“The Pentagon has been incredibly negligent,” said Peter Leitner, who was a senior strategic trade adviser at the Defense Department from 1986 to 2007. “There are plenty of early warning signs that China will use its leverage over these materials as a weapon.”
A few years before Apple introduced the iPhone, research engineers at Nokia prepared a prototype of an Internet-ready, touch-screen handset with a large display, which they thought could give the company a powerful advantage in the fast-growing smartphone market.
The prototype was demonstrated to business customers at Nokia’s headquarters in Finland as an example of what was in the company’s pipeline, according to a former employee who made the 2004 presentation in Espoo.
But management worried that the product could be a costly flop, said the former employee, Ari Hakkarainen, a manager responsible for marketing on the development team for the Nokia Series 60, then the company’s premium line of smartphones. Nokia did not pursue development, he said.
Our economy is more mobile, fluid, and decentralized than it’s ever been. The number of freelancers, independent contractors, consultants, self-employed, temps, part-timers, and contingent employees is increasing significantly. Instead of being tethered to one employer or company, they identify with a profession and change jobs more frequently. For example, instead of being a life-long staff member at IBM, you may be an IT guru who works on a contract basis for IBM, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard - in one year.
We need a new New Deal that meets the needs of this new workforce by building economic security that is no longer centered solely on an employer/employee relationship. Independent workers need (1) unemployment insurance to stabilize their income - and the U.S. economy - when they are involuntarily unemployed; (2) protection from late or denied payments, which 77% of freelancers have faced; and (3) access to affordable health insurance, which is prohibitively expensive to an individual on the open market.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Donald’s life is that he grew up to be an avid traveler. He has been to Germany, Tunisia, Hungary, Dubai, Spain, Portugal, France, Bulgaria, and Colombia—some 36 foreign countries and 28 U.S. states in all, including Egypt three times, Istanbul five times, and Hawaii 17. He’s notched one African safari, several cruises, and innumerable PGA tournaments.
It’s not wanderlust exactly. Most times, he sets six days as his maximum time away, and maintains no contact afterward with people he meets along the way. He makes it a mission to get his own snapshots of places he’s already seen in pictures, and assembles them into albums when he gets home. Then he gets to work planning his next foray, calling the airlines himself for domestic travel, and relying on a travel agent in Jackson when he’s going overseas. He is, in all likelihood, the best-traveled man in Forest, Mississippi.
we also need to recognize that we all have a responsibility to do our part and rebuild our communities and rebuild our lives, beginning with rebuilding our own financial literacy so we can move our own family onto safer financial ground.
Because this is financial warfare. The credit card companies, the mortgage companies that have been offering us, supposedly, a ticket to the good life, are really filling their contracts with tricks and traps, charging usury rates, 28, 29, 30 percent on our credit cards, and basically undermining the very idea of the American dream.
Orville Schell of the Asia Society, one of America’s best China watchers, who was with me in Tianjin, put it perfectly: “Because we have recently begun to find ourselves so unable to get things done, we tend to look with a certain overidealistic yearning when it comes to China. We see what they have done and project onto them something we miss, fearfully miss, in ourselves” — that “can-do,” “get-it-done,” “everyone-pull-together,” “whatever-it-takes” attitude that built our highways, dams and put a man on the moon.
“These were hallmarks of our childhood culture,” said Schell. “But now we view our country turning into the opposite, even as we see China becoming animated by these same kinds of energies. I don’t idealize China’s system of government. I don’t want to live in an authoritarian system. But I do feel compelled to look at China in an objective way and acknowledge the successes of this system.”
“That is why, any time you see an attack ad by one of these shadowy groups, you should ask yourself, who is paying for this ad? Is it the health insurance lobby? The oil industry? The credit card companies?”—Weekly address by Pres. Barack Obama (via @heif)
“The great Pakistani deluge did not exist, it seems, because it was not on television, would not have delivered audiences to products, and was not all about us. As we saw on September 11, 2001, and again in March 2003, however, the failure of our electronic media to inform the public about centrally important global developments is itself a security threat to the republic.”—via @missrogue