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Turning things on end to achieve results!

Archive for May 2012

Labor Force Participation Rates Dropping – What To Do

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1948 -2012

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal had an article on labor force participation rates which offers an explanation of why they have been falling and falling dramatically in the past few years.  Please read the brief article by clicking on the link below.

Click here to read the WSJ article

I have been puzzling over this same topic recently and did some research of my own and overall I agree with the article that higher amounts of people “on the dole” and out of the labor force contribute to this.  I also concur that the discouraged worker – especially the two income household has a part to play in this decrease.  Without getting too political I would have to say that if you look at the labor force participation rate going back as far as you can (1948) – shown above  we are still above or near the 60+ year average.  The graph above from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, shows the rate going steadily up from 1948, peaking in the 90’s and leveling off and declining in the early 2000’s.  The drop off is pronounced the past few years and the reasons have been bantered about the news quite a bit. 

In my opinion, I think there are two factors in play for the reason for this pattern.  Baby boomers flooding the workforce starting in the 60’s and the Women’s movement (remember the Equal Rights Amendment etc)?  That also brought in more participation by women who were demanding and getting better (maybe not equal) pay.  Sadly we need an influx of workers to replace those baby boomers.  The baby boom is really a bad thing for us now.  The back-end of it is now killing Social Security even without our current fiscal crisis.   We knew we had a problem as far back as I can remember (the late 70’s) and never did anything about it.  See the link below to go to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics Website:

Click here to check it out

You may ask, what do I do about this and how can I adjust my business to take advantage of this situation?  I am not sure I have any answers but if we had a time travel machine maybe we could have kept our population growth more steady to avoid cycles of booms and busts.  At this point maybe we need a couple million young, hard-working immigrants every year to take the place of those retiring boomers who are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day for the next EIGHTEEN years.  We could also ask young married couples to do their part and have more kids to take care of the back-end of that EIGHTEEN year span.  You may think that immigration is not the answer and it might not be; but it did a heck of lot of good in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s when we were slowly becoming an economic superpower.

For those who are new to my blog, I typically will post non-business blogs throughout the summer and since today is Memorial Day Summer is officially here.  Next week I will begin my summer schedule.  I will probably post a business topic or two before Labor Day marks the end of summer as ideas come to mind. 

Enjoy your summer and for those young married couples – get busy fixing the baby boomer problem.  Do you part for your country.

Written by pacelinebiz

May 28, 2012 at 10:04 am

Welcome To My World On Highway 61

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Out On Highway 61…

A lot of thinking goes on when you’ve logged over 50,000 miles on a bicycle.  Sometimes as much as I enjoy riding my bike I can get bored and need to do things to keep myself from going crazy.  I try not to let my mind wander too far and start thinking about my imaginary childhood friend.  Wow, two weeks in a row my imaginary childhood friend gets a mention on my blog.  He will be as popular as Jimmy Sad Eyes if I keep this up.

To make things interesting, I will occasionally target an elapsed time to hit when I am partially through my ride.  For example, I might be 12 miles into a 30 mile ride and I will try to complete the ride in a specific time like 1 hour 38 minutes and 25 seconds.  If I do it faster than that time I win the Tour de France, if not, I come in second.  The biggest kick I get is to come as close as possible to the exact time.  I have done this probably 50 times or more over 23 years and usually can get it within 20 seconds.

I will sometimes listen to music when I am riding my bike.  When I listen to the music I try to make connections between the song that is playing and my location on the bike.  Let me give you an example.

Once, when I was riding my bicycle on the Silver Comet Trail I passed under Georgia highway 61 and Bob Dylan’s song; Highway 61 Revisited was playing on my MP3 player while in shuffle mode.  This has happened only once in the 15 months I have been in Georgia but when it did it was a special moment.   I have recently created a playlist specifically for riding my bike and I have included that song in my list of 120 selections.  This has improved my odds significantly by stacking the deck but it’s my world out there and I make the rules.  I never really liked that song all that much but once that serendipitous confluence of music and geography meshed I ranked it a little higher.

