Thursday, November 5, 2020

Does COVID Teach Us About New Global Economic Models?

 Economics is only the understanding of human behavior on a macro level. In traditional economic models, information and decision making happen in the context of physical conversation. Such human-to-human interaction is how people obtained information and learned how to react and handle new crisis. What COVID did was highlight how these social networks operate on a global level.

Perhaps all of the information might not be available from every country and ever location. Yet, most countries are tracking the spread of the virus. While they do so they also open up a glimpse into big data and global understandings.

1. How social networks operate on a global scale. The spread of the disease is through social interaction highlighting who was in contact with whom (i.e. contact tracing) and how disease spreads.

2. How there are two different economies at work here (The digital, the physical and something in between). There are some losing and there are some winning and those aligned to the Digital GDP economy seemed to fair better. 

I'm working on a theory on clusters and transactions so I keep this concept in mind and sort of wait until someone has the resources to put take the high level data provided in the future by countries (Assuming they share it publicly...there should be some national concerns on releasing internal social network movement). From that information we may see how economics, social interaction, and the spread of ideas (and ideas) occurred. I'm not sure if we can do this but it seems possible. 🤔 

No Matter Who Wins the Presidency Our Need for Justice Reform Doesn't Go Away

The election isn't going to change some of the fundamental problems we face in society. Our problems don't go away just because one person is in charge and one isn't.  President is one of the most influential people in world but even they are limited without the support of people. Their strength is based in their societal capital and it is up to them to use it appropriately. 

We still have some riots and while protests are well meaning the riots are destructive. There is an underlining anger of being treated many of the protestors are feeling. 

They are not wrong in some of their essential beliefs. That is not an endorsement of poor behavior which I think takes away from the movement and damages the business climate and opportunities for rejuvenation. 

Some reform is still necessary to ensure we develop a universal justice system. Individual police work within their own cultures, backgrounds, beliefs, context, etc.... Most officers are good people who want to help but there is still a rub between law enforcement and minorities. 

If you ever faced a hate group you will come to see some things they way they are. When I looked into the transgressors face you could see the caddy, cold, callousness in which they influence other seemingly rational people to irrational. Under the fake smiles is a lot of rage and self-involvement.

Let me give you an example. One day I was shopping in a local grocery store getting my son some mouthwash for a recent mouth surgery. The main influencer in the perpetrator group walked past me said "hi" and smirked. As I was talking to the pharmacist about which mouthwash is best for post-surgery recovery she hovered around to seeking to gain as much information as possible. 

I never have thought getting mouthwash would turn into a rumor of obtaining medication for a serious mental health disorder. There is no truth with people who seek to do real harm to others. There is only their words and a hate group very willing to believe and follow.  

This is the type of behavior that sends shivers down my spine. A complete and intentionally manipulation designed to damage reputations. While such behavior might run under the radar of law and can be swept away because of lack follow up and proof.....the behavior is reflective of distorted personalities and the intentionality of harm. 

That same group never once considered the possibility that what was occurring was wrong, dishonest, and illegal. They didn't care because they have been doing these behaviors since high school in an environment where the behaviors are common and accepted.

Its like jumping into a time machine and going back to the 70's. Isolation has its advantages but in this case creates a bubble of cultural misunderstandings and long held skewed impressions of people who don't fit a rigid stereotypes. 

There are a lot of incidence from this group. No truth, no self-reflection, no accountability, and no consequences for their behavior. ...but I haven't given up holding my ground. I wish I could hug them and show them that such beliefs are destructive but it will be impossible to change their mind because of a lifetime of developing their thinking patterns. 

People who hate.....really hate....will not give that up on their own. Accountability doesn't always mean putting a "local" in jail but it does mean they should be assesses for risk and in turn deal with whatever derangement they are facing. 

I have little doubt that in the future these will rise again from this group. Its a way of viewing their sense of entitlement over the town and its institutions. 

The laws don't seem to apply as they should in this circumstance. When people are subject to extreme hate they a right (in my case responsibility) to hold account those who have no boundaries. The current legal structure is not as effective as it should be. Hopefully some of the high profile cases such as a hate group trying to abduct a sitting government will have a little more impact on the hearts and minds of our leaders. They are not immune to such hate and in turn should do what they need to make sure the law is able to protect people. The question is...does the victims of crime have the right to hold accountable aggression? Under the current system it may not be possible. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Stocks Markets Go Nuts! Election Excitement?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average up more that 705 points on pre-election expectations. The Nasdaq Composite Index and S&P 500 index were also up. The animal spirits are moving and investors are feeling good about investments right now. They may also be creating a trading bubble to see what might if one candidate over another.

