government as the biggest threat with only 20 percent naming either business or labor. This was the era of Ronald Reagan and the mantra “Get the Government off my back.” By 2001, at the beginning of George W. Bush’s presidency and “compassionate conservatism,” the Gallup poll revealed that two-thirds (65%) of Americans were most worried about big government. By contrast, less than a quarter (24%) feared big business and only 8 percent now worried about big labor. Read More

AIM: Massachusetts business confidence ‘stumbles again’ in September

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By Chris Reidy | The Boston Globe | October 2, 2012

A business confidence index maintained by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts lost 3.9 points in September to post a reading of 51.3, the association said Tuesday.

“We have just been bumping along the road since the initial rebound from the depths of recession faded in mid-2010,” Raymond G. Torto, the chair of the associations’ Board of Economic Advisors, said in a statement. “This year, looking past month-to-month fluctuations, the quarterly averages run 54.2, 54.1, 52.6 – no progress at all, in fact a slow erosion.”
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Manufacturing poised for promising future, Northeastern University study says

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By Jay Fitzgerald | Boston.com | September 13, 2012

After decades of losing factory and assembly line jobs, manufacturing is poised for a promising future in Massachusetts, thanks to corporate investments in cutting-edge technologies and skilled workers who are churning out high-end products faster and cheaper than ever here, a new study says.

Employment in the sector has stabilized since the last recession and production is at its highest level in a decade, according to the study from Northeastern University released Thursday. Overall, manufacturing employment in the state is still expected to decrease, largely due to automation and increased productivity, but the declines will be nowhere near as steep as over the past 20 years.

Even so, some companies within “advanced manufacturing,” the segment of the industry that makes highly sophisticated products for the aerospace, computer, chemical, pharmaceutical, and other sectors, could expand payrolls and global market shares, the report said. Read More

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