Download PDF

Does good character really matter? Is telling the truth important when a lie will avert punishment or help you gain status and wealth? Are personal ethics a benefit or impediment for those trying to climb the corporate ladder? In the real world, does the end justify the means?

These are questions that humans have asked for centuries, but they’re especially significant today as many wonder whether the values and morals that have historically governed human behavior are still relevant in a cutthroat society.

A review of historical figures might suggest that character — the set of morals and beliefs that influence how we interact with others and feel about ourselves — seems to have little effect on people’s ability to gain fame, wealth, or power. In fact, quite the opposite is sometimes true:

  • Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Ayatullah Khomeini have all appeared on the cover of Time magazine as “Person of the Year,” despite causing millions of deaths and unfathomable hardship for their countrymen.
  • Political leaders regularly lie to their constituents and pad their wallets by selling their votes to the highest bidder.
  • Corporate CEOs eliminate or reduce benefits that affect thousands of workers to add an extra dime to quarterly earnings per share while boosting their own income to historically high levels.

Yet while a lack of character might allow the rise of despots, egotists, and ruthless men and women from time to time, history has proved time and again that such leaders ultimately fail. As Harvard Business Review puts it, “Hubris and greed have a way of catching up with people, who then lose the power and wealth they’ve so fervently pursued.”

READ MORE . . .

[post_title] => How to Teach Your Kids to Build & Develop Good Character [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => how-to-teach-your-kids-to-build-develop-good-character [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-29 04:14:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-29 04:14:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.michaelrlewis.org/?p=1863 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1859 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2019-06-14 16:47:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-14 16:47:35 [post_content] =>

What is your opinion of America’s elementary and secondary schools? A 2018 Pew Research poll found that improving the nation’s educational system was ranked second on the priorities of the American public, slightly behind defending against terrorism and ahead of strengthening the economy. The angst represented in the poll findings reflects the perception that public schools are failing, threatening the prosperity and security of the nation.

The American public school system has been under attack since the mid-1970s and the emergence of the Back to Basics education movement. Critics of the schools advocated that a return to a focus on the three “Rs”— reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic — would restore public education to its historical standing as “the best schools in the world.” In the years since, school administrators, teachers, and students have experienced numerous attempts to improve education results and save money.

One approach — allowing students to transfer from public to private schools with public financial assistance — has become the battleground over the future of the traditional public school systems in the country. The war is being fought in media, public meetings, and state legislatures by opposing coalitions:

  • Dissatisfied Parents, Fiscal Conservatives, Over-Taxed Homeowners, and Employers. These groups often assert that introducing free market options in education through choice will produce better outcomes.
  • Parents who Favor Public Schools and the Education Community. Teachers, administrators, educational policy leaders typically claim with equal fervor that allowing school choice will destroy public education, ending the opportunity for middle- and low-income students to compete against a favored white, upper-class minority successfully.

Both sides are guilty of half-truths, misrepresentations, and exaggeration in the pursuit of their objectives. Choosing the right solutions to improve the education of the nation’s young requires an understanding and agreement about the current state of the educational system, and of the better alternatives to improve its outcomes.

America’s Public School System

Federal and State Roles

The authors of the U.S. Constitution left the responsibility of regulating public education to each of the individual states. Accordingly, each state maintains the public school system within its borders establishing attendance requirements, curriculum, teaching methods, textbook materials, and graduation requirements. Excluding Hawaii and its single, statewide school district, the states share power and implement their education policies through local school boards in geographically-distinct school districts.

READ MORE. . .

[post_title] => School Choice Movement – Does This Education Program Work? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => school-choice-movement-does-this-education-program-work [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-14 16:47:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-14 16:47:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.michaelrlewis.org/?p=1859 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1855 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2019-05-06 22:14:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-06 22:14:39 [post_content] =>

The desire to accumulate physical objects seems to be inherent, present in the little girl who collects Barbie dolls or the late-night TV host who keeps 126 classic cars and motorcycles in a specially built garage. For some, the motive to search for and acquire a specific item is the sheer fun of the activity. Others seek mementos that stir memories of the past. Fewer still acquire rarities for investment, hoping for enormous profits over time.

