THE BRYCE IS RIGHT!

Software for the finest computer – the Mind

  • Tim’s YouTube Channel

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,150 other followers


  • "BRYCE's UNCOMMON SENSE SERIES"
    4 New Printed Books & eBooks from Tim on:
    Change/Technology, Management, Politics, and the American Scene
    Click HERE.

  • Categories

  • Fan Page

  • Since 1971:
    "Software for the finest computer - The Mind"

    Follow me on Twitter: @timbryce

    hit counter

     

  • Subscribe

Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT AMERICA

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 10, 2018

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– What most of us already know, but don’t want to admit.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

As you get older, you discover there are fewer shades of gray in life. As you gain experience, you tend to see things more in terms of black-and-white. You now possess an appreciation of what works and what doesn’t, which is why people ask for your advice. Some would say you become less tolerant of others but the truth is you’ve simply been down that road before and don’t want to revisit it. From this, you learn the subtle truths of how the world works.

The United States is a beautiful concept; the land of opportunity founded as a Constitutional Republic. I have been fortunate to see many different systems around the world, but I believe we have it better than just about everyone else. However, we are not without faults, ugly truths about who we are and how we operate. It’s what makes us tick and provides insight into the American psyche.

What follows is what I refer to as the ugly truth of America; things we all know are true but don’t want to admit. Consequently, we have learned to accept them and adapted our lives accordingly.

1. Yes, Americans are not really happy with their lives. I tend to believe this is caused by the tension we are under, both financially and politically. Norway is considered the happiest country on the planet. The USA isn’t even in the Top 10; currently we are at #14, having dropped one point from 2016. Americans seem to be most happy when they score a personal victory, not necessarily as a team. For example, an individual will relish a job promotion even if the company is struggling to survive. Strange. As an aside, I didn’t see too many smiles during the recent holidays. Shoppers all seemed to be resigned to their fate and wore sour pusses on their faces. If you happen to greet someone pleasantly they typically look at you suspiciously.

2. Yes, there is a privileged class in America. As much as we would like to believe the law serves everyone equally, this is simply not true. Money and celebrity buys influence in this country and puts people above the law, if for no other reason they can purchase the finest legal minds in the country. Rarely are such people jailed. This also means America is a politically charged nation where advancement is based not necessarily on performance, but who you know and how you know them. We see this in companies, both commercial and nonprofit, as well as in government.

3. Yes, America embraces a drug culture. The country recently recognized opioid drugs as bad, but we somehow see no connection to marijuana. The reality is, America wants to remain high all the time and, as such, is the #1 consumer of drugs. To prove it, see how far you get trying to recall legislation regarding recreational or medicinal marijuana in this country.

4. Yes, Americans are addicted to technology. Even though it stunts our maturation process and empathy for others, our sense of humor and communication skills, and our ability to socialize, Americans cannot live without their personal technology. Then again, neither can most of the world.

5. Yes, Americans are historically ignorant. When you compare the USA to other countries, Americans are grossly in the dark regarding the past. This leads to misunderstandings regarding the principles of government (the Electoral College is an excellent example), and dooms us to commit prior mistakes repetitiously. It’s interesting, in an age where technology affords us 24/7 news and info, most millennials are ignorant of our past and how their country works. As the famed American historian David McCullough observed, “We are raising a generation that is historically illiterate and have a very sketchy, thin knowledge of the system on which our entire civilization is based on. It is regrettable and dangerous.”

6. Yes, the American public is sheeple. Most use limited brainpower in their daily affairs and, as such, are weak willed and can be easily manipulated by the media. This is likely related to their addiction to drugs and technology. Due to changing values, Americans today lack common sense. They do not want to know the truth, preferring instead only the news and information corresponding to their way of thinking. This is to be expected as the media is unable to offer the American people factual news, only spin.

7. Yes, the system is fixed. Donald Trump hit a hot button when he first brought this subject up in the 2016 election, but it is found not just in politics, but in just about everything else; e.g., job progression in companies and nonprofits. This explains why there are so many suck-ups in the land. Americans have been taught to lie and cheat at all costs to attain goals. Instead of living in a “win-win” environment whereby both parties can achieve prosperity together, we now live in an age of “win-lose” meaning we can only win at the cost of the other party losing.

8. Yes, Americans are reactionaries, not pro-active planners. We prefer allowing our opponents to knock us down before we are stirred to action. There are many examples to illustrate the point, e.g., Hurricane Katrina, Pearl Harbor, 911, the USS Maine, etc. This is a severe weakness we possess, something the rest of the world is cognizant of.

9. Yes, programmers control everything, be it our televisions, automobiles, communication devices, business equipment, etc. But know this, programmers will only do what is best for them, not the end-user. What is intuitive to the programmer is not so for the rest of us. Most useful tools are designed by accident, not on purpose. As such, they control the mindware of the public.

