April 1, 2012

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Utah Business Staff

April 1, 2012

Part of it has to start with us and with this generation, because parents have a significant amount of influence in what their children do and where they go to school and how they view the world. It behooves all of us to look at the language that we use as we talk to our own children and our neighbors’ kids. It’s an important part of this.

BRIGHTWELL: We need to be realistic about who we are as a state. For our small portion of projects—I mentioned 190—over 50 percent of them are manufacturing based, so it’s a reality of who we are in Utah. Those also bring stability to our economy because they represent energy, food manufacturing, composites and metal manufacturing, aerospace, paper manufacturing, plastic, chemical, wood, defense, life sciences. Those are all projects that we’re working on now.

So there is a great opportunity to let our kids know that it is the fabric of what Utah is. When you couple that with the lifestyle that’s here, there is great opportunity.

What keeps you awake at night? What is the one thing you worry about?
BHASKAR: How to keep growing, especially internationally.

BRUCE: We may not be competing against each other, but we are competing. And to remain innovative in the front end, staying out in front of your competition, is something that can keep you up at night. Because I might be doing well, but am I doing good enough or am I really the best?

DICKSON: We have kind of an interesting thing going on right now—we’re getting ready to be sued by the state of California. What’s happened is we put “Made in the USA” on our blender boxes, and we can’t do that anymore. We can be made everywhere in the USA except California. We make our motors here in the United States, we make all of our plastic parts, all of our steel parts, all of our circuit boards. Everything is made in the U.S. except some parts on our circuit board—one-penny resisters and things like that.

The attorneys, who work on a contingency basis for the California Attorney General, will contact you and say, “We’re going to bring a suit. You’ve got to stop putting the American flag on your box because we found a component that’s not made in the United States.” And so then their attorney gets involved with our attorneys and they work out a deal.

FOSTER: They tend to bring these cases in en masse—it’s a racket. They do the same thing with rubber gloves in California. California’s created a lot of legal entrepreneurial concepts. I can’t speak authoritatively to all of them, but it’s a racket.

DICKSON: It’s a class action thing, which is good for us because then other people can’t come in later and do it, as I understand it. So the Attorney General will decide to settle—it’s just a way for the attorneys to make money. What we’re contemplating right now is taking them on. I’ve been on Leno and the Today Show.

California is a horrible place to do business. Why did I move my beautiful family from California? It’s a horrible place to do business. Utah is the best place in the world to do business.

CRAMER: As Todd says, the best economic development agency we’ve got in the state of Utah is the California State Legislature. They’re driving the Tom Dicksons here.


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