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Friday, November 6, 2020

Job Market Improves November 6th 2020-Hospitality and Leisure

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics we have some good news on the job market. According to the press release....

"Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 638,000 in October, and the unemployment rate declined to 6.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. In October, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction. Employment in government declined (1)"


When we look a little deeper we find that hospitality and leisure made up much of the gains. Technology also had some advantages. That might mean we are opening back up the economy and we are adapting with more online/virtual needs. Experts are likely to know more. 

Some of this gain also seems to parallels spread in COVID. Its a social disease so this makes sense. Those sectors and their growth/decline is based in what policies we put forward. I don't think we will truly close our economy again but we may instill policies that seem to make sense in limiting long-term health risks. 

Helping Students Use Time Management in College and Life

 Students sometimes have a hard time managing their life and school loads. Those not being born in the lap of luxury must often work, take care of other responsibilities, manage their own lives and continue to go to school. I know this because I was a full time doctoral student and work 50+ hours a week while taking care of a family. You can get pulled in every direction! 

There are some helpful things to keep in mind if you want to better manage. I suspect many of these are likely to apply to the business world where people have multiple projects going on. Where one might be delegate to save time the other might be delegate to save time and groom others. 

Here are a few things I learned from "busting my hump" on education and life. 

1. Perception of time is misleading. There is only so much you can complete and do within a day. Try not to do too much and don't have expectations things get done quickly. If you think your paper or project is going to take 3 days....go ahead and start 6 days early. 

2. Not All things are Important: Not all things are important. Some are just exercises in wasted time while others have real importance and meaning. If a task doesn't seem particularly important you may want to give up. 

3. Delegate Work: If your in a family unit and you have a lot going on you can ask others to take over some of the errands, chores, etc... Try not to be a selfish person as just because you like to make yourself busy doesn't mean you should. 

4. Stay Focused in Now: The problem with lists and planning is that they also remind you of all the things you have to do. Focus on the task in front of you and keep your energy in the present. Your going to feel better about that list. 

5. Keep in Perspective: We only have one life to live and its important to get things done. Yet at the end of the day we are all going back to the same place. Thus, keep frustration and set backs in perspective of one's life. 


Thursday, November 5, 2020

Fed Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Discusses Economy

 Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell discusses the economy. Real GDP rose significantly over the past quarter and its expected to slow a little. One of the explanations he offered was because people are going back to work. That is very true and the economy is powering up. Of course services are low because they rely on socializing and that is impacting the ability to effectively engage the economy. 

He also went on to discuss a slightly less outlook for 4Q of 2020 and the need for stimulus. I'm a believer in trying new things. Stimulus through the hands of others made sense from a consumer spending standpoint but I think this one might be better to be focused on sparking development in our dilapidated cities and drawing back international investment (short versus long tail benefits)  

The U.S. has the opportunity to push its economy forward with digital transformation and the benefits that come from increased transference of knowledge. Because much of the world is going online it would make sense to develop our Digital GDP capacity and at the same time increase manufacturing. That will require a level of coordination between local, state, and federal governments. 

This isn't only about economics. This is about reorienting global networks and shifting the supply chains in the big data world of those networks back to cities that still have market relevance and can improve the position of diverse and ethnic millennial workers. There are no gifts in such a plan because this is about investment development that helps bring manufacturing/technology back and also create opportunities for for the young to compete on the global market. 

Traits of High Performing Genius Students in Online Education

 One of the things that educators look for is those high performing students that were currently undiscovered. This occurs because our job is to teach others and in turn when we come across an exceptional performer we may want to better understand thinking patterns and in turn develop strategies for encouraging this population but also helping others be more creative. Online education helps us better understand how to enrich this population for national development.

The essential differences between Genius and common thinking are not as wide and large as we think they are. Instead, they are more of a way of thinking. How highly gifted students think is on a completely different track and line than other people based on thinking strategies that come to more accurate conclusions. 

According to the article "For a Genius Brain, Focus on How to Think, Instead of What to Think". They are able to reach across different neural networks that allow them to connect ideas together in a more creative way. They are able to activate multiple areas of their brain to solve problems. 

For example, genius can utilize multiple mental networks such as The Default Mode, The Salience Network and the Executive Control Network. Their brains and thinking patterns are pliable. This juxtaposition between things that are dissimilar (i.e. Leonardo di Vinci made a connection between vibrations in water and the sound waves of the bell).  

Another difference is that while most people are only willing to spend a certain limited time on problems and gravitate toward pre-defined answers (Difference between an A student and a genius). Genius often think of these like mental puzzles and embrace the not so simple ideas that lead to insights. They can spend decades on an idea that would have long bored others.

They are out there in small percentages as a normal adaptation to our species. Other species likely have this small percentage adaptations that are also part of the process evolution. Most will never be found but online schools can help us start to think about the ability to go back and research high performance to see how they make decisions, think about topics and how they were graded. It would give you a pretty good model of how this trait works. Having online individualized education using artificial intelligence allows us to enrich the gifted quickly and effectively. 

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 information...so 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?