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Showing posts from July, 2021

Bi-Partisan Senate Infrastructure Bill (July 28th, 2021)

The Senate passes a bi-partisan infrastructure bill. It will go through a process of amendment and further debate on details. Senators voted 67-32 to advance the bill; 17 Republicans and all 50 Democrats voted yes. This bill will hopefully have a fairly large impact on the quality of access to information and improve upon our general infrastructure to create net positives and improve U.S. competitive advantages (Let's not forget China is already working on its infrastructure.) There are opportunities to include education and information sharing networks for cluster development (One choice leads to others. Doors open and close.) I'm happy my fellow Republicans supported an infrastructure bill  (Enough wiggle room to still get things done beyond partisan politics. Both sides are guilty of this and if the idea seems solid and likely to have beneficial traction we should consider it.). That doesn't mean it needs to be supported in whole or that there isn't room for some de

Capitol Riot Officer Fanone Wants Leaders to Recognize Their Sacrafice

The police officers of the Capitol Riots had a tough job that day. It wasn't coffee, check lists and patrol as usual. When chaos occurs and people must fall back on their training and instinct is when we know things got serious. What happened during this time was not a pure coincidence and was more likely a result of multiple factors coming to head at one time (pandemic, sociological shifts, foreign manipulation of media, possible "agents" hyping the crowd, etc...etc...) It was not a normal day for these officers and for the nation that could have been thrown into violence if a mob would have turned right instead of left down a hallway that led to other congress members (This was a serious day that forces us to reflect on our political dysfunction on both sides. I don't know if all of our politicians are truly grasping he danger of hyper politics and its rhetoric and lack of wide reaching solutions.)  In this battle for America's soul we have those who follow the

Conference Board Says Consumer Confidence Up July 27th, 2021

Consumer confidence is rising and generally that prompts that people want to buy things. Much of our economy (I believe around 75%) is driven by consumer spending. When confidence rises people spend more and the economy improves. We should remember that one of the reasons we have boom and bust economies is because of spending, supply, and contraction/expansion of that supply/demand network. That will hold true until we move into a higher level digital platform where such flow disruptions are lessened through better management and preemptive cycle adjustments (One of the benefits of big data. There are some detractors as well. I don't know. Sounds ok. ) The following was taken from The Conference Board .  "The Conference Board  Consumer Confidence Index ®  was relatively unchanged in July, following gains in each of the prior five months. The Index now stands at 129.1 (1985=100), up from 128.9 in June. The  Present Situation Index —based on consumers’ assessment of current busi

Bergman, Axne Introduce Bipartisan Protecting Patients from Medicaid Fraud Act

 A couple of quick comments because I'm a little busy tonight. :) I would say that any time we can cut waste we are stretching the dollars further. We as Americans pay our monies into this system that could be used for other resources. If we are going to continue to do that we must make sure its not a "cash cow" for shifty vendors.  This was taking from District 1 Congressman News...... For Immediate Release July 27, 2021 Contact: James Hogge 231-944-7633   Bergman, Axne Introduce Bipartisan Protecting Patients from Medicaid Fraud Act     Washington  - Today, Reps. Jack Bergman (MI-01) and Cindy Axne (IA-03) introduced the  Protecting Patients from Medicaid Fraud Act,  a bipartisan bill to improve oversight of Medicaid, prevent improper payments and waste, and protect patients from fraud. This legislation is based on  recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) , a nonpartisan agency that works to improve the operations and fiscal responsibility of the

Don't Get UPSET? Multiple Ways to Solve UP Drug Problems

Drugs are a problem in just about every city in America. While we have tried different strategies we can't seem to get out of the drug hole as the poison leaks into the community and destroys futures. According to an article by Public Radio 90's Nicole Walton entitled ' UPSET arrests Delta County man on drug, gun charges ', " Detectives seized about 34 grams of suspected crystal meth, a small amount of suspected heroin/fentanyl, more than $3,600 and a loaded handgun that was reported stolen." (Walton, 2021, para 2) As we think about national policy places like Delta County (DC) offer opportunities to try out ideas when they seem beneficial (It would need a little more  multi-department and community coordination of different institutions.. i.e. courts, police, mental health, social work, government programs, new jobs, community groups, public awareness, etc...). The beauty of DC is that its small and isolated enough to have a better grasp of the factors invol

US and China Talks-Frosty and Likely not Fun

 I'm watching the talks between the U.S. and China (as a growing trend). We have two major super powers that want to find a way to work with each other. Part of the argument is that American companies felt taken advantage of by China. I'm sure China has a few complaints or otherwise they wouldn't be there. What we can say is that there are some things we can work together on and that is climate change and pollution. It impacts both societies and that might be a nice place to start in any long term negotiations (When I did some union-mgmt. negotiating in the past I thought about similarities and tried to find where both parties agreed and where they didn't. Defining/breaking down further and further until we get to the root of the difference makes sense. Most often its ideological but sometimes if we use these root agreed upon assumptions we can find other similarities.).  At the end of the day its two different ideologies competing. They both will be impacted by climate

Encouraging College Students to Critically Think Sources

 College is a time when people learn "how to think" versus "what to think". Any society must have people that are able to think for themselves and come up with their own conclusions. The lessons we learn from critical thinking can apply to different aspects of people's lives in and after college. While as professors, we want to encourage people to move down healthy thinking patterns it is not our job to tell students what to think; that is up to the student. We must only give our students the tools they need to come to conclusions using critical thinking skills to solve problems.  In the business world it is the ability to overcome problems and implement new strategies that will make success. Some will always work for someone else, some will become executives, and some will start their own businesses. Each will have to make choices over lots of things in their field and they will need to use critical thinking to ensure they are being impactful. Helping students

