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not dead yet. September 30, 2009

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This blog will return.  Patience.

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It’s sad how little this surprised me January 14, 2009

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Crazy admission practices at colleges.

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation January 1, 2009

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The Economist takes on Generation Y, or the so-called Millenials (here, here, and here).  I have to say this is the worst reporting I’ve ever seen in The Economist.  I’m a big fan of the magazine, but these three articles should have been put together as one.  For example check out the following passages:

“Net Geners demand far more frequent feedback and an over-precise set of objectives on the path to promotion (rather like the missions that must be completed in a video game).” – Managing the Facebookers

Just as they are used to checking their progress on leader boards when playing video games, so Net Geners want to keep close tabs on their performance at work, too.” -The Rypple Effect

It wouldn’t be nearly as bad if they didn’t use a video game analogy in both statements.  What really bugs me about this set of articles though is that they contradict themselves by later stating that Net Geners have trouble with “command-and-control” management styles (Facebookers & Generation Y Goes to Work).  Personally, I don’t have a problem with open-ended management or command-and-control management.  What I have a problem with is inconsistency.  The Economist demonstrates the type of inconsistency that frustrates my generation.

What The Economist misses is that we are not frustrated with a lack of precision or command-and-control management innately, but rather its poor application.  Often I find that people want to give you a vague description of the goals of your task, then when you complete the project they have a precise set of goals to judge you with.  To me, this shows laziness on the part of the manager.  If you have a clear idea, then tell it to me.  Don’t withhold criteria from me, then use it to criticize me.  Alternatively, managers will use command-and-control for a project, then criticize you for not being creative enough.  Management is a surprisingly difficult skill to master.

Palin vs. Kennedy December 23, 2008

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Ok…. so I try not to get too caught up in politics on this blog… I’m trying to become more disciplined about writing about my life in the professional world.  However, something hit me earlier today which I had to share:

What does Caroline Kennedy have over Sarah Palin?

It’s a great question.  After all, what qualifies, or has prepared, Kennedy to be a senator?  She’s been a good fundraiser… and she cares about education.  Whoop-de-doo.  YUP.  I think Sarah Palin was 10 times more qualified to be VP than Kennedy is to be senator.

In other news… the economy really is dragging.  I was reading the Kiplinger Letter today and finished it feeling entirely depressed.  Then I had a fellow broker come in and make an entirely way too low of an offer on one of my listings.  Nada.

And what about next year… well… one word comes to mind: lean.  Yep, I graduated from college to enter the work force in one of the worst times possible.  Well, at least it is from a hiring/pay standpoint.  Since I have a job, I can work safely in the knowledge that I’ll be able to eat and function.  However, the social lifestyle is nothing compared to what one expects to have when entering the professional work force.

A reminder to my readers… I’m on a largely commission focused job.  So… no deal flow equals low pay.  However, one must remember to be patient and to look for the opportunity in ever situation.  This one is that I get to prepare myself to be roaring when the market turns around.  After all… if you can make it in the tough times… you’ll do great in the easy times.

Who throws a shoe? Honestly! You fight like a woman! December 16, 2008

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“But ask yourself this question: How would al-Zaidi have fared if he’d hurled a pair of shoes at Saddam?”

Charith Cutestory is Putting in More Overtime December 10, 2008

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Like a good Arrested Development fan I have been thinking about this ever since piracy started to make headlines.  And now the WSJ offers a story on maritime lawyers and the current oceanic issues.  Very interesting to me was the fact that in some countries it is illegal to just flat out pay the ransom.

It’s like asking: Who do you want to send to jail first? December 10, 2008

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This was how one of my professors in Chicago described Illinois gubernatorial elections.  And, truth be told, it applies to almost all Illinois politics.  This morning Illinois governor Ron Blagojevich was arrested.  I do wonder about this part of the article:

When asked by reporters whether he had any contact with Blagojevich about the Senate seat, Obama said he had no contact with the governor or his office.

“I was not aware of what was happening,” he added.

Really?  Obama was not talking AT ALL with Blagojevich about his successor?  Onward and upward!  Don’t look back at your previous jobs?  I have a feeling/audaciously hope that Obama was talking to Blagojevich, just that he wasn’t talking about any bribes.

Graduate Applications and the Recession December 9, 2008

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At Carpe Diem, Mark Perry has an interesting post about GRE exams.  Evidently the number of GRE exams is down this year vs last year, which is surprising since usually a recession pushes people into graduate school.  But, GMAT examinations are up.  There’s a lot that can be infered from this.  If we think about the sectors that are experiencing a rise in unemployment, we think about finance and manufacturing.  When people lose a job in finance, they usually go back for an MBA, which means taking the GMAT.  When people lose a job in manufacturing, they are generally older employees (because they cost the most to keep on).  The older you are, the less likely you are to go to graduate school to make a career change.

Personally, I think a major issue is that people may be cutting back on multiple tries on the GRE.  While in the past students would simply retake the GRE if they weren’t satisfied with the results, these students are now opperating on lower incomes than the past few years and so the GRE is comparatively more expensive.

Finally, there are a large number of grad-school-esque Executive Education programs.  These programs do not require standardized tests and if somebody with some sort of an executive role loses their job, they are more likely to go to one of these programs than a regular graduate program.

Vogue or Not, Keynesian Economics Sure is Being Discussed a Lot December 9, 2008

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My professional co-blogger points to the renewed debates on the merits of Keynesian economic policies.  If you have a desire to really delve into Keynes, then I suggest reading along with the Marginal Revolution book club. Chapters 1 and 2 have already been covered but they’re pretty short.  Chapters 3 and 4 are coming up on Thursday!

Keynesian Economic Theory… back in vogue? December 7, 2008

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http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-fallacy-that-government-creates-jobs/

The above link takes you to an interesting article on Keynesian economics in today’s world. While I don’t think the author gives Keynes sufficient credit, I think the essential premise that the government is not efficient is accurate.
That being said, there is reason to believe that increased government spending may help to some degree. And for the record, the auto industry bailout is not what I’m talking about.