What I find interesting is that the scenario hasn't changed. Either one or the other will win....nothing has changed unless some third party candidate sweeps through to the White House. One theory I heard is that investors may want a near tie. 

In this idea investors may be saying they want one party to control the senate and another to control the White House as a check and balance. Typically that means not much will get done and perhaps this is the scenario they are looking for. 

We have no radical changes in the market, tax deductions are not rolled back, there is no raising of taxes, etc.. etc... etc... Basically nothing gets done and that create a level of stability. We become more stable and less nimble. Sort of an equilibrium which is great during peace and not so great during times of change. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Faster Global Recovery Than Expected?

 Globally we did better than expected while the U.S. did exceptional. If you read the article in the Harvard Business Review Why The Global Economy is Recovering Faster Than Expected you will notice that the U.S. did much better than Europe, the world, and China. Take a look at some of the charts and you will notice the U.S. far exceeded expectations that were not part of economist projections. It makes one wonder what is going on.

The trade gap between the U.S. and China is narrowing through this period and it will be interesting to see if the U.S. economy will begin to shift toward bringing back investment and manufacturing. There are some indicators that indicated there is movement of factors but how far this may go and what might this look like when the world economy fully reopens is anyone's guess. 

If things are going as I might project I would say Q4 will be good and Q1 will be good and then we will grow until we find a new plateau and then perhaps after that we will have a much larger bump as long term strategies and investments kick in under digital GDP as it relates to the virtual economy and traditional GDP as it relates to manufacturing (hopefully). 

Either way...its a pretty good read. 

Does Michigan Restaurant Contact Tracing Provide Benefits and Risks?

 The restaurant industry is trying to get back on its feet but COVID cases have been on the rise. New rules in the State of Michigan require restaurants to collect names and phone numbers for dine-in customers. The requirements help the state contact people in case someone gets sick and visits the location. That can be very helpful. The problem is that some might be afraid to leave their phone number and some businesses might feel uncomfortable asking. There is also the risk that the information is used and sold for other purposes. Let us talk a moment on each of them. 

1. Benefits of the Requirement. Getting in contact with people and helping them get tested if they have symptoms will likely help reduce the spread. It does provide more data and ability to go to the stores and research what happens. I'm all for understanding things and getting the data to do an analysis. Yes...there are some other issues. 

2. Privacy Concerns. People might not feel comfortable providing information. Some are already concerned about their information and where its going. 

3. Restaurant Concerns. The establishments are asking their customers to provide information they may not feel comfortable providing. They in turn might not be happy with it. 

4. Data use Concerns. We can't always control what happens with this data. Sometimes its stolen, used for marketing purposes, investigations, and much more. 

No one every said the pandemic was going to be easy. The restrictions are well meaning but I'm not sure how it will work on a practical level. It will likely work for most people but there will be a group of people who have some legitimate concerns. As a society we are learning about how to handle these situations as they arise and where people feel and sit on these issues. This would be a tough one to solve without adjusting. I think we already collect credit card I wonder if the issues are cash buyers.

Interfering in Elections

 One of the fundamental aspects of our society is the ability to engage in democracy. That democracy is what makes us differently than others. The problem is that when countries involve themselves in our election process they create risks. Countries have always been interested and tried to influence national elections but in the world of big technology its much easier to do this hundreds of miles away. 

The election interference brings up questions of where our sovereignty begins and ends. Certainly we should thwart such efforts and social media companies must be diligent in removing outside interference. We want American opinions to be American.

The problem of holding people accountability is difficult at best. Without international agreement that solidifies that such behaviors are illegal and worth international sanction then we are one nation opposed to another nation. 

Sure we can engage in similar types behavior that would make us part of the problem. It appears that detection and removal are the main strategy. One should wonder if there are actual financial consequences when such behavior happens? How far can the envelope be pushed?

Monday, November 2, 2020

Antagonism and Narcissism

 I took a little interest in the narcissistic disorder after coming in head-to-head conflict such a personality. It sparked some interest in how someone could engage in serious callousness and disregard for the lives of other people. Reading the article, "How Antagonism Unfolds as a Trait of Narcissism" brought up some good points about how certain skewed beliefs can lead to antagonism. 

