Afternoon, November 29.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Afternoon, November 29.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
The real question is how to press the deal on two peoples, each so divided that there are really (at least) four peoples--about which more in future posts from Jerusalem. By the way, an elaborated version of last week's post on the auto industry can be read in today's Washington Post's Outlook section.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
THE KEY TO making all manufacturing profitable these days is lowering transaction costs for any particular product development program. Look at Sony or Samsung or Apple or Honda. You want to have the capacity to experiment often, design for many niche customers, and hold on for the grand-slam. You don't want that much riding on each try: you want (if you'll pardon another sports metaphor) to transform your manufacturing processes from football into basketball, that is, create the capacity to go the basket many times a game, not work your way to the end-zone only a few times a game.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Racism, it is true, did not confound the choice, as some predicted it would. But racism has not confounded mainstream admiration for The Cosby Show or Orprah or Tiger Woods--and hasn't for some time. Most of the 46% who voted for John McCain feel deeply anxious about a world in transition, where erudition, open-mindedness and intellectual discipline matter more and more, and their own sheer willingness to labor hard matters less and less. I bet they are more skittish about Obama's supremely elegant mind, his worldliness, than his dark skin; more drawn to the repudiation of "elitism" than to the rejection of "welfare."
Hillary (of all people) tried to unleash anti-intellectual, etc., demons and failed. It was she, remember, who tried to tell us that Obama's sincere compassion for people who, with their world collapsing, cling to God and guns, was a form of betrayal. Anyway, that McCain and his "strategists" failed, too, in spite of economic collapse, a failing war, and a sensational press, is a testament to Obama's steadiness and America's common sense.
Under similar circumstances, not so long ago, some European democracies turned to fascism--something Sarah Palin embodies, but doesn't begin to understand (though she can no doubt see the Wasilla library from her home). Her crypto-fascism is about all that's left to the Republican Party just now. It is also a relief that our kids--who get it, and get Obama, by a 2 to 1 margin--will slowly take command.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Even people in their 90s greeted us with the moral equivalent of a high-five. Nobody asked for help to the polls, or needed to know where they were voting. The last time I sensed anything like this level of enthusiasm for an election was when Pierre Trudeau swept into office in Canada in 1968.
There are some obvious reasons for this. Bush. The economy, or at least the television version of it, since the worst effects have not yet been felt. The war. The pundits (who shouldn't be the only ones to have some fun). But I think there is something else. The candidate.
John Kenneth Galbraith once said that political revolutions come when someone kicks through a rotting door. It has been a year since we've started hearing that Obama lacked kick, that he was "O'bambi," too likely to be swift-boated in a non-bean-bag world, too much Kumbaya. Who would have thought that so many people in New Hampshire, for God's sake, could get such a kick out of tact and integrity.
My daughter (who is 25) came home with me moved. "You can't imagine what this means to me," she said, "after thinking my generation was utterly without political passion." I answered: "You can't imagine what this means to me, someone who wept all night when Martin Luther King was shot, and then stayed up numb when Bobby Kennedy was shot." "You win," she said.