Friday, September 24, 2010

Well Said...

"Through want of enterprise and faith men are where they are, buying and selling, and spending their lives like serfs."

~ Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Business Intelligence = Data + Analytics

We might all find inspiration from IBM's recent advertising regarding the future of business intelligence, data, and analytics.

For more information, visit:

A Smarter Planet

Related Posts:

The Art and Science of Data Enjoined

Nature by Numbers

The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery

Education of a Computer Programmer

I came across a photogragh of my first personal computer purchased back in 1983 -- the Apple //e -- and suddenly found myself reminiscing about how I became a computer user. The Apple //e was powered by the venerable MOS Technology 6502 8-bit microprocessor running at 1.023 MHz, and boasted 128 kilobytes of RAM. I recall taking a $2,500 personal loan to make the purchase, which included the hardware shown below along with an Apple Imagewriter dot-matrix printer.

I spent many hours programming and otherwise "playing" on my Apple //e during the mid-1980's. What I did not know at the the time was how important computer technology would become for me and my career. I essentially taught myself to program on the Apple //e at home, and would later build upon what I had learned as I migrated onto more powerful machines in subsequent years. However, my education about personal computers definitely started on the Apple //e computer, and my life has not been the same since.

My how computer technology has evolved.

Well Said...

"I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world."

~ Diogenes of Sinope (412-323 BC)

Diogenes Searching for an Honest Man by Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

US Employment to Population Ratio Gender Convergence

I ran some projections for the US employment to population ratio by gender, and the findings suggest that a convergence in labor participation by genders could occur by 2015. Gender participation in the US workforce has been steadily converging since 1948.

[click to enlarge]

US Employment to Population Ratio in 10-Year Decline

A reader asked that I add a trend line to the chart posted at US Employment to Population Ratio Declining. Gladly. Find below the original chart for August 2010 with the addition of a 5th order polynominal trend line (see equation on chart). Note that the US employment to population ratio has been trending downwards since 2000.

[click to enlarge]

I will include a trend line in future updates as well.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Well Said...

"Fall on your face, really -- it's the only way you’re going to learn. God help you if you never fail, because you'll never grow."

~ Bradley Cooper, Georgetown '97

Actor Bradley Cooper at Georgetown University (September 2, 2010)

US Employment to Population Ratio Declining

The latest employment data just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the US employment to population ratio suffered another decline in August 2010 to 58.8%, down from 59.3% for the same period last year, and from 58.9% for the previous month in July.

Many economists believe that reporting the number employed as a percentage of the civilian population provides a more accurate description of the current state of employment than conjecturing the number of "unemployed" in a population. The US employment to population ratio reached a historical peak of 64.4% on an annual basis in 2000.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Related Posts:

US Employment to Population Ratio Dismal

US Jobs Recovery to Take Years

Percentage Employed in US Continues Slide

Unemployed Should Consider Emigration

Depressions Past and Present

Main Street USA in Economic Depression

Well Said....

"A confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished."

~ Geothe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Main Street Money

Given the extent of the Main Street Depression now raging across America, and given that monetary and fiscal policies have left America with insufficient legal tender to conduct local and regional commerce, should municipalities, counties, and even states consider issuing their own "scrip" as a means to expand the available money supply?

National Park Bank of New York Clearing House Certificate for $500 (1873)

During past depressions in the US, the appearance of local currencies in the form of "depression scrip" became commonplace (see examples). California has recently experimented with issuing warrants to its citizens in lieu of tax returns (see last example). The use of local and regional currencies is not without precedent in the US.

Five Dollar Certificate issued by the San Francisco Clearing House (1907)

Town, cities, counties, and states across the US are being strangled by deficits, and the supply of legal tender for commerce is simply inadequate to sustain current spending levels and public services. Should these same entities consider issuing their own currencies as a way to supplement the local money supply and maintain current levels of public employment and services? So far, a Main Street economic recovery appears elusive, especially given that our nation's fiscal and monetary policy-makers view local prosperity as a by-product of national prosperity. I would not be surprised to see local, regional, and even state currencies sometime in the near future.

Five Dollar Certificate issued by the Chicago Clearing House (1933)

Public entities that create their own currencies could use these "dollars" to pay public employees, contractors, suppliers, and pensioners. Additionally, public healthcare programs funded by states could be paid for using local currencies as services are rendered. Finally, local currencies could be used to pay public taxes due from taxpayers and business entities within those jurisdictions. Of course, this would mean that what America knows to be a "dollar" would become somewhat confusing. However, the creation of local and regional currencies could very well be a useful way for states to manage their budget deficits, or at least until the US money supply becomes more robust on a local and regional basis.

Warrant issued by California (2009)

The shortage of money in various localities and regions across the US has created a crisis, especially given that the nation's largest banks and corporations are continuing to hoard cash for whatever reasons. Perhaps expanding the Main Street money supply can be accomplished without the consent of the US Federal Reserve after all.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Well Said...

"The challenge we face is how to improve intergovernmental transparency and intergovernmental response capabilities to address the new realities of our world."

~ John C Reppert (January 3, 2008)

Dr John C Reppert, USA (Ret)

Back to School

Along with my colleagues, I am back to school fully engaged in facilitating and encouraging active learning, thinking, and scholarship. Of course, with each new year comes changes in the nature of the college experience for both learners and educators. I suppose that higher education is incrementally "reinvented" in very subtle ways as each year passes.

This year, students and faculty alike are returning to the halls of higher education in an environment of economic uncertainty, both for the economy and for capitalism. Clearly, the world has changed since last year as unemployment and human suffering have reached levels not seen since the peak of the Great Depression in 1933. For these reasons, researchers and students have become increasingly anxious to consider and understand what is happening economically, including implications for the future.

Prof Walter Russell Mead, Bard College

I came across a very interesting article by Prof Walter Russell Mead entitled, Back to School, which includes some useful guidance for everyone engaged in higher education. Here's a taste of Prof Mead's advice for college students, today:
Choosing the right college is over-rated. Just about every college in the United States has more talented and interesting students than you will have time to get to know in four years. At every college in America you will not be able to take all the great courses from great faculty, read every worthwhile book in the library, or participate in all the rewarding extracurricular activities.... Choosing the right courses, on the other hand, is under-rated. In the old days you could take a lot of silly courses and guts and get away with it. But your generation is going to have to scramble and you need every edge you can get.
You can read Prof Mead's entire article by following the link below:

Source: Mead, W R (2010, August 31), Back to School, The American Interest Online.

Well Said...

"The secret of being a bore is to say everything."

~ Voltaire

François-Marie Arouet "Voltaire" (1694-1778)