IN NEED OF A LIBRARY

What if you can’t raise $90k for a library? In Philly schools, there are haves and have-nots (PHILLY.COM)

crc cpA call out against bad public policy combined with a bit of class warfare. In the article from the link above, the journalist writes about how a Philadelphia community overcame the lack of a publicly funded library. Through fundraising efforts and development of a non-profit, community members secured the needed funds to start a library.  In contrast, the journalist points out the inability for high poverty areas to achieve a similar feat. Also, the public policy failure of local elected officials not securing enough funds from the state to have performing libraries. While there are clear disadvantages in varying economic environments, the narrative overlooks a personal and social responsibility demonstrated by one group that provides a pathway for other groups, regardless of economic prowess.

There is no disagreement that areas with high poverty rates lack social networks with excess income for donations. The lack of proper education funding does places these communities at an economic disadvantage, not of their own choosing, compared to wealthier counterparts. Ideally, all communities would place greater value in maintaining quality education programs than using taxpayer dollars on programs better suited for the private sector. In this case, neither rich nor poor areas were set to receive the needed funding. The people that see it as an obstacle to overcome rather than a point of contention will be the ones that find solutions.

Richer communities do have an advantage in fundraising, being able to bring people seeking tax write-offs together. In spite of this, other communities may need to seek unconventional targets for fundraising campaigns. Many corporations and business will readily donate if advocates have the persistence and people skills to cultivate relationships and make a reasoned case for providing funds for schools. Also, geographic barriers should not restrain fundraising efforts. There are many people and organizations that will help outside their own domains if people can make them aware of the need.

There needs to be a champion willing to advocate for these programs. Our current society has numerous tools to crowdfunding endeavors, which should be utilized to attain needed funds. The task is obviously difficult, but not impossible by any means. Americans need champions not complainers. Advocates not wayward activist. Problem solvers not problem creators. Government may not be able to provide solutions, but that does not mean there is not one available.

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EXPANDING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

EXPANDING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

crc cpThere is great economic potential in many communities that get typically overlooked by public and private sector investors. Because of local demographics, people lack access to good paying jobs, quality education, and opportunity that better managed areas readily have.

In the above link, ideas for how to change the status quo and expand economic opportunities by removing biases that exist and making communities more attractive for investment.

Please click on the link above to experience the content and more on The CRC Review.

DIVERSITY AND PERFORMANCE

Future of black NFL coaches a concern after round of firings (ESPN)

The NFL should ensure that the limited opportunities to lead and shape the football activities of its franchises are available to all those who have the qualifications and resume. The recent firings of certain NFL coaches reduces the number of minority to coaches to 3, which is not statistically aligned to the percentage of minorities that make up the players that play for them. 

The most qualified person should get any job, whether it is leading an NFL team, a business, or an organization. But, the process where decision makers source candidates may not be inclusive for all those with the resume and experience needed for the job. Ideally, decision makers would build a diverse enough pool of candidates for consideration to ensure they truly found the right candidate. 

From an outside perspective, many NFL teams appear to identify a select few of head coaching candidates and focus efforts to land the top ranked candidate. For instance, the Miami Dolphins went all in on bringing in Adam Gase, a candidate many across the league had on their short list. A mere three years later he is once again available. In reality, the only coach still employed in the class is Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, who was the least heralded hire and only Super Bowl winning coach.

For the four coaches listed in the ESPN article, there should not be any surprise with the teams’ decisions. The coaches clearly under-performed and did not produce the desired results. There really is not a strong argument for continuing the relationships when Super Bowl victories are not in the forecast. While the results are not completely up to the coaching staff, the head coach is the one burdened with responsibility of the outcomes. The job security risk comes with the job description. 

The focus needs to be on identifying effective ways for NFL teams to diversify their candidate pools so that minority candidates have fair access to elite positions. There is difficulty in forcing organizations to not zero in on a single candidate, but more likely than not, that person will not be the right one. The NFL needs to find ways to prevent teams from giving token interviews in favor of substantive evaluations of candidates record and potential. 

The best people should get the jobs. The process needs to ensure organizations are able to see the best candidates. 

STADIUM SURPRISES

Health inspection reports find critical violations at NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB stadiums – 2018 ESPN Outside the Lines

The health and sanitation issues surrounding our sports facilities is quite troubling. This is not the first time ESPN raised the concern and probably won’t be the last. The study did not include college facilities or other arenas not used by the big 4 sports leagues.

