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That includes uncertainty related to over-regulation in such areas as environmental concerns, banking concerns and healthcare, Intel's Otellini said.
For instance, Chapman University's Campbell asked Otellini about such issues as the Environmental Protection Agency now having regulatory authority over carbon dioxide output and the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act providing for a new Consumer Protection Bureau, which can act against businesses without Congressional authority.
Otellini said that such uncertainties mean that industry has cheap money, but not easy money. He explained that customers and distributors can't get loans to carry inventory and that investment in the U.S. is restricted by regulations. Healthcare is also a big regulatory overhang. "Business people don't like uncertainty," he said. "The more variables are uncertain, the harder it is to make decisions."
Otellini also said that corporate tax rates in the U.S. are among the highest in the world, a fact that retards the ability of companies to bring cash from overseas to the U.S. He called for a lower, more competitive tax rate combined with the elimination of tax loopholes.
Otellini did say there are new opportunities to bring high-end jobs back to the U.S. from places like China and India thanks to the rising cost of doing business in those countries.
For instance, the cost of working with mid-level engineers in those two countries is similar to that of the U.S., whereas the cost of working with senior-level management is becoming higher than in the U.S., because of the fact that such personnel with strong English-language ability and management experience are rare.
When asked whether he was bullish on the State of California, Otellini answered in the negative.
"Oh God," he said. "I was born in California and raised here. But, we've messed it up so much. ... I'm afraid the abyss will be like Greece."
Otellini said that Intel has not increased headcount in California in the last 10 to 12 years and has closed its last factory in the state. Employees cannot afford to buy a house in California, and they complain about their local schools. "If it wasn't for the magic of Silicon Valley, there would probably be a net [population] exodus," he said.