business.time.com | What Should Be Done About Growing Inequality?


 

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America is becoming more unequal economically, and most people find that disturbing. Indeed, the trend toward greater inequality has been one of the consistent themes of the election campaign. Some believe that inequality is necessary to reward hard work, achievement and entrepreneurship but think that the current level is too extreme. Others blame unfair tax policies and see the extent of today’s inequality as a sign that the government has abandoned the goal of equal opportunity.

In fact, whenever inequality increases in a society, there are both good reasons for the trend — that is, reasons we should not discourage — as well as bad ones. To best address the genuine problems caused by inequality today, it’s essential to identify the bad reasons and focus on reducing those.

First, though, let’s be clear: there’s no doubt that the very richest in the U.S. have been getting richer. One of the often quoted indicators, albeit a simplistic one, is the share of pretax income going to the top 1% of the population. These data suggest that the U.S. was most equal right before the oil crisis hit in the early 1970s, and that it has since returned to levels of inequality not seen since the Great Depression.

More sophisticated indicators, like the Gini coefficient, also show the U.S. becoming notably more unequal. As a generality, countries such as Brazil and South Africa rate high on this scale, while most European countries have lower levels of inequality. The U.S. is in between – at almost the same level as China. Prior to 1980, the U.S. was much closer to the European level, and some countries — such as France and Italy — actually had higher levels of inequality at that time.

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Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps | business.time.com


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Rachel came to us with strong work ethic, experience creating organizational hierarchies, an understanding of what it takes to be operationally excellent, and perhaps most importantly, a devotion to our company’s cause: promoting client needs in a collaborative team-oriented environment.Keep Your Best Employee

I put her in a role that made the most sense to me-that is, the job that took the bulk of my time. I was the project manager on almost every project for our customers, but in order to grow the company, I realized I needed to focus on higher-level goals, and not the day-to-day grind. I had intentionally hired someone who had a different skill set, someone who’d be good at nurturing employees by implementing human resource structure (which I’m not). Isn’t that what the experts tell you to do? But I made a critical mistake. I gave her a job that fit my personality, not hers.

She was miserable. She hated the job. The project manager role was external facing and required being heavy-handed with our clients to keep projects on task and within scope.  While Rachel is great at getting employees to tow the line, she struggled with this requirement when it came to our clients.

My instinct told me she was exactly the type of employee User Insight needed to be successful based on her background, professionalism, experience, and approach to the job, but I also knew she was on the way out if things didn’t change, and change quickly.So, in the lobby of a hotel during a business trip, Rachel and I sat down over a stale cup of coffee to discuss how we might carve out a job that would entice her to stay at User Insight.

This is how I did it:   Leer más “Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps | business.time.com”

Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps | business.time.com


Looking to attract and retain the talent required to take your company out of start-up phase and onto the next level? Be open to change.

Rachel came to us with strong work ethic, experience creating organizational hierarchies, an understanding of what it takes to be operationally excellent, and perhaps most importantly, a devotion to our company’s cause: promoting client needs in a collaborative team-oriented environment.

I put her in a role that made the most sense to me-that is, the job that took the bulk of my time. I was the project manager on almost every project for our customers, but in order to grow the company, I realized I needed to focus on higher-level goals, and not the day-to-day grind. I had intentionally hired someone who had a different skill set, someone who’d be good at nurturing employees by implementing human resource structure (which I’m not). Isn’t that what the experts tell you to do? But I made a critical mistake. I gave her a job that fit my personality, not hers.

She was miserable. She hated the job. The project manager role was external facing and required being heavy-handed with our clients to keep projects on task and within scope.  While Rachel is great at getting employees to tow the line, she struggled with this requirement when it came to our clients.

My instinct told me she was exactly the type of employee User Insight needed to be successful based on her background, professionalism, experience, and approach to the job, but I also knew she was on the way out if things didn’t change, and change quickly.

So, in the lobby of a hotel during a business trip, Rachel and I sat down over a stale cup of coffee to discuss how we might carve out a job that would entice her to stay at User Insight.

This is how I did it…     Leer más “Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps | business.time.com”

Billionaire Rankings: Bloomberg Launches Daily List of the World’s Richest People

Most of the news this year, however, appears to be good for the world’s richest — perhaps a sign of a perkier global economy in 2012. Seventeen of the 20 billionaires on the list have added to their net worth year-to-date. The only three losers were Walmart heirs Christy, Jim and Samuel Robson Walton, likely reflecting the fact that Walmart stock has lost ground in 2012.

Charting the wealth of the world’s most outrageously wealthy used to be strictly the purview of Forbes magazine, whose own billionaires list is published each March and is due out later today Wednesday. But this year the magazine has been scooped by the upstart Bloomberg News organization, whose daily list attempts to make the Forbes version obsolete. According to the New York Post, however, Forbes will come out with its own daily rankings later this month.

Bloomberg fired the opening salvo in this war for wealth coverage last winter when it announced it would be producing its own global rich list and was hiring Forbes magazine veteran Matthew Miller to head up the project. Miller spent seven years at Forbes and was the editor of the America-focused Forbes 400, as well as the co-editor of the Forbes World’s Billionaires list.

(MORE: ‘Gordon Gekko’ Joins FBI Battle Against Wall Street Fraud)

One blind spot to Bloomberg’s coverage, however, will be the company’s majority owner and erstwhile CEO, and New York City’s mayor. According to Forbes, Michael Bloomberg is America’s 12th richest man and the world’s 30th. He won’t be appearing in any of Bloomberg News’ coverage, however, as it is the company’s editorial policy not to cover Bloomberg LP.


From batting averages to polling numbers, we live in an age of real-time data. Now, thanks to Bloomberg News, you can add billionaires’ net worth to the list of statistics you can look up day to day. Bloomberg News launched its Bloomberg Billionaires Index yesterday, a daily ranking of the world’s 20 wealthiest people. The list will be updated daily based on “market and economic changes and Bloomberg News reporting.” It will also include a yearly and daily accounting of how much these tycoons’ holdings have fluctuated.

 

Let’s just say these numbers trump whatever you won or lost at the roulette table in Atlantic City, N.J., last weekend. On the day of its launch, the index estimated that the world’s wealthiest man, Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim Helú, lost nearly half a billion dollars in the previous 24 hours. The No. 2 richest man, Bill Gates, saw his net worth tumble by $102 million in the same time span. Leer más “Billionaire Rankings: Bloomberg Launches Daily List of the World’s Richest People”

Apple Now Worth More Than Microsoft, Google Combined

How high can Apple soar? The tech juggernaut is closing in on $500 per share, a dramatic psychological threshold that underscores the company’s stunning performance over the last decade. How massive has Apple become? It’s now worth more by market capitalization than Google and Microsoft combined. The company’s latest stock price surge is being fueled by rumors that a new version of the iPad — the iPad 3 — will appear next month.

In mid-day trading Friday, Apple shares were up 0.6% t0 $496.14, bringing the company’s market capitalization — or the number of outstanding shares times its stock price — to a staggering $462 billion, or nearly half a trillion dollars. That’s greater than the sum of Microsoft’s market cap — $257 billion — and Google’s market cap — $197 billion.

So what’s driving Apple’s sky-high valuation? Scorching financial performance: Last quarter the company reported a profit of $13.1 billion on sales of $46.3 billion. And of course, Apple is sitting on nearly $100 billion in cash.


By Sam Gustin | @samgustinhttp://business.time.com
Don Emmert / Getty Images

Don Emmert / Getty Images
Workers and shoppers at the Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York.

How high can Apple soar? The tech juggernaut is closing in on $500 per share, a dramatic psychological threshold that underscores the company’s stunning performance over the last decade. How massive has Apple become? It’s now worth more by market capitalization than Google and Microsoft combined. The company’s latest stock price surge is being fueled by rumors that a new version of the iPad — the iPad 3 — will appear next month.

In mid-day trading Friday, Apple shares were up 0.6% t0 $496.14, bringing the company’s market capitalization — or the number of outstanding shares times its stock price — to a staggering $462 billion, or nearly half a trillion dollars. That’s greater than the sum of Microsoft’s market cap — $257 billion — and Google’s market cap — $197 billion.

So what’s driving Apple’s sky-high valuation? Scorching financial performance: Last quarter the company reported a profit of $13.1 billion on sales of $46.3 billion. And of course, Apple is sitting on nearly $100 billion in cash. Leer más “Apple Now Worth More Than Microsoft, Google Combined”

JOBS Why the Future Depends on Today’s Discouraged Workers

The economy, the stock market and even the November elections will largely be determined by a group of people who are almost invisible to forecasters.

Economists, investment advisors and political strategists are closely watching the unemployment rate. But few commentators acknowledge just how faulty the employment statistics are. One key problem is that a crucial group of people can’t be tracked and measured. These are the so-called discouraged workers, who have given up looking for employment. They are the economic equivalent of astrophysicists’ dark matter – the particles scattered throughout the universe that can’t be seen but have enough mass to alter the course of everything we can see.Jaime Monfort / Getty Images

There have always been discouraged workers, of course, but the recent recession has multiplied their number. And it has enlarged a related category, as well, those who could be described as disgruntled workers – the underemployed, who have been forced to accept jobs with fewer hours or lower pay than they would like. These two groups aren’t counted in the unemployment rate either because they aren’t listed as looking for work or because they are listed as already working.

The uncounted include people who lost their jobs and spent months unsuccessfully looking for new ones until they finally gave up; women, and some men, who would like to work but have decided it makes more financial sense to stay home and care for kids instead; and teenagers who have not been able to find entry-level jobs. There are also older middle managers who have had to take early retirement even though they would prefer to continue working. To those groups, add anyone who lost a job and ended up having to accept a new one that was worse.

And why do these people matter so much? As I see it, it breaks down into three basic reasons…


By MICHAEL SIVY | @MFSivy | http://business.time.com JAIME MONFORT / GETTY IMAGES
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The economy, the stock market and even the November elections will largely be determined by a group of people who are almost invisible to forecasters.

Economists, investment advisors and political strategists are closely watching the unemployment rate. But few commentators acknowledge just how faulty the employment statistics are. One key problem is that a crucial group of people can’t be tracked and measured. These are the so-called discouraged workers, who have given up looking for employment. They are the economic equivalent of astrophysicists’ dark matter – the particles scattered throughout the universe that can’t be seen but have enough mass to alter the course of everything we can see.Jaime Monfort / Getty Images

There have always been discouraged workers, of course, but the recent recession has multiplied their number. And it has enlarged a related category, as well, those who could be described as disgruntled workers – the underemployed, who have been forced to accept jobs with fewer hours or lower pay than they would like. These two groups aren’t counted in the unemployment rate either because they aren’t listed as looking for work or because they are listed as already working.

The uncounted include people who lost their jobs and spent months unsuccessfully looking for new ones until they finally gave up; women, and some men, who would like to work but have decided it makes more financial sense to stay home and care for kids instead; and teenagers who have not been able to find entry-level jobs.  There are also older middle managers who have had to take early retirement even though they would prefer to continue working. To those groups, add anyone who lost a job and ended up having to accept a new one that was worse.

And why do these people matter so much? As I see it, it breaks down into three basic reasons… Leer más “JOBS Why the Future Depends on Today’s Discouraged Workers”