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  • Michael Ruben 2:20 pm on May 3, 2016 Permalink |  

    I believe some of my best posts include the one I posted on April 26 regarding the article on “CEOs Pay Grows.” I felt quite emotional about this one, particularly given my experience in sales & networking. Also, my April 15 post on patient’s cost skyrocket got some feedback. Lastly, I’m proud of my March 31 post where I replied to someone asking about Greece’s debt crisis. It is something I am interested in and I had already done some research on it for another class.

     
  • Michael Ruben 2:10 pm on May 3, 2016 Permalink |  

    I’m currently taking another LCC online class. Both are completely structured differently and there’s pros and cons to both. The other is more self-guided with study guides, quizzes and then a final taken on campus. I’ll admit it’s easier to work with that a bit more than the posts of this course. While I see the advantage in sharing thoughts online the other way simply works better in my hectic schedule, because I can track my progress. Here I tend to get a bit lost and forget how many posts I did and then usually panic 😛

     
  • Michael Ruben 2:07 pm on May 3, 2016 Permalink |  

    What I’ve learned this semester is that there is a departure from economics of the last century, including terms like third world countries, to new concepts like calculating happiness as a measurement for success. While I view this with both encouragement I also share a degree of skepticism that I want to take a minute to explain why. In this class, we’ve looked at several macro-picture topics such as the bottom billion. I see economics in terms of this, globalized business down to the local guy, but while I am optimistic that measuring happiness will open new doors for discovery I feel it is diverting attention away from production. I am a production person. I was raised that way and that’s how I approached business. What bothers me about exploring concepts such as happiness is the effect it will have on production. To me, production means being able to put food on the table. Its a trade-off. Time for money. That may be old school, but I certainly sleep better at night knowing everyone in a company is onboard, committed and willing to go that extra mile. I’ve grown companies by leaps and bounds, by millions of dollars, but did so with the help and recognition of the team, not just one person getting all the credit. I see happiness as too subjective, too influenced. I’ve seen employees give up their happiness, their hopes and dreams, whether that’s putting a kid through college or taking a cruise in the Bahamas, just to please someone’s happiness… and doing so by coercion, not willingly! Happiness is a wonderful thing, and the Declaration of Independence speaks of the pursuit of it, but unfortunately that’s all it is, a pursuit. Measuring happiness against hopefulness therefore is basically an illusion.

     
  • Michael Ruben 5:43 pm on April 26, 2016 Permalink |  

    After reading the article on “The Future of production” one thing is for sure… nobody is hoping to make it rich with Youtube videos. It’s a labor of love and that’s it. Between editing, Youtube’s cut, the IRS, the end take is almost not worth it. So why make the videos? Probably the same reason why I enjoy writing… it’s fun and there’s a sense of personal pride and accomplishment to see my book on Amazon. Sure it isn’t on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, but there’s something wonderful about the amazed looks of others that didn’t know I write novels and book series.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-money-youtube-stars-actually-make-2014-2

     
    • Branden Garbin 3:44 am on May 3, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This was a very interesting article. I really enjoy my fellow you tubers and i try myself to make videos not for any economic gain but for the fun and love of what I’m doing. Do not get me wrong i would love to strike it rich and make a 6 figure income on some of my videos but for now I’m just contempt with the sport of it.

  • Michael Ruben 5:34 pm on April 26, 2016 Permalink |  

    I really liked Joseph Stiglitz’s talk on GDP v GNP. What should be using to measure our economies? I foolishly thought this was a concrete standard. What did surprise is the other video on happiness and economics. I mean comedian Daniel Tosh will argue that nobody frowns on a wave-runner, but I personally know people that barely get by and are among the happiest people I’ve ever met. I didn’t even think this was being researched… I figured this was already common sense.

