Posts Tagged “social media”

The Need for Government to be Run More Like a Business

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img_6361By Larry Oscar
Government vs. private business.  I often hear people talking about how divided our country is today.  Many seem to be shocked at the fact that we don’t all think and believe alike. They act as though this nation has always been a party of 1960s flower children dancing in the daisies.  Maybe it’s because people tend to live in their own little world.

Years ago we didn’t have the instant social media and communications that we have today.  Decades ago we had fewer news reporters and even fewer commentators.  It’s important for all of us to remember that the news media is a business.  And as a business there is intense competition between the news organizations for the almighty advertising dollar.  The news media would like for us to think that they are some noble profession that is looking out for us and has the utmost concern for our welfare.

It may come as a shock to some of you, but nothing could be further from the truth.  Journalists are not some noble crusaders here to expose the evil in our society and save the world.  Far from it. Having attended a university with journalism majors I can assure you that journalism has flaws just like any other profession.

For one thing journalists are not very good at rational cognitive thought processes.  That is why they are typically not very good at math.  They posses and overabundance of emotion, and they can quickly be drawn into a situation where emotions run high and reason follows very slowly behind.  When you couple that with the competitive nature of the news business and throw in large amounts of money you have a recipe for journalistic disaster.

The result is what we find ourselves in today.  The news media and the reporting of events simply cannot be trusted for absolute truth anymore.  We are in a world where “fake news” is the norm and one has to work to uncover the truth.

Government, by its nature, should have everyone skeptical of its motivation.  The saying “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” is a long standing joke that unfortunately says a lot about our government today.  Business and government run very differently.  Governments should run more like a business and indeed governments will be forced too.  As government over spends, which is the nature of all governments, it will be forced to change as sources of funds are depleted.

It has happened in every society throughout history.  There are those among us that think that businesses are “brutal” and corporations are evil.  This mentality is very close to what we see from the media today.  They have a fundamental misunderstanding of life.

Recently we observed the President fire the Director of the FBI James Comey.  The media and the left wing lost it.  They ranted and demanded to know why Comey was fired.  The truth is business runs very different from government.  In business you are not guaranteed a job for life.  Your job security depends on how well your boss likes the job you are doing and your boss can fire you without giving you a single reason.

Take a look at what happened to Tony Romo the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Believe it or not professional football is a business.  It’s a big business.  And Tony Romo didn’t do anything wrong.  He lost his job simply because the management of the Dallas Cowboys thought that somebody else could do Tony Romo’s job better.  Can you imagine if these government workers were treated like Tony Romo?  After all they think they have a right to their job and nobody can fire them without a good cause.  And in some cases not even then.

What would our government schools be like if you could fire a math teacher simply because the management found somebody who could teach math better? It is not wrong to fire someone and replace them with a better employee. That is called improving your business, and if our government schools worked to improve their business we wouldn’t have such a poor quality school system today.

The media and many in government jobs need a good dose of the realities of capitalism.  Nobody has a right to their job.  You are in a position of employment at the discretion of the management. You had better work to the best of your ability or you may just find yourself being replaced and looking for work with Tony Romo.

There are some new sheriffs turning up in the halls of government these days.  The government workers should be treated just like the rest of us who pay their salary.  They are not anything special. It’s only fair.  There is however a bright side to journalism majors.  All of the girls in school that were majoring in journalism were good in bed…so I’m told!

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Adapting to Change or be Left Behind

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IMG_6364By Larry Oscar

Nothing like a good reality check I always say.  Especially in the times we live in today.

Reality is something humans have a hard time coping with.  Probably because we have a strong belief or emotional desire in what the outcome of something should be.  Then when the outcome is something different we get all upset and unhinged. People who suffer from delusional disorder have a hard time dealing with reality in this regard. I know this very well.

My family has struggled with this for decades.  Life is best enjoyed when you don’t expect a particular outcome of events, but rather just sit back and observe what happens and then connect the dots as to its cause.  A  case in point is what is happening on the world political stage.  We are witnessing a time in human history when several change agents are working together at the same time on human society.  With just one change agent you can have a better chance of predicting the outcome, but when two or more are working at the same time it becomes almost impossible to predict, with any accuracy, the eventual outcome.

The world stage is currently set for a storm of change agents to take effect.  The rise of all types of social media in recent years has been a very powerful change agent we have yet to see the results of.  It’s affect on the media has sent shock waves through all the world’s journalists.  In fact, social media may just make journalists a thing of the past.

With the rise of social media and the internet, journalists are becoming irrelevant.  After all social media has made everybody a journalist.  We no longer need for a journalists to act as a middle man and report what someone said or what event may have happened.  With social media we get it straight from the horses mouth.  No journalistic comments are required or even welcomed. We are now in a position of having to make up our own mind.  And that is scary for people who run on a high level of emotion. They are used to someone telling them how to think.

With this change currently taking place in society we are witnessing a major transformation in communications happening at breakneck speed right before our very eyes.  Over 40 years ago I began my career working with computer technology.  It was a rather wild ride.  If you think dealing with change is hard, just try working with a technology that changes every six months.  You have to embrace rapid change in the high tech business, or you are out of business just as rapidly as the changes occur.  Another change agent working it’s magic today is the rapid increase in the prosperity of societies.

It was just a few decades ago that most of the world’s population was struggling to feed itself.  There was no room for luxuries such as cell phones, automobiles, or airplane travel.  Today most of the world has ready access to all of these.  And air travel today can exceed 100,000 flights per day.  With all of this rapid travel and instant communications you will find one of societies major institutions having a very hard time keeping up.  And that would be governments.

We are placing demands on governments they were never designed to cope with.  Almost all governments are slow to change and slow to institute changes by design.  In the past we could have expected governments to make changes over a several year time span.  Today we are expecting governmental changes to be made in weeks or months at the latest.  This has thrown the political class into a tailspin. After all, they like to play politics.

And if you solve problems quickly they no longer have a political football to kick around.  One of the best examples of this is the great wall that President Trump wants to build on the Mexico border.  Oh my, if you are a liberal what a terrible thing.  This just goes against “our values” cries old Chuckles the clown. Really, did they forget that a senator from New York named Hillary Clinton proposed just such a wall back in 2006?

And guess who voted for it?  You got it, old Chuckles Schumer himself.  Check it out….

The bottom line here is that change is coming whether we like it or not.  You can get onboard the boat, or you can sit back and be left on the dock.  The choice is yours.

(Larry Oscar is a graduate from the University of Tulsa and holds a degree in electrical engineering. He is retired and lives with his wife on a lake in Oklahoma where he brews his own beer, sails, and is a member of numerous clubs and organizations.)

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