10. Yes, most Americans do not know how to drive. The USA is #1 in terms of automobile accidents, head-and-shoulders above everyone else. Because of self-absorption, we are preoccupied doing everything else other than driving cars in an alert manner; e.g., People texting and talking on the phone, eating, doing drugs or drinking, applying makeup, etc. Electric cars will likely cure this over time, another sign we are losing our freedom and independence.

11. Yes, American morality is in decline, representing a sign of decay to our culture. For example, loyalty is in decline and can be purchased by the highest bidder. Interest in organized religion and patriotism are also in decline. We also tend to lack empathy for others and consequently are self-absorbed. Our sense of right-and-wrong is split along political ideologies, thereby denoting the true division in the country.

One thing we are not is a nation of racists. We are a melting pot of people living in a highly competitive society. I cannot think of another country with as many different types of cultures, a true heterogeneous society where each group tries to outperform the others. Some respond positively to competition, others do not. I do not believe we are devoid of racism completely, it is inevitable in a mixed racial society, but there are probably more racists outside of the United States today than there are inside. I find the use of the “racist” label in America today is more of a diversionary tactic for political purposes as opposed to possessing any true substance.

Some will say America is a land where you cannot win. This is simply not true as the Constitution was deliberately designed to provide the individual with certain unalienable rights, particularly opportunity, yet there are no guarantees for success. This is the bedrock of capitalism.

Some will also accuse me of being a pessimist in my assessment of the United States, but I am not, as Twain would suggest, I am an optimist who hasn’t arrived yet.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  CRAFTSMANSHIP: THE MEANING OF LIFE – It is universally applicable to any line of work.

LAST TIME:  INDIVIDUALISM VS. TEAMWORK  – “There is more to building a team than buying new uniforms.” – Bryce’s Law

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Advertisements

Posted in Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

THE AMERICAN CULTURAL REVOLUTION OF 2017

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 27, 2017

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– It wasn’t Trump, it was our changing values.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

As 2017 comes to an end, the country still finds itself in the grips of political polarization, perhaps more so than under President Barack Obama. However, is this truly caused by politics, or is it cultural in nature? I tend to believe it is the latter and not the former. Allow me to explain…

Comparisons of today to the ideological differences leading up to the Civil War are uncanny. The rhetoric was highly visceral for several years prior to the start of the war. The founding fathers realized a confrontation over slavery was inevitable even when the Declaration of Independence was signed. Wrangling over the issue went on for years, until the South finally broke away from the Union. This conflict was ultimately cultural in nature; whereas the North saw slavery along the lines of the immortal declaration, “All men are created equal,” the South perceived it as an issue pertaining to property. The two perspectives were simply incompatible and could not be peacefully resolved.

Today, we suffer from two distinctly different interpretations of America, a liberal or “progressive” perspective touted by the Democrats, and a more conservative version as expressed by the Republicans. So how did we find our way here, and is President Donald Trump truly to blame?

Prior to Trump, the Democrats held both the Congress and the Presidency. During this time, they pressed a social agenda highlighted by the iconic Obamacare which was implemented without any thought of Republican input. Had health care been implemented properly, such as through the development of a feasibility study, both sides would have supplied input and we might have had something we all would have been proud of. Of course, this never happened as the administration jammed it through Congress, thereby creating a split between legislators and the executive branch. More importantly, this split ultimately cost Democrats control over both chambers of the Congress.

The president, unable to overcome differences with the Republicans, implemented a series of executive orders aimed at forging a new social doctrine. These were only temporary as a succeeding president could easily undo them, as Mr. Trump has demonstrated.

So many liberal programs were enacted by Mr. Obama, the thinking and morality of the country began to change. To demonstrate, this past May, the Gallup organization reported on the changes in attitudes in their annual report on morality stating, “Americans continue to express an increasingly liberal outlook on what is morally acceptable, as their views on 10 of 19 moral issues that Gallup measures are the most left-leaning or permissive they have been to date.” This is significant as it demonstrates the country’s conflicting values.

This change in the American personality, along with a lethargic economy, did not sit well with middle class Americans, nor did the perception the Capitol is being run by professional politicians and the press. Consequently, Donald Trump was swept into office in 2016, much to the surprise of Democrats and the media. From this perspective, just as Jimmy Carter begat Ronald Reagan as president in 1980, Barack Obama begat Donald Trump.

The fact an outsider such as Mr. Trump was elected president, someone perceived as the political opposite of an insider like Hillary Clinton, was unbearable to the Democratic psyche. Consequently, the Democrats portrayed him as evil and incompetent, and pledged to “resist” the new President. Whereas most presidents are afforded a grace period at the start of their term, this was not the case with Mr. Trump. The Democrats held up approval of cabinet and judicial appointments, fought passage of tax reform and repeal of Obamacare, and tried to embarrass the president at every opportunity, even going so far as to call for his impeachment and describing him as “mentally unfit.” They implemented a full-court press whereby if he said “black,” they would say “white” and vice versa. Recognizing this, the Republicans excluded the Democrats from major legislation, just as the Democrats did to the Republicans during the passage of Obamacare. This action should not be construed as justifiable, as much as it demonstrates the intense distrust between the two sides.

In the private sector, liberals became organized and launched several marches and protests in defiance of Mr. Trump, many suggesting violence, as was evidenced by the rise of Antifa, a group of self-proclaimed anarchists and communists. During this time, free-speech under the 1st Amendment came under fire, with the left trying to squelch a person’s right for discussing opposing views, particularly on college campuses.

The news media appears to have embraced the dogma of the left and attacks Mr. Trump unmercifully, right or wrong, over the slightest action or decision. Their message is clear, “The president is wrong,” a theme trumpeted over-and-over again on a daily basis. Not surprising, he is not afforded credit for anything positive he has done.

On the other hand, Donald Trump appears to be undeterred by his critics, both Democratic and the press, and takes pleasure in challenging them. By doing so, he has assumed an unanticipated offensive posture in dealing with them, something he is openly lauded for by his supporters. This is in sharp contrast to previous Republican presidents who assumed a defensive posture. His defiance further enrages the liberals who, in turn, contends the administration is corrupt and insists on investigations which, to date, have produced nothing of substance.

What we have witnessed thus far, is not so much political as it is a cultural revolution. During the Obama years, the left made several in-roads in line with their ideology. Now that the right is in charge, they are undoing much of Mr. Obama’s policies and implementing new programs in line with the ideology of the right. To many, this is seen as a “righting of the ship.” Regardless, the country has two distinctly different and incompatible interpretations of the American dream, and the days of finding moderate solutions are long gone.

The difference between the two are numerous and include everything from the size and control of government, the rights of the individual, adherence to the Constitution, different interpretations of right and wrong, to socioeconomic policies (e.g., Socialism vs. Capitalism). They simply possess two separate and incompatible agendas, and this will continue until one side or the other is broken, which implies a vicious political campaign in 2018. The Democrats are cognizant of the fact their future is in doubt should they lose in the mid-term elections. This explains why they desperately resist Mr. Trump and the Republicans.

A strong “anti” reaction is commonplace whenever a new system is introduced. Even Machiavelli in 1513 observed (in “The Prince”), “It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones.”

Should President Trump be successful in his initiatives during his first term, he will easily be elected to a second. However, by doing so, it spells the end of the liberal agenda as we know it today and the Democrats will need to redefine their policies and priorities or face extinction. There are some Democratic congressmen who already recognize this and are awaiting for the grip of the liberal left, which controls the party, to loosen.

As long as we have two distinctly separate and incompatible interpretations of America, we will either continue to suffer from gridlock in our Capitol or experience violent confrontations. It is inevitable. However, the silent majority of Americans will not accept revolution and prefer leaving the basic tenets of the country alone and seek prosperity through opportunity and work. They want to return to what they perceive as “normalcy” in the country.

True, 2017 will be remembered as the first year of the Trump administration, but it should be more aptly defined as the beginning of the cultural revolution in the United States.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

LAST TIME:  2017 YEAR-END WRAP-UP  – Sounds like an innocent question, but do we have a consensus understanding?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics, Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

GETTING NASTY

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 10, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Do nice guys always finish last? Well, ah…

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Something I find interesting in our society is our predisposition for being rude and offensive. About a year ago I saw a high school graduation ceremony at a football field where the parents were outright obnoxious. Instead of quietly sitting in the stands and offering polite applause at appropriate moments, it was a ruckus affair where parents pushed and shoved, shouted and whistled at their kids, some even stepped over the lines and on to the field reserved for the students so they could take a picture of their offspring, something they could have done afterwards. When they were asked by the police to step off the field and go back to their seats in the stands, they ignored them and even told them to mind their own business. It was quite ugly. So much so, this year the high school sent forms to the parents stipulating the decorum they must follow. Further, the forms had to be signed by the parents and if they violated the agreement, the student’s diploma would not be presented that day. I found this a bit mind boggling. Usually, it is the students that are asked to behave properly, not the parents, but I guess the times have changed.

It wasn’t always like this of course. People practiced common courtesy, such as holding doors open for others, letting people speak, displaying good manners, dressing for the occasion, etc. Acting obnoxiously was generally frowned upon, but now it seems to be commonplace. In fact, it appears to be the expected form of conduct. Let me give you an example.

Recently, I noticed a problem with the invoice from my Internet Service Provider (ISP). I discovered we were getting double-billed on a couple of items and charged for a particular service we no longer used. When it was first brought to my attention I sent a note to my ISP representative politely asking them to correct the problem. I did this twice as I didn’t receive a reply the first time. After a few weeks, I decided to check my account on-line and lo and behold I discovered nothing had changed. Frankly, I blew a fuse. Instead of exchanging additional pleasantries, I penned a threatening e-mail to the ISP warning them to either fix the problem or we would take our business elsewhere (the actual e-mail was obviously worded more strongly). Basically, I had to lose my cool and get nasty with them. Remarkably, the problem was suddenly rectified within a few scant minutes of threatening the ISP by e-mail. The speed by which this occurred caused me to wonder why. Surely I had articulated the problem clearly in my earlier correspondence to them, a rather professional note, at least so I thought, but they didn’t act on it. Instead, they acted on an obnoxious threat.

It seems odd the only way you get action anymore is by becoming nasty with people as opposed to being courteous. Maybe the problem is that people have all learned “the squeaky wheel gets the oil,” that the only way to get action is to push your way on to the field, regardless of who gets in your way. Otherwise, you are ignored and taken for granted.

I am certainly not suggesting we should all become more crass than we already are, but it is important to recognize there will be instances where it will be necessary to become nasty, particularly when you are being ignored. There certainly is still room for civility in society, but I fear there is a general inclination to think and practice “me first” as opposed to patiently cooperating.

Somehow I am reminded of Mark Twain’s observations on how man socializes with others:

“Man is a reasoning animal, such as they claim, though I believe that’s open to dispute. I’ve been studying this ‘reasoning animal’ for years now and I find the results to be humiliating. Well for example I experimented with a cat and a dog. Taught them to be friends and put them in a cage. I introduced a rabbit and in an hour they were friends. Then I added a fox, a goose, a squirrel, some doves, a kangaroo, and finally a monkey. They lived together in peace. Well next I captured an Irish Catholic and put him in a cage and just as soon as he seemed tame I added a Presbyterian, then a Turk from Constantinople, a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas, a Buddhist from China, and finally a Salvation Army colonel. Why when I went back there wasn’t a single specimen alive.”

Maybe society hasn’t actually changed too much since Twain’s time.

As an epilogue, this year’s High School graduation ceremonies at the football field were washed out at the last minute by rain. Instead of waiting for the rain to subside, school administrators decided it would be safer to postpone the ceremony until the following day where it would be held indoors. This didn’t sit well with the parents who blasted the principal with irate e-mails and telephone calls. Instead of a little patience and cooperation for the purpose of safety, the parents became upset simply because they were “inconvenienced.” Maybe we should have taken these parents and put them in a cage as Twain suggests. I wonder if any would survive.

First published: June 25, 2012

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  PRODUCING NEWSLETTERS: BEWARE OF THE BIRDCAGE – Writing newsletters that will be read as opposed to discarded.

LAST TIME:  WHAT DOES A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION MEAN?  – A Trump card for the President.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHERE HAVE ALL THE WRISTWATCHES GONE?

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 16, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– They are slowly disappearing.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

My wristwatch recently broke and I had it taken in for repair. At first I kind of felt like a dog who had lost his collar, like an important part of me was missing. After awhile though, I got used to it and felt somewhat unshackled. I think the last time I was without a watch was back when I was in high school. Surprisingly, I discovered I didn’t miss the watch that much and may go on without wearing one. I have no problem knowing the time as I can find it just about everywhere, including my PC, in my automobiles, on television and radio, and general wall clocks. Cell phones and other personal electronic devices also maintain the time. So much so that young people imbued with the new technologies are less likely to wear a watch than their elders.

One of the reasons we wear wristwatches is as a status symbol, a sort of “coming of age” thing and is an expression of our personality. Gaudy and gold watches are worn by wannabe power brokers. Sleek watches are worn by people who want to appear hip and contemporary. The super-gadget watches are worn by the techno-geeks, and the basic sports watches are worn by the jocks and naturalists.

As watch wearing declines, watch makers are scrambling to make new models that will appeal to the younger generation and include such things as temperature readings, GPS, Internet access, multimedia or whatever. In a way, it will be reminiscent of Dick Tracy’s 2-Way Wrist Radio/TV.

However, I think the days of wristwatches as a status symbol are winding down. Young people do not seem to look upon the prestige of watches like my generation did or my predecessors. Basically, the watch has been replaced by the smart phone with its many different features, everything from simple phones to sophisticated devices that can be used for just about anything, e.g., camera, recording device, radio/television, dictation machine, etc. As for me, I’m waiting for a model that comes with either an electric razor or a phaser.

I see many friends and business contacts constantly trying to do one-upmanship over their smart phones. This doesn’t impress me, but then again neither did an expensive watch. Nonetheless, the transfer of status from watches to cell phones is a phenomenon that should not go unnoticed, as it is marking the end of an era, the start of another, and a change in our culture.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  GETTING BURNED – Some people have to learn the hard way.

LAST TIME:  POLITICS AT THE DINNER TABLE  – Do we use this as an opportunity to reason and discuss?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

 

Posted in Life, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

IS AMERICA ON THE BRINK OF FALLING APART?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 17, 2016

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– A comparison between the 1960’s and the 2010’s.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

The recent shootings in Dallas and Minneapolis, along with the resulting protests and police assassinations, makes us wonder if America is spinning out of control. Racial disparity is the highest it has been since the 1960’s when our cities burned and people died. If the 60’s taught us anything, violence can easily erupt despite the best intentions for peaceful and nonviolent protests.

Today, we live in a land of political correctness where it is acceptable to say “Black Lives Matter,” but not “White Lives Matter” or “Blue” or any other color. We also seem to conveniently overlook the fact whites are killed more than blacks by the police by a wide margin of 2:1. Maybe this is because our president is African-American and insists on such correctness.

According to Gallup, our morality is steadily declining. To illustrate:

* Many years ago, declaring bankruptcy was considered a disgrace, now it is commonplace and a convenient way to avoid paying your bills. Over the last 100 years, bankruptcy in the United States has slowly climbed. It began to accelerate in 1980, when there were less than 500K filings, and skyrocketed to its height of +2M in 2005. True, bankruptcy will affect your credit and future ability to use money, but it has become the escape hatch of choice for people inundated with loans or bills. Declaring bankruptcy may get you out of the hole, but it certainly will not help your creditors.

* Divorce was considered scandalous for many years. Attitudes change though and the 1970’s marked the decade where the divorce rate began to skyrocket.

* Pregnancies out of wedlock were also considered a family disgrace. Since the 1960’s though, it has steadily increased. For example, in 1980 18.4% of all births in the United States were to unmarried women; in 2007 the rate was nearly 40%.

* Premarital sex, which was long considered a taboo, accelerated dramatically in the 1960’s, from 22% to 74% in 1991.

* Being unemployed was considered a black mark against a person, particularly if you were fired. Not so anymore, primarily due to the financial instability of our economy.

* It used to be, the very idea of accepting charity from anyone was considered an embarrassment. Not so anymore. Today, over 100 million people accept federally funded welfare.

* Female-headed households has grown considerably since 1960 at about 8% of households to 23% by 2000.

* Whereas attending church was considered a natural part of life years ago, attendance has steadily declined since the 1960’s.

So, what caused these changes? During the 1960’s, it was a revolt of the attitudes and values of our parents. Likewise, in the 2010’s, the Millennials are trying desperately to distance themselves from the Baby Boomers, including lifestyles, work habits, and politics. For example, the Millennials now embrace extreme sports and high living, and consider the rise of Craft Breweries versus traditional American beers. They also despise micromanagement and want to be more entrepreneurial. As to politics, they avoid capitalism and embrace socialism, probably because they do not understand the difference between the two. Rational political dialogue is replaced by visceral shouting.

During the 1960’s, places like Chicago, Watts, Newark, and Selma became icons of disturbance in our country. Likewise, in the 2010’s, it is Ferguson, Baltimore, Dallas, Minneapolis, New York, Atlanta, and Oakland.

The 1960’s was a decade where a counterculture of drugs emerged; where people like Timothy Leary encouraged young people to “turn on, tune in, drop out,” and people like Dr. Benjamin Spock encouraged parents to give their children more freedom and independence as opposed to discipline and teamwork. It was a decade where our music changed, and the words accompanying it reflected the mood of the young people, of protest and social change. And thanks to the space race of the 1960’s, our technology changed in leaps and bounds, and the electronic media became a dominating influence in our society. Likewise, the 2010’s saw the rise of drugs, particularly heroin, significant changes in music, and a growing addiction to technology.

In both decades, parental attitudes and values were challenged and a new libertine era of permissiveness was born. We have lost respect for our government, our institutions such as schools, churches, the rule of law, and the concepts of conformity and teamwork. Although we didn’t realize it at the time, we tried to reinvent America with youthful exuberance. However, as long as we remain governed by the U.S. Constitution, the ship will somehow right itself.

Evidently, this is something we must suffer through every fifty years. The next revolution should take place in the 2060’s, assuming the country hasn’t been overthrown by then.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  LEAVE IT TO THE COPS – Is law enforcement being overwhelmed with responsibilities?

LAST TIME:  ARE GOVERNMENT WORKERS ENGAGED?  – And what is it costing the taxpayers?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

THE FAMILY DOCTOR

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 3, 2016

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– A dying breed.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

My family recently suffered through a major medical emergency. My hat goes off to the paramedics who arrived in the nick of time and saved my family member’s life. They were a Godsend as were the emergency room staff at the hospital. It was certainly an enlightening experience for me to watch them work. I am very grateful.

