The list of newsy items was pared down
to three, this week. One captured my eye
early– the source of unemployment (because
I did not sense a “source” of unemployment.).
A second item was about having our bills
be “crammed”. In fact our household observed
and corrected an incorrect billing on our
Verizon bill and it might be wise share this
increasing practice and what to do about it.
The third item captured my eye later and
it is about a topic a student raised in our
class this year, women in the workforce,
more precisely, here, women in leadership
UNEMPLOYMENT: CYCLICAL OR
DUE TO STRUCTURAL FORCES
SOURCE: Vivien Lou Chen, Bloomberg
Businessweek July 24, 2011, p. 12
It is striking how we evaluate our problems
and come up with solutions. Chen’s article
reports that two roots have been identified
for the persistence of high unemployment
in the US. The Fed acts based on the
hypothesis that unemployment is due to a
deep cyclical downturn. A more natural
rate of unemployment is proposed to result
from stimulating demand and urging through
appropriate business conditions more hiring
Edmund Phelps and Michael Spence suggest
that the Fed underestimates fundamental
forces triggering persistent unemployment,
namely people are out of work too long,
have not re-skilled or up-skilled to current
needs. Chen points out that labor has had
a declining share of GDP and this is not
considered in economics models in use.
CRAMMING CHARGES ON OUR
SOURCE: K. Blumenthal, WSJ 7-2-, 2011,
p.B8 ‘Have you been hit by Cramming charges‘.
We were surprised by our bill being $12 higher.
It was an easy phone call to customer services to
K. Blumenthal wrote a piece describing a more
common practice in our electronically fed
monthly utility bills– cable, satellite, telephone,
cellphone, etc. An unauthorized charge from
an outside company appears on the monthly
statement. With many statements set up with
automatic withdrawal and the limited time
customers have to review charges this can
often get over looked.
The article points out FCC rules that are in
the works and importantly that we should
look for these and contact customer service
at our provider to correct any billing inaccuracies.
This article is worth a quick read for what to
do if we find a problem.
INCREASED QUOTAS FOR WOMEN IN
LEADERSHIP ROLES EUROPE
SOURCE: The Economist, July 23, 2011, P. 61.
European countries have legislated quotas for
the number of women leaders in firms. This
article points out a status and mid-point
assessment (not too good). There are
built in system restraints that nearly all leaders
have had sponsors and relationships can be
The cultural demands on our time still weigh
heavily on each of us and it seems that
women are tasked with an uneven burden.