Archives for : Articles & Thoughts

Power is leaching from the centre.

Choice email from my old man – I love receiving this stuff, had to pass this one on.

Power is leaching from the centre. I agree.

As Moisés Naím writes in The End of Power there are three interrelated dynamics gnawing away at formal power structures – what he calls “the more revolution, the mobility revolution and the mentality revolution”.

1.    There are more literate, educated people worldwide than ever before who refuse to be regimented and controlled as they once were.
2.    They are mobile, migrating and exchanging information to an unparalleled degree.
3.    Moreover, fewer will take anything for granted: they expect their voice to be heard,

It makes running a government, a country, a council, a business, or school board more difficult.

The question is: Recognising this shift in power balance, how does one use it for the betterment of the majority and not the outspoken few?

Good question, if you have any thoughts on that hit him up; @mullystwit

US post office reports record $15.4bn loss

From APP:

THE struggling US Postal Service is reporting a record annual loss of $US15.9 billion ($A15.4 billion).

The financial losses for the fiscal year ending September 30 were nearly $US11 billion more than the previous year.

The numbers cap a tumultuous financial year in which the mail agency was forced for the first time to default on more than $US11 billion in payments to avert bankruptcy.

The USPS for months has been urging Congress to pass an overhaul bill to let it trim letter delivery to five days a week and reduce annual payments for future retiree health care.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says the large losses cannot be sustained.

The mail agency forecasts billions in additional losses next year as it awaits financial relief from Congress.

Amazing.

Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

Got this lovely piece in response to sending an article on Romney over to the old man:

I got the drift of the article loud & clear after the first few pages.

Obviously the intent is to denigrate him as a candidate and the author has succeeded..
I am sure we could dig up a comparable article that does a similar hatchet job on Obama with just as much venom .
This again shows the polarisation and idealogical divide that has rendered US politics to a circus and the laughing stock of the world.
Even the undeveloped and emerging economies had lost faith in the USA story and are turning their attention to other world powers such as China.
America’s age of financial and military domination is on a rapid decline.
Obama or Romney will not fix it.
A crisis in world finance will be needed to shake Americans and their leaders out of their “God given Right to Rule” dreamtime.
China will surpass USA as the economic powerhouse of the world in about 5 years.
The next step for China will be to exert military might in their geographic sphere. They are not expansionist but protective of their space.
America will try and provoke China into a war which the USA will have no chance of winning.
It will be the last throw of the dice for the USA and confirm their decline as the world power.
Them’s my predictions.
Peter

Happy Birthday To You

Get a celebrity to sing you happy birthday. Get Stevie Wonder.

From Sarah Karp, a colleague at work:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Stevie Wonder is cool
And he’s singing this just for you.

Stevie Wonder Sings Happy Birthday

Issuing Fines in San Francisco

Tom Murphy – My Great Hope for the Future

Read the full article by Tom Murphy. Excerpt:

EXPECT MORE:

Reading; story-telling; gardening; connection with nature; community; fishing; whittling; lemonade; sitting on the front porch; cross-breezes; seasonal adjustment; blankets; wool socks; sweaters; connection to sunrise/sunset; local governance; mom & pop stores; crafts; goats and chickens; bicycles; train rides; pies cooling on the sill; music; singing and playing musical instruments; rain catchment; canning; craftsmanship; repair; durable goods.

EXPECT LESS:

Waiting for airplanes; commuting; abstract/meaningless jobs; Wal-Mart; fast food; strip malls; four-car families; climate change; dominance of banks; capital gains; disposable junk; junk mail; species extinction; minibar charges; traffic jams; identity theft; freeway noise; advertisements; consumerism; faddish gizmos; cheap plastic crap; outsourcing; industrial effluent; credit card debt.

Recommended Reading – Delusions of Self-Reliance

I stumbled upon this article that discusses the delusion of self-reliance. It uses the American government assistance programs as an example. Enlightening. I was directed to Talking Philosophy from an earlier Nomad Odyssey post if I am not mistaken.

What is everybody doing here?

  • Stay at home dads
  • Dot com millionaires
  • Mums with prams
  • Yoga teachers

San Francisco…

The Dumbest Idea In The World

The Dumbest Idea In The World – Steve Denning, Forbes is a recent article on the approach to capitalism in the Western world, it touches on America specifically. Below are some comments from my old man, Peter Muldoon, on the parallels to Australia.

Very Interesting article.

My take away – over regulation and interference by governments can sometimes create more problems instead of solving them.

His suggestion is to repeal – the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act & the Regulation FASB 142. I am sure that the intentions of the legislation were honourable and well meaning but the consequences were not well considered.

We have the same problems in Australia. For example:-

The recent Labor Government introduced new corporate legislation the “two strikes rule”
Which means that if 25% or more of shareholders at a Annual General Meeting vote against the annual remuneration report for directors and senior executives of the company two years in a row – then the whole Board of Directors must step down and a new Board is elected.
How a publicly listed company operates without a Board of Directors while this process is in train is yet to worked thru.
Government Regulation introduced in haste with unknown consequences.

The question you might ask is:- why shareholders (25% not even 50%) would reject the independent remuneration report?

The issue is:- under existing Australian govt regulation all Annual Reports must itemise the remuneration packages of all Directors and the top management executives. The report must disclose by executive, by name, base salary, bounuses and conditions, expenses, allowances, share options and share bonus, all performance criteria and all that makes up the executives remuneration package.
Great for shareholder transparancy but not good for the business community at large,

This means that any executive and company director has a readily available database of competitive remuneration packages of executives in like industries and like companies. The nett effect is the continuing ratcheting up of remuneration packages to stay equal to or above their peers.

Corporate advisory and salary packaging firms have developed businesses doing just this, comparing executive A to executive B and recommending new and better payment packages. The two strikes regulation was introduced to limit this escalation of remuneration packages.

So a new piece of Government Regulation is created to compensate for deficiencies in an earlier piece of regulation.
And so it goes, regulation-on-regulation, binding up the resources of executive management in satisfying the government regulatory controls,
instead of getting on with the purpose of the business.

A very good and apt article. I hope the Australian Government takes time to read it.
Thanks
Peter

Thanks Peter, let’s hope the Australian Government does take note.