My family member was placed in an Intensive Care Unit for five days. As I sat there, I felt I was in a mini-Mission Control room with beeps, buzzes and pings emanating from respirators, cardiac monitors, and basic life monitoring equipment. Yes, I felt like saying, “Houston, we have a problem.”

I was also charged with producing identification and insurance cards to be inputted into the administrative systems of the hospital. This went way beyond name, rank, and serial number, to a plethora of health questions.

As a systems man, I was impressed by the technology the nursing staff and administrators had to use, but beyond this, the most valuable asset we had at our disposal was our family doctor who appeared promptly at the hospital and carefully guided us through some major decisions.

We have known our family doctor for over thirty years, a good man who has a warm manner about him in treating his patients. He is empathetic, knowledgeable, a good bedside manner, and possesses vast experience. More than this, he has the ability to step back and look at a problem objectively, as opposed to acting on impulse. He’s a dedicated professional with talents no machine can match.

I understand there is a new on-line video app which you can download to your smart phone allowing you to speak face-to-face with a physician. The millennials may gravitate to this, but I certainly will not. There is something to be said about a kind word, a gentle touch, and a sense of humor to help ease the pain. It’s called “personal medicine,” something we have been moving away from in this country due to our technology addiction.

I’m not sure how much longer our family doctor will be practicing medicine. He finds himself harassed by an overbearing government bureaucracy involving countless rules and regulations distracting him from caring for his patients. Every year, more and more doctors are taking early retirement as opposed to putting up with such nonsense. I cannot help but believe this is an attempt to push socialized medicine down our throats. This results in such things as the app I mentioned where you can talk to “Bob” located somewhere in Asia.

Medical care will be more sterile and less personal without the family doctor. The government may not appreciate him, but I, for one, certainly do.

Thank you David.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WORKING WITH MILLENNIALS – An interesting study managers should read.

LAST TIME:  DO WE REALLY NEED TO UNIFY?  – Is it really necessary for Trump to unify the GOP?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Doctors, Society | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A NEW WAR BETWEEN THE STATES?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 11, 2016

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– It’s already here and New York cast the first shot in the LGBT debate.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Trouble is brewing between Republican and Democratic governed states. It started recently when North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) signed into law a bill barring transgender individuals from the use of restrooms of their personal choosing, not their proper gender. It also prohibits municipalities from extending such options to LGBT citizens (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender).

This created a stir among Democratic governors who looked upon this act as discrimination. In response, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D) penned the first executive order banning all non-essential travel to North Carolina by state employees until they lift the law. This was quickly followed by other governors and mayors. As of this writing, it includes:

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D)
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D)
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (D)
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D)
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D)

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D)
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D)
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D)
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D)
West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio (D)

By issuing such orders, these officials are interfering with the affairs of another state.

Further, because of the North Carolina bill, PayPal has suspended plans to open a new operations center in Charlotte for 400 workers. The NBA is also threatening to move next year’s All-Star game from Charlotte if this matter isn’t reversed.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D), who is openly bisexual, denounced North Carolina’s policy but refused to issue a travel ban, fearing repercussions. This was actually a shrewd move on her part as North Carolina may very well fight back. There are several things they can do in retaliation, such as:

* Banning non-essential travel to the opposing cities and states.

* Hindering travel from these states and cities. Imagine what life would be like along the east coast should the Interstates be closed, or stopping cars and trucks from the opposing states and forcing them to produce identification and other records.

* Opposing commerce, such as banning the purchase of goods from these locales which could start a trade war.

And it could get even uglier after that.

The differences between North Carolina and these other states are substantial. Perhaps the most noticeable difference is North Carolina is a “right to work” state, the others are not. Not surprising, North Carolina’s economy is on the upswing, while others such as New York and Connecticut are steadily losing people and businesses due to their exorbitant tax structure.

Let’s take it a step further. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) also recently signed into law a bill similar to North Carolina’s. This quickly resulted in travel bans by most of the same states and cities opposing the Tar Heel State. Interestingly, Mississippi is also a “right to work” state that is growing economically.

In Georgia, another “right to work” state, its legislature will likely override their governor’s veto and approve a bill to give faith-based organizations the right to deny services and jobs to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has already said he would institute a travel ban to Georgia if this comes about. The others will likely follow suit.

Other “right to work” states, particularly in the South, will probably follow North Carolina’s, Mississippi’s and Georgia’s lead with similar legislation. More travel bans will likely ensue, and retaliatory actions will undoubtedly follow.

So, are we nearing another Civil War? Let’s certainly hope not. However, the more states issue such legislation, the louder we will hear from the Democratic controlled states voicing their disapproval. The point is, do they have the right to interfere in the laws and policies of other states? Of course not. They may not like it, and can voice their displeasure, as Oregon Governor Kate Brown did, but trying to provoke another state through orders and decrees is only going to accelerate the tensions between the states and the parties.

In hindsight, a lot of this could be avoided if North Carolina installed some strategically placed porta-pottys, which are neutral when it comes to sexual orientation.

The scary part though is the analogy between this conflict and the first Civil War is uncanny. Whereas the north and south fought over the freedom of slaves, now it is about LGBT rights.

I hope cooler heads will prevail, and the Democrats lift their bans before this goes any further. I understand they want to pacify certain constituents in their states and cities, but this is a matter for the citizens of North Carolina, Mississippi, and Georgia to tend to, not the other states. Frankly, it is none of their business.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  A NEW WAR BETWEEN THE STATES? – It’s already here and New York cast the first shot in the LGBT debate.

LAST TIME:  THE TIN HORN COMPLEX  – A term to characterize the micromanager.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Politics, Society | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE DUMBING DOWN OF MEN

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 29, 2016

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– But what purpose does it serve?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

My wife recently made the observation men are being portrayed as idiots on television, a phenomenon that seems to be occurring more and more. I hadn’t considered it before, but I believe she is right. I think both television and movies are depicting men as fools and Neanderthals.

You see this in several television ads, particularly in the insurance field, such as the wife in the “Jake from State Farm” ad who falsely accuses the husband of having a relationship with another woman.

In other State Farm ads, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has to deal with an obnoxious cheesehead fan obsessed with “Discount Double Check.” He also consoles an NFL referee who had made some unfortunate comments while his mic was left on during a game.

State Farm is not alone. Liberty Mutual features a couple where the wife corrects the husband. Also, Flo from Progressive Insurance often corrects incompetent men.

I know this is all meant to be humorous, but you’ll notice women are never characterized in this manner. No, it’s men, be it black or white. This is happening so frequently, you cannot help but believe it is premeditated, that someone has an agenda to emasculate men. Maybe it’s spearheaded by angry feminists who want to be in charge of the world.

Back when I was in college and studying Radio-TV, we learned nothing appears in an ad by accident, everything is done for a specific purpose, either to attract more viewers or send a subliminal message. To illustrate, there was the old Ajax ad featuring a white knight on horseback shooting his lance at people with the jingle “stronger than dirt.” The ad series was finally pulled from the air when people discovered the lance was a phallic symbol. There was also the “Honeycomb Kid” who was allegedly driving “6 white horses”; in reality, there were only four horses which the kids were quick to point out to their parents (and increase sales). So, everything has a purpose in advertising, there are no accidents, and quite often, its more than just selling a product or service.

Humor is one thing, devising a subliminal message is quite another. Thanks to Hollywood, what we are witnessing today is the dumbing down of men in America. Gee, this couldn’t possibly be related to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president, could it? Hmm…

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  APPRECIATING SALESMANSHIP – How the little guys can win the business away from the mega stores.

LAST TIME:  WATCHING THE CLOCK  – Do we watch the clock or the work product we’re producing?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life, Society | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WHEN THE OLD SURPASSES THE NEW

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 19, 2016

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– What does this say about our culture?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

“Chart Attack,” an on-line publication monitoring the entertainment industry, recently reported on a Nielson survey revealing old music is outselling new music for the first time in history.

The survey revealed “Current” music (new), was outsold by “Catalog” sales (albums released more than 18 months ago).

Current – 118.5M
Catalog – 122.8M
Source: Nielson

This includes physical albums (CD’s and vinyl), and digital tracks. The one exception was digital albums where “Current” sales squeaked by “Catalog.” Remarkably, the sale of vinyl records experienced a 52% increase in 2015. Once considered a dead music venue, vinyl is developing a cult following which explains its resurgence. To illustrate, Nielsen reported Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” vinyl album sold 50,000 copies in 2015.

The big question is, Why? I believe it has less to do with vinyl records and more to do with a change in our culture. I suspect a new form of music is in the offing, as Hip Hop (rap) may have run its course and youngsters are becoming more cognizant of quality music. In a way, it is reminiscent of the cultural change in the late 1940s and early 1950s when Rock and Roll supplanted Big Band music at the top of the charts.

Another indicator of the change in our culture is the rise of nostalgia television. On January 1st, Antenna TV began running reruns of “The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.” Likewise, Sony’s GetTV began showing reruns of “The Merv Griffin Show,” as well as the “Decades” network featuring the old Dick Cavett show. If they ever bring back the old Joey Bishop show from ABC or Mike Douglas, I will start to wonder what decade we’re living in. I believe these networks are tapping into the viewer loyalty of old shows the way Turner Classic Movies (TCM) created a venue for older films.

