jerryking + leaps_of_faith   9

A preacher for Trump’s America: Joel Osteen and the prosperity gospel
APRIL 18, 2019 | Financial Times | Edward Luce in Houston.

Optimism, hope, destiny, harvest, bounty — these are Lakewood’s buzzwords. Prosperity too. Words that are rarely heard include guilt, shame, sin, penance and hell. Lakewood is not the kind of church that troubles your conscience.....the market share of US churches run by celebrity prosperity preachers such as Osteen, Creflo Dollar (sic), Kenneth Copeland and Paula White keeps growing. Three out of four of the largest megachurches in America subscribe to the prosperity gospel. Formal religion in the US has been waning for years. Almost a quarter of Americans now profess to having none. Among the Christian brands, only “non-denominational charismatics” — a scholarly term for the prosperity preachers — are expanding.......About the only book that Trump is known to have read from cover to cover is The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, the grandfather of the prosperity gospel. It has sold five million copies since it was published in 1952. His message is that the more you give to God, the more he will give back in return......The prosperity gospel is all about harvesting the seed. The more money you plant in God’s church, the greater your heavenly bounty. Wealth is a mark of God’s benevolence. Poverty is a sign of godlessness...........The more you consider Lakewood’s business model, the more it seems like a vehicle to redistribute money upwards — towards heaven, perhaps — rather than to those who most need it. Like all religious charities, Lakewood is exempt from taxes. All donations to it are tax deductible. It has never been audited by the IRS......On the left, the prosperity gospel is attacked for encouraging reckless spending by those who can least afford it. Among Lakewood’s night classes is Own Your Dream Home. Leaps of financial faith fit into Osteen’s view that God will always underwrite true believers.
.......Some of the home repossessions in the 2008 crash were blamed on irresponsible advice from the prosperity churches, which are concentrated in the Sun Belt. In her book Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel, Kate Bowler says the churches have created a “deification and ritualisation” of the American dream.......people who are depressed should shun the company of other depressed people.... Addicts must steer clear of other addicts. The poor should avoid others who are poor.......“If you’re struggling in your finances, get around blessed people, generous people, people who are well off,” Osteen advises. Misery loves company, he says. Avoid miserable people.........Osteen’s idea of whether God would have hesitated before creating the universe. “He didn’t check with accounting and say, ‘I am about to create the stars, galaxies and planets,’” says Osteen. He just went ahead and did it. All that is holding the rest of us back is a lack of self-belief: “God spoke worlds into creation,”
........The more one listens to Osteen, the harder it is to shut out Trump. Their mutual guru, Norman Vincent Peale...Believe in yourself like others believe in their product, was Peale's message. “Stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding,” wrote Peale. “Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade.”
.........People often ask why so many blue-collar Americans still support Trump in spite of his failure to transform their economic prospects. They might need to widen their aperture. To many Americans, Trump’s wealth and power are proof of God’s favour. That alone is a reason to support him.
abundance  blue-collar  books  churches  Christianity  Donald_Trump  economic_downturn  Edward_Luce  Joel_Osteen  leaps_of_faith  mega-churches  pastors  positive_thinking  prosperity_gospel  religion  the_American_Dream  self-belief  tithing 
april 2019 by jerryking
Marginal gains matter but gamechangers transform
25 March/26 March 2017 | FT | by Tim Harford.

In the hunt for productivity, the revolutionary long shot is worth the cost and risk.

.............................As Olympic athletes have shown, marginal improvements accumulated over time can deliver world-beating performance,” said Andrew Haldane in a speech on Monday, which is quite true. Mr Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist
........The marginal gains philosophy tries to turn innovation into a predictable process: tweak your activities, gather data, embrace what works and repeat.......As Mr Haldane says, marginal improvements can add up.

But can they add up to productivity gains for the economy as a whole? The question matters. There is no economic topic more important than productivity, which in the long run determines whether living standards surge or stagnate.
........
The idea that developed economies can A/B test their way back to brisk productivity growth is a seductive one.

An alternative view is that what’s really lacking is a different kind of innovation: the long shot. Unlike marginal gains, long shots usually fail, but can pay off spectacularly enough to overlook 100 failures.
.....
These two types of innovation complement each other. Long shot innovations open up new territories; marginal improvements colonise them. The 1870s saw revolutionary breakthroughs in electricity generation and distribution but the dynamo didn’t make much impact on productivity until the 1920s. To take advantage of electric motors, manufacturers needed to rework production lines, redesign factories and retrain workers. Without these marginal improvements the technological breakthrough was of little use.
....Yet two questions remain. One is why so many businesses lag far behind the frontier. .......The culprit may be a lack of competition: vigorous competition tends to raise management quality by spurring improvements and by punishing incompetents with bankruptcy. ....
But the second question is why productivity growth has been so disappointing. A/B testing has never been easier or more fashionable, after all. The obvious answer is that the long shots matter, too.
.....In a data-driven world, it’s easy to fall back on a strategy of looking for marginal gains alone, avoiding the risky, unquantifiable research (jk: leaps of faith). Over time, the marginal gains will surely materialise. I’m not so sure that the long shots will take care of themselves.
adaptability  breakthroughs  compounded  economics  game_changers  incrementalism  innovation  leaps_of_faith  marginal_improvements  moonshots  nudge  organizational_change  organizational_improvements  organizational_structure  power_generation  production_lines  productivity  productivity_payoffs  slight_edge  taxonomy  thinking_big  Tim_Harford 
march 2017 by jerryking
Lawrence H. Summers: ‘There are many ways of burdening our future’ - The Globe and Mail
RUDYARD GRIFFITHS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 20 2015

Lawrence Summers: confidence is the cheapest form of stimulus.

If a young person asked you, ‘How do I thrive in a low-growth economy?’ what would your advice be?

It’s never been more important to be comfortable with technology, to be well-educated, to not just know things, but know how to learn, and develop a set of distinctive skills that employers can value. For people who are able to do those things, the combination of technology and global markets will make this a moment of immense opportunity........There are many ways of burdening the future. One is to borrow money – though, given how low interest rates are, those burdens aren't that great. Another is to defer maintenance. Those costs accumulate at a much greater rate, and that's why I think infrastructure investment is so very important. Another way to burden future generations is to scrimp on education. Another way is to fail to invest in basic scientific research. Another way is to saddle them with huge pension liabilities for those who are working, serving the public today. We are doing all those things.
Rudyard_Griffiths  America_in_Decline?  growth  economy  technology  automation  deferred_maintenance  downward_mobility  infrastructure  skills  advice  new_graduates  economic_stagnation  the_Great_Decoupling  low_growth  slow_growth  confidence  economic_stimulus  leaps_of_faith  Larry_Summers 
march 2015 by jerryking
Irrational Act
02.14.05 | Forbes | Rich Karlgaard.

Few can can explain why capitalism works. Economists, trapped in the closed loop of supply and demand, can only make a dismal pseudo-scientific hash of it. Out in the real world people are inspired by ideas. Some are even willing to suffer irrational odds in an effort to turn their ideas into innovations. Most fail, but even the failures add to our knowledge. The pursuit of innovation by entrepreneurs willing to give before they get creates discontinuities that shatter the predictable loop of supply and demand. Entropy and monopoly alike are defeated by innovation. That is how capitalism works. It starts with an irrational act of giving.

Why does tithing work? Nobody knows. Only that it does for many.
in_the_real_world  Rich_Karlgaard  capitalism  tithing  discontinuities  innovation  irrationality  leaps_of_faith  ideas  economic_dynamism  economists  ideaviruses 
august 2012 by jerryking
Go Ahead, Take a Risk
June 22, 2004 | WSJ | By ADRIAN SLYWOTSKY

What are the risks you should be taking but aren't? Most managers treat risk as an unwanted byproduct of the business. They think narrowly of financial, operating, and hazard risks, such as currency fluctuations, employee fraud, and earthquakes. And they defend themselves through practices like hedging, internal controls, and insurance.

But disruptive strategic risks can be a much larger source of value destruction for a firm. I looked back to the bull market of the 1990s to analyze movements of the Fortune 1000 stocks; even then, before the market collapsed, 10% of stocks lost over one-quarter of their value in a single month, primarily because of strategic-risk events.

The most successful companies do not try to simply minimize strategic risk; they embrace such risk by making prudent bets in their growth-oriented strategies. Strategic risks include not just the obvious, high-probability events that a new ad campaign or new product launch will fail, but other less-obvious risks as well: Customers' priorities will change quickly -- as when baby-boomer parents quickly migrated from station wagons to minivans, catching most automakers off guard. New technology will overtake your product -- as mobile telephony has stolen market share from fixed-line voice. A one-of-a-kind competitor will render your business model obsolete -- as the Wal-Mart tidal wave has washed over mid-range department stores.