     
  • Michael Ruben 4:56 pm on April 26, 2016 Permalink |  

    From the article, “CEO’s pay grows, average worker pay stagnates,” I have a strong personal opinion on this matter that can get quite emotional, but then I’ve met a ton of CEOs… and I mean a lot. So many in fact its disgusting. I’ve stood side by side, laughed, networked, and felt like I needed to wash afterwards. Maybe it’s just my character. I was raised with high standards, strong morals and values (Eagle Scout stuff) and an intrinsic drive to empower others to achieve their own excellence. I’ve met CEOs who belittled their employees to the point of making them cry or simply take credit for other’s accomplishments, or waste away company dollars in pursuit of lofty objectives that did nothing to improve the bottom line.

    I can rightfully call myself a former executive, but I never made the big bucks. Not even close. I never sat in the big seat, puffing on a big cigar like one might imagine, or driving a brand new fancy expensive car. No, I busted my behind, dawn to dusk, getting dirty in the trenches, wearing more hats than I thought was humanly possible, and I feel good I was able to build a culture of people who enjoyed coming to work, feeling a strong sense of pride in their work, and even asking to take on more responsibilities even though they knew they wouldn’t get paid for it; I firmly believe that a leader sets the example. But as I’ve been told, I apparently was doing it all wrong. “CEOs don’t work for companies. Companies work for CEOs.” Evidently, a CEO is someone who generates ideas, inspires others to do all the work, and then gets in front of the camera and takes all the credit. Wow. I really missed the boat on that one. (cue the sarcasm) And should your secretary be unable to read your mind, fire her, and claim she was simply being insubordinate.

     
    • Sam Tran 5:44 pm on April 26, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I value your ethic. I too was raised with strong morals and values. I have been in the position to manage employees who were happy to come to work. I believe that management should lead by example. I could not imagine scoulding someone for doing the same thing I did. I take pride in my work and expect others to do the same but cannot expect someone to be prideful when management can’t appreciate the job you are doing. I value my employee who is wiling to go above and beyond to help out and those who are willing to help their fellow co-worker.

  • Michael Ruben 4:27 pm on April 26, 2016 Permalink |  

    I wanted to reflect back on the article, Social insurance is necessary in capitalism, I agree that it isn’t a matter of if somebody will be in need of social assistance but when. Whether someone becomes unemployed or enters poverty because of the effects of a global recessed economy or mismanagement of others, or even by their own faults, most everyone deserves a second chance. I often feel those who protest the merits of social insurance either have not experienced misfortunate or fail to see the big picture. In terms of supply and demand, removing a customer from the market certainly has an impact, especially when considering the proximity. While one person out of the market may not dent the global market that won’t be the case in the local market of the unemployed person… and where one market is affected the next one up is.

     
  • Michael Ruben 4:06 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink |  

    In regards to the article, Patient’s Costs Skyrocket, my grandfather gave my mother the hospital receipt for when she was born. I can’t recall the exact number but it was like for $35 for being in the 50s. (which is probably like $350-400 today.) Even if that was seemingly a lot of money back then the costs are well beyond that now.

     
    • Michael Ruben 4:12 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This may be a bit cynical, but as I thought about what the doctor said about medical decisions being in the “best interest of the patient” I wonder if he/she would say the same thing to someone in a scenario who has no insurance / little money but needs the surgery.

      • Sam Tran 3:14 pm on April 18, 2016 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        You make a very good point. Quite often, if the surgery or any other medical procedure is needed, it doesn’t get taken care of because of someones inability to pay. Unless it’s an emergency surgery like an appendectomy, and that’s only because a patient will present in the ER where they don’t refuse to treat because of inability to pay. Take a chronic illness though, like diabetes, if you can’t pay for your insulin, you don’t get your insulin.

  • Michael Ruben 12:47 pm on March 25, 2016 Permalink |  

    I’m going to read SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

     
  • Michael Ruben 7:15 pm on March 16, 2016 Permalink |  

    While I was reading about the Bottom Billion, I got interested and found this article. Apparently, Nigeria is Africa’s largest producer of oil, and the revenues make up 2/3 of the government’s income… and it went missing. $16B. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corp gave no explain for why, but oil prices have been falling in the market, so maybe that’s a reason. Considering all the services a government provides this can only mean more struggle for the common citizen of Nigeria.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35810599

     
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