Some collectibles are only available to the super-rich due to the cost of acquiring and keeping their purchases safe and secure. What was once available only to kings and queens is now owned by captains of industry, successful financiers, and entertainment moguls. Though individual collections can be worth millions of dollars, well beyond the financial capability of 99% of humanity, they remain fascinating to the majority. Exhibitions of a rare collection draw thousands of visitors, each eager to view the individual pieces up close and personal.

For a look at 10 of the most noteworthy types of collections in the world, check out the following list:

collections, collectibles, investments

[post_title] => Top 10 Most Valuable Types of Collectibles in the World [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => top-10-most-valuable-types-of-collectibles-in-the-world [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-06 22:14:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-06 22:14:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.michaelrlewis.org/?p=1855 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1852 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2019-05-05 16:58:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-05 16:58:45 [post_content] =>

The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, increasingly affects Americans of all ages, incomes, and location. Yet few citizens understand how it’s calculated, how it’s used, or its strengths and shortcomings.

The CPI is one of the most important figures calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It reflects the rate of inflation that has occurred from one period to another, allowing you to understand why your dollars buy less today than yesterday. The Federal Reserve uses the index to set monetary policy, and Congress considers it when determining cost-of-living adjustments to federal benefits and taxes.

Here’s what you need to know to understand the CPI and how it affects our nation’s economy — and your bottom line.

What Is the CPI?

Simply stated, the Consumer Price Index is a weighted measure of the change in prices paid by typical consumers for a representative collection of goods and services over time. The BLS uses a combination of sampling data and statistical analysis to establish the price for a fixed category of goods and service consumed by a family unit during a specific period. A comparison of the index price for two calendar dates provides a close approximation of inflation between the two periods.

Three separate, though related, Consumer Price Indexes are published each month:

Read more . . .

[post_title] => Consumer Price Index (CPI) as a Measure of Inflation – How It’s Used [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => consumer-price-index-cpi-as-a-measure-of-inflation-how-its-used [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-05 16:58:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-05 16:58:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.michaelrlewis.org/?p=1852 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1845 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2019-03-15 14:19:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-15 14:19:19 [post_content] =>

It’s good to be the boss. People in charge of an organization not only make more money, but they also have happier family lives, are more satisfied with their work, and worry less about their financial futures, according to a 2014 Pew Research report. Those in the top levels consider their employment a “career,” not just a job that pays the bills.

So what can you do to get a promotion to those top levels? There are a number of steps you can take to improve your chances of advancing your career, whether with your existing employer or a new one. Your long-term success depends on having as many options as possible and being prepared when an opportunity arises.

11 Ways to Advance in Your Career

Getting to the top of the corporate food chain becomes increasingly more difficult in the higher tiers of management. In many organizations, average performers in the lower ranks can expect some promotions by merely being competent and building tenure. Attaining more senior positions or advancing at a faster rate, however, requires the following strategies, at the very least.

Read more . . .

[post_title] => How to Climb the Corporate Ladder [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => how-to-climb-the-corporate-ladder [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-15 14:19:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-15 14:19:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.michaelrlewis.org/?p=1845 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1839 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2018-12-28 16:28:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-12-28 16:28:45 [post_content] =>   Taking an annual vacation is important. Excessive work hours and days lead to burnout, reduced employee engagement, higher absenteeism, lower production, and higher costs. A 2016 Harvard Business Review article notes that employees who took more than 10 vacation days per year were almost twice as likely to receive a raise or bonus within three years.   Yet despite the benefits, nearly one-half of Americans did not take a vacation in 2017, often citing the high cost of travel as the primary reason. Recognizing the need for an affordable vacation, managers of many destination resorts have added an “all-inclusive” option to their offerings, allowing visitors to pay a single price for a room, meals, and other amenities while at the resort.   Are these packages really a good deal? Here’s a closer look.

The Rise of the All-Inclusive Resort

Cruise ships have long offered all-inclusive options. Cruise travelers can choose the size and location of their cabin and meal options to fit their budgets and pay a single fare for accommodations, meals, and access to the ship’s physical, cultural, and entertainment offerings. It’s no doubt one of the reasons cruise ship vacations are“the fastest growing part of the vacation industry,” according to PR Newswire. Resorts are following suit, increasingly using an all-inclusive price strategy, hoping that its simplicity and convenience will boost their sales.   For years, resorts predominately offered a-la-carte pricing — what many call a “European Plan” — in which rooms, meals, and recreation activities were separately available at the option of the guests. The first step to a single basic rate for everything was the introduction of the “American Plan,” which combined room and meals but did not include recreational activities or entertainment.   Club Med pioneered one flat price for everything in 1950 with the opening of its first resort at Palinuro, Salerno Italy. Designed to appeal to young people, guests stayed in straw huts on the beach, sharing communal meals and showers. In the 1990s, the company upgraded their offerings in meals and recreational activities, especially for families. For example, children could attend a circus school run by Cirque de Soleil or take snow skiing lessons from a professional ski instructor while their parents relaxed in a luxurious spa. The company continues to offer all-inclusive prices, albeit at significantly higher rates.   The success of Club Med and similar resorts encouraged the use of all-inclusive pricing by other vacation properties. By the mid-2000s, most luxury resorts had embraced a single-price option for guests. For one price, guests could stay in high-end facilities that included state-of-the-art spas, award-winning food, alcohol, and luxurious rooms with ocean views. At the end of 2016, U.S. News & World Reports estimates, there were at least 300 all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico with facilities ranging from modest to high-end. Some (such as Sandals) cater to an adult crowd, while others (such as Viva Wyndham) focus on families.   Read more . . . [post_title] => Pros and Cons of an All-Inclusive Resorts [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => pros-and-cons-of-an-all-inclusive-resorts [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-12-28 16:28:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-12-28 16:28:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.michaelrlewis.org/?p=1839 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 6 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1863 [post_author] => 2 [post_date] => 2019-06-29 04:13:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-29 04:13:58 [post_content] =>

Does good character really matter? Is telling the truth important when a lie will avert punishment or help you gain status and wealth? Are personal ethics a benefit or impediment for those trying to climb the corporate ladder? In the real world, does the end justify the means?

These are questions that humans have asked for centuries, but they’re especially significant today as many wonder whether the values and morals that have historically governed human behavior are still relevant in a cutthroat society.

A review of historical figures might suggest that character — the set of morals and beliefs that influence how we interact with others and feel about ourselves — seems to have little effect on people’s ability to gain fame, wealth, or power. In fact, quite the opposite is sometimes true:

  • Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Ayatullah Khomeini have all appeared on the cover of Time magazine as “Person of the Year,” despite causing millions of deaths and unfathomable hardship for their countrymen.
  • Political leaders regularly lie to their constituents and pad their wallets by selling their votes to the highest bidder.
  • Corporate CEOs eliminate or reduce benefits that affect thousands of workers to add an extra dime to quarterly earnings per share while boosting their own income to historically high levels.

Yet while a lack of character might allow the rise of despots, egotists, and ruthless men and women from time to time, history has proved time and again that such leaders ultimately fail. As Harvard Business Review puts it, “Hubris and greed have a way of catching up with people, who then lose the power and wealth they’ve so fervently pursued.”

READ MORE . . .

[post_title] => How to Teach Your Kids to Build & Develop Good Character [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => how-to-teach-your-kids-to-build-develop-good-character [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-29 04:14:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-29 04:14:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.michaelrlewis.org/?p=1863 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 217 [max_num_pages] => 37 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => 1 [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 9f38f337c76ea2e86d44b089226b48f2 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) ) -->