Tag Archives: social security

Generational Differences and Identity Politics

Generational differences are a hot topic for organizational behaviorists. Is this a real issue, or is it just the current management fad? “Never in history have we seen four generations together in the workplace.” That line starts thousands of articles … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Trends, Entrepreneurship, Exit Planning, Leadership, Managing Employees, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Generational Differences and Identity Politics

  1. Eugenia says:

    The boomers and the millennials should appreciate the strength, knowledge and understanding of each generation, by so doing an effective structure can emerge which could yield high valuable growth and benefits for both generation.

  2. Bradley Chilcote says:

    I believe it all comes down to empathetic listening on each generational level. This takes active listening to another level where you connect with another’s core emotional being, in addition to understanding the message. Seek first to understand and apply the platinum rule (treat others the way they want to be treated). Working with multiple generations also requires informed leadership styles: not the leadership based on the “seat of your pants”, but leadership that is adapted based on the study and application of leadership principles. Yes, different generations are products of their political, economic, and cultural environments; but this isn’t a bad thing. It has been established through many studies that the more diverse a team is, the stronger it is!

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Why Health Insurance Isn’t

Last week I wrote about the success of Obamacare in driving people from the private insurance market towards a national healthcare system. Clearly, I touched a nerve when I look at the tone of the responses received. Although I don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Trends, John's Opinions, Leadership, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

5 Responses to Why Health Insurance Isn’t

  1. Jim Marshall says:

    I had a great uncle who practiced medicine from the turn of the century until the mid 20th century. In the last chapter of his book “Doctor Do Tell” dealing mostly with his experience delivering medical care to the people of rural Wisconsin……he warned of the evils of “socialized medicine”. Much has changed since the time he practiced….including the willingness of health care providers to be “paid in pickles”. The evils of non “socialized medicine” have become crystal and painfully clear.
    The present health care system based on the idea that competition brings about the best result is a failure if for no other reason that there is and will not be true competition. Nationalized health care can minimize system costs….if design and operation remained focused on the goal of efficient, results oriented care measured by and paying for results. A single payer system that assures and pays for results oriented care (as opposed to pay per procedure) is probably the only way that a nation can bring about maximum care per dollar expended. The only logical single payer is government. If a clear goal (as mentioned above) was the standard to which any plan was held….much better product (our health care) could be brought about for all.

  2. Jim Marshall says:

    I neglected to mention his book was written in 1945.

  3. David Basri says:

    Except that not everyone is going to use all they did (or should have) put in. My mother will turn 99 early next year. She is in an assisted living center that costs thousands monthly, but uses just a small fraction of the services the price is meant to cover. This is good thing. Others use much, much more than they ever did (or could have) put in.

    The only solution is something based on the underlying concept of insurance. Many put in
    X and a fewer number take out Y. Even in countries where there is universal government provided healthcare, the concept is the same with taxes substituted for the bulk of premiums.

    The problem in the US is that the insurance paradigm is private and discretionary. Not everyone has to pay in, so healthier lower cost people opt out at a disproportionately high rate. The insurance companies are profit driven, so left to their own they simply do not want to cover those who represent a higher risk.

    Average life span in the US is into the 70s. That means both individuals and companies have to think very long term to justify the equation. In a system where participation is discretionary, and the actuarial pool is private and focused on making shareholders and executives happy the following quarter, the actuarial numbers will not to add up.

    Human nature simply does not work well in multi-decade time frames. Only an external entity can make the health care actuarial equation work. The ACA is bending the curve, but it is a poor mishmash trying to influence an inherently unworkable model based on private insurance and discretionary participation.

  4. Mike Weaver says:

    I have always thought it strange that people expect routine doctor visits and long term prescription medications to be covered under a health insurance plan. When you buy car insurance your tires and oil changes are not covered are they?

  5. David Basri says:

    It is only strange if you try to equate health care with consumer goods. Same basic problem as trying to force market principles to “control” health care costs. It is not a market or a consumer good, and should not be.

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Germany Makes a Business Decision

Germany just announced that it could accept an additional 500,000 refugees when other countries are jockeying to accommodate as few as possible. As much as the announcement was portrayed as a humanitarian effort, it is just as likely a simple business decision. Few members … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Trends, John's Opinions, Politics and Regulation, Strategy and Planning, Top Blog Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

7 Responses to Germany Makes a Business Decision

  1. Dan Bowser says:

    Thanks for putting a face on the other side of the immigration issue. Our country benefited greatly economically from immigration in the past. We can benefit now while helping many people at the same time.

    I wonder if we as a nation can get past the frustration of extreme political self-interest and see through the pandering on the part of some candidates.

    I’m hopeful but concerned.

  2. David Cunningham says:

    This observation is spot on. Japan will suffer worst because their racial intolerance is so bad that they cannot contemplate the an immigration program at any scale that would save them. On a visit to Yokohama I had repeated experiences in being denied access to jazz clubs, because they were “Japanese Only”. It was a trivial discrimination but it made me aware how bad it can make you feel.
    The least intelligent of the current US immigrant phobias are the proposals to repeal the 14th Amendment to the Constitution – “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” and to repeal the Dream Act that removes the threat of deportation for children of illegal immigrants. In most cases, we have already educated these young people and they are an economic benefit to their communities.
    I wish “Cost / Benefit” analysis could be applied to many of the challenges that face the USA.

  3. Katrin Anger says:

    Good point!
    While there are many perspectives that can be taken on this topic, this is certainly one with a positive side effect. – Whilst I don’t think that this is the main motivation for the German government, it could indeed prove true and benefit Germany in a few years … if they succeed on integration.

