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How the Great Recession Has Changed Life in America | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project

As the various candidates for the office of President of the United States define themselves and throw their hat in the ring, we should probably take a good look at their position on the American workforce and the American workplace. Especially important will be how economic policy affects these two important areas of life–both the quality of life for most working families in the country and the quality of life at the community level as it relates to access to quality education and training for working families.

More via How the Great Recession Has Changed Life in America | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Economic Recession, Economic Recovery, Family Policy, Job Sector, Mortgages, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Political Economy, Polls and pollsters, Presidential Election, Public Policy, Unemployment, Vote, WeSeeReason

Jobs Return to Peak, but Quality Lags – WSJ

America’s work is work, but it’s not working very well.   Let us explain.

The world economy has been transformed the American job market does not now seem able to sustain the large middle class that many argue made American great and unique.

“The U.S. finally clawed back all the jobs lost since the recession hit in late 2007, a watershed in a grindingly slow recovery that finds a labor market still in many ways weaker now than before the downturn.U.S. payrolls in May hit an all-time high after the first four-month stretch of job creation above 200,000 since the boom days of the late 1990s, according to the Labor Departments latest employment report. In all, employers added 217,000 jobs last month, nudging payrolls above the prior peak in January 2008.”

More via Jobs Return to Peak, but Quality Lags – WSJ.

Filed under: access to education, Aging, Blogosphere, Job Sector

How to Get Your Employees to Think Strategically | Inc.com

Today’s economic challenges have stressed organizational budgets, personnel departments, changed the skill set mix needed to move an organization forward, and have left smaller workforces to take on a seemingly larger and more complex workload.

This means you have to lead better, work smarter and be more strategic.  But you cannot do it alone.  Delegation is still a critical success factor in your own leadership success and delegating to someone who is not capable of understanding your strategy or in helping you further develop, tweak and implement it, is unacceptable in this new brave work environment of scarce resources and perhaps opportunities.   You get one team and limited resources…. You need to promote your strategy and you cannot afford to miss your mark.

The Policy ThinkShop provides you with the following article to help you in your leadership success journey….

From the Harvard Business Review we recommend:

Develop Strategic Thinkers Throughout Your Organization

“In study after study, strategic thinkers are found to be among the most highly effective leaders. And while there is an abundance of courses, books, articles and opinions on the process of strategic planning, the focus is typically on an isolated process that might happen once or twice per year. In contrast, a true strategic leader thinks and acts strategically every day.

So is there a way to encourage routine strategic thinking throughout the organization?”

More via: http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/02/develop-strategic-thinkers-throughout-your-organization/

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“Below, read his five tips for how to carry out this process.”

Dish out information.

Kabacoff says that you need to encourage managers to set aside time to thinking strategically until it becomes part of their job. He suggests you provide them with information on your company’s market, industry, customers, competitors, and emerging technologies. “One of the key prerequisites of strategic leadership is having relevant and broad business information that helps leaders elevate their thinking beyond the day-to-day,” he writes.

Create a mentor program.

Every manager in your company should have a mentor. “One of the most effective ways to develop your strategic skills is to be mentored by someone who is highly strategic,” Kabacoff says. “The ideal mentor is someone who is widely known for his/her ability to keep people focused on strategic objectives and the impact of their actions.”

Create a philosophy.

As the leader, you need to communicate a well-articulated philosophy, a mission statement, and achievable goals throughout your company. “Individuals and groups need to understand the broader organizational strategy in order to stay focused and incorporate it into their own plans and strategies,” Kabacoff writes.

Reward thinking, not reaction.

Whenever possible, try to promote foresight and long-term thinking. Kabacoff says you should reward your managers for the “evidence of thinking, not just reacting,” and for “being able to quickly generate several solutions to a given problem and identifying the solution with the greatest long-term benefit for the organization.”

Ask “why” and “when.”

Kabacoff says you need to promote a “future perspective” in your company. If a manager suggests a course of action, you need to him or her ask two questions: First, what underlying strategic goal does this action serve, and why? And second, what kind of impact will this have on internal and external stakeholders? “Consistently asking these two questions whenever action is considered will go a long way towards developing strategic leaders,” he writes.

More via How to Get Your Employees to Think Strategically | Inc.com.

Filed under: access to education, analytics, Blogosphere, Culture, Economic Recovery, Job Sector, Leadership, News, Organizational Development, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms

Many Baby Boomers Reluctant to Retire

If you are 50 years or older this year, you are a baby boomer.  You are part of the largest generation and you and your demographic cohort have been making waves and will continue to do so well past mid century into the 2050s.   Ironically, the baby boomers made much of their generational ruckus by not getting along with their parents and the lifestyle given to them by those parents which they proceeded to tear asunder.  Well, it appears that the boomers are at it once again, making waves, changing the lifestyle of previous “Seniors” and once again creating a conflict between the old and the young… This time it is the boomers who are the elders and, once again, they are in conflict—this time with the generation behind them.  They are refusing to leave a job market that has already been quite harsh to the generations behind the boomers ….

“True to their \”live to work\” reputation, some baby boomers are digging in their heels at the workplace as they approach the traditional retirement age of 65. While the average age at which U.S. retirees say they retired has risen steadily from 57 to 61 in the past two decades, boomers — the youngest of whom will turn 50 this year — will likely extend it even further. Nearly half (49%) of boomers still working say they don\’t expect to retire until they are 66 or …”

More via Many Baby Boomers Reluctant to Retire.

Filed under: Aging, Blogosphere, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Demographic Change, Job Sector, News, Parenting

What’s So Bad About Income Inequality?

Adam Smith played an important part in our understanding of how society affects the evolution of civil society and business.  As mathematics and reason improved economic theory through the development of rational choice theory, econometrics and mathematical modeling, economists took an important role at the governance table of most democracies.

The current deep and long recession and the troubling recovery, however, have cast some doubt on prevailing economic theories and their pundits and disciples.   Perhaps the turning points were the Enron scandal and Madoff caper because the inequality that pervades America today is not going away.  Somehow we have arrived at the moment when we are looking at values and relative differences between those who climb the ladder and those for whom there seems to be no ladder at all.  As America continues to be decided on ideological grounds and social space and social relations continue to be segregated in terms of education, access to higher paying jobs and wealth, it becomes increasingly difficult to see an American future where a large middle class supports the notion that everyone who tries hard can make it here.  That is a significant problem that is now seemingly being institutionalized as the American economy fails to create a necessarily clear and reasonable path between birth and upward mobility.

“One interpretation of the Pareto Principle, which suggests that 20% of the people own 80% of the wealth, is that there\’s no point in being angry about that inequality. Maybe the 20% is doing better than you because they went to college and you didn\’t — but that\’s not hurting you.

Dr. Deaton: I agree with the Pareto Principle, but you can be hurt by that kind of inequality, and that can happen in many different ways. If a bunch of people get extremely rich but nothing happens to your income, that\’s OK. But if they use their wealth to start buying the government, for instance, then it\’s not OK, because you don\’t get your share in the democracy anymore.

I\’ll give you an example from the U.S. right now. If you\’re a drug manufacturer and you come up with a blockbuster drug that does very well, eventually the patent runs out. Your business could let the patent run out and let the generics manufacture that drug, which is what\’s supposed to happen. But your company could also spend a lot of money lobbying Congress to get an extension of your patent. That\’s an example of blocking equality, and it hurts people. And economists have been very weak on that.

Like everyone, we economists specialize in what we do. So economists think we\’re the gods of income; we tend to think about well-being in terms of income, and we don\’t worry too much about the other things that contribute to well-being, such as health, education, or participating in a democratic society. But not having access to an important medicine doesn\’t show up as a share of GDP.

When we think about well-being, we can\’t just think about wealth. That\’s one of the things we\’ve learned from the Gallup World Poll — how important many other elements are to a person\’s satisfaction with his life.”

via What’s So Bad About Income Inequality?.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, consumers, Demographic Change, Economic Recession, Economic Recovery, Education Policy, Education Reform, Job Sector, News, Political Economy, Pundits

A Rising Share of Young Adults Live in Their Parents’ Home — The Baby Boomers’ Boomies!

