Last week: Congrats to a 64-year-old dreamer. Many of us were here in 1978 when Diana Nyad made her first attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida. That it took five tries makes her triumph even more inspirational. As she said "you are never too old to chase your dream!" Thank you, Diana.
Looking ahead: College football kicks off this weekend and we are excited. (Go Noles!) However, the NCAA and college administrators have to address the financial inequities in the system. Institutions and coaches make millions while the student athletes are unpaid. This results in one scandal after another. There has to be a better way!
Last week: The apology by the CEO of AOL for publicly firing an employee in front of 1,000 other employees is most appropriate. Separating an employee may be fully justified, but should always be done in a professional and respectful manner. In this era of increased workplace violence and litigation, it is also very prudent. “You’re Fired” may make for captivating “reality” TV, but it is never an acceptable business practice.
Last week: While the stock market has again moved up after Chairman Bernanke's recent statement, I am troubled by his comments. Simply put, he implied in Fed speak that the economy is recovering even slower than they had desired. Thus the Fed leaves the unprecedented stimulus program in place which investors use to their benefit. The Chairman's angst over too low inflation or any hint of possible deflation coupled with the anemic GDP growth of 1.1% in Q1 and 1.7% in Q2 signal big concerns for the U.S.
Looking ahead: The increasing war for talent. While unemployment is still high, companies struggle to hire the skilled workers needed to drive excellence.
Last week: President Obama spoke this week and addressed stimulating the U.S. economy to help the middle class to have more job opportunities and a higher quality of life. His solution is to increase “investing” substantial government dollars into various areas of the economy. This approach has failed numerous times. The government should be motivating the business community and wealthy individuals to risk and invest their own capital to create new companies or expand existing ones in hope of profitable return and in the process create substantial new well-paying jobs and a rising middle class.
Looking ahead: Obamacare
Last week: Reporting from Greece: The Greek government is still struggling to make payments on its overwhelming debt thanks to excessive pensions and promises of entitlement made by previous generations of politicians to voters. Now drastic cuts in these expected benefits are causing protests and threats of strikes. Citizens of any country must realize that some politicians will always promise "a chicken in every pot" to be paid for by future generations. Hopefully we will learn from our own history and that of other countries.
Looking ahead: Obamacare's prolonging of the "continued uncertainty" of our economy.
Last week: The Egyptian army and an outspoken portion of their population have brought a hopefully temporary pause to democracy in Egypt. As we have just celebrated the birthday of our own democracy in the U.S. we must stop and reflect. We have come to realize that freedom isn’t free nor easy to maintain. Certainly our army has the military might to overthrow our government, but, it is the essence of what America stands for that prevents that. We must strive to keep this spirit of America alive driven by a deeply rooted sense of our individual responsibility not only to our own prosperity but also to that of our global community. It is the irrational sense of individual entitlement that takes societies down.
Looking ahead: The 13 percent rise in South Florida home prices in the last 12 months coupled with an 82 percent Florida consumer confidence rating, the highest in six years, is very big news. For most Americans, homes are the largest part of net worth. Home prices have not yet fully recovered, but they are moving closer and we are feeling better. As we have learned fear brings deflation and recession. Confidence driving modest inflation feeds an economy. Our economy is slowly getting healthier. Believing in a positive future is the first step in having one.
Last week: The diverse reactions that will evolve from the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriages.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun