Why is the U.S. Is One of the Most Unequal Countries on the Planet?

One key factor is a fundamental shift in nature of the economy.

Steve Denning’s Forbes article, “Roger Martin: How ‘The Talent’ Turned Into Vampires” also sheds light on why we need to rethink our education paradigms:
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?
These questions are being raised, not in some anti-capitalist rag from the extreme Left, but in the staid pro-business pages of the Harvard Business Review, in a seminal article by Roger Martin, the former dean of the Rotman School of Business and the academic director of the Martin Prosperity Institute: “The Rise and (Likely) Fall of the Talent Economy.
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.

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Our Children Are Underserved by Schools

Chess in the Park
Saturday, September 30th – Morningside Park
Monday, October 9th – New Rochelle, NY [Columbus Day]
Want Your Children to Succeed?

Billionaire chess

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.
Cotton Mather Not Cotton Mather
or Horace Mann Horace Mann
John Dewey or John Dewey.

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Fake News & Rethinking Digital Capitalism

Seven Magazine

Click the image above for
A rough draft of Seven Magazine.
Just as climate change is the natural byproduct of fossil capitalism, so is fake news the byproduct of digital capitalism.

market-cap

As described in Steve Denning’s Forbes article, “Roger Martin: How ‘The Talent’ Turned Into Vampires:”
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?
These questions are being raised, not in some anti-capitalist rag from the extreme Left, but in the staid pro-business pages of the Harvard Business Review, in a seminal article by Roger Martin, the former dean of the Rotman School of Business and the academic director of the Martin Prosperity Institute: “The Rise and (Likely) Fall of the Talent Economy.
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.”
We need to build a world where Facebook and Google neither wield much clout nor monopolise problem-solving.

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The Metro Open Network

The Metro Open Network

The Metro Open Network is a non-profit created to build an open-access fiber network in the unserved and underserved parts of the New York City Metropolitan Area.
According to a New York Times article, the United States ranks in 14th place behind countries like Sweden, Japan, South Korea, Romania and Macau in fiber connectivity. The fastest are in countries where the government has paid for fiber upgrades. But in the United States it has been left to cable and telecom companies, which have been slow to make the investment.
Christopher Mitchell

Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative at the Institute for Self-Reliance

From a Crain’s New York article, “It’s foolish to think that we can just leave it to the market to use this limited space under the street efficiently,” Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative at the Institute for Self-Reliance, said. “The fiber needs are tremendous, and if New York over time can expand access to a lot of fiber at low cost, we’ll see all kinds of [innovation].”
The New York City Metropolitan Area needs a vastly expanded fiber network to attract startups and create a thriving independent business community.
According to a report by American Express OPEN:
Neighborhoods with thriving independent businesses saw home values outperform citywide markets by 50 percent over the last 14 years.
In the New York Metro area, the average home value would have increased 176% or $291,672 to $457,672 from 1997 to 2011 if it was located near a successful independent business district.
And according to a national study by sociologists at LSU and Baylor University:
Counties and parishes with a greater concentration of small, locally-owned businesses have healthier populations — with lower rates of mortality, obesity and diabetes — than do those that rely on large companies with “absentee” owners.
Living in a neighborhood with thriving independent businesses, makes it more likely that your home is worth more and that you and your family are healthier.

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The Future of Investing (Part I)

From a Forbes article by Steve Denning we learn that a study by Deloitte’s Center for the Edge shows the rates of return on assets and on invested capital for 20,000 US firms from 1965 to 2011.
Economy-wide Return on Invested Capital
The graphic shows that something has gone so terribly wrong with the type of businesses supported by Wall Street—the supposed engine of economic growth and the supposed creators of jobs. When these firms have rates of return on assets or on invested capital of, on average, just over one percent, we have a catastrophe on our hands. An ROA of just over one percent means that firms are dying faster and faster: the life expectancy of firms in the Fortune 500 is now less than fifteen years and declining rapidly.
Now, let’s look at the market’s 10 best stocks over the past 10 years, according to The Motley Fool:
Company [year founded] Return, 2005-2015 Market Cap in 2005
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals [1988] (NASDAQ:REGN) 8,113% $513 million
Keurig Green Mountain [1981] (NASDAQ: GMCR) 6,065% $179 million
Medivation [2004] (NASDAQ: MDVN) 5,516% $41 million
Priceline Group [1997] (NASDAQ:PCLN) 4,781% $917 million
Netflix [1997] (NASDAQ: NFLX) 4,718% $646 million
Monster Beverage [1935] (NASDAQ: MNST) 3,770% $397 million
Opko Health [1991] (NYSE: OPK) 3,722% $5.7 million
Illumina [1998] (NASDAQ: ILMN) 3,653% $361 million
NewMarket [1887] (NYSE: NEU) 3,648% $338 million
Pharmacyclics [1991] (NASDAQ: PCYC) 3,468% $142 million
One thing that really stands out among these 10 companies is that every single one of these stocks had a market capitalization of less than $1 billion a decade ago. You have to go down to No. 12 on this list to find behemoth Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)  as an exception to this general rule. What investors can learn from that is that if you expect to get truly life-changing returns from stocks, you can’t expect to find them in the biggest, most prominent and well-known companies in the market. Instead, you have to dig deeper and take a look at parts of the market that many Wall Street analysts leave untouched — small companies that often take some digging just to find out what they actually do, let alone what their potential is for future growth.

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I-CAMP Creating Gods

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”
“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

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.”

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I Could Be… a documentary addressing inequity

I Could Be...

I could be a congresswoman
Or a garbage woman or
Police officer, or a carpenter
I could be a doctor and a lawyer and a mother
And a good God woman what you’ve done to me
Kind of lover I could be
I could be a computer analyst, the Queen with the nappy hair raising her fist
Or I could be much more and a myriad of this
Hot as the summer, sweet as the first kiss
And even though I can do all these things…

~ Jill Scott
The Fact Is (I Need You)

Hope Community Services

HOPE Community Services is the largest food pantry/soup kitchen in Westchester County. HOPE Volunteer Coordinator Sue Gedney, New York State High Chess Champion Joshua Cola, 94 years old volunteer Iris Freed, and Terrance Jackson.  Photo: http://www.geneshaw.com/

And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday.
~ Isaiah 58:10

Following in the footsteps of people such as Jack London, George Orwell, and Steve Jobs, Terrance Jackson spent over two and half years homeless in New Rochelle, NY and discovered the power of empathy to fuel innovation and creativity:

I believe that empathy – the imaginative act of stepping into another person’s shoes and viewing the world from their perspective – is a radical tool for social change and should be a guiding light for the art of living. Over the past decade, I have become convinced that it has the power not only to transform individual lives, but to help tackle some of the great problems of our age, from wealth inequality to violent conflicts and climate change.

It is important to understand what empathy is and is not. If you see a homeless person living under a bridge you may feel sorry for him and give him some money as you pass by. That is pity or sympathy, not empathy. If, on the other hand, you make an effort to look at the world through his eyes, to consider what life is really like for him, and perhaps have a conversation that transforms him from a faceless stranger into a unique individual, then you are empathising. ~ Roman Krznaric

Roman Krznaric - Empathy

RSA Animate – The Power of Outrospection – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG46IwVfSu8

The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
~ Matthew 22:39

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