Why America First Will Never Work

The day of globalist vs nationalist is over.  That is to say, that there are no isolated countries on our planet. Even North Korea is connected to the internet and is not isolate. Similarly, every country’s GNP is tied to the world as a whole. It has not been generated within the borders of any in the country in at least 100 years. There is not one economy on earth that can say that is self-sufficient.

Whether as a country you need raw materials, weaponry, education, export your goods, get foreign investments, you are dependent on others outside your borders.

For the US, the global manufacturing companies have constructed a global supply chain where they source parts and resources from the least cost countries. They then do the actual assembly in the country which has the lowest cost labor. Thus Apple or Nike designs the product in the US, parts are manufactured all over the world on a precise on-demand basis then assembled in China. Even the auto manufacturing used to have its suppliers within a few miles of the factory. No more. They manufacture some of the cars in the US, even assemble it, but are dependent on other countries for other parts. The internet allows them to manage inventory and reduce waste in, often, real time.

Thus we can never step out of the global community and say we will go our own way. This idea of isolation when it comes to affecting air, earth, and water is bogus. Again, there is only one community we are part of – the global community. We have no choice anymore in that position. No country is an island due to the introduction of virtual vs physical.

Thus by not participating in the Paris Accord, our companies will be subjected to pollution requirements in all countries that are part of the accord, and thus not join in global standards set by all.

But how ridiculous to say America First for air and water when both do not have borders. Air and water flow freely across our globe thus it is foolish to say we will only focus on that part of the earth we call America. This is like being part of the problem or part of the solution. Really.

The New Consulting Model – On Demand Consulting

Due to the virtualization of everything, the Cloud, broadband, the gig economy we are entering the next phase of management consulting. After 100 years of consulting with the current model based on full time consultants, we are taking advantage of both the new definition of a job and new technology – we are adapting our sourcing approach to complement the full-time worker.

This is not accidental, it has been coming for some time and the last Recession was the spark that ignited the current revolution. How?

The classical model of consulting business was based upon hiring just the right amount of consultants that could bill approx 2000hrs/year/person. The economics were tied to a fixed cost and expenses. During good economic times the business would hire consultants to meet the demand. They could also reallocate consultants that completed work onto other work. Rates were high for the most part and the consultant, who owned the IP, was in effect in a position to replace full-time workers at the client’s business for project related work.

The first critical impact to the model was sometime in the 90’s when off shore consulting companies were vying for the commodity work – that is developement and implementation. The offshore came in with a low-rate business, somewhat of a on demand model where bodies were placed into accounts when work increased. Because their rate was so low, they could undercut the Big 4,5,6 on almost any large enterprise project. What ensued were major layoffs across the US consulting businesses.

The second blow was the Great Recession and the introduction of the Cloud operating on high band width lines. Another outgrowth of the great Recessiom was the emergence of many independent consultants, veterans of the largest firms, who understood the power of the internet, cloud, on-demand services and the desire of companies to flip their high fixed IT costs to variables. Since they, like other contractors had little overhead they would sign up or formulate quality, highly trained consultants at competitive rates.

Now the large consulting firms are beginning to see that they do not need to hire to capacity or over-utilization. Now they can draw upon its network of independent consultants on an on demand basis. By marking up the IC rate, they can make some money, but more important respond quickly to the market and to their clients, fill temporary roles at market base costs, and have assurance that the experience of the IC trumps the  increasing large investment in new hires.

The model will look like this going forward. There will be a core business that predominately contains product development, sales, business development, business management and some project management people. If the consultancy specializes, the specialist would also be part of the core. The remainder of the workforce would be housed in a closely monitored(scheduled) and managed virtual group(s). Incentives and other devices could be implemented so that these resources remain in the network.

Once you begin to conduct the business of consulting with more media channels (video) client/consultant distance begins to become less of an issue.


A consultant’s view of the ‘deconstruction of America’

I have often used the technique of deconstructing a business in order to break down the business into its fundamentals. It often means breaking down the business model first to see how the business ‘ticks’. We move onto the organization, process, technology and finally performance measures. At the end, we have components all strewn about. What may have been 200 years of activity, life and culture had not only been dissected but now lies, inert ready to be analyzed. From then we analyze these components and begin to rebuild, again starting with a new business model that will become the framework for the new construction.