Although insurance and hedging can't address strategic risks, there are an array of countermeasures that can, including these three:
1) Smart sequencing for new growth initiatives. Look for incumbents that are moving deliberately, leveraging existing assets and customer relationships to gain the experience, knowledge, and reputation necessary to take the next step with confidence.
2) Proprietary information to reduce the risk of each new initiative. Gather and generate proprietary information that produces a depth of insight into the customer's needs and activities that traditional suppliers cannot match. This will make you a supplier of choice, reducing bidding volatility and allow you to plan with greater certainty.
3) Double betting to minimize the risk of obsolescence. When several versions of a new technology are competing to become the standard, it's impossible to predict which will prevail. So smart managers make double bets. Betting on both Windows and OS/2 positioned Microsoft to be the winner, regardless of which operating system prevailed.

Traditional risk management seeks to contain losses. But that's just one-half of the growth equation. By embracing strategic risk, Cardinal, JCI, and other risk-savvy companies have raised their growth potential in addition to reducing their economic volatility. That's important at a time when aggregate market growth is sluggish: The biggest risk of all is not to take the right growth risks for the business.
leaps_of_faith  Adrian_J._Slywotzky  risk-taking  proprietary  sequencing  scuttlebutt  information  growth  strategic_thinking  Mercer  Oliver_Wyman  product_launches  nonpublic  low_growth  slow_growth  insights  customer_insights  value_destruction  disruption  insurance  new_products  obsolescence  countermeasures  volatility  customer_risk  one-of-a-kind  hedging  overly_cautious  risk-aversion  de-risking  double_betting  risk-management  bull_markets  customer_relationships  dark_data  risk-savvy  internal_controls  financial_risk  risks 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Superball Economy - WSJ.com
March 3, 2003 | WSJ | By ANDY KESSLER.

Design is cheaper. If you look closely, Silicon Valley has very few manufacturers left. Chips are made in Taiwan, boards assembled in China or Thailand. We are now a Valley of designers. And there are lots of programmers and chip-heads and communications protocol folks walking the streets willing to work for much cheaper than three years ago. Office space is plentiful. Word has it there is space available for 50 cents per square foot per month, down from $12.

Bandwidth is cheaper. Global Crossing spent $12 billion on undersea fiber optics that someone is going to buy for $250 million. WorldCom and others have strung the U.S. with more fiber than in Frosted Mini-Wheats. And it won't be just for phone calls. Find companies that use that cheap bandwidth, and you'll find the boom.

Video is cheaper. Napster music sharing was child's play compared to what is next. Hours of video can be captured, stored and shared with today's cheap PCs and broadband lines. Jack Valenti, call your office.

Wireless data is cheaper. The Federal Communications Commission set aside frequencies for hospitals and microwave ovens that might interfere with phones or radar. This Industrial, Scientific and Medical block of spectrum is known as the junk band. While stupid telecom companies overbid for spectrum for third generation 3G cell phone devices, clever engineers figured out how to hop around the junk band -- letting out-of-work programmers surf job listings at Starbucks. Intel is putting these radios in many of their chips.

Distributed computing is cheaper. Google uses 12,000 cheap PCs to log the Internet so you can look up your neighbor and figure out how much she makes. Even distributed programming is cheaper. Microsoft's biggest problem is far-flung programmers creating operating systems like Linux at home in their pajamas. Bill Gates is reportedly all over the Valley asking for help to combat this "Open Source" nuisance.

About the only thing not cheap is capital. Venture capitalists are stingy, the IPO window is closed, and stocks are at four-year lows. Hmmm. Forget that last boom, it's ancient history. Look for new products not possible or too expensive three years ago. Slam down your new Superballs and be ready.
Andy_Kessler  Silicon_Valley  economic_downturn  protocols  recessions  optimism  design  bandwidth  open_source  new_products  distributed_computing  venture_capital  IPOs  inexpensive  cheap_revolution  abundance  economic_dynamism  leaps_of_faith  FCC  overpaid  wireless_spectrum 
may 2012 by jerryking
Charles Schwab: Every Job Requires an Entrepreneur - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 28, 2011 | WSJ | By CHARLES R. SCHWAB. Every Job Requires an Entrepreneur
Someone took risks to start every business—whether Ford, Google or your local dry cleaner.

What's the potential power of the entrepreneur's simple leap of faith? The success of a single business has a significant payoff for the economy. Looking back over the 25 years since our company went public, Schwab has collectively generated $68 billion in revenue and $11 billion in earnings. We've paid $28 billion in compensation and benefits, created more than 50,000 jobs, and paid more than $6 billion in aggregate taxes. In addition to the current value of our company, we've returned billions of dollars in the form of dividends and stock buybacks to shareholders, including unions, pension funds and mom-and-pop investors.

The wealth created for our shareholders—a great many of them average Schwab employees—has been used to reinvest in existing and new businesses and has funded a myriad of philanthropic activities. We've also spent billions buying services and products from other companies in a diverse set of industries, from technology to communications to real estate to professional services, thereby helping our suppliers create businesses and jobs.
entrepreneurship  risk-taking  editorials  entrepreneur  government  policy  regulation  job_creation  Charles_Schwab  large_payoffs  mom-and-pop  leaps_of_faith  wealth_creation 
september 2011 by jerryking
To fix the economy, tell the right stories
May 14, 2009 | Globe and Mail | by ROBERT SHILLER

World confidence can return if the population's thinking co-ordinates
around some inspiring story beyond that of the price increases
themselves. In Shiller's book with George Akerlof, Animal Spirits, they
describe the ups and downs of a macroeconomy as being substantially
driven by stories. Such narratives, especially those fuelled by
accessible human-interest stories, are the thought viruses whose
contagion drives the economy. The contagion rate of stories depends on
their relation to feedback, but plausible stories have to be there in
the first place. The narratives have substantial persistence in that
they affect our views.
storytelling  economic_downturn  ideas  Communicating_&_Connecting  jck  Robert_Shiller  economics  confidence  macroeconomics  inspiration  ideaviruses  contagions  narratives  economic_dynamism  leaps_of_faith 
may 2009 by jerryking
Calculated Leaps of Faith - Associations Now Magazine - Publications and Resources - ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership
October 2006 | ASSOCIATIONS NOW | By: Angela Hickman Brady

An organization's capacity for risk taking may determine whether it
succeeds or fails. Part game of chance, part discipline, the willingness
to shake off the status quo can change your association for the better.
innovation  change  strategy  business  associations  CARP  leaps_of_faith  planning  organizational_capacity  risk-taking 
may 2009 by jerryking

related tags

abundance  adaptability  Adrian_J._Slywotzky  advice  America_in_Decline?  Andy_Kessler  associations  automation  bandwidth  blue-collar  books  breakthroughs  bull_markets  business  capitalism  CARP  change  Charles_Schwab  cheap_revolution  Christianity  churches  Communicating_&_Connecting  compounded  confidence  contagions  countermeasures  customer_insights  customer_relationships  customer_risk  dark_data  de-risking  deferred_maintenance  design  discontinuities  disruption  distributed_computing  Donald_Trump  double_betting  downward_mobility  economics  economic_downturn  economic_dynamism  economic_stagnation  economic_stimulus  economists  economy  editorials  Edward_Luce  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  FCC  financial_risk  game_changers  government  growth  hedging  ideas  ideaviruses  incrementalism  inexpensive  information  infrastructure  innovation  insights  inspiration  insurance  internal_controls  in_the_real_world  IPOs  irrationality  jck  job_creation  Joel_Osteen  large_payoffs  Larry_Summers  leaps_of_faith  low_growth  macroeconomics  marginal_improvements  mega-churches  Mercer  mom-and-pop  moonshots  narratives  new_graduates  new_products  nonpublic  nudge  obsolescence  Oliver_Wyman  one-of-a-kind  open_source  optimism  organizational_capacity  organizational_change  organizational_improvements  organizational_structure  overly_cautious  overpaid  pastors  planning  policy  positive_thinking  power_generation  production_lines  productivity  productivity_payoffs  product_launches  proprietary  prosperity_gospel  protocols  recessions  regulation  religion  Rich_Karlgaard  risk-aversion  risk-management  risk-savvy  risk-taking  risks  Robert_Shiller  Rudyard_Griffiths  scuttlebutt  self-belief  sequencing  Silicon_Valley  skills  slight_edge  slow_growth  storytelling  strategic_thinking  strategy  taxonomy  technology  the_American_Dream  the_Great_Decoupling  thinking_big  Tim_Harford  tithing  value_destruction  venture_capital  volatility  wealth_creation  wireless_spectrum 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: