It seemed to start with Steve Jobs. Jobs wore black turtlenecks when he was presenting new ideas to the Apple bureaucracy, as well as the general public. Many a medical expert has claimed that Mr. Jobs could have lived considerably longer, and possibly even enjoyed his billions for a few more years had he taken the right measures to address his cancer. But we’ve all failed in some respect, it is just that being a billionaire makes everyone examine your life with microscopes and make judgements. The world is full of Monday morning quarterbacks, yours truly included at least to some degree.Keep Reading
The Covid pandemic created a lot of economic changes. Privileged employees who taunt their employers and claim they will never return to their office. Wages moved up because of a lack of talent. (“Talent” is human resource jargon for employees.) Members of the U.S. Congress made high-yielding stock purchases because of inside information, and now dare their constituents to try to make such inside information trades illegal while they waive their gains in the face of their electorates.
Some information before we continue. There is a public organization called the Federal Reserve System. No, wait, it is a private organization. No, wait, the Fed, as it is called, is, um, both. Owned by the banks (big ones, naturally) the Fed is a privately held public organization, and don’t you dare ask the names of those banks. After all, knowing the names of those banks would open to public scrutiny decisions about interest rates charged to the public, and we just can’t have that, now can we? After all, private organizations that have a vested interest in public policy deserve their privacy, now don’t they? If only they were on Facebook, then we could buy all of their personal information, but no, they have far too much money for that to happen.Keep Reading
The student debt problem remains, but there are always options. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Maxine Waters, D-Calif. and Senator Elizabeth Warren, like spoiled children who can’t get what they want the fair and proven legislative way, will create a workaround. The aforementioned representatives are suggesting, or, even insisting, that President Biden achieve what they cannot accomplish via legislation by issuing an executive order relieving millions from their student debt. An executive order would be a great boon (in the way of votes) for the Democrats who pushed for it. Look for such a move close to the election, where it will be firmly in the minds of voters.
To quote Senator Elizabeth Warren: “Student loan debt is crushing millions, especially during this pandemic. It’s an anchor dragging down our struggling economy.” So adding trillions to the government debt will be a good economic move?Keep Reading
ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.Series: The Secret IRS Files Inside the Tax Records of the .001%
In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world’s richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes.Keep Reading
For many Americans, the Covid-19 pandemic is becoming a life-changing event. As millions of jobs openings go unfilled, thousands, if not millions of American workers are quitting their jobs and seeking more rewarding opportunities; some of the workers claim that they are striking out on their own to start a business. As marketing classes taught those of us who went to business college, “find a need, fill it.” Business college also taught how to evaluate a market as well as determine what to charge your clients. A few numbers for the quitters to consider: Fifty percent of new businesses close within five years, and lack of management experience is the number one reason that small businesses fail.Keep Reading
In a very disturbing article by Noah Smith in “Bloomberg Opinion,” Smith seems to be of the mind described in the article’s title, “Too Many of America’s Smartest Waste Their Talents.” Smith cites a lawsuit by a group of students who call themselves Students for Fair Admissions, the lawsuit alleging that Harvard University used “highly subjective personality ratings to penalize Asian applicants.” By definition, subjective means “based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes or opinions.” Welcome to the world, Students for Fair Admissions.
One of the most painful lessons of Life is that your accomplishments might mean nothing to someone making a decision to give you an opportunity, but if it is any consolation, they will tell you how much you impressed them in the rejection email they send you.Keep Reading
For the past decades, corporations such as Toyota, General Motors, Walmart, and others have practiced a supply chain blueprint called Just In Time. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many things, and the Just In Time practice (which will be referred to as JIT in this article) is one of them.
JIT began with Toyota, manufacturing automobiles. The JIT supply chain model is where the assembly plant receives the parts for the automobile in a manner that is just in time, that is to say, the delivery of parts comes just when needed, and the parts are used in the assembly of the automobile within hours.
The JIT model saved millions (some say billions, but whenever I asked them to show me the actual figures, they declined) of dollars in warehousing parts as well as the managers and personnel required to maintain those warehouses. Thousands of parts all arrive and within just a few hours they are assembled into the finished automobile.
The JIT model became a blueprint for logistics managers all across many industries. I dare say that many of these JIT-educated managers never managed a fleet of a trucks, never handled crates on a forklift, or tackled a complex assembly process by hand on the factory floor.Keep Reading
The CARES Act, Public Law No: 116-136 (03/27/2020) aka the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act allows student loan borrowers to defer payments without accruing interest from September 2020 to October of 2021. The balances, or the total loan debt, will not increase in that time frame. As of the fourth quarter of 2020, none of more than half of the federal student loans totaling $1.6 trillion will be required to be paid back. Twenty-two million citizens who borrowed money from the federal government for college won’t be making an average payment of $400 a month .The interest that has been cancelled by the CARES Act totals $5 billion per month, with a total projected to be $90 billion. The taxpayers are footing that bill, all while the debt of the United States climbs to record highs.
In the meantime, Senator Elizabeth Warren is asking President Biden to cancel $50,000 per student of their loan debts. The request is for President Biden to just cancel the debts, by presidential order. The prevalence of our “cancel culture” means whatever anyone wants is now just a presidential declaration away. As former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel said, “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”Keep Reading
*Who is the luckiest person you have ever met or known? Were they all wealthy, or did they have some other sources of satisfaction with their lives, be it love, family, religion, other than being filthy rich?
Clifton Mark, in an article on the website Aeon, closed a disappointing essay on meritocracy with the following: “Despite the moral assurance and personal flattery that meritocracy offers to the successful, it ought to be abandoned both as a belief about how the world works and as a general social ideal. It’s false, and believing in it encourages selfishness, discrimination and indifference to the plight of the unfortunate.”
My first question would be: Don’t those people who were born into wealth, sent to expensive private schools (fully stocked with legacies), and who then take positions in organizations where legacies are the rule and not the exception, also have a considerable amount of selfishness, discrimination and indifference to the plight of the unfortunate? Why stop with meritocracy? Aristocrats have a long history of a callus disregard for those less fortunate than themselves.
The prevalence of the term “privileged” used to epitomize a generation that regards hard work as pointless is approaching its maximum; Mr. Mark is preaching to the choir of the privileged generation, who are dyspathetic to hard work of any kind. Keep Reading
*The efficiency of government depends on human capital and that means hiring the right people. The federal hiring process is lengthy, and while background checks and steps in the hiring process currently in place seem to be sufficient, bad actors still get through.
Modernizing the hiring process to include more nascent, emerging, credential verification technologies is needed. This is not just to prevent wasted resources spent on hiring the wrong candidates, but can prevent national security threats by instituting modern credential verification processes. Modern technologies can go a long way to protect our country from bad actors, while saving the federal government a lot of money by preventing bad hires.
The Cost of Fraud
In just the recent history, the 2019 college admissions scandal, nicknamed Operation Varsity Blues, rocked the nation when it exposed a criminal conspiracy to influence admissions decisions at several top American universities. It was disclosed on March 12, 2019, by US federal prosecutors. At least 51 people are alleged to have been part of the scandal for paying more than $25 million over several years to bribe college officials, fraudulently inflating entrance exam test scores, athletic abilities and so forth. Keep Reading