As we play with our kids, dodge barbecue stains, and enjoy a mojito or three, you could hardly tell we’ve just been in two wars. We’d look more frazzled after a full day at Disney or the mall. I’m not saying we should spend today reciting the name of every fallen American hero; I do ask the comfy among us to consider what we’ve lost by becoming so detached - and why we won’t need a hot tub time machine to reverse it.
One thing that’s clear is we’ve come to expect lots of amazing things – almost instantly. Facebook, Google, news, games and Amazon’s free shipping are amazing. Our iPads and phones are flawless and infinitely molestable. We can enjoy them all from the comfort of the couch, as a local restaurant dispatches the hardworking Miguel to deliver our food. It’s a matter of time before he stays over to feed it to us. It’s all so perfect, so gratifying.
This is an abridged version of the original article I wrote for Business Insider.
In a forgotten corner of the White House sits a huge, Parthenon-shaped cake. Nearby, Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner are dancing like Zorba and dripping with hummus. Why all the glee? It’s because Europe just gave the U.S. an amazing gift – the gift of greater incompetence. I call this glitch in time ‘America’s Last Stimulus’. It may be our last chance to stimulate growth, kick-start our export engine, and make sure every European gets a big, wet kiss at the airport.
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Just got this confidentially from a friend working on this project for the US Post Office… Unreal!
—– Forwarded Message —–
Sent: Wednesday, Jan 15, 2012 4:54 PM
Subject: Proposal: New Post Office Business Model – Go Postal!
There’s something’s in the air. Unfortunately, it’s swine flu. This breakout has me thinking: God bless the Japanese! They have the right idea about personal hygiene. Japanese bow to say hello. During flu season, they wear masks on the train. Their meticulous attention to cleanliness makes me want to hug every single one of them. Of course, I can’t – unless I’m wearing a sterilized space suit. Most importantly, lots of productivity (and sometimes lives) are lost due to the unnecessary spread of germs. There is something we can do about it. (Hint: this will not involve coating yourself in latex.)
Often, business developers and executives shake the most hands. Consequently, both sales and leadership structures are at risk during an outbreak.
Another day, another disappointment for the hapless Obama administration. Today it’s AIG bonuses. Already, our eager beaver President has taken on stimulus, healthcare, bailouts, education, war, the return of blue M&M;’s. You name it, everything’s a priority. Unfortunately, he’s done it all with the soft-touch of a trusting, gentle Democrat. I started wondering, OK fantasizing, how would Tony Soprano handle AIG and the other alchemists on Wall Street?
Let’s start with a basic premise: anyone who can fondle a Thinkpad for 4 hours and claim to have generated a real asset worth millions – without exponentially increasing risk – is a liar and should be treated that way.
So when someone like that suddenly pleads poverty, you have to be suspicious – very suspicious. Tony Soprano would be. Instead of breaking with the Bush administration on funding bailouts, Obama has continued this welfare program. And who lines up for welfare faster than a good capitalist?
It seems you’re likelier to find Amy Winehouse up bright and early, going for a run, than to find an American politician untainted by special interests. Unfortunately, that’s the usual angle we see when talking about the relationship between politics and business. Let me suggest another: innovation. That’s right, innovation. The Democratic campaign has been a real-life example of Apple vs. Microsoft, or Google vs. Yahoo. The innovator vs. the stalwart. I’ll explain…
There are now two contenders for the democratic nomination, Senators Clinton and Obama. Despite their virtually identical voting records and positions on issues, one is clearly an innovator.