Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Koch Scholars Jan. 25 event

An interesting point brought up this evening by Chelsey Funk was her observation that a divide exists between politicians and economists, and more cooperation between the two would be beneficial. Most of the cooperation that does exist happens between a politician and his handpicked economic advisor who will give him the economics he wants to hear. I think the biggest reason for the disconnect between economics and politics is the long-term nature of economic policies and the short-term focus on re-election that happens in politics, necessitating quick action with quick results and benefits. Protectionism is a tempting choice because in the short-run it secures employment and shows an applauded sense of patriotism. The reality, as presented both by Adam Smith and Russell Roberts, is that protectionism hurts consumers in the long run because products remain expensive, innovation is hampered, and progress becomes limited. However, Smith is quick to realize the short-term implications of removing all barriers to foreign trade when he says, “Were those high duties and prohibitions taken away all at once, cheaper foreign goods of the same kind might be poured so fast into the home market, as to deprive all at once many thousands of our people of their ordinary employment and means of subsistence.” (469) For this reason, few politicians will remove tariffs or similar limitations on imports because the eventual benefits could take years or even decades to manifest themselves, and the consumers and future generations being harmed by protectionism don’t have as prominent a voice as those losing their jobs to foreign competition. I see the problems of shortsightedness in nearly every aspect of politics, and the solution to such a problem is something I frequently puzzle over.

An aspect from both “The Choice” and “The Wealth of Nations” that I found to be particularly relevant to today is the idea of trade balance. Whenever I hear the United States’ trade deficit talked about in the media, politics, or conversation, it is always assumed to be a negative thing that is damaging our domestic economy and creating a vulnerable spot in our national security. The reasoning always made sense to me, but Roberts clearly rejects such a notion. He says, “It is tempting to say that America runs a trade deficit because foreign nations won’t let their citizens buy American products. But as long as foreigners want to buy more American assets than Americans wish to buy foreign assets, America will run a trade deficit even if every country in the world was free of all trade barriers and welcomed American products as freely as their own.” (73) Roberts further stresses that “the most important things to remember about trade balances … is that they are the result of economic factors and not the cause.” (77) Adam Smith borrows an interesting analogy from Thomas Mun seeking to clarify misunderstandings surrounding foreign trade. He says, “If we only behold the actions of the husbandman in seed-time, when he casteth away much good corn into the ground, we shall account him rather a madman than a husbandman. But when we consider his labours in the harvest, which is the end of his endeavors, we shall find the worth and plentiful increase of his actions.” (431-432) Alas, the nature of politics blurs our vision of the harvest and we fail to recognize, “Trade with China and India makes America a richer country in both the financial sense and in the sense of expanded opportunity to live a meaningful life." (Roberts, Preface)

Kelsey White

Monday, January 24, 2011

Entrepreneurial Programs

Utah State University's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council have been working hard to prepare for their upcoming e-week events, competitions and speakers. E-week will be held the first full week of April, the 4th-8th. There will be several competitions including the Innovation Competition, the 72-hour competition and the elevator pitch. These competitions will allow students the opportunity to showcase their entrepreneurial and business skills and pitch their business ideas. There will be other exciting events like the 2nd Annual Rail Jam. Students remember this event which brought snow from the top of the mountains and gave students a unique opportunity: to ski and snowboard in the middle of USU's campus!

In preparation for these events, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council has been scheduling speakers and planning out logistics for the events and competitions. They are also seeking sponsors to help fund the activities (especially the Rail Jam!)

The council is kicking the marketing into high gear to allow as many students as possible to know of the great opportunities that will be available to them. They have increased the efforts on their social media campaign and hope to have more students follow their facebook page ( will be a Business Mixer on February 3, 2011 in the O.C. Tanner Lounge on the 9th floor of the Business Building from 3:30-5:00 p.m. There will be appetizers and soft drinks available. The mixer will allow students and business leaders to network while kick starting the anticipation and preparations for e-Week.

Natasha Bodily

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Goldman Sachs Recruiting at USU

One of the goals of the Finance and Economics Club is to provide students with excellent networking opportunities. One of those opportunities will be this Tuesday, January 25th, as David Lang, Head of the Goldman Sachs Salt Lake City Office comes to campus with several USU alumni who have been offered jobs with Goldman Sachs. Mr. Lang will be giving a presentation in BUS 211 at 11:00am. Afterword, a reception/recruiting event will take place in the OC Tanner Lounge on the 9th floor of the BUS building.

Goldman Sachs is currently expanding their Salt Lake City Office and will be creating several hundred new jobs. Take advantage of this great opportunity this Tuesday to meet Mr. Lang and other representatives of one of the largest investment banks in the world.

For questions and information about other events, please visit the Finance and Econ Club website.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Business Ambassadors Program

The ambassadors are preparing for another amazing semester full of new opportunities and new ideas coming to the Huntsman School. This last semester was a wonderful semester as the ambassadors worked to assist the many speakers that came to enlighten the students in the school with their experiences and insight, those speakers included Stephen Covey and Jon M. Huntsman along with many other accomplished business leaders who were eager to share with students what they knew in an effort to help the Huntsman School cultivate not only future business leaders but world leaders. Other events included helping assist with the many events that took place with the highly anticipated business week in hosting speakers and helping with things like the golf tournament, etc.

This next semester will provide great opportunity for students to learn from brilliant minds as they look towards the future and how they will make a difference. The ambassadors are planning to help host speakers at Dean's Convocations, Executive Leadership Events and Lectures. These events allow students to interact with the people that are working in the real world and gain an understanding of what real world business is really all about.

The business ambassadors are also heavily involved in the Huntsman Alumni Discovery Project and are conducting hundreds of interviews each semester to discover unrecognized leaders that came from USU in the past. These interviews build the ambassadors understanding of business principles and allow them to closely interact with people around the state. These interviews also give alumni the opportunity to discover the wonders that are happening in the school and gain an understanding of what they can do to help continue the rapid development that has taken place. The ambassadors are working hard to continue to build the school in whatever way possible to get the school's name out and help the world understand the changes that are taking place so that students can graduate with as much opportunity as possible. Its going to be another wonderful and eventful semester for the ambassadors as they prepare for the many events but even more so for students who have the opportunity to take advantage of these many events to learn and develop as they look to change the world.

Stephen Larsen