Business leaders call for ‘patience and civility’ ahead of US election, tying economic health to democracy
Business leaders are calling on Americans to be patient and civil ahead of the 2020 presidential election, citing the importance of maintaining confidence in democracy during the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 50 executives across the fields of tech, finance, retail, and real estate signed onto a statement released Wednesday by the Leadership Now Project, a group founded by Harvard Business School alumni focused on protecting democracy.
“America has successfully held elections through previous challenges, like the Civil War, World Wars l and ll, and the 1918 flu pandemic… we can and must do so again,” the group said in the statement. “As business leaders, we know firsthand that the health of America’s economy and markets rests on the founding principle of our democracy: elections where everyone’s vote is counted.”
The statement was backed by big names in business, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, former Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, and General Assembly chief executive Lisa Lewin. Massachusetts executives on the list include Seth Klarman of Baupost Group, Tricia Glynn of Advent International, Trinidad Grange-Kyner from Tufts Health Plan, and Eric Spindt from Commonwealth Financial Group.
The group emphasized that it could take weeks or more until election results are confirmed because of the number of citizens voting by mail this year. They asked Americans to stay calm, “making it clear that they will refuse to accept any results called too early or based on insufficient data.”
The statement also called on journalists to “avoid calling the election before sufficient data are available,” and asked business leaders to “promote patience and civility among employees, communities, and the American people.”
LinkedIn’s Hoffman wrote that “election results inaccurately or prematurely reported by journalists, elected officials
NASA’s first economic impact report suggests that the agency generated nearly $65 billion in economic impact during fiscal year 2019, with much of that activity coming from the Artemis program to return astronauts to the moon by 2024.
The agency released the report (which covers the period between Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019) as it continues negotiations for its fiscal 2021 budget. That 2021 budget request by the Trump administration calls for a 12% increase for the agency to $25 billion, including a substantial contribution to Artemis for a planned 2024 astronaut landing on the moon. That budget has not been approved yet, as both the House and Senate continue markups of their versions of the bill. On Sept. 30, the Senate averted a government shutdown by passing a stopgap measure that will keep the government running until Dec. 11, according to The Hill.
Related: Beacon of hope? NASA sees inspiration parallels between Apollo and Artemis moonshots
The new study, which you can read on NASA’s website, was conducted by the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“In this new era of human spaceflight, NASA is contributing to economies locally and nationally, fueling growth in industries that will define the future, and supporting tens of thousands of new jobs in America,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. “With an investment of just one-half of 1% of the federal budget, NASA generates significant total economic output annually.”
The report estimates that NASA supported more than 312,000 jobs across the U.S., including 69,000 jobs in the agency’s “moon to Mars” initiative, which includes Artemis.
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