  4. Several years ago I was traveling in Norway and was struck by the large population of Somali immigrants there. Norway also has a negative population problem and had been attracting immigrants from many countries including the US becuase they seem to be color blind according to several former American black people I met. they would rather raise their children there there away from gangs and low expectations. Norway only wants you to commit to raising your children there and will subsidize you to do so with parental leave, education and job training for the parents. I was surprised to see so many olive and dark skinned people in the land of the blond, blue eyed Norsemen even outside of the urban areas..

  5. Mike Wright says:

    On Point. One other factor in Germany’s favor is the effectiveness with which they assimilated a less skilled East Germany population back in so efficiently and effectively. We must make education and training of the new immigrants a priority so they can help our economy grow, and not just to perform low skilled low paying jobs.

  6. We all should be champions for open immigration and free movements cross the borders, as long it is based on the trader principle. If you have the right to your life, you should be able to live and work wherever you want, in a free world.

    Immigration as become a hot topic in Scandinavia. I hope people will learn from the melting pot and the land of opportunity: the United States of America.

  7. As with most European countries, meetings etiquette in Germany relies on professionalism, good business sense and formality. Bearing the above in mind, together with a positive attitude will ensure good results.

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Iron Rice Bowls and the Impact of Government Funding

  There was an interesting editorial item in The Economist that unintentionally says a lot about the impact of government intervention on industry. In the last generation, the average number of working hours needed to purchase an automobile, clothing or other … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Trends, John's Opinions, Politics and Regulation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

11 Responses to Iron Rice Bowls and the Impact of Government Funding

  1. craig eastman says:

    We must never let our guard down.

  2. David Basri says:

    While I completely concur with the article with respect to education and housing, healthcare is a different beast entirely. The United States has by far the least efficient healthcare system of any developed country because of a deficiency of government involvement, not an over-abundance of it.

    By depending on a vastly greater level of market-based forces, instead of control, the U.S. has created a monster. This is because healthcare by definition does not work on market principles. When any individual’s health is at stake they do not care what it costs, they just want to be treated. That means the suppliers have total coercive control over the “market”.

    Can anything realistically be called a market when it a) is difficult or impossible to even determine what a product costs before it is purchased; and b) there is not really choice about whether it should be purchased? Do you operate that way in any other aspect of your life?

    U.S. healthcare has evolved to a level of insanity beyond what even a pure market system might produce. The stakeholders: people, providers, insurers, employers, state government and the federal government all have competing interests. The result is that if you are lucky in terms of employment, insurance, income and location, you might get absolutely world class healthcare. If not, you might get none at all. Meanwhile the entire system thrashes against itself creating unbelievable inefficiency and overhead, resulting in costs 3 to 4 times higher than necessary. Small example: our local hospital system has 12 executives making over a million a year.

    ANY other business operating this way would have been bankrupt a very long time ago. Some things should not be market driven. I submit access to roads, clean water and healthcare for starters.

    I would say, “Don’t get me started. . . .” but too late for that.

    • John F. Dini says:

      Well stated, David, although I don’t entirely agree. Correcting healthcare won’t come from further government intervention. The competing special interests you mentioned hold too much sway over Congress. They will never address the twisted incentives that drive the system, where unnecessary work (both direct care and regulatory) makes everyone more money.

  3. Jeff Shapiro says:

    To take the average working hours concept a step further: (1) the average working hours to purchase an automobile has decreased, yet vehicles haven’t remained static — they’re loaded with many more safety, comfort, and entertainment features today than ever before; (2) a student leaves school with about the same amount of basic knowledge today compared to say the ’70s or ’80s and pays considerably more.

    • Jeff Garvens says:

      Don’t forget (3) healthcare: The amount we SPEND on healthcare is up considerably, but the value we receive is up considerably too. I agree healthcare isn’t a normal marketplace, but 40 years ago we did not have the choice to have life saving and life improving MRIs, Cat scans, organ transplants and many prescription drugs. All of those innovations come with a cost.

      As the slice of our income pie needed for basic needs shrinks, the rest of the pie necessarily grows. If not to healthcare, housing and education, then to where? Smaller homes with larger flat screen TV’s?

      • David Basri says:

        My issue is not with MRIs, medical technology, research or even prescription drugs (though that is also an outrageous “market”), or anything else that directly relates to delivering healthcare. I get riled up over the incredibly high overhead, inefficiency and waste. These are the direct result of competing interests and multiple layers of profit motivated entities exploiting a distorted system.

        For example, billions of dollars are spent annually on prescription drug advertising. That is entirely a function of profit motive, not any objective to improve health. If everyone had access to preventive care on a regular basis, decisions about prescription drugs would be made by doctors and patients discussing someone’s health, not a TV or magazine ad.

        Add to that the fact that a significant portion of the population has limited or no access to healthcare, and the overall situation is just plain dumb.

  4. David Basri says:

    Sadly, your response is entirely correct.

  5. Thanks for introducing me to the Iron Rice Bowl concept. You guys in the beltway and Washington DC area, it is time to listen up!

    When will we bring back an objective money standard, i.e., gold or silver?

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Who’s Picking Up the Tab?

When a small business is sold, the total price of the business includes not only the cash paid, but any obligations assumed by the buyer on behalf of the seller. Transfer of a loan balance, accrued vacation pay for employees or … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Trends, Exit Planning, John's Opinions, Politics and Regulation, Selling a business, Strategy and Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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