Week of February 20, 2016

Monday, February 20 is Presidents’ Day

“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider

the most enviable of all titles: the character of an honest man.” 

George Washington

“Nearly all men can stand adversity; but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Abraham Lincoln

If Honest Abe had a Press Agent…..

Politics today seems to be about spin, image, words-smithing and much more that seems to be devoid of real substance.  With President’s Day tomorrow, it’s understandable if we long for the simpler times of Washington and Lincoln.    We can only wonder what their presidencies might have been like if they had been surrounded by the spin meisters of today.  

Comedian Bob Newhart offers some speculation about what Lincoln’s press agent, if he had had access to one, might have advised Honest Abe to do.  Have seven minutes of fun with Mr. Newhart as he presents “Abe Lincoln versus Madison Avenue.” 

While we’re on the topic of presidents and the media, how would the Father of our country have handled the media?  Johnny Carson, Father of the late night talk show, offers his interpretation of  what a George Washington presidential press conference could have been like.  

“Age and Treachery”..and the Voice of Context

Baby Boomers in upper management often lament the perceived lack of work ethic, commitment and an attitude that the Boomers have nothing to teach them; due in no small measure to the fact that many between the ages of 50 and 70 are not digital natives. 

Many born between 1946 and 1966 comfort themselves with the Old English Proverb that “Age and Treachery will overcome youth and skill.”   But one Millennial thinks Boomers have much to offer his generation and encourages his peers to take advantage of Boomer wisdom and expertise while they can.  Find out why one young advertising executive says Boomers offer an invaluable “Voice of Context” in his short article:  “I miss old people in the workplace.” 

Attitude vs IQ

We don’t have a choice regarding our natural endowments but we do have choice on our attitude about what we do with what we have.   This brief blog posting looks at the importance of choosing a growth mindset, and how it can overcome deficits in areas we cannot remedy.  A good article to share with the young people in your life.

Econ Recon:  Keep it Simple, Stupid….

As the new administration begins to unveil the specifics of its policies, those who may be affected are starting to react…in some cases with alarm.  Economist Brian Wesbury looks at some specifics of tax and trade policy and suggests some simpler approaches…..especially that our leaders take the  Keep it Simple, Stupid  approach (KISS) to their choices in this area.