Bill Owens

The presidential candidates have sent a spark into the free-trade wood pile.  Think softwood lumber—as “in the weeds” as it gets.

Bill Owens: Did We Forget Some Thing(s)?

Sep 6, 2016

The presidential campaign has taken some surprising twists and turns, no doubt, and this may yet turn out to be the most interesting of elections.

Bill Owens: From Darkness Into Light

Aug 4, 2016

 

As I watched the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, it struck me that there was an extraordinary contrast between the speakers, the message, the tone and the atmosphere that emanated from each one. In the course of being interviewed by a local radio reporter I was asked what my reaction was to the two conventions, or how I might describe them, I responded by saying simply “darkness into light”. 

Bill Owens: Brexit: A View From Ireland

Jul 19, 2016

I had the good fortune to be in the Republic of Ireland in the days leading up to the Brexit vote and a few days thereinafter.  European news reports, conversations with people I spoke with while traveling around Ireland gave me a pro-EU perspective on Brexit.

Bill Owens: Where Will The Jobs Come From?

Jul 7, 2016

            Each of the presidential candidates has talked about bringing jobs back to America and creating jobs in America as an enticement to the battered middle class suffering from job loss and income stagnation.

Bill Owens: Moving To Canada, Eh?

Jun 21, 2016


Let me start by saying to those of you who have dual citizenship, please take note!  We are jealous.

Bill Owens: The Trump VP Sweepstakes

May 12, 2016

Audio Pending...

The sweep by Donald Trump of the last six primaries (and Cruz and Kasich's suspensions) portends a Trump nomination in Cleveland. The next big question is what Republican (and that in itself may be an assumption, based upon Ben Carson’s recent comments) will want to put his or her chips on the table to see if Donald picks them up? (A side note: Were the campaign suspensions evidence of lingering hope?)


Presidential candidate, Donald Trump visited Plattsburgh, N.Y. on Friday, April 15th.  Fortunately, I was out of town.

In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Belgium, the presidential candidates have not hesitated to offer their views on how to eliminate terrorist attacks. To become better informed on the candidates’ stances, recently I read an article in the New York Times, listened to General Hayden, the former NSA head, on NPR (I know some readers have now already disqualified me as a liberal), and read Karl Rove’s story in the Wall Street Journal. Talk about fair and balanced.

The media is awash with stories about how the Republican establishment is looking for a way to stop Mr. Trump. Efforts to stop him have received strong vocal support from former Governor Mitt Romney, and, to a lesser extent, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan (although McConnell’s and Ryan’s concerns may eventually prove to be, in reality, not necessarily presidential in nature).

The Republican debate on Thursday, February 25, had Mr. Trump, and to a lesser extent Senators Rubio and Cruz, presenting what only can be characterized as a silly idea for health care reform.  In contrast, a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Companies Form New Alliance to Target Health-Care Costs” presented a sensible proposal. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Office of the Canadian Prime Minister

In November, Justin Trudeau was sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada after defeating Stephen Harper in a surprise landslide.  Relations between the U.S. and the former Canadian leader had been lukewarm and cross-border visits by the heads of state were rare.  But that may be changing.  Prime Minister Trudeau will travel to Washington this week for a state visit.  Former North Country New York Congressman Bill Owens was co-chair of the congressional Northern Border Caucus while in office.  He currently is an advisor on cross border commerce and policy.  Owens, who will attend the opening reception for Trudeau in Washington, discussed the importance of the visit to WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Bill Owens: Anger 2016

Mar 1, 2016

There’s a lot of anger in the 2016 presidential campaign, whether it’s focused on the opposition, one another (intra-party), the electorate or government and politics. The latter doesn’t seem like a great strategy. Did the participants forget the adage about positive thinking and the glass being half full? Is it just an act to create a connection to middle-class, blue-collar workers who have been battered for the last 30 years by job loss, stagnating wages, and the perceived impact of immigration? Do they think that this creates a level of credibility that a smile and warmth does not convey? What happened to likability? Is everything all that grim?

It seems most of the media coverage and much of the country is focused on the presidential election of 2016. What will impact your life more: oil and China, or presidential politics?

Bill Owens: Facts About The Borders

Jan 5, 2016

A recent report produced by the majority staff of Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, dated November 23, 2015, provides some interesting data and insight about the security of our borders. The report, entitled “The State of America’s Border Security,” misses the target as it focuses on identification of immigration threats, with just a fleeting reference to the facilitation of legitimate trade. If you ignore the trade issue, then the feared threats will likely multiply as the number of jobs in the immigrants' home countries decline.

As we survey the Republican field of presidential candidates, there is an air of disbelief from moderate Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

Bill Owens: A Rational Approach To ISIS

Dec 8, 2015

In the aftermath of the attacks in Paris, Beirut (receiving virtually no media coverage), and now San Bernardino, California terrorism is in our consciousness. The immediate reaction from almost all of us is one of revulsion and anger.

Bill Owens: The Democratic Business Coalition

Dec 3, 2015

The recent passage of the Export-Import Bank reauthorization, and the budget deal which solved government funding and debt ceiling issues, appear to be movement towards bipartisan action. A closer look at the numbers, however, reveals all of this legislation needed significant Democratic votes—without which, these important legislative actions would have failed. Paul Ryan, the new Speaker of the House, appeared on the Sunday talk shows on November 1st, stating that there will be no immigration reform under President Obama, and he also vowed to reach consensus with House Republicans on all future legislation, the so-called Hastert rule.

Bill Owens: Back To The Commune

Nov 12, 2015

There have been a number of recent articles discussing how the growing senior population will be cared for. Let’s explore the options.

Bill Owens: Thinking - The Lost Art

Nov 3, 2015

The recent award of the Nobel Prize to Angus Deaton of Princeton caused me to ponder—well actually, think—about his reliance on data and analysis.

Bill Owens: Canadian Federal Election

Oct 27, 2015

The Canadian federal election was held Monday Oct 19. For most Americans, the response might be: who knew?

Bill Owens: Obamacare Versus Drug Costs

Oct 13, 2015

The national media has reported on Turing Pharmaceuticals’ 5,000 percent price increase for Daraprim, a treatment for toxoplasmosis. There are numerous other pharmaceutical companies who have taken control of a drug and dramatically increased the price. After reading those stories and reflecting on comments made to me by a close friend and local pharmacist, I asked him to show me examples of price increases that he has seen in the last several years. He provided five examples reflecting the following dramatic price increases: Colchicine went from $18 per 1,000 to $578; Digoxin went from $0.88 per 100 to $78; Carac cream went from $402 for 30 grams to $2,425; Levothyroxine ( a generic) went from $12 to $48 in six months; and Tasmar (100 mg), selling for $165.50 per hundred in 1998, increased to $4,525 in 2014, and then to $9,895 in 2015.

Bill Owens: House GOP In Bad Spot

Oct 12, 2015

The recent resignation of John Boehner as Speaker of the House has, of course, set-off a leadership race that has been and will be most interesting to watch. On Thursday October 8, 2015, the Republican Caucus planned to vote before McCarthy abruptly dropped out. It now appears the vote will be in the House Floor on October 29, 2015 without a Caucus vote. Stay tuned.

Bill Owens: Kim Davis, A Conscientious Objector?

Sep 29, 2015

Kim Davis, County Clerk of Rowan, Kentucky, recently defied a court order to issue marriage licenses to any eligible person(s). She based her position on the concept that she was responding to a “higher power,” and therefore would not issue the licenses.

Bill Owens: Governor Walker’s Bad Idea

Sep 15, 2015

Governor Scott Walker announced his support for considering building a wall along the Canadian border, which is clearly a really, really bad idea. It appears the governor is now back-tracking through his aides.

Bill Owens: Flat Wages?

Sep 8, 2015

Recent jobs data demonstrates that while employment continues to grow, wages have remained flat. There is speculation about the reasons with many economists offering different, but inconclusive analysis.

Bill Owens: President Donald?

Sep 3, 2015

Donald Trump, after what most commentators and observers concluded was an outrageous debate performance, has gyrated but clearly gained in the polls. The Republican establishment appears astonished, and the other candidates look lost.

Bill Owens: The Defense Budget And ISIS

Sep 1, 2015

The House and Senate Appropriations Committee are advancing defense spending bills after the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by each House. Neither appropriations nor NDAA legislation is likely to make it to the President’s desk in the form they exist today. In both instances, the legislation will require a Conference and intra caucus negotiations likely being be the most intense.

Bill Owens: Chinese Currency Manipulation

Aug 29, 2015

The recent Chinese government devaluation of its currency by approximately 4.4 percent is a cogent reminder of how the Chinese manipulate their economy, and the world economy.  There is no doubt that what the Chinese are doing is an effort to make these exports less expensive, which has been blatantly confirmed by senior leaders.  These actions continue a decades-long attack on US manufacturing with little or no negative consequences.

  The cities of Plattsburgh, Ogdensburg, Watertown, Saranac Lake, Malone, Potsdam, and Glens Falls in the North Country have all recently received accolades as places where people want to live as well as start and grow their businesses, all located in my old Congressional District.

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