Thursday, May 03, 2012

Time to set up the American Business Chamber

JBowers makes a good catch in a prior comment thread.  From one chamber to another:

Climate change dispute erupts with Aspen telling U.S. Chamber of Commerce to take a hike 
Aspen's chamber of commerce isn't the first to sever ties with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over political differences. The chamber in Homer, Alaska, made national headlines when it canceled its membership last year....  
At a retreat on Tuesday, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association's board voted 11 to 1 to withdraw its membership from the national organization. Tension between Aspen's chamber and the national one existed for years. The 680-member local chamber penned a letter to the national group in 2010 delineating its differences. But this year — which saw the driest winter in Aspen since the 1976-1977 season — politics are in overdrive thanks to the coming November general election. Several weeks ago, Aspen's chamber began feeling pressure from Schendler and his Aspen Skiing Co. bosses, the mayor, a pair of county commissioners and residents who had had enough of the local chamber's affiliation with the right-wing U.S. Chamber and its obstruction of solutions to climate change. .... 
The local chamber's recap continued: “Aspen’s economy is inextricably tied to the future of the global climate and all area entities have deeply embraced the idea of reducing our carbon footprint. With our resignation from the U.S. Chamber, the ACRA shows its solidarity with this position.” 

Two small cities are more than enough to christen this a trend sweeping the entire country.  Okay, maybe it's just a good sign, but I'll take it.  There are plenty of other small liberal resort towns and ski towns.  As the article notes, there are also a number of large businesses that have had enough of the US Chamber and its decision to favor conservative-leaning businesses over moderate and progressive businesses.

I think our local Silicon Valley chambers, and other places with strong green energy business interests, should be following the same steps to support their local business interest, along with the national and human interest.  I've gone back and forth in the past over whether businesses should fight to change the US Chamber from the inside or the outside, but I think the outside is looking more like the best alternative.

There already exists a Green Chamber of Commerce, pushing for business-friendly environmental solutions.  I think that's a great idea, but in addition to that maybe we need an umbrella American Business Chamber to be the Gandalf to the US Chamber's Saruman - to be what the US Chamber should have been.  The Green Chamber, local Chambers, and individual businesses rejecting Saruman could join a politically neutral, national level American Business Chamber rather than one that's decided to be a tool and player on one side of the political spectrum.  They should get back to ABC.

13 comments:

J Bowers said...

A real test of the Chamber of Commerce has just presented itself in the form of Heartland's huge billboard posters in the lead up to their conference. Take a look, but put down your coffee first. Any contributor to Heartland who continues to fund those muppets is committing PR suicide. It will also be telling to see who pulls out of the conference and who stays. Bast and Lakely are more and more becoming the kiss of funding death to all that they're involved with (ALEC, for example).

Martin Vermeer said...

Yeah, incredible. BTW they forgot Breivik, for some reason ;-/

And I'm pretty sure the Unabomber also believed in chemistry. And bin Laden in aeronautics.

J Bowers said...

Well, British UKIP MEP Roger Helmer's standing by Heartland and will be attending. Fun will be had with Bob Ferguson's mate, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

What ashame. I will have to write a letter of condolence to the Aspen bozos, condoling them for not being able to benefit from my money because I will never ski at Aspen because of this regressionist policy. Oh well, Whistler was wonderful this winter and its better anyways.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@J Bowers

ho ho ho! Those billboards are amazing! PR suicide! My friend that right there is the mark of PR brilliance. Lord Monckton could not have done better himself.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

ho ho ho ho, smoked again.

"A survey released just last month showed that 77 percent of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association’s membership supported the U.S. Chamber and voted to remain affiliated with it, Latoff noted.

“It’s unfortunate that rather than working to establish a path forward, select members of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association Board chose to politicize their departure to benefit their own agenda,” he said. “The U.S. Chamber works with thousands of state and local chambers across the country and will continue to partner on the issues that impact job creators and our country’s economic recovery.”


what a surprise, a select, small group of activists want special treatment. Liberalism on parade.

Boy spirits must be way down in the dumpster here at Rabbett Run for this to be a big headline.

where is John Mashey? Somebody better get him over here to set me straight!

J Bowers said...

Jay quotes a US Chamber mouthpiece. More, with quotes from the folks actually in Aspen:

Aspen Chamber “Says Goodbye” to U.S. Chamber

And no, Jay, I am not a Kiwi, either. Nor a brown noser.

Brian said...

Re that survey in Aspen:

"However, only 66 businesses responded out of hundreds polled."

I think there are over 700 businesses in that chamber. I don't see the survey as overly persuasive, but we'll find out in the next chamber elections.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@Brian

ho ho ho ho! Just like your little 97% consensus study!

Touche!

Anonymous said...

Any aged, over-the-hill physicists resign from American Chamber recently?

Probably not, or Fox News and the Wall Street Journal would surely have reported it.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

You can always tell when Jaybird is getting nervous. His posts have more "Ho Ho Hos" than a sea shanty... more "Ho Ho Hos" than a Kardashian family reunion!

But Jaybird, which survey showing 97% are you referring to--there are so many.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveys_of_scientists%27_views_on_climate_change

EliRabett said...

There is but one 500 pound gorilla in that Chamber.

Ashton Jones said...

John I Dickerson Alpine Capital knows good business, speaking from personal experience.