Beware of Demagogues

Robert Reich discusses the growing government cynicism the result of a number of things including political rhetoric, politician’s misuse of authority, capitalism overtaking democracy and the increasing control of special interest over the affairs of the public.


When material self-interest is the only interest that is served, then government becomes an instrument in service to those with the means to purchase it.  Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #29

In a New York Times interview Andrew M. Thompson, co-founder and C.E.O of Proteus, spoke about how he advances the capability of his company by creating and maintaining what he calls “ a leadership culture as opposed to a management culture.”  As Andrew noted, “culture in our company is a really big deal, and we have a values system built around quality, teamwork and leadership.” Continue reading

Becoming the Greatest

Where are we headed?

The significant finding in a recent US Census report (Income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States: 2010) isn’t that the poverty rate is highest since 1993.  Rather it is that the poverty rate had been steadily declining between 1993 (15.1%) and 2000 (11.3%) and steadily increasing to its present 15.1% since 2000.  What caused a worsening upward trend to emerge from what had been an improving outlook? What policies affected the difference between these two periods? Continue reading

Act on Causes not Outcomes

Properly reporting and interpreting the movement in the monthly unemployment rate requires one to have an understanding of variation.  Yes, while it may be a surprise to many, monthly outcomes do vary from month to month irrespective of whether there is an identifiable cause—you can call this random noise.  There are also variation patterns that are not noise but signal that something has changed, that something is different in the system. Being able to discern signal from noise is critical to the proper interpretation of what is going on (or not) in the system that produces the outcome—it informs sound decision-making. Continue reading

Two Economies, Not!

Jared Bernstein’s recent article about the existence of two U.S. economies presents data showing the incongruence between corporate profit and (middle–class) compensation—the former with a steady increasing trend and the latter a steady decreasing trend.  These trends are not 2008 recession era trends they have been evident for decades.  The conclusion drawn from these is that America has two economies.  Perhaps we should think a bit more critically about this. Continue reading