The astonishing growth of the stock market over the past decade is often viewed as the logical outgrowth of a new type of economy. Pundits heralded the birth of this new "democratic" economy as one based solely on the dictates of the market and immune to the business cycle. The open marketplace has been anointed as the only place where every opinion can be heard and where truly democratic decisions are made.
Supposedly, then, the more closely all institutions-governments, schools, social organizations, communities, etc.-follow the example set by free market business leaders, the more democratic the world would become. This advice extends especially to other countries who, if they would only follow the lead of the United States, could create their own unfettered, deregulated markets, fashioning incredible economic prosperity for their own people as well.
Author and social critic Thomas Frank labels this phenomenon "market populism," and he argues that, on the contrary, the free marketplace may lead to a diminution of choice and democracy. His contention, made in cogent and informed prose, is that the business of business-and thus of the market-is "coercion, monopoly, and the destruction of the weak, not 'choice' or 'service' or universal affluence." He describes how business leaders appropriate the rhetoric of the original populists, and label anyone who dares voice an opinion contrary to market demands (for example, a call for living wages) as anti-market and therefore 'against the people'.
Frank's analysis of how the idea of elitism, and especially "liberal elitism," became the "red-scare" threat of the 90's is particularly insightful. He reminds us that the original populist movement wanted justice for people, not for business, and demonstrates why the boom market of the 90's did not measure up to that standard. Frank outlines how much we have lost with the decline of the labor movement and a truly critical mass media. He probes the social myths created around the "greatest economic expansion in American history," and shows why the truth might mean something completely different and less salutary for the people as a whole.
One Market Under God was written prior to the current downturn in the
market; it will be interesting to see whether any of Frank's criticisms
begin to sound from other voices. In the meantime, the book makes for
refreshing reading for those who suspect that, just maybe, unalloyed faith
in the markets is not the answer to all the world's problems.
HM 1211 .J64 2000
THE RACE TRAP: SMART STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE RACIAL COMMUNICATION IN BUSINESS AND IN LIFE by Robert L. Johnson and Steven Simring (HarperBusiness, 2000)
-You are a white supervisor, and four black secretaries ask to speak to you about their perception of a hostile workplace atmosphere.
-You are a black sales associate in an upscale department store, working on commission, and you sense that white customers often avoid you.
How would you handle these situations? Two professors of psychiatry at the New Jersey Medical School (Dr. Johnson is black, Dr. Simring is white) have designed many such scenarios and a choice of resolutions for each so that you can determine your RQ, or Racial Intelligence Quotient. What follows are multiple insights and practical advice on how to avoid charged situations and become a "smart racial communicator." Through the minefield of misunderstandings in American society today, this book can serve as a useful navigational tool.
In the workplace, entrepreneurs, executives, salespeople, and job applicants can benefit greatly from becoming sensitive to how one's race can affect communication. An inadvertent word or gesture can instantly turn off a customer, employee, or interviewer, or worse, instigate a lawsuit. The book also covers everyday situations, such as those that arise at the doctors' office, a PTA meeting, the airline ticket counter, the police station and the college admissions office, and analyzes them clearly and honestly.
Just how important the message of this book is can be seen in the results of the just-released Census 2000 results, counting one of every three Americans as a minority. Although the book focuses on black/white interactions, the lessons learned apply to all ethnic groups. The authors' goal is to improve communication between people of different races---not necessarily to convince people to love one another---in the goal of enabling companies to be more productive, and people to live more harmoniously. The chapter on "raising a racially smart child" will help you prepare yours for an increasingly diverse America.
In an ideal world, a person's race shouldn't matter, but we see evidence
every day that it does.
You may not always agree with the interpretations and suggestions that the
authors present, but you will certainly benefit from exploring ways to
keep your interactions bias-free.
HD 69.T54 M66 2000
TIME MANAGEMENT FROM THE INSIDE OUT: THE FOOLPROOF SYSTEM FOR TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR SCHEDULE - AND YOUR LIFE by Julie Morgenstern. (Henry Holt, 2000)
The author of the best-selling ORGANIZING FROM THE INSIDE OUT offers hope to those who are frustrated because they feel their days are out of control. Ms. Morgenstern has devised a Time Map, a schedule template that will accommodate all of your activities and will help you balance the physical, mental, and social aspects of your life.
The way in which time is viewed forms the basis of her strategy: each day is simply a container, a storage unit with a defined capacity that can be reached. You will learn to estimate and calculate how long it takes to do certain tasks and to evaluate whether you actually have enough to do them. Then you can plug them into your to-do list, arranged by urgency, by duration of the task, or by energy or interest level.
The author's SPACE formula is the key to organizing daily tasks: sort potential tasks by category; purge whatever tasks you can; assign a home to tasks you have decided to do; containerize tasks to keep them within the time allotted; and equalize - refine, maintain, and adapt your schedule. Specific ideas for solving problems such as frequent interruptions, unplanned events, procrastination, chronic lateness, and learning to saying "no," are helpful. A vital element for success is using only one planner to contain all your appointments and to-dos.
You'll need to invest time and effort to customize Ms. Morgenstern's time
management model for your own personal situation, but the rewards could be
great. Her goal is to have you focus on your "big picture" goals, so that
you can accomplish what's most important to you in all aspects of your
life. Helpful tips for getting and staying organized, along with an idea
exchange, can be found at the author's web site.
Also recommended are:
HC 79 .I55 K358 2001
EVOLVE! SUCCEEDING IN THE DIGITAL CULTURE OF TOMORROW by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. (Harvard Business School Press, 2000)
HC 110 .I5 C586 2000
ECONOMIC APARTHEID IN AMERICA: A PRIMER ON ECONOMIC INEQUALITY AND INSECURITY by Chuck Collins and Felice Yeskel. (The New Press, 2000)
HG 179 .C536 2001
TALKING MONEY: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR FINANCES AND YOUR FUTURE by Jean Chatzky. (Warner Books, 2001)
Contact the business librarians, who also answer questions about business,
money, and work, at (412) 281-7141 or at