Archive for July, 2006

What I hate about the Republican party (part 1 of many)

July 18, 2006

In no particular order, fiscal irresponsibility, lack of leadership, insincerity, cronyism to big business, and a severe lack of backbone. There will be more, but that’s a pretty good start.

Fiscal responsibility is one of the single most pressing issues facing this country as we move toward the end of the baby boom generation. The absolute fraud that is the ‘Social Security Trust Fund’ (which has never existed and was never intended to be from the time that FDR instituted this farce) will be exposed completely in just a few years as the boomers retire and start withdrawing more from the system than they payed in.

The ‘budget’ that the country has been running under since the early sixties has never properly accounted for the unfunded liability of the national pension owed through SS (it actually predates that, but the sixties were the first time of sustained peacetime deficits after FDR’s depression). Note that this time period includes the fabled ‘Clinton surplus’ that the Bush administration is supposed by the left to have squandered.

Outside of the federal government, somebody would be going to jail for this. Inside the federal government, merely reducing the rate of increase below maintenance level for many pet projects of the left results in cries that those cruel Republicans want to give their country club buddies a tax break at the expense of the poor.

The Republicans have failed to effect any meaningful reductions in spending in the six years that they’ve had effective control of Congress and the White House. Shame on them. The bill is going to be enormous on those of us still in the work force for the next thirty years, and it will be worse on our children. The budget is so far out of balance that only severe cuts on many fronts combined with significant tax increases will be able to rectify the problem (assuming historic rates of economic expansion and no significant externalities such as another world war).

In other words, instead of taking the heat to make the cuts necessary to really slow the growth of government these last six years, the Republicans have spent their time trying to outspend the Democrats. This is a losing policy because it bankrupts the country, and the party has gained no friends from doing it.

I can’t believe he said that

July 18, 2006

So our company has a service recognition event today. My boss, the IT director, is called upon first to present the award for one of his staff. He spends several moments talking about the growth of the services that she has been responsible for handling, and relating that success directly to her efforts. Run time: perhaps 3 minutes

The next recipient is commended by his boss for meeting profitability targets in a trying environment. Short, but absolutely on target. Run time: 30 seconds, tops.

The third recipient is commended for her excellence in dealing with pricing issues with our customers. The term ‘thankless task’ is repeated at least four times, but it is sincere and she is obviously well respected by her peers. Run time: perhaps 2 minutes.

The final recipient is an executive secretary. She is being recognized for ten years of service to the company. Her boss introduces her with the following line, “She’s been here for ten years, which is longer than my second wife”. Run time: 10 seconds.

Half the room laughed, and half of us stood there in stunned silence. I’m no prude, but this strikes me as being one of the most crass comments I’ve ever heard under these circumstances. The HR director felt called upon to speak on her behalf in an attempt to add some sincerity to the proceedings at this point. Unfortunately, no recovery was really possible.

Yea though I walk through the valley…

July 17, 2006

The Blog | Greg Gutfeld: 75 QUESTIONS TO ASK ANY PROGRESSIVE! NOT FRONT PAGED! EVER! | The Huffington Post Wow. Talk about being in the lion’s den. This could be better written, but what’s there is well worth reading and don’t forget to read the comments.

Jack Welch: revised

July 14, 2006

Fortune: The new rules talks about a reexamination of the ‘rules of business’ espoused by Jack Welch during his legendary tenure at GE in light of the increasingly short term view of American publicly traded companies.  This near term perspective is often, accurately, perceived as the result of following the ‘net present value maximization’ theory to its logical conclusion.

I’ve become quite frustrated at my level of industry with the constant drive for short term gain at the expense of anything and everything else including job satisfaction, employee morale, safety, environmental considerations, and the place of the company in our society.  All that seems to matter to many of these executives are quarterly statements.

This is a tragedy for a variety of reasons, with one of the most overlooked being the loss of confidence in business as a force for good in the world.  Most of us will spend most of our lives working.  This time can be a great opportunity to make the world better, but only if we take a point of view longer than 90 days.