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse inside of my world… out on highway 61.  I even use the time on my bike to come up with topics for my blog or to figure out ways to Turn Things On End To Achieve Results. 

Have a great week.

Written by pacelinebiz

May 21, 2012 at 10:04 am

Having Imaginary Friends Is Good For Business

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Changing Business In A Single Bound

I recently read an article in Forbes Magazine that focused on our education system and its lack of teaching or fostering innovative thinking.  It suggested we are focusing on knowledge but knowledge is not what is needed. 

In the article, Harvard Innovation Education Fellow Tony Wagner states; “Today knowledge is ubiquitous, constantly changing, growing exponentially… Today knowledge is free. It’s like air, it’s like water. It’s become a commodity… There’s no competitive advantage today in knowing more than the person next to you. The world doesn’t care what you know. What the world cares about is what you can do with what you know.”  Read the entire article by clicking here.

I believe that we need to allow children to play by using their imaginations at least a little bit every day.  By doing so, it exercises the imagination “muscle” and that is where the seeds of innovation germinate.  I had an imaginary friend when I was growing up and maybe I need to thank him for helping me be creative enough to find unique solutions to problems that businesses face.

I am not going to offer an opinion on our education system today but the article reinforced my thinking about a common theme recently in my business blogs.  Turning Things On End To Achieve Results!  We need to be different and we need to be able to stand out in the crowd from the rest of our competition.  Some of you have heard the business adage; “If we do what everyone else is doing we are in a low margin business.”  Who wants that?  People will pay for different as long as your version of different is better in some way.  Take some time to read or re-read the following blogs from the past two months and start innovating your business to higher profitability.  Click on the links below:

Peanut Butter And Jelly And Other Great Combinations

Bean Counting And Much More

Pizza And Pi(e) Or Who Moved My Cheese (Pizza)

Have a great week transforming your business while playing in the sand box with your imaginary friend.

Written by pacelinebiz

May 14, 2012 at 10:00 am

If Jimmy Sad Eyes Were King…

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Happy King Jimmy

To celebrate Jimmy’s one year anniversary in Georgia a couple months ago, I sat down with him and asked him what things he would change if he were King.  Below are some bullet points from our conversation.

  • The bad dog down the street would be forever banished from walking in Jimmy’s Kingdom.  Jimmy said; “I would hate to do it to him but he is giving us dogs a bad name.  After all, he wears a purple sweater.”
  • Rabbits would be served for dinner every night.  “These rabbits that flit about I have no use for except on my plate” Jimmy then bellowed loudly at his own joke while puffing on a cigar.
  • Random shadows and floating dust balls would not enrage him causing barking fits lasting up to a minute.  When I prodded him on this he looked away and replied that he didn’t want to talk about it.
  • The work day would start off with a two hour nap followed by a brisk 30 minute session of sun-basking.  Jimmy claims this is when he recharges his batteries and typically does his best work.
  • He would have the ability to fly and strike down those cocky birds with their fancy wings.  Jimmy was very adamant about his insistence that the birds would pay for their treatment of Jimmy if he were King.   He compared them to Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown.
  • His wet nose would draw beautiful art work all over the windows of “His” castle.  He claims a blood relationship with Pablo Picasso’s dog.
  • Taking a bath would be optional and not cause a wild Tasmanian devil reaction.  According to Jimmy; “baths are for weak people not for Kings”
  • The dog park would be on the grounds of his compound.  He envisions his park having one fire hydrant for every 10 feet.
  • Cats would be servants.  Jimmy says; “I don’t trust these cats so I would keep a close eye on them.”
  • He could produce heirs…  Jimmy had no further comment on this.
  • Shedding would be a desired trait.  “Grooming is overrated anyway.  Cats are into that stuff – what more do I have to say?”
  • Knocking down a few cheese puffs and Doritos would be celebrated as the well rounded snack that it is.  He admits this habit is his downfall and often leads to a few extra ounces around the collar.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Jimmy Sad Eyes a little better, have a great week. 

Written by pacelinebiz

May 7, 2012 at 8:35 am