Why do I bring this up – it is because I am witnessing the deconstruction of America by a President and his advisors set upon to ‘make it great again’.
In history, we call this anarchy with the added ingredient of chaos. Anarchy requires chaos to succeed else it will have opposition from rational thinking. Anarchy is not the end state of a nation or ideology but the means to reach some sort of new state based on whatever formulation of principles of some sort of order and law.

We have a President that has never known anarchy or for that matter any type of social upheaval. He does have an advisor that has studied this topic and through a history of being a lone voice, a prophet never listened to, has found a disciple. Not just any disciple, but one that had the means and lack of morality to bring this team to the most powerful office in the world.

While this may sound extreme, history has shown that it was a tactic by autocratic leaders going back to the Greeks. Similarly, when it was impossible to conceive of change through peace and or war, anarchy or self-destruction often allowed a country or people to wipe the slate clean and start again.

In my life I have witnessed war, peace rallies, protest under dictatorship, protest under a democracy, anarchists in the streets chased by police. I have seen much of the world and what we humans have put in place to control us, or to point us in a single direction and possibly avoid chaos.

But I have never seen what is happening in 2016-2017. It is almost like following a script from history. The president, as soon as he came to office executed on a mission to discredit the basic components of our democracy. He used the political ‘greed’ of the majority party to create a contract. Let me do my thing and I will support your agenda in Congress.

And so the show began. First the free and open media, or the primary tool of democracy was discredited. Then the voice of opposition (million person protests’, and then the ultimate – create chaos through the use of executive power – immigration, border walls, climate change and elimination of common sense regulations. If you notice there is a furious pace to these executive orders so as to foment increased chaos.

But history has shown us that if we stick to our principles of being human beings much can be,not only stopped, but prevented.

See the next blog

My Response To Providing the President Elect With the Benefit of the Doubt

Dear Editor

I would like to respond to the op-ed piece titled “Hate groups ignored for eight years” as both an American Jew and a veteran of the Yom Kippur War (1973).
I especially take umbrage with your conclusion, and I quote “Perhaps we owe Trump the benefit of the doubt in the same way Americans did for President Obama”.

If you look back in history it is precisely when we did give the benefit of the doubt to national leaders, Jews were either expelled from their homes or exterminated. To compare the small number of anti-Semites within the Occupy Wall Street protest to the 100+ white supremacist conference (in Washington DC) who pledged allegiance to Trump with a Nazi solute is more than a stretch, it is hurtful to the millions of Jews and Arabs (they are Semites too) in this country. More importantly, those in the conference, I believe were there to celebrate the increased level of hate crimes and anti-Semitic acts (Nazi symbols on cupcakes, really!) that have been reported since Trump has been elected. In other words they feel they and there hatred are now part of the American fabric.

I doubt that Obama or Pelosi were condoning the anti-Semitic sentiment of anyone in Occupy Wall Street, but rather were supporting the first amendment. I would compare Trump’s reaction to the nightly, protest of marchers in front of his Tower.
Most importantly I wonder how the current level of anti-Semitism and racism could have been avoided if our President-Elect would have conducted himself civilly (not pc) and denounced these hate group, before, during and immediately after the election. I also wonder what if Trump apologized to our current President for five years of undermining his very citizenship. If the language used during the election, founded on perpetual lies about American citizens and immigrants (I am an immigrant from Israel) was different and if the election was about not obfuscating the truth, but appealing to voters on positive change founded on our Constitution. Just wondering….

In reading your opinion I saw that you took the time to search for quotes that supported your argument, as well as caveat the reasonableness of your argument.
Nevertheless you were comparing two leaders and their response to hate.
I would argue that Obama, who was the receiver of Trumps racism ( birther movement) knows well that words matter, and words can also delude so that people act irrationally, regardless of past history and facts.

