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Archive For: Management

Understanding President Trump

Some of the people who opposed President Trump may never give him a chance. But I believe many others are prevented from doing so only because they misunderstand his intellectual style. This is ironic because that style draws upon two things prominent in our western cultural tradition—hyperbole and a common sense approach to everyday challenges.

Hyperbole is exaggeration used to capture an audience’s attention and emphasize an idea.… Read More

 

Refusing to Listen Can Be Costly

Woman covering earsWhen little children don’t want to hear what they are being told, they put their hands over their ears and repeat, “I’m not listening” to further drown out the unwanted message. Such behavior is not very charming in children and much less so in adults, particularly in people who hold important positions.

Recently I was speaking with the executive director of a company I do business with.… Read More

 

Raising Workplace Morale

MORALE, checked at TinEyeI entered the newly designed express lane at the grocery store, said “Hi” to the cashier, and then realized I was on the back side of the lane, which looked exactly like the front side! The cashier said, with evident frustration, “It’s happened a lot lately. I wish the managers had gotten input from the cashiers before changing the lanes.”

The problem is not new, nor is it confined to grocery stores.… Read More

 

The Yertles of Capitalism

25026397_sCapitalism is superior to other economic systems mainly because it provides equality of opportunity. In contrast, socialism strives for an impossible goal—equality of outcome—and in the process suppresses liberty. Yet, like every other human invention, Capitalism is far from perfect, and that is a fact its conservative cheerleaders would do well to remember.

One of Capitalism’s chief imperfections is that it attracts Yertles. I am borrowing the name from Dr.… Read More

 

Wages, Capitalism, And Morality: Part II

Leoxiii(Note: Part I documented that the minimum wage harms the very people it is designed to help and the popular alternative—letting capitalism work, unencumbered by regulations—encourages practices that cry out for reform. It concluded by suggesting that a new approach is needed, one based on a discipline that economists seldom consult—ethics.)

The division of knowledge into particular fields of study and the tendency to narrow specialization within each field have led many scholars to assume that nothing outside their disciplines is relevant to those disciplines.… Read More

 

Wages, Capitalism, And Morality: Part I

Economist Milton FriedmanIt is commonly believed that fairness demands a certain level of wage be guaranteed to all workers. That is the idea behind the minimum wage that has long existed in the U.S. and other countries. But does that wage benefit workers? Some economists say it does, but others argue that it actually hurts those it is designed to help. People on latter side of the argument include Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams (who calls the minimum wage “maximum folly”), and Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman.… Read More

 

Saving The Charitable Deduction And More

deductionsFor some time now politicians of both parties have been talking about ways to get America’s fiscal house in order. The Democratic chant is “We’ve got to raise taxes on the wealthy.” The Republican chant is “We’ve got to curtail spending.” To no one’s surprise, the two sides have been at impasse, largely because neither side is genuinely committed to its own chant, let alone accepting of the other side’s.… Read More

 

The Key To Cutting Government Spending

United_States_CapitolIf a rowboat springs a leak and is fast filling with water, the first step is to stop the leak. Then the water can be baled out. A similar approach is necessary with America’s economy. For a very long time, excessive spending (the leak) has caused mounting national debt (the rising water that threatens to sink us). The first step in recovery is therefore to curtail government spending.… Read More

 

The Missing Ingredient in Management

workers“Workers must leave their minds at the factory gate.” That requirement originated in the Industrial Revolution and became firmly established in the early 20th century, when a group of zealous pessimists advanced the notion that intelligence is inherited, most people have very little of it, and nothing can be done to increase their allotment.

Leaders in every field were influenced by that notion. For example, educators concluded that thought and judgment cannot be taught and, accordingly, dumbed down curriculums, materials, and teaching methods.… Read More

 

Unintended Consequences

cheap rentMurphy’s law states that if anything can possibly go wrong, it probably will. A cynical view, to be sure, but one supported by considerable evidence. On the other hand, things can also go unexpectedly right. Both situations underscore the same fact—intentions do not govern outcomes.

For example, the 18th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was intended to rescue Americans from the evil effects of alcohol consumption.… Read More