Friday, May 29, 2009

The U.S. is Not a True Democracy

"Give me a word, any word, and I show you that the root of that word is Greek." (Gus Portokalos from My Big Fat Greek Wedding)

How about Democracy?

'Democracy, democracy, democracy. Ha! Of course! Democracy is come from the Greek word demos, is mean people and from the Greek word kratos, is mean rule. So, who rules in a democracy? The people. You see: people, democracy. There you go!' (Gus Portokalos)

If democracy is rule by the people, the U.S. is not a democracy: (1) Democracies do not maintain favored citizens. Favored citizens are citizens with greater political sway or power than others. Equal political power is impossible to maintain in large communities. Only small communities can possibly maintain equal political power for its citizens. (2) Democracies de-centralize power. Never in the history of the U.S. has power been more centralized. The Federal government has power over our food, currency, energy, land, civil liberties, businesses, etc.
The solution is to create true democracy. The federal government needs to de-centralize all power not granted to it in The Constitution and give that power to the cities of the U.S. If a community is too large to be ruled as a direct democracy, then it is too large to maintain political equality.

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How Will You Measure Your Life?

I recently read this article by Clayton Christiansen out of Harvard entitled, “How will you measure your life?” It is what he tells his students on the final day of his class.

One of the items that he mentions sticks out to me. It reads as follows:

“One of the theories, . . . . . how to be sure we find happiness in our careers—is from Frederick Herzberg, who asserts that the powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements. I tell the students about a vision of sorts I had while I was running the company I founded before becoming an academic. In my mind’s eye I saw one of my managers leave for work one morning with a relatively strong level of self-esteem. Then I pictured her driving home to her family 10 hours later, feeling unappreciated, frustrated, underutilized, and demeaned. I imagined how profoundly her lowered self-esteem affected the way she interacted with her children. The vision in my mind then fast-forwarded to another day, when she drove home with greater self-esteem—feeling that she had learned a lot, been recognized for achieving valuable things, and played a significant role in the success of some important initiatives. I then imagined how positively that affected her as a spouse and a parent. My conclusion: Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team. More and more [people think] that a career in business means buying, selling, and investing in companies. That’s unfortunate. Doing deals doesn’t yield the deep rewards that come from building up people."

I’m sure you can see why it sticks out.