The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on August 28, 2013 · A16
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · A16

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
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Filename: A16-MAIN-AJCD0828-AJCD DateTime created: Aug 27 2013 8:12:18:316PM Username: SPEEDDRIVER13 Magenta Black 16A AJCD Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013 MAIN 16A A16 CREDIBLE. COMPELLING. COMPLETE. THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION WEDNESDAY, AUG. 28, 2013 Atlanta Forward TOPIC SCHEDULE Monday Schools Tuesday Transportation Wednesday Regional economy Thursday Leadership Friday Quality of life What is Atlanta Forward? Our region is an important part of a complex world. On these pages, we will bringyou a wide array of viewpoints and insights on the issues you've told us are most important to you. We're committed to bringing you smart work by some of the best thinkers in metro Atlanta and beyond. We want to involve you in the conversation, too, so let us know what you think. Response to last week's conversation Atlanta Forward readers weren't surprised to read last week that millennials people between the ages of 22 and 32 don't foresee a bright financial future. Here are some comments posted under each participant's screen name. Dusty: Hurrah for the millennials. They are one smart bunch! They want to pay off their debts and get rid of that drag on their lives. If only our president and Congress could get the same fever. The U.S. is frittering around with the greatest debt known in history. Citizens feel that drag in every way. Yet the government keeps right on spending more and printing more worthless dollars. Perhaps the younger generations of our country will save us from bankruptcy. They sound smarter than the passing generation. So stop telling them not to worry about debt. They are smarter than that. Down with debt and debilitation. An observer: So we have two opinion articles written by two salesmen arguing for what? That millennials should not pay down their debts? Having the burden of a debt bill to pay each month or face bankruptcy or foreclosure is very stressful. Interest charges take away the potential to save. Millennials should limit their spending as much as they can to first establish an emergency cash fund; participate in a 401(k) plan to the extent an employer offers a match, and pay down debt before they consider much else. Once debt is paid off, they can consider spending a little more to live and "invest." Bonds and stocks are low-return investments right now, until the federal government figures out what it is going to do to further manipulate the economy. USC-69: The millennial generation is leaving college with a huge debt and reduced job opportunities. This is not entirely their fault. However, they have also been led to expect an easy road. How many have already held jobs and paid taxes? How many have purchased their own cars, paid their own rent and cooked their own food? Drive down Highland Boulevard and see the masses of millennials waiting to be fed in expensive restaurants. Check their shopping carts at the supermarket (if they happen to wander in there) - lots of frozen pizzas, beer and ready-mades. Do they understand markets, interest rates, value investing, Social Security, health care costs? Not much, from the conversations I have had. Many are winners and have been indoctrinated in generational adversarial philosophy. They also are frequently poorly versed in important current events. This group may be easily molded by the right wing and could become dangerous. I think our educational system and parenting have let down the country, partially due to our own greed and lack of attention. What should be done at this point? Jack: Put the money spent on lottery tickets, beer, cigarettes, sports events and movies in a savings account. You'll be surprised at how fast it grows. Have a certain amount withheld from your paycheck to go into savings, and you'll never miss it. Today's moderator: opinion columnist Join the discussion online: Share your opinions and ideas at blogs.ajc.comatlanta-forward. Georgia businesses are successfully exporting goods and services to the world, so much so that they accounted for a state record in the first half of this year when compared to the same period in 2012. Merchandise exports increased 4 percent, from $17.8 billion to $18.5 billion. Today's guest writers note the economic importance of the respectable gain. GUEST COLUMN Exporting is good for Ga. businesses By Don Nay When I left Atlanta at the end of 1990 to serve in Europe, Africa, Asia and Washington with the U.S. Commercial Service, the Braves had the worst record in baseball. Times have changed. Now, Georgia can boast about more than the Braves. In addition to exporting our baseball prowess, the state also has come a long way in exporting our goods and services to the world. New data from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that Georgia hit a record for exporting in the first half of 2013. Merchandise exports increased 4 percent in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, growing from $17.8 billion to a record high $18.5 billion. Merchandise export sales in the first half of 2013 outpaced 2012 figures in many top destinations, including the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Mexico. Sales cut across many sectors: transportation equipment, machinery, chemicals, paper and food. Three sectors exported more than $1 billion of products in the first six months of 2013: aerospace products and parts ($3.1 billion); pulp, paper and paperboard mill products ($1.6 billion), and motor GUEST COLUMN Imports, exports robust in Georgia By Kathe Falls Trade in Georgia is on the rise as the U.S. economy rebounds. In 2012, Georgia experienced a record year for both exports and imports. With more than $35.9 billion in goods exported to 233 countries and territories, our state ranked 12th in the nation for exports. Georgia led the U.S. in exports of poultry, chemical wood pulp, cotton, Kraft paper and paperboard, carpet, kaolin and peanuts. We also imported more than $72.4 billion in goods and services. Why is trade so robust? It certainly helps that companies can get their products and services to market quickly. Our logistics system includes the world's busiest and most efficient passenger airport, the fourth-largest and fastest-growing deep-water port in the U.S., and an extensive surface transportation network. In addition, companies are increasingly engaging in trade. Federal grants have enabled the state's International Trade Division to ramp up the level of free and low-cost services it offers Georgia taxpayers. In addition, more and more Georgia businesses are discovering the benefits of exporting products and servic- Rick Badie joined The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as an education reporter in 1 997. A South Georgia native, he's covered the region's immigrant communities, and was a feature obituary writer and for the AJC's Gwinnett edition. Don Nay is director of the Atlanta U.S. Export Assistance Center. vehicles ($1 billion). Let's look at the increase from the eyes of a local exporter. Thrush Aircraft, a small business based in Albany, exports aerial-application aircraft used in agriculture, forestry and firefighting. The company, founded in 2003, employs 185 people. After learning about the Export-Import Bank of the United States from a colleague, Thrush took advantage of the bank's services in 2010 to export an aircraft to Kenya. Since then, Thrush's production has doubled from 30 to 60 aircraft, and the company has added 60 new jobs. Today, there are more than 2,200 Thrush aircraft operating in some 80 countries around the world. More than 60 percent of the company's Kathe Falls is division director of international trade for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. es around the world. Companies that export are 20 percent more likely to grow faster and are 9 percent less likely to go out of business. That's because exports help increase sales, which, in turn, lower production costs and increase profits. Exporting to new markets expands product life cycle and brings global market intelligence to a business. In today's market, businesses are looking for a stable environment and job security. International trade can help diversify a business and reduce risks. Exports also contribute to the community and state economy. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, they create twice as many jobs as domestic trade. For every job created in making a product, another job is sales are international. "Without successful exporting, revenue growth would be severely restricted," said Thrush CFO Paul Joiner. "Exporting is not just an adjunct to our domestic sales; it is a critical part of our overall sales strategy. Exporting certainly presents unique challenges, but the rewards are fully worth it." During the past year, we've seen an uptick in the number of companies that realize when domestic sales are flat, global opportunities are a great way to thrive as a U.S. business. That is why U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker visited Atlanta last Friday to talk with American businesses about what works for them and how we can replicate their success. It is part of her nationwide listening tour to hear about business leaders' priorities, concerns and ideas on how the public and private sectors can work together to strengthen the economy and create jobs. The latest export numbers should encourage even more Georgia companies to throw their hat into the export arena. When they do, we will be here to assist. created to get that product to market. Additionally, employees of exporting firms generally make 13 to 18 percent higher wages than those of firms that don't export. The mission of the Georgia Department of Economic Development is to create jobs in Georgia. Our international trade division does that by helping small and medium-sized companies export products. Companies we assist include, but are not limited to, agricultural companies, manufacturers, and assembly, research and development, distribution and headquarters operations. We can help Georgia companies research markets, find buyers, participate in trade shows and access customized services, all at no or reduced cost. Last year, our trade team helped 1,308 companies close more than 400 deals, a 33-percent increase over the previous year, thanks in part to a generous State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. If you're a small business owner in Georgia, there's no better time than now to take advantage of your taxpayer dollars at work. Find out how international trade can take your company to the next level. MCNAIR ACADEMY Heroic actions show how we all should be I would like to address this to Antoinette Tuff. I do not know you. There are likely many things about you and I that are very different, but likely, some things we have in common. I am a middle-aged white man, a father of two, a university professor and a Quaker. I have many beliefs and ideas about how I want my children to be in the world, and how I want to be in the world. It is often a struggle to be the person I want to be, to turn faith into action. But as I read and then watched interviews of your account of your experience, I wept. You saw a man who was undeniably scary, dangerous and violent, but you also saw someone worthy of empathy and love. You made yourself vulnerable and connected with that inner light of God -of humanity in each of us. By your strength, beauty and humility, you saved so many from unimaginable loss. By your actions, you saved the life of a troubled young man. By your actions, you show us all a way to be in the world. Thank you. MICHAEL KRAMER, ATLANTA JOGGER SHOOTING Hateful beliefs lead to senseless killing It is quite upsetting that an Australian man was shot to death in Oklahoma for no reason. The teens accused of committing this senseless crime reportedly did so because they were "bored." As far as teen violence is concerned, some people blame the community, while others say it is a gun-related issue. To me, violence is directly related to hate. Hateful beliefs allow humans to be dehumanized. We need to teach our youth that every human life has been created by God and possesses special dignity. To end an innocent life is not only an injustice to humanity, but to God as well. May God elevate the status of the victim, and help his family to bear this loss. ATTIYAGHANI, LAWRENCEVILLE To kill if we feel like it that's pathological I was reading about three teenagers accused of killing an innocent athlete while he was jogging. Why? Because they were bored. This suggests something terribly wrong in this country. There is a deep pathology that runs through our society. Our methodology for solving problems is armament - the one with the biggest gun wins. We no longer nurture a mentality of peaceful resolution. Rather than discussing issues to reach a compromise, we just kill if we feel like it. I don't know if this is a reflection of our foreign policy, or (maybe) our military might, but we have gotten off the path of righteousness. Australians love their guns just as much as Americans, yet their gun-related killings rank among the lowest in the developed world. I think the numbers speak for themselves. We should all be ashamed of ourselves for allowing this to happen. DONALD VARN.CONYERS Letters to the editor should be no longer than 150 words and must include a daytime phone number for verification. They may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in print or other formats. Email submissions are preferred. Email: lettersajc.com. How to submit an Opinion column: Submissions should be 600 words or less. Email columns to Opinion EditorTom Sabulisat tsabulisajc.com. Columns submitted to the AJC may be published, republished and made available in the AJC or other databases and electronic formats. Magenta Black 16A AJCD Filename: A16-MAIN-AJCD0828-AJCD DateTime created: Aug 27 2013 8:12:18:316PM Username:

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