The post agrarian nuclear family, popularized by shows like Father Knows Best  in the 1950s and 60s, may not be sustainable in today’s economy.  Sociologists and social historians have long said that marriage and the Mom, Dad and the kids arrangement is quite recent.  In fact, it was not long ago that a significant percentage of siblings did not marry at all.  In today’s America, it is getting increasingly difficult to go to college, buy a home and settle down and raise a family.  Today’s young people are struggling to get jobs and parents are staying put in their homes well after retirement…  Perhaps it is the baby boomers leading these trends.  Ironically, just like they made noise for their elders and their parents in the 1960s, so too are their children today as they are crowding their nests and spending their life savings… Empty nest syndrome is being replaced with a new, perhaps more uncomfortable version of the extended family… At least extended at the bank as families struggle to face a  new reality in an economy that undervalues education and yields few jobs and opportunities for the baby boomers “boomies” …

“In 2012, 36% of the nation’s young adults ages 18 to 31—the so-called Millennial generation—were living in their parents’ home, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. This is the highest share in at least four decades and represents a slow but steady increase over the 32% of their same-aged counterparts who were living at home prior to the Great Recession in 2007 and the 34% doing so when it officially ended in 2009.

A record total of 21.6 million Millennials lived in their parents’ home in 2012, up from 18.5 million of their same aged counterparts in 2007. Of these, at least a third and perhaps as many as half are college students. (In the census data used for this analysis, college students who live in dormitories during the academic year are counted as living with their parents).

Younger Millennials (ages 18 to 24) are much more likely than older ones (ages 25 to 31) to be living with their parents—56% versus 16%. Since the onset of the 2007-2009 recession, both age groups have experienced a rise in this living arrangement.”

via A Rising Share of Young Adults Live in Their Parents’ Home | Pew Social & Demographic Trends.

Filed under: access to education, Aging, analytics, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, consumers, Culture Think, Demographic Change, good jobs with good benefits, Job Sector, News, Parenting, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Unemployment, , , , , , , ,

Saying No to College – NYTimes.com

Family incomes, markets and job prospects have all been crushed by over a decade of economic angst and dreary fiscal outlooks … This is now affecting the opportunity for families to send their kids to college and also dampening the desire of ambitious bright kids to stick it out in college …

The NYTs highlights the “Zuckerberg and Gates” dropout phenomena as the down economy pushes kids out of college early in their pursuit of  entreprenurial success and big bucks!

 

“BENJAMIN GOERING does not look like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, talk like him or inspire the same controversy. But he does apparently think …”

via Saying No to College – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, Culture Think, Economic Recession, Economic Recovery, Education Policy, Education Reform, Job Sector, News, Public Policy, Unemployment, ,

For richer, for poorer | The Economist

IN 1889, AT the height of America’s first Gilded Age, George Vanderbilt II, grandson of the original railway magnate, set out to build a country estate in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. He hired the most prominent architect of the time, toured the chateaux of the Loire for inspiration, laid a railway to bring in limestone from Indiana and employed more than …

More via For richer, for poorer | The Economist.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, consumers, Economic Recession, Education Policy, Education Reform, Feminization of Poverty, Job Sector, News, Philanthropy, The 47%!, , ,

Downturn and Legacy of Bush Policies Drive Large Current Deficits — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Some lawmakers, pundits, and others continue to say that President George W. Bush’s policies did not drive the projected federal deficits of the coming decade — that, instead, it was the policies of President Obama and Congress in 2009 and 2010.  But, the fact remains:  the economic downturn, President Bush’s tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain most of the deficit over the next ten years — according to this update of our analysis, which is based on the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent ten-year budget projections (from August) and congressional action since we released the previous version of this analysis in May 2011.  (For a fuller discussion, see the technical note that begins on p. 6.)

The deficit for fiscal year 2009 — which began more than three months before President Obama’s inauguration — was $1.4 trillion and, at 10 percent of Gross …

More via Downturn and Legacy of Bush Policies Drive Large Current Deficits — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Filed under: Banks, Blogosphere, Economic Recession, Election 2012, Job Sector, National Debt, News, Political Economy, propaganda and spin, , , ,

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