How a "Car Gal" Took the Wheel at GM
Bloomberg View, December 10, 2013With its appointment of Mary Barra to succeed Daniel Akerson as chief executive officer, General Motors Co. brings to a half dozen the number of major U.S. corporations headed by women. Barra, who started at the company in 1980 while a student at the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), represents both continuity and change. Thirty years ago, few would have imagined that a woman would so quickly rise to head such a historically macho company, but several important factors worked in Barra’s favor.
Who Needs a Raise When You Have TV?
(Quite possibly the most ridiculous but traffic-inducing headline ever written)
Bloomberg View, December 02, 2013Are you better off now than you were 10 years ago? For middle-class Americans, a common answer to this version of Ronald Reagan’s old question is no. Nor are they optimistic about the future. The recession may be over officially, but a lot of smart people are convinced that broad-based improvements in the standard of living are largely a thing of the past. Before you embrace the idea that today is worse than yesterday and tomorrow won’t be much better, however, consider a common experience.
The Glamour of Getting Away
the book (Neiman Marcus), December 2013No matter how unpleasant the real journeys, travel still has a way of seducing us.
Democrats Should End Quest for Kennedy's Camelot
Bloomberg View, November 19, 2013His Camelot was pure glamour: a frozen moment, its flaws and conflicts obscured.
The Heart and Soul of Glamour
Forget the Kardashians: Glamour is more persistent, pervasive, and powerful than we realize.
The Daily Beast, November 09, 2013
When IHOP Was Glamorous
Fifty years ago, all anyone wanted was to be “international.” (Excerpt from THE POWER OF GLAMOUR)
Slate, November 06, 2013
Making Gadgets Wireless Only Conceals Our Dependence on Them
The glamour of wirelessness (excerpt from THE POWER OF GLAMOUR)
Wired, November 05, 2013
Obamacare’s Virtual Fantasy Couldn’t Handle Messy Reality
Bloomberg View, October 23, 2013The HealthCare.gov website is a disaster -- symbolic to Obamacare opponents, disheartening to supporters, and incredibly frustrating to people who just need to buy insurance. Some computer experts are saying the only way to save the system is to scrap the current bloated code and start over.Looking back, it seems crazy that neither the Barack Obama administration nor the public was prepared for the startup difficulties. There’s no shortage of database experts willing to opine on the complexities of the problem. Plenty of companies have nightmarish stories to tell about much simpler software projects. And reporting by the New York Times finds that the people involved with the system knew months ago that it was in serious trouble. “We foresee a train wreck,” one said back in February.So why didn’t the administration realize that integrating a bunch of incompatible government databases into a seamless system with an interface just about anyone could understand was a really, really hard problem? Why was even the president seemingly taken by surprise when the system didn’t work like it might in the movies?We have become seduced by computer glamour.
Worried About Cancer? Get Married
Bloomberg View, September 28, 2013When I mentioned my bout with breast cancer to a new acquaintance, his first question was, “Are you married?”It was an unusual reaction -- a more common query is whether I have kids. Later he told me that his daughter-in-law had been diagnosed with breast cancer while still in graduate school and that she and his son had moved in with him. He understood better than most people that being married makes it easier to cope with cancer.
The Real Reason Wal-Mart Hired All Those People
Bloomberg View, September 24, 2013Preparing for the holiday season, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has announced plans to increase store staffing levels by moving 35,000 part-time workers to full-time status and another 35,000 temporary workers to part-time. The retailer says these workers will retain their new positions after the new year. (It will also add 55,000 seasonal employees.)