Archive for February 2010
In previous posts, I mentioned that I would create and publish a strategic plan for Capitolism. I completed the plan today and post it here for your review and commentary. I promised ambition, and hope this plan fulfills that promise. Read the rest of this entry »
In today’s Washington Post, Toyoda Akio, Toyota’s president, promises a number of changes and improvements to its car manufacturing processes and safety. Toyota has faced widespread criticism of its safety defects, and especially of its response. Unfortunately, Mr. Akio’s op-ed will not likely blunt this criticism. Read the rest of this entry »
After the Super Bowl last night, CBS debuted its new reality series “Undercover Boss.” The show follows corporate leaders who disguise themselves as they perform some frontline work. In last night’s show, Larry O’Donnell, President and Chief Operating Officer of Waste Management, spent a week among frontline staff. He picked up trash, cleaned portable toilets, sorted recyclables and other jobs that his company performs every day. Read the rest of this entry »
If General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt did, in fact, act as Henry Paulson’s book alleges, he and the company could face some uncomfortable discussions with regulators and in court. I have stated on this blog before that Mr. Immelt has enjoyed more than eight years to prove he can succeed as chief executive. He has done little good for GE, either financially or in the public’s perception. At what point does he recognize this, or does the board decide a change makes sense? (Full disclosure: I am a GE shareholder.)
This week I read Paul Johnson’s slim biography of George Washington. It was inexpensive, so I picked it up at the bookstore a few weeks ago and found it a worthy way to spend a couple of hours. Reading it also prompted me to revisit Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, which I have read several times before. Read the rest of this entry »
I have revised the About page, to more fully explain what Capitolism is, er, about. I have elucidated upon the goals of Capitolism and the issues in view. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am in the process of drafting a strategic plan for Capitolism in 2010, and will share that on the blog when I complete the plan.
Capitolism addresses, explores and focuses on issues concerning business, trade, leadership, management, economics and small business. Issues at the intersection of these topics will attract Capitolism’s particular interest. In probing these matters, Capitolism will rely on lessons from philosophy, history, literature, current events, great speeches, newspapers, magazines, sports, academia, science, theology, military history, poetry and the authors’ own experiences, as appropriate. The aims of Capitolism are threefold:
1. To explore challenging and even subterranean issues pertaining to business, economics and leadership
2. To offer a hopefully interesting and unique perspective on these issues to readers
3. To create a venue for wide-ranging, thoughtful, penetrating discussion on these issues
You, the reader, will judge how well or poorly Capitolism achieves these aims. We encourage your comments, whether you agree, disagree or violently disagree with our writings.
Besides World War II, in which many still-living men fought, the Civil War excites the national imagination as no other war does, foreign or domestic. Reasons abound for this fascination. They include: in the South, the notion of the Lost Cause can still inspire tearful reflections of the antebellum South; the long-awaited emancipation of the slaves stands a great moral moment in American history; the close proximity of most Americans to some field of Civil War battles; and the fact that Americans comprised both armies, rather than Americans fighting some distant foreigners. Read the rest of this entry »
Many will no doubt cheer the unexpected drop in U.S. unemployment. That story, however, is largely bogus. The real story continues to be the extremely high ‘total’ unemployed and underemployed percentage. That number stands at 17% and has not dropped in several months. In short, the true employment sitaution remains rough out there.
Apparently, I am not the only one who sees more than high-minded safety and quality concerns at the heart of the brouhaha surrounding Toyota.
As a Toyota owner and admirer, the recent quality issue has disappointed me, as it has millions others. And, more than disappointing, it has endangered lives. Just a couple comments.
First, how like a Greek tragedy that Toyota suffers this stumble almost at the exact moment it had become the largest and most-respected car company in the world? But, this fall from the peaks of grace seems to happen again and again and again.
Second, I see the long arm of the unions on Secretary LaHood’s tough stance on this issue. The unions have not received as much attention or prominence as they expected from this Administration. If we could peer behind the curtain, I bet we would find the unions hammering on the Administration to come down hard on Toyota.