Michael Blum
Somers, NY

The Day After the Election of Donald Trump…Fall of our Discontent

We began our day in a deep depression. Even nature agreed with our mood as the dark gray skies hovered over the land of the free and the brave. What we witnessed last night was a classical switch and bait political extravaganza. Additionally, a scapegoating technique that worked so well for Hitler. From his entry into politics, Donald Trump identified a person(s) and ran a parallel treatment – demean them name call them and keep blaming them for everything that has gone wrong. Do not allow any one to interfere with your message, manage the media with an entertaining personality (a TV personality will do well) and keep this going relentlessly using lines and names that people can easily repeat. After awhile the people who follow you see what you see – an enemy and someone to hate.

When you have achieved the level of hate, you know that no decency or fact can penetrate that emotion. People will believe what every you tell them. The see this focused hate as the culmination of their frustration with leadership and country. The pure unfairness takes over any type of logic. The noise drowns out any type of clear thinking.

The entire election was about Trump and Trumps ideology and ideas. Hate and lack of fear and recriminations, bolstered by wealth, created an impervious candidate. You could not touch him even if you were the President of the US, the FBI or the CIA.

He did not stand up for America as he stood up for himself. But it will be hubris that will eventually have him come down in flames. For all of his promises to the hateful, they can just as easily turn on him when he defaults. The same mob he created will turn on him when he fails to deliver, when he fails to fill the gap that they see so clearly in their lives.

This can only be accelerated when his secrets are revealed. If those secrets in any way demean his supporters, their country or used to undermine the country, the mob will be vicious.

I believe the first 100 days will be spent in establishing his platform so that he can operate as freely as possible:

To that end keep a look out for the follow on steps of every dictator once they attain power;

  • Restrictions imposed on freedom of the press
  • Elimination of disloyal legislatures and Republican leadership
  • Wide spread changing of the miliary leadership
  • Elimination of social programs that he never depended on given his wealth
  • Ironically, the creation of a ruling class and a working classes
  • State run internet, TV and Radio

The only thing that can impede , but not stop his pace will be the checks and balances between the three power based in our government and the States.

Thus when most presidents say they will unite the country they do it. This president will make motions toward unity but I belive he will create an impenetrable platform to gain even more power.

Next Week We Vote On Our Future….

To some of us living in the US we cannot wait for this election to end. It has tested the patience of so many people. Usually, we look forward towards an election as you look forward to a new chapter in a book. We also look forward to exercising our one and only ability to effect change in our country. Once done, we cannot change it for four years.

I have to admit, I have stayed up nights listening to pundits and news shows to understand how a nation could have reached a consensus of this type. I watch surrogates from each party scream at the top of their voices with a fervor that I have never seen before in an election. The anger alone, is frightening since it is unrecognizable from any previous election. The lack of decency, the name calling of future presidents and past leaders is beyond comprehension. The once feeling of honor, not with politics, but with sane leadership has gone missing. With one word you can take the work performed for the country over many years and eliminate the honor associated with that achievement.

I think that the entertainment value of this election has far superseded the importance of choice to make for the future.

In a way the nation needed this catharsis – we have been conceptually divided for many years. Now we are truly divided as a nation in an indisputable way. We have a true disparity in wealth. We have a fear of the future living in a society that measures almost everything through personal wealth. I admit, my generation helped form this ideal with our tremendous emphasis on consumerism and wealth comparison. So many men and women measure themselves by their job or position, and avoid looking at true wealth in family and health. The gap is enormous and the seething words mask what was once the most democratic experiment on earth.

We can no longer be the role model for progressive politics or culture. The cracks in our belief systems are evident every day. It is almost as if we are working with a governance platform that have little or no fundamental principles and very little clear ties to the real world our citizens are living.

I sense a fear of the future, regardless of which nominee is elected. This is caused by a gap of understanding within this nation of over 360 million people. All of the modern means of communications – email, internet, television only act to give voice to the few and not the masses. The polls seem to reflect some truth, until an event changes them. There are so many polls that one begins to root for one poll like rooting for a baseball team.

Another positive, is that Obama will finally receive that accolades he so much deserved for his leadership over the last eight years. The decency that he and his family have shown is remarkable. The patience and care he has shown for his country is unbelievable. To see a president cry at the sight of children dead because of a maniac with a gun is a sign of humanity, something we do not see across our leadership today.

I believe that in ten years time, when we look back at his time in the White House he will be known as one of the most enlightened presidents we have ever had. I think that his most precious gift to our nation is that he made us color blind.