Biden Townhall CNN (July 21st, 2021)

Keeping up with the political news. While I lean Republican I have no issues with Democrats and think sometimes they come up with some great ideas. We are polarized in this country and there is little to no reason we can't pull both sides toward the center. To me, the ability to solve problems is the most important functions of being in politics (I'm no expert so make your own judgements.) One thing I agree with President Biden is that democracies must compete again and are challenged by other forms of government. While some might believe that we can't overcome challenges (due to our polarization) I believe we will adapt. Democracy is here to stay because as people gain access to information and education they want to be involved.  Democracies are about empowering people to act in their and their communities best interests. We want people to go out and chase their dreams (life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness) and do so in a prosocial level that helps their country (Its a

Officers in Philadelphia Rescue a Mother and Baby Spreading Good Will

We have seen in the news the actions of a few bad apples but we often don't see the wonderful things officers do! They are people who have a propensity to help and the vast majority joined with good karma in mind.  Actions like this should be shared as it prompts society to the positive side of policing and raises PR in the field that has been struggling to recruit (which could lead to more kind souls joining).  The images we show and share with society create impressions and lead to long-term public relations impressions. Images also help employees within organizations view themselves and act on these impressions in a way that improves overall department performance (Through cultural adjustments and empowerment).  The officers did a great job and deserve praise to let other officers see workplace expectations. Leading by Example and Group Performance   Its a little graphic.😨😥

Old Homes and Abandoned Gems

We in the U.S. love to buy new houses and expand expand expand! Sometimes we leave gems behind in places that have experienced decades declines. I came across this house while driving today (keeping location secret for moment) and thought. That would be a great project!  Assuming the house has a solid structure, proper zoning, and basics still intact (i.e. stair cases) it could be worth the elbow grease. I decided I was going to look up the owner of record and see if I can put in a very low ball offer in ( really really low).  Its in an ok neighborhood. Not good or bad but maintaining its value. Middle class in orientation and with a little effort it could be a great head turner. It also looks like it has a lot of land in a big town.  Reinvesting back in some neighborhoods can keep them fresh and alive. Instead of pulling money out we should be drawing back in. I've seen some communities get popular again and spring forth new life. Great design for a house!

Teaching Youth Technical Skills (One Generation to Next)

We talk a lot about economics and business in this blog. Over the past few decades we have become every more reliant on others to do the work that we used to do ourselves. While specialization with one's work often improves income levels there are some benefits to doing some of your car maintenance (and other maintenance related to house, garden, etc...) ourselves. This becomes even more important for kids that will need these technical skills later.  The other day my son asked if I could pay for him to get an oil change. The last time I paid it was $100 at the local oil depot. At this time, I'm teaching more about self-reliance and learning about how cars function and work than pulling out the check book.  The total cost of completing the oil change was around $35 but the lesson learned was much more.  Why change the oil together? 1.) Learn about the car and how it functions 2.) Learn basic mechanical skills 3.) The value of money and labor. 4.) To understand what the mechanic

The World Inside and Outside Dysfunctional Groups: Distorted Mirrors and Social "Realities"

The world inside some groups and the world outside some groups are sometimes radically different. We are struggling with these concepts as a nation as we try to navigate a new world that is changing before our eyes (don't blink too long!). We are swimming in an era of increased diversity butting against social exchanges that sometimes utilize very rigid mental filters ( Selective Attention and In-Out Group Bias . See Side Note A2. Martiny-Huenger, Gollwitzer & Oettingen, 2014).  Group bias declines as we look at other outside anchors/perspectives. In extreme cases, that can also lead to the discounting of rights and the value of life. The problem we face is that once we have selected our friends and our lifestyle we may not be as open to others as we should be. Its an issue in a world where half of society society are "minorities" (...meaning statistic minorities of which ratios change in our future. That doesn't include access to opportunity, wealth and governmen

Unemployment Claims Drop Week July 17th, 21'-Michigan Trends Rock! GDP Global Lift?

Looks like jobs are increasing and unemployment is declining. We might also start to see increases in wages as well in a way that improves upon income levels of different sectors of society. If capable of improving upon our labor wearable tech, education and innovation we might also be able to upswing our productivity (matched with improved cluster environments rip for development and investments) and draw additional investments as higher levels of skills, knowledge and abilities increase {..the purpose of creating investment ripe environments that lead the market with research and new products.}. That would have an impact on labor and the availability of highly productive human capital {...from a speculative stand point.} I took this from the DOL press release below.....  "In the week ending July 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 419,000, an increase of 51,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up

Escanaba City Counsel Meeting (July 15th, 2021) Chasing Goose and Letting Loose!

This was an exciting meeting!(It was...and action packed.) There was lots of new things going on and it helpful to take note to understand the changes in the community. New contracts impact service outputs and the general wellbeing of the town. I wrote down some of the main points into a bullet point list below for your perusal. A little easier to read that way. You can always watch the video as well (A rich media channel when compared to press releases alone.).  Escanaba may someday become an important destination spot for tourism and other activities. Time will tell. What we can say is that that the world has changed and new infrastructure changes and the desire to develop our own internal industries will likely impact towns like this.  -Upper Peninsula Military Museum. I think this is what they are talking about. I should stop by and check it out. The known/unknown contributions to national development of our military. -Delta County Prosecutor increase