Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mid-Year Thoughts and Commentary

“Suppose our failures occur, not in spite of what we are doing, but precisely because of it.”- Dallas Willard

_The economic forecast for 2016 was for more of the same. Slow or no growth, bobbing along just above recession levels. That certainly seems to be the case. My sense is that it’s a bit worse than expected and the outlook for the second half of 2016 and 2017 is becoming more negative.

_We will experience more “Orlandos”. Whether a function of religious extremism, homophobia, racism, easy access to high capacity firearms, mental instability or a combination of these and other dysfunctions… in today’s world violence is the result. We can take steps to control it, to limit the carnage. But those who hate and choose to kill people will always figure out ways to get it done.

_Brexit is a big deal, but not surprising. Just over 50% of the folks who voted in the UK would like to build a wall and turn the clock back. My prediction is that there will be another referendum and next time just over 50% of the voters will choose to remain in the EU. And the chaos will continue.

_The Baylor situation says a lot about our culture. That the leadership of any university, much less a Baptist, bible-thumping, born-again bunch of true believers would go so far down the rabbit hole of sports worship that they end up covering up sexual assaults, protecting the guilty and ignoring or even trying to intimidate the victims is an incredible and terrifying story. How many more Baylors and Penn States will it take to change the prevailing win-at-all-cost, protect-this-house-no-matter-what mindset?

_Trump vs. Clinton. You just can’t make this stuff up. It’s crazy-time in politics. I don’t like either one of them, but at the end of the day, I’m thinking about future Supreme Court appointments. We know there will be one for sure and most likely one more during the next President’s first term. There could even be a third. Yep, it is a big deal… a very big deal.

_Even in a sluggish economy it’s hard to find qualified people to fill jobs. The big question for the next 20 years is going to be “Who’s going to do the work?”

_E-commerce is re-defining the supply chain. The old ways of bringing products to the market: showing, selling, buying and delivery…they are changing. E-tail has arrived.

_Healthcare, education and infra-structure. We better get about addressing these three issues or all the rest of it won’t matter much. Unbelievable that we cannot seem to figure it out. We can’t just throw money at the problems, but it’s going to take a lot of money. It’s also going to take better plans and better management. Two things at which our government totally sucks.

_On a positive note, the U.S.A. remains the best place on the planet, warts and all. God Bless America.

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