What is the big fuss? The food vendors at many stadiums either improperly store or handled food or do not adequately maintain cleanliness of facilities to meet requirements. Given the crowd sizes, the potential for outbreaks of food related illnesses is significant.

People want to attend games for a positive experience for their families, friends, or other groups. Sports executives should ensure that the fan experience does not involve sickness and death.

CLIMATE CHANGE

U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy- NY TIMES

The updates on climate change continue to paint a dark picture. Despite past policy changes, progress does not appear effective. Industries were disrupted, employees destined to longterm unemployment, but still climate change still continues.

There really needs to be a better approach to fighting the effects of carbon. Proactively capture and storing carbon might be an effective way of mitigating climate change and somewhat protecting our economic progress. Being able to directly eliminate externalities with production will create the needed balance.

Producers need to continuously implement green manufacturing processes. Consumers need to continue to prefer cleaner goods and services. Instead of leveraging climate change for political purposes, instead use free markets and private sector solutions to solve climate change.

BENEFIT OF STUDENT LOANS

Study Cites the Benefits of Taking Student Loans – The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/study-cites-the-benefits-of-taking-student-loans-1542191401

Not surprising that people who invest in themselves and their own future will be more focused and efficient when navigating their way towards a college degree.

While not having the trust fund or full ride can be challenging after the fact, students that pay their way find ways to avoid unnecessary charges, like non-essential classes and bloated meal plans, and focus on the GPAs, which can help their ability to attract higher paying employment to pay down the loans. All while providing them life lessons that will help them in their future.

The push for free college will undoubtedly make colleges perform like high schools, as the personal investment will not be there to motivate student performance. Over time, student drop outs will increase, as many high schools ill-prepare students for completing a college curriculum. Progressives will then push for policies that force colleges to graduate students, even though they lack the needed competencies.

The goal should be to incentivize colleges and universities to operate efficiently and pass savings to students, not passing the cost to the taxpayers. Students should truly only pay for the cost of education and services attained. Other activities and projects should be funded through donations, fundraisers, public grants, and other channels.

DIVERGENT STRATEGIES

AT&T and Verizon Pursue Different Paths Into the Future (WSJ) https://www.wsj.com/articles/at-t-and-verizon-pursue-different-paths-into-the-future-1541999131

One is focusing on acquiring content, while the other seeks to acquire new customer groups. Reminiscent of Coke vs Pepsi, where Coke focuses on being a leader in beverages, while Pepsi aims to diversify in food and beverage.

ATT aims to attract individual consumers, which are content driven and value entertainment. By owning content providers, ATT will not only expand revenue streams, but can create exclusive customer experiences for ATT wireless consumers.

On the other hand, Verizon strives to invest in technology and expanding its industry consumer base, which is more stable than personal consumers. Industry consumers prefer service contracts, which provide cost stability and detailed service guarantees. This could provide Verizon stable revenue streams over longer periods.

ATT will have to manage divergent business unit and balance varying goals and industry norms. Conversely, Verizon will be able to focus on its core competency and strengthen consumer quality in multiple segments.

Both have viable paths forward. Interesting to see how smaller competitors adjust.

SEARS HEADS TOWARD BANKRUPTCY

Sears, a Onetime Retail Giant, Reshaped America – The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/sears-once-americas-biggest-store-collapses-into-bankruptcy-1539595803

At least some of the past or present Sears execs understood the problem. Sears cut costs improperly and diid not invests enough in the stores. Compared to other department stores, the customer experience was lacking at Sears.

Sears does have the potential for a future. But, it will need to consider what that future will look like. In Nearing the End, I give a plausible suggestion.

NEAR THE END?

Sears Prepares for Bankruptcy Filing as Debt Payment Looms – The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/sears-hires-advisers-to-prepare-bankruptcy-filing-1539136189

The iconic once retail giant may be nearing its final stretch. Or maybe it can dwarf into a profitable condense form of itself. If the latter, it will need to find a way to develop and connect with a new target market not already retired.

At one point Sears dominated the retail landscape, largely because it was the first general retailer to market offerings for the entire family and the one willing to stand by its products. As the market change with new players, Sears never effectively captured a new market group.

If Sears does survive, it needs to have a narrower focus. One approach could be deconstruction of their retail concept by creating two distinct chains. One could be a clothing targeting people that may not be served by more trendy stores or a channel for professionals looking for everyday affordable clothes. Another would be an autonomous Sears Auto not tied to a store.

At this point, the Sears leadership team is probably focused on seeing how many tomorrows it has left. If there some, they need to consider what those days will look like.