Patterico's Pontifications

5/17/2009

Where Do You Stand on America?

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 1:41 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Here’s a BusinessWeek article on how a company or a country can evaluate whether its best days have passed or are yet to come.

— DRJ

9 Responses to “Where Do You Stand on America?”

  1. I was hoping that book would be available in a Kindle version. It’s out next week and sounds good.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  2. Crap. America’s best day has yet to come. We are still in our revolutionary/pioneer stage.

    nk (a1896a)

  3. And already the greatest country in the history of the world.

    nk (a1896a)

  4. And […snip…] the greatest country in the history of the world.

    Comment by nk — 5/17/2009 @ 1:59 pm

    “Everyone thinks this about their native land, but in our case it’s really true.”
    –/paraphrase of some guy I can’t remember, only he was wrong cause he was British

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  5. Funny you should ask.

    Some discussion of patriotism, liberty, tolerance, and “what I believe” – note the analogy of American culture and corporate culture:
    http://travismonitor.blogspot.com/2009/05/patriotism-liberty-and-tolerance.html

    http://travismonitor.blogspot.com/2009/05/patriotism-liberty-and-tolerance.html

    “Finally, I believe strongly that America is the greatest nation on earth. This is not a blind faith, but one based on the experience of living in another country and visiting two dozen other countries in my lifetime. We are the best nation on earth because of the greatness of our people, and our people are great because of our traditions of Judeo-Christian faith and morality, liberty, and self-reliant individualism. Should we lose those cultural traditions, or turn away from God, our national greatness will fade away. That knowledge motivates me to support the continuation of our liberty and traditions in our nation.”

    And …
    http://www.thenextright.com/freedoms-truth/defining-patriotism

    “This is not some general and nebulous “I am not a traitor so that makes me a patriot” view, but a specific patriotic appreciation for America, its heritage and the ‘core values’ of the country. In the corporate world, we talk of a ‘corporate culture’, and in the world at large, there is a culture in different countries. I know this and have experienced it first-hand, and from this I believe America’s rooted traditions are the best formula for a successful society any civilization has come up with so far.”

    “Good to Great” is one of my favorite corporate leadership books … and it would be fascinating to use it to model ‘American renewal’.

    Travis Monitor (cfa2f1)

  6. Paul Kennedy had a book about the fall of empires in the 1980s when there was a bout of declinism in the US… he more of less implied that under Reagan we were headed for the ash-heap of history.

    The thing is, I read the book and concluded he got his own conclusions wrong – if he thought about it, it showed that USSR was the empire at risk.

    And so it was.

    Travis Monitor (cfa2f1)

  7. Those five stages delineated some important and critical aspects of whether an institution is in danger. However, there is a very useful shortcut that some very savvy investors have found quite useful. And that is whether the upper echelon has skin in the game, that means stocks and options they pay for at market prices not part of their salaries. It has been duly noted how using options as part of compensation leads to widespread abuse and heavy dilution of stock values. And the more that management ‘buys into’ their company, the stronger is the probability they will do all they can to not permit any of those five stages to impinge upon the future of the company. I’m sure one could dig up exceptions here and there, but you won’t find that many instances of failed institutions where heavy management ownership existed. I believe one could readily explain the inherent lack of efficiency and success of govt run institutions with this very simple principle. Some call it accountability, whereas I call it having your ass on the line day in and day out.

    allan (058fe9)

  8. Having worked in sales my entire adult life, I heartily agree with your assessment, Allan. Would that our would – be health reformers have some skin in their game as well; but they never will, since politicos have carte blanche healthcare at elite institutions on the taxpayer’s dime.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  9. I think the message, as I understand it, is that the left has developed the hubris that we are able to change the basic principles of American economic life in order to satisfy vague concerns like global warming or moral status while we are defending the country. Humility would say we had better not screw around with what works just to make ourselves feel better. America is not predetermined to be successful. It needs effort and the left has never exerted that effort; they are living off the fruits of others’ labor. Sorry Eric, but when I was a college student, even university professors taught us something worthwhile. What I see of most college education now is worse than useless; it is not even true. I remember English professors fondly and still find value in what they taught me 50 years later. I can’t see that still being true.

    Mike K (2cf494)


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