One key factor is a fundamental shift in nature of the economy.
How did America—a country dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—become one of the most unequal countries on the planet? Why do the nation’s leaders now spend so much of their time feeding at the trough and getting ever more for themselves? Why has public-mindedness in our leaders given way in so many instances to limitless greed?
One key factor, argues Martin, is a fundamental shift in nature of the economy. Fifty years ago, “72% of the top 50 U.S. companies by market capitalization still owed their positions to the control and exploitation of natural resources.” But in the latter part of the 20th century, a new kind of organization began to emerge: an organization that prospered not by natural resources but through “the control and exploitation of human talent.”
“By 2013 more than half of the top 50 companies were talent-based, including three of the four biggest: Apple, Microsoft, and Google. (The other one was ExxonMobil.) Only 10 owed their position on the list to the ownership of resources. Over the past 50 years the U.S. economy has shifted from financing the exploitation of natural resources to making the most of human talent.”
This inequality is also addressed in a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, by Peter Temin, an economist from MIT. Temin argues that, following decades of growing inequality, America is now left with what is more or less a two-class system: One small, predominantly white upper class that wields a disproportionate share of money, power, and political influence and a much larger, minority-heavy (but still mostly white) lower class that is all too frequently subject to the first group’s whims.
Chess in the Park
Saturday, September 30th – Morningside Park
Monday, October 9th – New Rochelle, NY [Columbus Day]
Want Your Children to Succeed?
All children and especially children of color are underserved by our educational system. This is no accident. It is by design.
Understanding why our children are underserved by schools, requires learning the real history of modern schooling. The real makers of modern schooling weren’t at all who we think.
||Not Cotton Mather
|or Horace Mann
||or John Dewey.
People ask for God, ’till the day he comes
See God’s face – turn around and run
God sees the face of a man
Shaking his head, says “he’ll never understand”
The Roots featuring Dice Raw and Greg Porn
Mitsuru Kawai started working at Toyota Motor Corp. in 1963, in April he was promoted to the post of senior managing officer, the highest position ever held by a blue-collar worker in Toyota’s eight decades.
“When I joined, Toyota had two plants, producing just 300,000 vehicles a year. Last year it made 10 million vehicles. I got to witness that entire evolution,” Kawai said. “I’m one lucky man.”
Mitsuru Kawai, senior managing officer at Toyota Motor Corp., poses in the forging department at one of the automaker’s plants in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture. | BLOOMBERG
“When I was a novice, experienced masters used to be called gods, and they could make anything.”
Imagine a room filled with 30 people, divided into six teams. Each team gets 20 sticks of spaghetti, a yard of string, strips of scotch tape, and a single marshmallow. They have 18 minutes to build a free-standing structure that will enable the marshmallow to rest on top. This is marshmallow challenge
In a seven-minute TED talk, Tom Wujec shares data suggesting that, while the average team produces a tower with a height of about 20 inches, business school students tend to significantly underperform the average. While MBA students do poorly, kindergarteners beat the average:
[B]usiness students are trained to find the single right plan, right? And then they execute on it. And then what happens is, when they put the marshmallow on the top, they run out of time and what happens? It’s a crisis. Sound familiar? Right. What kindergarteners do differently is that they start with the marshmallow, and they build prototypes, successive prototypes, always keeping the marshmallow on top, so they have multiple times to fix when they build prototypes along the way. Designers recognize this type of collaboration as the essence of the iterative process. And with each version, kids get instant feedback about what works and what doesn’t work.