To students studying Business, Economics, Religion, Political Science, and Philosophy:

 


Please consider — and research/define where necessary — the following items occurring in the United States today. 

The fiscal cliff.
The U.S. debt limit.
Federal spending vs. revenue.
Printing money and it’s potential impact on inflation.
Recent election results.
A global economy; global competition.
The place/role of money.
Race against the machine; also see this posting.
Matthew 6:19-34.

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Then, please discuss/answer the following questions:


  1. What makes our debt risky? On a national level? On the money and banking level? On a personal level?
  2. What are your thoughts about the following items:
  3. What implications do you see in these items? Will they be impacting you and/or your future?
    • Are there political ramifications for this?
    • Are there spiritual ramifications for this?
  4. Could the U.S. be heading for trouble? If you say yes, what support do you have for this assertion? If you say no, what do you support your argument with?
  5. Do you think we are a divided nation? What support do you have for this perspective?
  6. What characteristics of leadership would you most like to see at this point in time?
  7. After reading Matthew 6:19-34:
    • If you, personally, lost everything you had, what would that do to you emotionally? Physically? Spiritually? That is, if our savings completely dried up, what would life be like for us as a society? What would that do to our hearts?  To our perspectives/worldviews/priorities? How we choose to spend our time? What would it do to our view of God?  To our view of ourselves?

 


Some other resources to consider:


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fiscal cliff

 

 

Book description:

Wired magazine editor and bestselling author Chris Anderson takes you to the front lines of a new industrial revolution as today’s entrepreneurs, using open source design and 3-D printing, bring manufacturing to the desktop.  In an age of custom-fabricated, do-it-yourself product design and creation, the collective potential of a million garage tinkerers and enthusiasts is about to be unleashed, driving a resurgence of American manufacturing.  A generation of “Makers” using the Web’s innovation model will help drive the next big wave in the global economy, as the new technologies of digital design and rapid prototyping gives everyone the power to invent — creating “the long tail of things”.

Also see:

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3d Printing by Freedom of Creation Monarch Stools in situ How 3D Printing is Disrupting Mainstream Manufacturing Processes

 

Deanna Jump’s ten tips to make a million bucks — from edsurge.com by Betsy Corcoran
Every teacher should be a millionaire. Here’s what one kindergarten teacher who did it learned along her way.

 

Tagged with:  

Investing in your own disruption — from edcetera.rafter.com by Kirsten Winkler

Excerpt:

What do you do when you realize that the business you have been building over the past decades, if not centuries, is toast? Well, you can entrench yourself and fight the last battle, trying to squeeze as much as possible out of what is left, or simply call it a wrap and move on.

Publisher Macmillan seems to have chosen the latter. PandoDaily published an interesting post about Macmillan New Ventures, a $100 million (or more) fund led by former Questia Media CEO Troy Williams. The task: invest in education technology startups that will eventually disrupt the publishing industry.

Tagged with:  

Below are but a few examples that focus on money — is it any wonder that Jesus talked so much about this very subject!?!
(Second only to talking about the kingdom of heaven.)


 

 

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Addendum on 7/23/12:

  • Wealthy hiding $21 trillion in tax havens, report says — from cbcnews
    ‘Debtor countries’ are actually wealthy when hidden money is accounted for

    Excerpt:

    The “super-rich elite” are hiding more than $21 trillion US in tax havens around the world, an amount roughly equal to the combined GDP of the United States and Japan, according to a new report.

[Report] Developer Economics 2012 – The new app economy – from visionmobile.com

Excerpt:

Here’s just a sample of the key insights and graphs from the report – download the full report for more!

The new pyramid of handset maker competition.
In the new pyramid of handset maker competition, Apple leads innovators, Samsung leads fast-followers, ZTE leads assemblers and Nokia leads the feature phone market. Apple has seized almost three quarters of industry profits by delivering unique product experiences and tightly integrating hardware, software, services and design. Samsung ranks second to Apple in total industry profits. As a fast follower, its recipe for success is to reach market first with each new Android release. It produces its own chipsets and screens – the two most expensive components in the hardware stack – ensuring both profits and first-to-market component availability.

Tablets are now a mainstream screen for developers.
Developers are rapidly responding to the rising popularity of tablets: our Developer Economics 2012 survey found that, irrespective of platform, more than 50% of developers are now targeting tablets, with iOS developers most likely (74%) to do so. This is a massive increase over last year, when just a third of developers (34.5%) reported targeting tablets. On the other end of the spectrum are TVs and game consoles, with fewer than 10% of developers targeting those screens.

Survival of the fittest has played out within 12 months.
Whereas 2011 was the era of developer experimentation, 2012 is shaping up as the era of ecosystem consolidation around iOS and Android. Developer Mindshare is at an all-time-high 76% for Android and 66% for iOS. Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” model explains how BlackBerry, BREW, and Bada (Samsung) have lost Mindshare by failing to compete in terms of user reach, which is by far and consistently the top platform selection criterion for developers. In 2012, developers used on average 2.7 platforms in parallel, vs 3.2 in 2011, a clear sign of consolidation. The trend is further evidenced by declining IntentShare scores for most platforms – apart from mobile web and Windows Phone.

Internet Trends -- Mary Meeker's 5-30-12 presentation at D10 Conference

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11 best business opportunities by industry — from Inc.com by Darren Dahl
Industries such as residential construction, mobile games, and big data will provide the best business opportunities in 2012.

Excerpt:

Here are 11 industries that the smartest entrepreneurs will be targeting this year:

Sayonara Sony: How industrial, MBA-style leadership killed a once great company — from forbes.com by Adam Hartung

Excerpt:

Who can forget what a great company Sony was, and the enormous impact it had on our lives?  With its heritage, it is hard to believe that Sony hasn’t made a profit in 4 consecutive years, just recently announced it will double its expected loss for this year to $6.4 billion, has only 15% of its capital left as equity (debt/equity ration of 5.67x) and is only worth 1/4 of its value 10 years ago!

 

From DSC:
Blockbuster, Kodak, and now Sony — and I’m sure there are countless others who have moved in and out of prosperous times — but those three come instantly to my mind as more recent examples of The Innovator’s Dilemna — which strikes again!

It reminds me of a Steve Jobs’ quote (and I’ll use the item found at Yastrow.com)

One of Jobs’ business rules was to never be afraid of cannibalizing yourself. “If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will,” he said. So even though an iPhone might cannibalize the sales of an iPod, or an iPad might cannibalize the sales of a laptop, that did not deter him.

 

Addendum (with emphasis from DSC):
Another thought comes from Guy Kawasaki’s talk at TEDxHarkerSchool entitled, “The 12 Lessons I Learned from Steve Jobs”

  • You need to jump to the next curve — don’t duke it out w/ others on the current curve (DSC: Like from the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull...don’t fight it out on the beach with the other seagulls. Instead, learn how to fly. <– that’s been my prayer, LORD teach me how to fly.)
  • Customers cannot tell you what they need  — they can only describe things in terms of what they already have; bigger, faster, cheaper, status quo
  • Challenging your mind is a sign of intelligence  (DSC: Reinvent, staying relevant, be able to completely reverse a viewpoint, cannibalizing own business)
  • “Experts” are clueless
  • The biggest challenges beget the best work
  • Design counts
  • Use big graphics and big fonts
  • Value does not equal price

 

 

 

From DSC:
I couldn’t help but reflect again on the state of our hearts here in the United States when I read Greg Smith’s Op-Ed in the New York Times entitled, “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs”. It’s a depressing accounting of the rampant greed on Wall Street, with a disregard for deeper qualities and a true attention to meeting a customer’s/client’s needs and goals. It speaks to employees not giving a damn about clients, but only looking to make as much money as possible. (It’s fine to make a living, but how about sincerely trying to make a contribution to society at the same time?)

Some excerpts from Smith’s article:

And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.

What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.

I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.

From DSC:
I don’t know this man and I’m sure Goldman Sachs will try to discredit him; and yes, he was part of that culture and made a serious living off of it for years.

However, my focus is not on Greg Smith but upon the type of culture he spoke of; such a culture is not only bad for relationships — and ultimately for souls — but regardless of what you believe in terms of faith-based items, it’s simply bad business and it doesn’t benefit our society. In fact, it destroys it and it’s a significant contributing factor to the anger that continues to mount in the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon that is sweeping the nation.

 Some relevant graphics come to my mind:

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The State of the Heart

 

 

Addendum on 3/21/12:

  • This CEO should be ashamed of himself — from fool.com by Sean Williams
    Excerpt:
    CEO gets 44% pay raise while “Pfizer is in the midst of a multiyear cost-cutting campaign instituted in 2005 that includes eliminating a grand total of 55,400 jobs. That’s not a misprint — that’s 55,400 jobs gone, eliminated, axed! Pfizer announced the final phase of those jobs cuts recently, which will target 16,300 jobs and save the company a purported $1 billion in 2012. I have to wonder, how out of touch with reality do you have to be to give yourself a 44% raise as you are in the process of eliminating 16,300 jobs?”

IBM’s Watson Hired by Citigroup — from pcmag.com by Mark Hachman

ibm watson

Excerpt:

But Citigroup said late Monday that it had agreed to form an exploratory partnership with IBM to use the Watson technology to help advance customer interactions, using the deep “content analysis and evidence based learning capabilities” that the IBM Watson technology uses.

Watson’s strengths, that of parsing a question asked using natural language and then returning relevant results, will presumably be used to facilitate customer interaction with Citi automated banking systems.

IBM Watson heads to Wall Street — from extremetech.com by Sebastian Anthony

Excerpt:

After conquering Jeopardy, battling patent trolls, making inroads into medical insurance claims, and threatening to replace customer service representatives, IBM’s Watson is now looking to take its first foray into Wall Streetesque financial services. Working with Citigroup, IBM has entered into an “exploratory agreement” that will cover everything from streamlining the banking experience for customers, through to “empowering financial professionals to make better business decisions.” In other words, watch out stock traders: Watson’s coming.

The next big UI challenge is making big data human — from gigaom by Stacey Higginbotham

Excerpt:

IBM’s Jeopardy-playing supercomputer Watson is now getting a gig in the retail banking sector as part of an IBM partnership with Citi. This is in addition to its position as a diagnostic assistant for doctors. But the many careers of Watson aren’t just a fun story for the tech press; they illustrate a very big technological and business opportunity for companies like IBM and Microsoft — the rendering of big data into human scale.

Who decides what gets sold in the bookstore? — from paidcontent.org by Seth Godin

Excerpt:

I just found out that Apple is rejecting my new manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams and won’t carry it in their store because inside the manifesto are links to buy the books [at Amazon.com] I mention in the bibliography.

 

From DSC:
By the way, some nice quotes from the Stop Stealing Dreams page:

  • The economy has changed, probably forever.  School hasn’t.
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  • Our kids are too important to sacrifice to the status quo.

10 staggering facts behind Apple’s Foxconn Factory — from Mashable.com by Samantha Murphy

From DSC:
I’m half-way through reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, and this report doesn’t surprise me in the least.  According to what I’m getting from the book, Steve Jobs was a task-master who drove people incredibly hard.  He was also an individual who didn’t value relationships and people — unless they served his purposes.  So this report is not surprising.  I just hope Tim Cook can be more honest and forthcoming about things involving their supply chain — as well as all other areas involving the way Apple does business — than Jobs ever was. 

As disclosure, I own an iPhone, an iPad and our family has purchased 3 Macs. I just wish all businesses could make better attempts at serving Main Street while they are striving to serve Wall Street.

 

Conn. university: competition for free tuition — from yahoo.com Stephanie Reitz, AP
For freshmen at Conn. university, chance to win free tuition for business degree ‘priceless’

Excerpt:

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Four years of tuition at the University of New Haven’s business school? About $120,000.

A chance to get it free? Priceless.

UNH’s new business school dean, a former MasterCard executive responsible for its “Priceless” advertising campaign, has issued a challenge to the university’s incoming freshmen: Bowl me over with your entrepreneurial idea and win free tuition for your undergraduate degree.

Originally saw at Edudemic.com

 

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