I also suspect nostalgia TV is doing well with the Baby Boomers who cannot relate to today’s version of late nite television, finding the humor sophomoric and too political for their liking. So much so, they do not even find it worthwhile to DVR. But Carson and the others, that’s another story. If these old talk shows start pulling viewers away from the new shows, as in the case of the music poll, some network heads will likely roll and the late nite talk show will have to be reinvented.

Another reason for the rise of the older music and talk shows is a longing for normalcy, particularly by the Baby Boomer generation who cannot relate to today’s music, television or movies. And by ignoring the latest in entertainment, a schism grows between the generations.

Technology, war and political unrest are normally recognized as causes for social change, but our technology is stagnating and we are relatively at peace, not counting the Middle East, so the reason must lie elsewhere. Perhaps it is nothing more than content or the lack thereof, or youth no longer wants to buy what the media moguls sell.

One thing is clear, if these trends persist, where we embrace the old versus the new, something has to change in our culture. It is inevitable.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WASTING TIME WITH MY CREDIT CARD COMPANY – Actually, the programmers are at fault.

LAST TIME:  TRUMP’S “CRIPPLED AMERICA” GIVES INSIGHT INTO HOW HE THINKS  – A book review of Mr. Trump’s latest work.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life, Society | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

WORKING FOR GOONS

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 17, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– Making the work environment unbearable.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

One of the reasons Scott Adams’ cartoon, “Dilbert,” is so successful is because it hits close to home in depicting office life. Corporate management is one of Adams’ favorite targets in which they are shown as bumbling idiots. They are very determined in controlling all activities of the business. Their approach is predictably wrong, and they embrace every management fad that comes along. Because of their strong sense of authority and control, perhaps “goons” is a more appropriate label. This is essentially no different than Hitler’s goon squads during World War II where they harassed people, and practiced thuggery to implement the Führer’s policies. Under this approach, management’s policies are implemented top-down with no bottom-up input being tolerated.

Earlier this year, I wrote a column entitled, “Beware of the MBA’s,” whereby I made the observation today’s management tends to manage people more from a numbers point of view as opposed to a results perspective and their ability to work with others. I recently saw this first hand in a company with a national chain of outlets for manufacturing products. After several years at the helm, the founder and president stepped aside and retired. Shortly thereafter, the board of directors appointed a new CEO, someone with experience in the company but who was much younger and ambitious. The first thing he did was replace all of the regional sales managers with younger people (late twenties), and office managers in their early twenties. The more experienced sales and office managers were demoted and pushed aside. Instead of sales volume, the sales force was managed by a series of spreadsheets which considered the number of sales calls made, both in person and on the telephone. Instead of worrying about customer care and satisfaction, the numbers were of paramount importance. To make matters worse, whereas salesmen had previously been managed by the local sales manager, who was there to review their progress and solve their problems, the sales force now reported to a goon squad of regional sales managers, who were located out of state, and local office managers who acted as the eyes and ears of the regional managers.

This resulted in a serious morale problem. Since people were managed primarily by numbers, they became apathetic in the company’s business. They quickly realized concepts such as customer service and quality assurance were considered passé. They also knew they could easily outfox the young office managers who lacked experience. Over time, the office units started to experience delays in shipments to customers, lost revenue, sloppy inventory, and a general disregard for the company overall. Since they realized fighting the goon squad was futile, they undermined the company instead. Conditions became so bad, the employees began to resign, the key ones first (sales and customer service), then the clerical workers. Today, approximately 40% of the people in the local office have resigned and moved on. At first, the goon squad believed it would be easy to find replacements, but after realizing what the corporate culture entailed, the company can only afford mediocre workers. Maybe that is how management wants it.

Businesses certainly do not have a monopoly on goon squads. Nonprofit organizations typically have more than commercial enterprises. When the goons have captured the leadership of such groups, they recruit assistants and deputies not because they are intelligent or hard workers, but because they know how to follow orders with gusto, regardless if they know them to be harmful.

To the goons, it is not about offering inspired leadership, it is all about maintaining control over the organization and stifling resistance. It is no small wonder we live in an age of autocratic rule (Theory X). Goon squads are not interested in listening to the input of the workers. You either play ball or be prepared to be turned out. Such a management philosophy is dangerous in my opinion. It means spreadsheets take precedence over customer service, sales calls over sales volume, and in the case of nonprofits, suffocating rules over flourishing membership.

I am certainly not suggesting all companies operate in this fashion, but the reality is Scott Adams has a lot of material to work with for a long time. If we cannot relate to it, it wouldn’t exist. Unfortunately, goon squads are very much alive and well in this country.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO UNIVAC? – Why it is necessary to learn industrial history.

LAST TIME:  GANG MARKINGS

  – Gangs exist because parents fail.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Business, Management, Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
%d bloggers like this: