(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Alan Greenspan

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”*…

 

Feed-Efficiency-4a

Eliminating waste sounds like a reasonable goal. Why would we not want managers to strive for an ever-more-efficient use of resources? Yet as I will argue, an excessive focus on efficiency can produce startlingly negative effects, to the extent that superefficient businesses create the potential for social disorder. This happens because the rewards arising from efficiency get more and more unequal as that efficiency improves, creating a high degree of specialization and conferring an ever-growing market power on the most-efficient competitors. The resulting business environment is extremely risky, with high returns going to an increasingly limited number of companies and people—an outcome that is clearly unsustainable. The remedy, I believe, is for business, government, and education to focus more strongly on a less immediate source of competitive advantage: resilience. This may reduce the short-term gains from efficiency but will produce a more stable and equitable business environment in the long run…

Roger Martin‘s eloquent argument for a longer-term perspective and for robustness as a primary goal: “The High Price of Efficiency.”

[image above: source]

* Peter Drucker

###

As we take the long view, we might recall that it was on this date in 2000 that Alan Greenspan was nominated for his fourth term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.  An accolyte of Ayn Rand, he oversaw an “easy money” Fed that, many suggest, was a leading cause of the dotcom bubble (which began later that year) and the subprime mortgage crisis, (which led to the Great Recession, and which occurred within a year of his departure from the Fed).

220px-Alan_Greenspan_color_photo_portrait source

 

Written by LW

January 4, 2019 at 1:01 am

I don’t know about Atlas, but *I* shrugged…

source

Few authors have inspired such passion in their readers as the Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum– better known by her pen name, Ayn Rand.

Rand’s philosophy, “Objectivism” (rational self-interest) has guided followers as various as Alan Greenspan, Ronald Reagan, Brad Pitt, and Oliver Stone.  While she distanced herself from Libertarianism (“too soft”), she’s been embraced by Libertarians and by the Right at large.  Glenn Beck , Rush Limbaugh, Ron Paul, and Clarence Thomas have all affirmed their admiration.  South Carolina Governor (and noted hiker) Mark Sanford wrote a 2009 review for Newsweek in which he recalled being “blown away” after first reading The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.  And “going Galt” (emulating John Galt, the protagonist of Atlas Shrugged, commandeering the airwaves to preach the evils of collectivism and of the Christian notion of collective guilt and sin… thus by extension seemingly, of collective responsibility and care) has become a catch phrase of the Tea Party movement.

So perhaps one shouldn’t be surprised by the length to which Rand devotee Nick Newcomen went to promote his idol’s works– over 12,000 miles.  As The Guardian reports, Newcomen spent…

… a month driving more than 12,000 miles to inscribe his message – “Read Ayn Rand” – on a vast swath of US land.

Using a GPS tracking device as a “pen”, Newcomen took about 10 days to complete each word, turning on his GPS logger when he wanted to write and turning it off between letters, videoing himself at landmarks along the route for documentation. He drove 12,328 miles in total, across 30 American states, inputting the data once he was finished into Google Earth to create the world’s largest book advertisement.

Read the full story here.

As we toss a couple of pennies into The Fountainhead, we might raise a contemplative glass to St. Caesarius of Arles, whose Feast Day today is.  The leading ecclesiastic in early Sixth Century Gaul, Caesarius had a somewhat different perspective than did Ms. Rand…

Do the proud and wicked souls who commit serious sins seem happy to you because they do not suffer evil in this world?… They are not scourged at all in this world, because they are reserved for eternal punishment due to the excessive number of their sins. They cannot be punished in this short time, for they require endless torture.
– Sermon 5.3

St. Caesarius of Arles

%d bloggers like this: