Columnist : Lincoln Institute


1.) Do you FAVOR or OPPOSE adoption of legislation that would give legal recognition to electronic documents and “electronic signatures” for business transactions that are conducted on-line?

63%     FAVOR
25%     OPPOSE
12%     DON’T KNOW

2.) Do you think transaction such as permits, licenses, and property records should be allowed to be handled electronically?

67%     YES
28%     NO
5%      DON’T KNOW

3.) Who should decide what features and applications are to be included in software packages, the GOVERNMENT or TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES?

15%     DON’T KNOW

4.) When it comes to technology, particularly electronic commerce, do you think government laws and regulations are keeping pace with innovations in the private sector?

8%      YES
79%     NO
13%     DON’T KNOW

5.) Do you believe Internet and other forms of electronic communication are Constitutionally protected  “free speech” rights.

50%     YES
34%     NO
16%     DON’T KNOW

6.) Should the Internet be designated a regulated utility (similar to natural gas and electricity), or should it operate in a free market environment?

9%      DON’T KNOW

7.) Do you think the so-called “Gore Tax,” which places a tax on your telephone bill to fund Internet access for schools, libraries, and clinics, is fair?

8%      FAIR
86%     UNFAIR
6%      DON’T KNOW

8.) Do you think technology has fundamentally changed the U.S. Economy to the point where “normal” cycles of growth and recession will be minimized or eliminated?

23%     YES
53%     NO
24%     DON’T KNOW

9.) Does your business have a web site?

93%     YES
7%      NO

If “NO”:

Do you plan to go on-line with a web site  within the next year?

63%     YES
25%     NO
12%     DON’T KNOW

10.) What percentage of your company’s sales are conducted electronically via e-mail or the Internet?

97%     0-25%
3%      25-50%
0%      50-75%
0%      75-100%

11.) Do you use the Internet for:

21%     Sales and Marketing
14%     Customer Service
26%     Obtain Information
20%     Distribute Information
18%     Internal Communications

12.) Do you personally use e-mail?

87%     YES
13%     NO

13.)  In your opinion, have information technologies, e-commerce, and the Internet had a significant impact on your company’s productivity?

52%     YES
45%     NO
3%      DON’T KNOW

14.) When it comes to regulation and tax policies governing technology, how would you rate Pennsylvania’s business climate?

39%     GOOD
46%     FAIR
13%     POOR

15.) What do you think was the most significant technological advancement of the 1990s?

48%     Internet
31%     Computer Technology
11%     E-Commerce
8%      Cell Phones
2%      Fiberoptics


1.) In general, do you think business conditions in Pennsylvania are better, the same, or worse than they were six months ago?

28%     Better
66%     Same
5%      Worse
1%      No Opinion

2.)  Looking ahead six months, do you think business conditions will be better, the same, or worse than they are now?

24%     Better
57%     Same
16%     Worse
3%      No Opinion

3.) Are employment levels at your company higher, the same, or lower than they were six months ago?

40%     Higher
46%     Same
14%     Lower
0%      No Opinion

4.) Looking ahead six months, do you anticipate that employment levels at your company will be higher, stay the same, or be lower?

28%       Higher
60%       Same
12%       Lower
0%       No Opinion

5.) Have you company’s sales increased, stayed relatively the same, or decreased during the past six months?

50%       Increased
32%       Stayed the Same
17%       Decreased
1%       No Opinion

6.) Do you expect your company’s sales to increase, stay relatively the same, or decrease during the coming six months?

52%       Increase
41%       Same
5%       Decrease
2%       No Opinion

7.) At any point in the past six months has your company considered moving all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?

6%      Did Move Some Operations
20%    Considered Moving Some Operations
4%     Considered Moving All Operations
0%     Moved Operations INTO Pennsylvania
70%    Didn’t Consider Any Moves

8.) Do you foresee at any point in the coming six months your company considering moving all or part of its Pennsylvania operations to another state?

3%      May Move All Operations
30%     May Move Some Operations
65%     No Considering Any Moves
2%      May Move Operations INTO Pennsylvania

9.) In general, do you have a positive, negative, or no opinion of the job performance of the following individuals?

Positive Negative No Opinion
President Bill Clinton 10% 85% 5%
Alan Greenspan 94% 3% 3%
Senator Arlen Specter 39% 42% 19%
Senator Rick Santorum 63% 19% 18%
Governor Tom Ridge 85% 8% 7%

10.) In general, do you have a positive, negative, or no opinion of the job performances of the following institutions?

    Positive         Negative          No Opinion    
The United States Senate 41% 49% 10%
The U.S. House of Representatives 34% 53% 13%
The Pennsylvania Senate 49% 27% 24%
The PA House of Representatives 43% 30% 27%

The Lincoln institute’s Keystone Business Climate Survey was conducted between August 27, 1999 and September 17, 1999.  A total of 110 Pennsylvania-based companies, each employing over 125 individuals, responded to the survey.