Business Report: Stimulus talks, tax fight, political fundraising, Google lawsuit

Supporters of new federal stimulus bill hope it would encourage businesses to increase hiring

Progress was reported Tuesday on stimulus talks underway in Washington. A key objective of a new stimulus bill is to keep the economy moving forward, especially given recent signs that the job market is slowing. Dr. Charles Steindel, a resident scholar at Ramapo College, explains that in New Jersey some residents have simply given up trying to find a job, with thousands leaving the labor force last month. Proponents of more stimulus are hopeful increased federal government support for businesses will encourage them to increase hiring.

New Jersey will lose jobs if the state enacts a proposed financial transactions tax on stock trades. That’s the contention of Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5), who joined union leaders Tuesday outside the New York Stock Exchange’s data center in Mahwah. Gottheimer points to the NYSE’s threat to leave New Jersey, and he says that would lead to the loss of good-paying jobs.

COVID-19 put a damper on political fundraising efforts in the state. According to the Election Law Enforcement Commission, the state’s two major political parties and four legislative leadership committees have raised $2.6 million so far this year; that’s the third lowest total since 2007. That was due to a drop off in fundraising activity as the pandemic took hold, although in recent months fundraising has picked up steam — surging 135% in the third quarter.

A lot of us routinely say “just Google it.” The fact that most everyone uses Google for online searches led to an antitrust lawsuit being filed against the company Tuesday. The Trump administration’s lawsuit alleges Google abused its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and hurt consumers. Google called the lawsuit deeply flawed.