In the study they discuss antagonism as a something narcissists engage in. We all may have met a person having a bad day trying to be an antagonist but few have met someone who engages in this behavior in an attempt to dominate another person. 

Antagonism seems to be a tool and an offshoot of internal angst. If you are comparing yourself to other people all of the time then you are likely to get annoyed by some. 

That is perhaps what a bully does. They chronically size up others, size up themselves, and when someone doesn't fit their stereotype they antagonize. Its something they can't rectify in themselves.

I have learned that you cannot reason with such people as they have all the reasons in the world why their behavior is acceptable. That is where narcissism comes into play. You can't reason and you can't fix it because of the deep seated mental health issues. What your left with is boundaries....and that is pretty much it. 

Escanaba Polo Mallet Donations Helps Organizations

Escanaba Polo Mallet Company donates much of its profits to charitable causes (Right now I think all of the profits are being donated) in an effort to make the world a better place. While we are a polo mallet company we are also good actors in our communities. While mallets might be our passion each mallet represents real resources for others. This is where the last quarter's revenues and profits were spent.

We are working on raising revenues so that we can donate more in the future. 

1. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

2. Hoof and Heart of Southern Michigan

3. Corazon De Vida Orphanages

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Should the U.S. Be Concerned About China's Technology and Manufacturing Push?

China and the U.S. are engaged in a locked wrestling match for global influence. I read the article "China wants to be less reliant on the United States That's a tall order" by Laura He that discusses the 5-Year plan by the Chinese Communist Party that there will be a focus on technology independence and advanced technologies. This opens a problem for the U.S. as we must determine what our approach to the market will be?

There is something called the Made in China 2025 that seeks to massively build their data infrastructure and encourage manufacturing. The low cost strategy that is dependent on American technology is ending. China want's the technology and the manufacturing. 

We do have to concern ourselves because based on a previous analysis "I did China Comes Close to Passing the U.S. in Doctors, Patents and Scientific Discoveries where we are getting close to being matched in scientific discoveries. That means we are not leading in the essential market that influences all the other markets.

That creates a problem because they are serious competitors in science, manufacturing, and if their strategy is successful in technology, we lost dominance in our long term competitive advantages. We must have a strategy to master the market in a way that drags up our GDP (i.e. Digital GDP) through innovation and manufacturing. 

As a nation we can sort of just hope it all goes away but that doesn't seem to be the solution. I have been working on a theoretical strategy developed off the need to rejuvenate entrepreneurial innovation and manufacturing in a way that provides the jobs, green environments, and capitalization on existing strengths of our infrastructure and labor capital. 

In essence, we are discussing at a micro level of information and resources travel among different related businesses to create innovation (It goes a little deeper than that) in a way that builds entire industries that lead to competitive advantages that can influence the U.S. course of direction. It seeks to build the networks of resources, infrastructure, investment, entrepreneurship, finances, etc... into a place where it catalyzes growth. Its a work in progress and not finished. If you want to read more its HERE

Saturday, October 31, 2020

What Does it Mean to be "American"?

My international friends call me "The American". It conjures the thought of national birth and cultural identity. Foreigners have a slightly different version of what it means to be American. We often think in terms of race and religion while others minimize those differences but raise up personality and cultural attributes within their definitions. Paying attention to their underlining definitions can sometimes lead us to insight. 

A few reflections from others....

First, American is more of a thought than an actual identity. Its the way in which we are trained to question the world around us and to respect individual liberties. We speak up about what we believe and how things should be. In other words, we are known to let our opinions be known. 

Secondly, religion and race are minimized in their definition of an American. My Muslim name doesn't seem to bother others and my children's mixed race never seemed to be a thought. Yet here it has been an issue for some people here as they struggle with balancing their own identity with others. 

Third, An American is someone who continues to push forward even during the most difficult times. Americans rely more on a moral sense of purpose than many other countries that have long histories that create context of thought.  

Its interesting because to foreigners I seem very American but to Americans I seem very foreign. I guess that puts me in the free thinker zone because I see the subjectivity of the way in which people construct their beliefs from their past and cultural identities. We have not yet found those essential principles that define all Americans and are part of our national identity. Moving to the center of a global supply chain also means we need a more universal and inclusive definition of what it means to be American.