Saturday, August 31, 2019
ANALYSIS The five partners i. e. Rabie, Harary, Varadi, Michelle and Austin form what we call a team. A team is Ã¢â¬Å"a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common objective and are accountable to one another. Ã¢â¬ This common purpose was to make Ã¢â¬ËEarth BuddiesÃ¢â¬â¢ and the company a success. The Five-Stage Model can be used to describe the standard sequence of stages that groups go through. These are forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning.However, for the five partners, performing will be the last stage for development as it is a permanent workgroup. Once these stages are achieved, the team learns to resolve conflicts and develop norms which enable them to perform. Because of the teamÃ¢â¬â¢s ability to resolve conflicts in friendly ways and perform, they made Ã¢â¬ËEarth BuddiesÃ¢â¬â¢ a huge success in a relatively short span. Each individual had their role. The roles were both task-oriented (initiating, clarifying, providing info and opinions) and maintenance roles (harmonizing, compromising, encouraging).When balanced well, these two roles contribute to effective team functioning. When meetings took place between the five partners, these two roles were playing a significant part. This helped them to stay focused towards the objectives and also resolve conflicts if any. Motivation and leadership have also played a vital role in the success of the product. Production grew to 17,000 buddies a day from 5,000 buddies. The goal was to achieve 16,000 to meet K MartÃ¢â¬â¢s order. The executive team worked well with the employees and motivated them to work towards the common goal.
Friday, August 30, 2019
How does Mr. HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s history with suppliers relate to HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s current supply management strategy? HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s current supply management strategy is consistent with Mr. HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s history. There three factors about HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s supply management strategy, focus on local market, emphasis on competition and reliable suppliers. According to the HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s export strategy of Ã¢â¬Å"Honda and U.S. Ã¢â¬â Japan Automotive TradeÃ¢â¬ (1997), it is clearly that Honda focuses on regional markets which contributes to developing more sales, strong research and better development. And their strategy of manufacturing the products where or near to where they are sold is the result of their being local strategy. Additionally, focus on local market benefits not only Honda but also the local government. Taking the US market as an example, on one hand, Ã¢â¬Å"HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s commitment to global trade and the positive benefits that result for U.S. jobs, suppliers, consumers and exports.Ã¢â¬ On the other hand, when the government benefits from Honda, it is easier for Honda to develop in the future. The other one is that Honda always emphasizes the competition of globalization. And during the intense competition, finding reliable suppliers to ensure and advance the quality of production is very important. Being globalization is the corollary goal if one company wants to make more benefit. And reliable suppliers are of great significance for company. This is the foundation of being on time as well as having good quality. Furthermore, HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s suppliers are able to be involved in the development process to give suggestion and have negotiation with Honda. In this way, Honda has access to know how to make it better and faster. Why is purchasing so important at Honda? Purchasing is important to Honda because of its strategy to be globalization. As Honda is a transnational corporation, it is very important to know the different policy, culture and environment in different local places in order to producing saving, managing contracts effectively and maintaining productive supplier relationships. Effective supply chain management depends on material availability, purchase volume, product cost and types of materials. As there thousands of parts in a car, sometimes materials should be bought from all over the world to reduce cost. Purchasing ensures the lowest price with good quality. And with communication as well asÃ negotiation to the suppliers, it is possible to make all the products to be produced on time with lower cost which is very important. Additionally, purchasing takes what kind of contract is the best into consideration which contributes to managing contracts effectively. Due to the different environment in every location, an appropriate type of contract benefits Honda and suppliers at the same time. Furthermore, as mentioned above, Honda pays a lot attention to the relationship with suppliers. One of the important part of purchasing is negotiating with the suppliers. With good negotiation and communication, it not only increases the chance of getting better deal but also contributes to establishing positive relationship with suppliers. How does purchasing rank in the corporate structure at Honda? Purchasing ranks highly in the corporate structure at Honda. It is in charge of local purchasing which decides the local suppliers as well as the global source. Besides, it has the option of adding a second source of supply. How is Honda organized globally? How does this help/hinder the purchasing function at Honda? Honda has lead automotive exporter which increase the buying and selling power for Honda. Honda focus on the localization as well as globalization which neutralizes the effect of currency rate. However, it also causes some problems such as at the beginning it is hard to coordinate between the local and the global. But this problem has been solved when the international purchasing department strengthen its macro-control of the local and global purchasing. Honda is sensitive to international requirements which means it takes advantages as well as create opportunities with local government. Since 1986 the MOSS came out, Honda created thousands of job opportunities in US and in turn it gets a lot benefit. What are the key elements of HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s supplier evaluation policy? How does it differ from others (e.g. the Big Three)? Suppliers are able to be involved in the product development to some degree. Different from others which control everything during purchasing and the suppliers are just responsible for supplying products as what is in the contract, HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s suppliers are able to offer advice about enhancing the efficiency which facilitate the cooperation as well as the products. In other words, Honda and its suppliers are mutually-beneficial cooperation rather than Honda just relies on suppliers. Continuous development and responsiveness of suppliers at the early age of product development process is critically important. Ã¢ â¬Å"Honda tries toÃ encourage suppliersÃ¢â¬â¢ suggestions early before finalizing drawings, particularly in the area of cost reduction and quality improvement.Ã¢â¬ Honda always tries to maintain relationship with suppliers. It is hard to communicate effectively in HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s four trade zone but Honda always pays attention to it. As Mr. Morita says, Ã¢â¬Å"Honda places value on maintaining relationships, so we do not enter into them lightly.Ã¢â¬ Different from companies which focus on the immediate benefit of low cost rather than long-term benefits of maintaining relationship, Honda values suppliers and tries best to maintain good relationship with suppliers which turns out to be a very economical strategy. Because changing suppliers or having problems with current suppliers always takes a lot of time and money of fix it. What is HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s policy on new product development and supplier involvement? How does it differ from other automotive companies? HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s policy on new product development and supplier involvement includes two pars: Pacific Automotive Cooperative since 1986 and Re-assigned Pacific Automotive Cooperative since 1995. The former one was signed by Japanese and American government which required companies to report all of their import and localization volumes. The latter one consisted of 32 shareholders from joint venture composed of Japanese automakers which was established to meet political objecti ve for production in North America. Both of the policies emphasize on the involvement and cooperation of suppliers. Different from other automotive companies, suppliers of Honda have access to have knowledge of product development process and to offer suggestion which enhance the relationship between Honda and suppliers as well as promote the production efficiency. HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s culture have always emphasized globalization. Honda cultivated an international background at a very early age resulting in getting along with suppliers well. Conversely, Nissan and Toyota primarily exported vehicles, and did not develop this international culture. Does Honda support local sourcing from domestic suppliers? What are the advantages / disadvantages of this approach? Yes, Honda strongly supports local sourcing from domestic suppliers. Advantages: Firstly, it is easier for Honda to create and develop domestic market with domestic suppliers which understand customer culture and market better than Honda itself. Secondly, domestic suppliers decrease the cost of time andÃ money to distribute and produce. Thirdly, as there may be several domestic suppliers, so Honda has more options to choose the best one. And additionally,, domestic suppliers lower the risk of discontinuousness. Disadvantages: At the beginning of purchasing, domestic suppliers may be lacking in specific raw materials or components. And furthermore, how to adjust the domestic suppliers with global market is very important. HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s policy and commit to long-term relationships has been criticized as being Ã¢â¬Å"too loyalÃ¢â¬ , and Honda will go to Ã¢â¬Å"ridiculous lengthsÃ¢â¬ to maintain a supplier relationship before severing ties. What do you think about these criticisms? Although HondaÃ¢â¬â¢s policy is criticized, in my opinion, it is still of great significance. When choosing suppliers, quality of products they supply compared with the cost and delivery fee are the most important factors. If the suppliers were able to satisfy these requirements, there is no need to change suppliers. Additionally, Honda keeps increasing the relationship with suppliers by involving them into the product development process, which benefits both Honda and suppliers. Stable and long-term relationship doesnÃ¢â¬ â¢t equal ridiculous lengths. With efforts, it is one way to increase the quality of suppliers.
Thursday, August 29, 2019
Ã¢â¬Å"Oh,Ã¢â¬ I said lamely, stepping aside so that he could enter. Ã¢â¬Å"I thought you were someone else.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Someone in a velvet dress shrieking at the top of her lungs?Ã¢â¬ he asked. He moved past me in that graceful way of his, and I noticed he was careful to keep a healthy distance between us without being asked, as though he suspected my aversion to touch. Ã¢â¬Å"Something like that.Ã¢â¬ I shut the door. He shrugged and immediately found the room's wine. Ã¢â¬Å"She won't bother you anymore,Ã¢â¬ he said, pouring a cup. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm sending her away.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Yeah, she told me. You know, I feel kind of bad for her.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Stop,Ã¢â¬ he ordered. Ã¢â¬Å"She's none of your concern. She should have had no expectations about her relationship with me.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Yeah, well, she kind of did.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Again, one angry person is none of your concern-not with everything else going on.Ã¢â¬ I grimaced. Ã¢â¬Å"I suppose not, though it sure seems like a lot of people are angry at me-oh. God. I nearly forgot. Do you have Volusian?Ã¢â¬ Dorian was setting his sword and cloak down. He didn't look happy at the reference. Ã¢â¬Å"YesÃ¢â¬ ¦I enslaved him to me.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Can IÃ¢â¬ ¦can I have him back?Ã¢â¬ He eyed me. Ã¢â¬Å"Are you sure that's what you want? It'd be better if we banished him together.Ã¢â¬ I hesitated, recalling Volusian's hands on my throat and knowing what would happen if I ever lost control again. I wouldn't, though. I would stay strong, and I needed him for what was to come. Ã¢â¬Å"Yes,Ã¢â¬ I said firmly. Ã¢â¬Å"I want him back.Ã¢â¬ Dorian shrugged. Ã¢â¬Å"Then I'll summon him later. Let's not ruin the moment just yet. He's quite depressing, you know.Ã¢â¬ Dorian strolled toward the window and bent over, picking up the dress I'd dropped. Ã¢â¬Å"This is lovely.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I was going to put it on, butÃ¢â¬ ¦butÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ I swallowed and nodded toward the window. Ã¢â¬Å"There's a, um, army out there.Ã¢â¬ He neatly laid the dress on the chair and glanced out the window. Ã¢â¬Å"Yes. Yes, there is. Yours and mine. Well, part of them.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I can't believe this happened.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Hiding from them won't make them go away.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I kind of hoped it would.Ã¢â¬ He said nothing but gave me an expectant look. Something about it drew me out, and steeling myself up, I approached the window again, staring out at the wide, sandy stretch in the back of the castle. There were so many more than I'd expected-and this was only allegedly a portion of the soldiers that would be fighting Katrice. My small army in their mismatched attire stood in formation on one side. Dorian's Ã¢â¬Å"reservesÃ¢â¬ stood beside them, much more sharply dressed in deep green shirts under their leather armor and golden oak emblems. So manyÃ¢â¬ ¦and again, still not the whole force. More of his soldiers would join up, and then my numbers would grow when the call went out throughout the land when I went to Highmore-if I went there. Ã¢â¬Å"All of this,Ã¢â¬ I murmured, Ã¢â¬Å"all of this because of a chain of decisions. Me refusing Leith, him kidnapping me, youÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ I couldn't finish the words, but Dorian and I both knew what I'd been about to say. Ã¢â¬Å"Do you regret it?Ã¢â¬ he asked. Ã¢â¬Å"What I did?Ã¢â¬ He sounded as cool and confident as ever, but I could have sworn there was a tiny note of fear in his voice-fear that he'd done something I hadn't wanted. Kiyo's words about how I would regret all this came back to me, and I kept wondering if it was really worth it, all these men and women who might dieÃ¢â¬ ¦for what? For my honor? My revenge? I could still respond to Katrice's message, tell her I'd marry her nephew and make peaceÃ¢â¬ ¦. A knot formed in my stomach, and I knew that wasn't an option. I could never be with anyone in that family, not without thinking of Leith, of his hands and his body. I could never let her or anyone else think I or my people could be pushed around. After all, Leith hadn't just taken advantage of me. Those girls had suffered too. I was the protector of my people. I was the Thorn Queen and the Thorn Land both. An image of Dorian running his sword through Leith returned to my mind. Probably I should have found it gruesome. Instead, it brought meÃ¢â¬ ¦peace. Ã¢â¬Å"No.Ã¢â¬ I turned and looked straight into Dorian's eyes. Ã¢â¬Å"I don't regret it. IÃ¢â¬ ¦I'm glad you did it.Ã¢â¬ My voice wavered a little. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm so glad you did it.Ã¢â¬ His face transformed somewhat, filled with a type of wonder. I think he'd grown so accustomed to my usual style, my human way of being rational and mercifulÃ¢â¬ ¦Well, I think he'd been long bracing himself for my wrath. My earlier suspicion about the worry in his voice had been correct. He'd probably expected a reaction similar to when he'd given me the Thorn Land. The look on his face made me flustered and confused. I turned back to the window and admitted, Ã¢â¬Å"But IÃ¢â¬ ¦I'm scared. I don't want to wage a war. I certainly don't know how to.Ã¢â¬ Dorian came to stand beside me, still careful to maintain a buffer between us. Ã¢â¬Å"It's in your blood,Ã¢â¬ he said. Ã¢â¬Å"Storm King was the greatest tactician in centuries.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I'm not him. I don't want to be like him.Ã¢â¬ A nasty voice spoke in my head: But you called yourself Storm Queen, according to Kiyo. Ã¢â¬Å"You can inherit his genius without his cruelty,Ã¢â¬ said Dorian. Ã¢â¬Å"I suppose, but stillÃ¢â¬ ¦I still don't know what to do. Will you help me?Ã¢â¬ We turned to look at each other, and again, his face seemed to be lit from within. Ã¢â¬Å"Of course. You're not the only one Katrice is after. I'm the one who killed the poor bastard, remember?Ã¢â¬ The light faded from his face a bit at the reference to Leith. He leaned toward me, eyes intense. Ã¢â¬Å"I'd do it a thousand times over, if I could. War or not.Ã¢â¬ That earnestness in voice, that fierceness-it sent a shiver down my spine. Ã¢â¬Å"You only say that because we haven't gone to war yet. You don't know what's going to happen.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Ah, Eugenie. I know. We will be victorious, you and me. We're the strongest monarchs in this world. Katrice knows this but is blinded by her grief and rage. You and I will lead this army, and we will conquer the Rowan Land. We'll split it between us, adding on to our own kingdomsÃ¢â¬ ¦and from there, we can go anywhere. We could rule half this world together-all of this world-you and me. Kingdom after kingdom would fall to usÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ I stared him, almost caught up in his vision. The apprehension I'd been holding began to lift as I imagined us destroying her forces and me summoning up storms that made the world tremble. I laughed uneasily, alarmed at the way my thoughts had gone. Ã¢â¬Å"One kingdom's enough,Ã¢â¬ I said, the human part of me bringing me back to earth. Ã¢â¬Å"You say that now, but I tell you, it's in your blood.Ã¢â¬ He looked down at me intently, and those rapture-filled eyes seemed to be every shade of green and gold in the world. I fell into them. I felt beautiful in them. Like a goddess. Ã¢â¬Å"Eugenie, you're going to be a warrior queen the likes of which no one has ever seen. Your name will live on when Storm King's has faded to dust. You will lead your armies on-powerful, fearless, and beautiful. Katrice's Ã¢â¬Ëwar' is but a skirmish you'll stamp out underneath your boot.Ã¢â¬ I had a disorienting moment then, recalling a vision I'd had in the Underworld. My soul had been seeking Kiyo's, but it was Dorian I'd seen in a dream-like state, with the two of us standing on a cliff before armies, both of us radiant and majestic. There'd been a baby in my arms and a crown on my head. I'd never told anyone about that. It had been a test, not a vision of the future. Trying to keep things light with Dorian, I asked, Ã¢â¬Å"And where will you be in all of this? Somehow I don't think you'll be lurking in the shadows.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"My sweet Eugenie,Ã¢â¬ he said, back to his flippant, gallant self, Ã¢â¬Å"there you go, always suspecting ulterior motives.Ã¢â¬ He straightened up, affecting a dignified air. Ã¢â¬Å"I, of course, shall be by your side.Ã¢â¬ I laughed. Dorian would always be Dorian. Ã¢â¬Å"Sharing in that glory and power, no doubt.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"A little, certainly.Ã¢â¬ His mirth vanished, and he grew serious once more. Ã¢â¬Å"But also there to keep you safe. Whatever battles you engage in, whether you choose to conquer this world or simply go back to exorcising ghostsÃ¢â¬ ¦what happened with Leith will never, never happen again. Not while I live. I swear it. I will always keep you safe.Ã¢â¬ He moved forward but was still careful not to touch me. The vehemence in his voice was so strong, however, that it was practically tangible. Ã¢â¬Å"Always.Ã¢â¬ My smile was gone. I studied him for a long time and realized I believed him. Kiyo had failed me. Dorian would not. And I realized then that I'd been an idiot to keep trying to push Dorian away. Did I entirely trust his motives? No. I did trust him to protect me, though. I'd realized just before my capture that I loved both him and Kiyo, loved them just as my blood and soul were also split in two. The two halves of my nature would always war with each other. And right now, I didn't need the cautious human half that would rationally seek peace. I needed the part of me that wasn't afraid to unleash all the power I had, to charge forward with no restraints. I needed Dorian right now. It was his love that was going to allow me to be strong and unafraid of what was to come. Slowly, hesitantly, I reached out and caught hold of his hand. It was monumental. I think he knew it was, too. I hadn't been able to stand anyone except my mother touching me these last couple of weeks. I certainly hadn't been able to handle any man doing it. His eyes widened slightly at my contact, and I realized he was holding his breath, afraid for me. I held his hand, feeling its warmth and the long, smooth fingers. There was so much power in connecting with another person, in having physical closeness. With just as much care as I'd used to touch it, I moved his hand to rest on my hip and stepped forward. Dorian swallowed, and for the first time since I'd known him, he looked timid. Ã¢â¬Å"Eugenie-Ã¢â¬Å" I pressed a finger to his lips and then stood on tiptoe to kiss him. His mouth opened instantly to mine, warm and eager. I pushed myself closer to him, but when I put his other arm around me, he pulled back slightly. I could feel and see the desire all over him, but he shook his head. Ã¢â¬Å"No, noÃ¢â¬ ¦it's too soonÃ¢â¬ ¦.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I'm the one who says when it's too soon.Ã¢â¬ I kissed him again, harder, and was surprised at how quickly the lust burned through my body. Despite what I'd just said, I had believed until this moment that I would never want another man. But being near Dorian, feeling that electricity and power crackle between usÃ¢â¬ ¦it brought forth all the old desire I'd been fighting recently, the desire that had nearly made me give in to him in that little village, back when I'd still been committed to KiyoÃ¢â¬ ¦ But I had no such commitments now. He returned my kiss with equal intensity, his hands running along my hips. The passion was seizing him, he was starting to lose himself in it. Then, like before, some reasonable part of him slapped him to attention one more time. I think the world would have been shocked to know the Oak King had such a conscience. He broke away again, but this time, I didn't let him speak. Ã¢â¬Å"Do you want my most recent time to be with him?Ã¢â¬ I demanded. Ã¢â¬Å"Do you want Leith to be the memory I carry with me of the last time I had sex?Ã¢â¬ My fingers moved to the buttons of my short-sleeved cotton shirt and unfastened them all. Catching hold of his hands, I brought them toward my chest, spreading the shirt apart and making him touch my breasts. I'd gone braless today, and his hands felt warm where they stroked my bare skin. Ã¢â¬Å"Make this my memory,Ã¢â¬ I said huskily, with a bit more command in my voice than I'd intended. Ã¢â¬Å"Make it good. Make this be what I think of when I think of sex. Finish what you started that dayÃ¢â¬ ¦.Ã¢â¬ His hands no longer needed my urging. He cupped my breasts, fingers dancing around my nipples. At the same time, he pushed me toward the bed, laying me out on my back. His mouth crushed me with its kiss, and then his lips moved down my neck and to my breasts, taking one of my nipples in his mouth. He sucked gently at first, tongue darting back and forth, but then his lips grew more urgent. His teeth nipped at me while his hands deftly slid my jeans off. After they were on the floor, he sat up a moment, surveying me and all the bare skin before him. Not having him touch me was agony, and I reached up, unfastening the bejeweled belt and his pants. He backed off the bed, standing up so that he could push his pants down the rest of the way. His shirt came off next, and then he stood there naked before me for my inspection, the perfect, marble god he'd been once before. Looking over the leanness of his muscles, how strong and hard he was, I felt my own body respond urgently. I'd complained to Kiyo before about foreplay, but right now, I wanted none with Dorian-though I had no doubt he would have given me hours of it, armies be damned. Ã¢â¬Å"Don't wait,Ã¢â¬ I begged him as I pushed my panties down over my hips. Ã¢â¬Å"Don't wait.Ã¢â¬ He caught hold of the panties and pulled them the rest of the way. I thought he'd join me on the bed, but instead he remained standing. He caught hold of my ankles and pulled me toward him until my ass just rested on the bed's edge. Still holding my ankles, he brought my legs up so they were nearly straight in the air, almost leaning on his shoulders. Then he leaned forward and pushed into me, moaning at the warmth and wetness he found there. I threw my hands over my head, arching my body up and watching as he thrust back and forth. His eyes were on me too, taking in every part of me. There was something special about sex in the daylight, particularly with him standing over me like that so we could both fully see each other. There was no hiding. Everything was exposed. Vulnerable. It's easy to feel insecure in such moments, but I didn't, not with the way he looked at me, not with just lust-but with awe and adoration too. He buried himself in me over and over, hard and forceful without being painful. It was such a lifetime away from what had taken place at Art's house that I realized nothing there could even be considered sex. Having Dorian in me felt good and right. My body was brimming with need, and he felt like fire where he moved between my thighs. That heat intensified within me, and I felt a spark of aching pleasure grow stronger and stronger, fueled with each thrust. I cried out, feeling my body on the verge of orgasm, and when it came, it was like an explosion of me, of the worldÃ¢â¬ ¦pure ecstasy and elation bursting from between my thighs to the tips of my fingers and toes. He set my legs back flat on the bed and then lay on top of me, never breaking stride. If anything, he pumped more forcefully, nearing his own climax. That glorious hair rained down on my face, and I wrapped my arms around his neck, tangling my fingers in the silken strands. His own arms wrapped around my body, encircling me like a cocoon as his hips moved harder and harder. Then, he exclaimed loudly, words that had no real form, and pressed his face against my neck as he came, his body spilling into mine. I held him close as he breathed heavily against my neck, his heart racing. Minutes passed, and his body finally calmed, though I continued to hold him. Finally, without breaking from my embrace, he lifted his head and brushed the hair from my face. Ã¢â¬Å"I told you, Eugenie. I told you the world would be reborn when we were together. It will be reborn, and we will conquer it allÃ¢â¬ ¦.Ã¢â¬ I brushed his lips with my fingers. Ã¢â¬Å"Don't get carried away. We're just settling a grudge here.Ã¢â¬ The look in his eyes told me he believed a lot more would come of that, but he wisely said nothing. Rolling over, he settled beside me on the covers, and we both lay there, our fingers interlaced. Ã¢â¬Å"I suppose,Ã¢â¬ I said at last, Ã¢â¬Å"I should go talk to all those people out there, seeing as they're going to risk their lives for my honor.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"It's more than just your honor,Ã¢â¬ he said. Ã¢â¬Å"It's the land's too. You are the land, and when they see you, they will gladly fight for you.Ã¢â¬ I sat up, my eyes falling on the silk dress. Ã¢â¬Å"I guess I've got to play the part. Too bad there's no crown.Ã¢â¬ Dorian sat up as well. Ã¢â¬Å"Isn't there?Ã¢â¬ He walked over to the table he'd set his sword and cloak upon when entering. I'd been too distraught to notice at the time, but there was a small cloth-wrapped bundle there too. He brought it over to me, and I found myself holding my breath. I suddenly knew what it was, and I was afraid. Ã¢â¬Å"What's wrong?Ã¢â¬ he asked when he held it out to me and I didn't take it. Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬ ¦I had a dreamÃ¢â¬ ¦.Ã¢â¬ I couldn't explain that vision from the Underworld to him, that one where we'd stood on the hill together. When we had, I'd accepted Storm King's crown-or, well, a feminine version of it-and that's when I'd found myself looking down upon all those soldiers waiting to fight for me. Ã¢â¬Å"What kind of dream?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"It's hard to explain.Ã¢â¬ Not waiting for me, Dorian unwrapped the bundle himself. My heart lurched as I braced myself to see it again, an elaborate work of platinum, laden with diamonds and amethystsÃ¢â¬ ¦ But it wasn't. The crown he held was gold and very, very delicate. I hesitantly took it and studied the fine details of it. There were little roses etched into it-roses with lots of thorns. Tiny emeralds-nothing too overwhelming-were scattered amongst the golden leaves. It didn't resemble Storm King's crown at all. Ã¢â¬Å"This is Girard's work,Ã¢â¬ I said with certainty. Ã¢â¬Å"It is,Ã¢â¬ Dorian agreed, running a finger down my bare arm. He seemed relieved that I had taken the crown. Ã¢â¬Å"You aren't the only one who can commission projects.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"But he works for Katrice.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Not anymore. Remember that day you met him? I told you then he was an opportunist. He's rolled the dice and decided we're the side to align with-which, of course, we are. He'll come in very handy for weapons, I think.Ã¢â¬ My eyes were still on the crown and its beauty. I couldn't explain how relieved I was that it was nothing like the crown from the vision. Hesitantly, I lifted it and rested it on top of my head. I looked to Dorian for confirmation. Ã¢â¬Å"What do you think?Ã¢â¬ He smiled, reaching out to straighten it and arrange my hair slightly. Ã¢â¬Å"Go see for yourself.Ã¢â¬ Climbing out of bed, I walked over to the full-length mirror and surveyed myself. I was still naked, all that pale skin contrasting with the red of my hair and the glitter of the crown. My hair didn't have the blond that Jasmine's did, but it had the occasional gold highlight, and the crown made those locks gleam as they rested just past my shoulders. The emeralds were subtle, not gaudy, but vivid enough to further set off my hair and eyes. Ã¢â¬Å"So what do you think?Ã¢â¬ Dorian asked. I glanced over at him, still sprawled on the bed and watching me with amusement. I turned back to the mirror, studying my naked, crowned self. I smiled. Ã¢â¬Å"I think it looks good on me.Ã¢â¬
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society - Research Paper Example People of the yesteryears believed in completing their high school and attaining a mediocre degree to enter within the business and work domains. They did not focus much on gaining higher education which essentially meant that they missed out on exploring their strengths (Emiliani 2004). Since they did not quite know what they were good at, they felt they were behind the ones who had achieved success by being a part of the higher education settings. Thus the race set in for achieving better grades within the professional realms by taking admission in colleges and universities which imparted higher education to the students and professionals alike (Maletz 2012). As higher education became more and more developed with the passage of time, people started to realize that this was something that they should have discerned in the past. The ones who had missed out earlier came back to the universities and colleges, and restarted their journey to attain higher education. This was a positive move all the same and the ones who took higher education within their stride must be credited with sincere efforts on their part. Needless to suggest, the differences amongst middle management and specialists within any industry of the world is in terms of their higher education. This implies for the specialists to comprehend their work regimes better than the average middle manager within an organization, to quote as an example. It is correct that the specialists of today attain middle management roles yet remain just that Ã¢â¬â specialists. They are respected more for the uniqueness that they bring towards their professional domains, and are hailed openly by the people both in and out of an organizational environment. It is correct to say here that the specialists have that... This paper talks that it would be fair to suggest that higher education is a subject which must be analyzed upon in detail by the people. The role of the scholars, researchers and educationists is of utmost significance here, as they are the ones who mold people into having fair opinions regarding higher education. If these people dictate the essential role of higher education within the lives of the people, the individuals of the society would realize what they need to do and how to do it will be suggested by these learned men alone. People attaining higher education will multiply and thus exponentially increase, whereby new students would also get encouraged and go out there to attain higher education as well. The cost will therefore become a kind of revenue which will mean immense satisfaction for the people that live within any society of the world. This essay amkes a conclusion that the need of the hour is to bring about a collective good for the sake of the society and the individuals who live within it. It will take care of the gross irregularities that exist within this world and bring about a sense of sanity within the differing ranks that men and women undertake on a consistent basis. All said and done, this discussion has centered on the premise of bringing about wellness for the sake of the society by imparting higher education to its citizens. If these efforts continue, there will be avenues through which men and women shall achieve even more success in the coming times. The need is to understand how the initial step has to be taken, and then all other remaining ones would be crossed easily.
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
The Economic Considerations Of Information Security And Its Management - Essay Example However, the people who could care for a system were not the ones who suffered the costs of break down. This scenario can be explained with the help of some examples. Well structured billing-management features for the administrators who offered them, but were not so excellent at protecting customerÃ¢â¬â¢s privacy. For instance, automatic teller machines gone through under fraud in a lot of developed countries like the Netherlands and United Kingdom, where deprived rules and regulations left banks without enough encouragement to protect their information systems, and allowed them to pay the charges of fraud to their customers. In this scenario, the internet is acknowledged as an insecure medium due to the fact that its liability for attacks is so diffuse. In all of these cases, the technical considerations of security are less important than the economic considerations (Anderson & Schneier, 2008), (NIST, 2010) and (Anderson & Moore, 2007). In this scenario, to implement a solution to this problem there is need to think about following questions like Ã¢â¬Å"do we need to spend an adequate amount of funds keeping viruses, attacks and hackers out of our corporate computer systems? Or do we pay out too much for overall security management? Seeing that after the incident of 9/11, this kind of questions has gained a heightened significance. In this scenario, the economics can depict a lot of puzzling realities regarding internet security. For example, organizations implement email encryption and firewalls not due to the relative efficiency of these technologies, however due to the economic forces that force corporations to install these tools on their systems (Anderson & Schneier, 2008), (NIST, 2010) and (Anderson & Moore, 2007). At the present, organizations hardly ever make public information concerning interruptions due to the economic reasons in doing so. For instance, an un-protected operating system is an international standard, partially for the reason that its financial results are mostly shown not by the corporation that built the operating system, however by the clients who bought it and used it. Furthermore, a number of major controversial cyber-policy matters also exist between information security and economics (Anderson & Schneier, 2008), (NIST, 2010) and (Anderson & Moore, 2007). Economic theory forecasted that the worldwide recession will certainly augment the amount of cyber crimes as the financial recession deepens. There could be a lot of reasons of cyber crime such as an increase in security breaches and hit on more vulnerable and frantic people from those with cyber skills and cyber criminal position for desired income; and a reduced focus on investment in computer security as a result of fewer resources. According to the various researches, the assets of United States households have reduced up to approximately $1.4 trillion; consequently the whole sum of money available to steal has reduced. However, this connection and causation are tremendously hard to demonstrate conclusively. In this scenario, it could be concluded that the cyber crime has been growing at very high rate for the reason that there are less difficulties for the criminals to perform their activities and almost no risk of being trapped and accused. However, this is apart from of the circumstance of the global economy. Despite the fact that appearing at the difficulty of workers of the growing marketplaces, this can be concluded that the financial situation of these nations has been significantly condensed with less hope of development of their condition, cyber crime prospects and thus the number of workers will increase (Guerra, 2009) and (Schneier, 2006). Possibly,
Monday, August 26, 2019
Is Google Making the Digital Divide Worse Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words
Is Google Making the Digital Divide Worse - Essay Example Some sections of the population could not afford; thus, division into lines such as the Troost Avenue. Worse still, Google Fiber is making the divide worse as it continues to define the have and have notÃ¢â¬â¢s in the society. Even with campaigns and advertisements among the neighborhoods on Google Fiber, the community members realized that the major challenge was the cost of connection (Brick 3). It is worse than in Kansas City, there is no free or rather cheaper access to Wi-Fi like in Africa. It is not even clear whether Google has any plans to help the communities that are not able to access Fiber especially the poor households in Kansa City. One would argue that it is odd that the benefits of technology are known, but very little is done to support communities that do not have the ability to access the same (Brick 6). Though Google has offered to offer free services to different sites selected by the city, it is clear how this system will function as well as its long-term effe ct. Considering that different communities cannot access fiber, it is arguable that the system is not feasible. The digital divide can then be said to have profound roots that have perpetuated discrimination, differences in education and even access to capital and technology. The Google Fiber project is market-oriented and rarely helps the present community members especially the less fortunate members of the society. More commitment from Google may be instrumental in reducing the Digital Divide in the society today.
One person vs a group of people - Essay Example This case examines the Orpheus orchestra and the way that they run the orchestra. What makes they different from others is that they do not have a conductor that dictates the entire orchestra, rather, everyone has a say. The group started out with people who had gone to music school and coming out they decided that they were not willing to give up their musical creativity and always be under the leadership of another person. So they created this group and decided that every person would have a say in every piece of music that is to be performed. So we are talking 27 musicians who all are very opinionated and are all Ã¢â¬Å"strong-willedÃ¢â¬ putting their input into everything. So as one may put together, it was just too many opinions at one time. It took the group countless hours to rehearse all of the song with all of the suggestions that were made. So what they had decided to do was make core groups and depending on the song would depend on the group that would make suggestions and changes to how the song would be performed. They would also do the same with a concertmaster. Instead of the concertmaster acting like a conductor, they would be almost like a mediator. They would run the rehearsals and make sure that the rehearsals we productive and that the discussions didnÃ¢â¬â¢t get too out of hand and off track.
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Discuss the differences between a leader and a manger - Essay Example Ã¢â¬Å"While a manager receives their authority based on their role, a leader's authority is innate in their approachÃ¢â¬ (Coach4Growth, 2010). Managers adopt approaches like autocratic, democratic etc in their management styles in order to manage their duties successfully. On the other hand, leaders bank on their personal qualities and charisma to attract the followers. For example, Mahatma Gandhi influenced the followers because of his personal qualities and charisma rather than giving any stubborn instructions. It is difficult for the managers to influence the subordinates as Mahatma Gandhi did. Managers always interact with the subordinates with the help of instructions. Ã¢â¬Å"The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trustÃ¢â¬ (Leadership Vs. Management, 2000). The mission of leadership is all about making changes whereas the managerÃ¢â¬â¢s mission is all about bringing stability. The leaders will always look for long term goals whereas the managers are more fo cused on the short term goals (Leadership vs. Management, 2010). In other words, the leaders develop the ideas and strategies and the managers implement it. Managers do not want to think much about the long term aspects of a policy they are implementing. These policies are formulated by the leaders for achieving long term goals after careful evaluations. To conclude, both the management and leadership functions are extremely different.
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Unit ii assesment - Coursework Example ure of an organization starts with the founders of the company and thus it flows from management downwards and it becomes acquired by new people joining the company which forms a habit of the organization. Corporate culture can be subdivided into major constituencies such as the customers, investors, government and the community and methods of operation styles such as risk taking, innovation conservative among others. A good and healthy culture increases the productivity of a company but an unhealthy culture decreases the growth of a company. A company with a healthy culture makes the employee feel as part of the company, they work as a team to help in the overall success of the company. A successful company motivates their employees to increase their productivity and level commitment which improves the quality of their products and services while an unhealthy corporate culture makes their employees feel like individuals who tend to work for their paychecks and thus not go an extra mile this leads to the failure of goals attainment of the project. For a successful project to be achieved there is need for a clear explanation and sharing of the vision of the company to everyone in the company. Ã¢â¬Å"Let your vision for the company becomes their vision for the companyÃ¢â¬ (Malley, 2000). A well defined vision motivates the workers to understand their roles and what to do in order to help in the achievement of the set objectives or goals. But a poor defined vision or a company with no vision is reactive and will seldom lead to project failures. A corporate culture that values equality will lead to successful projects since all employees will be treated equally irrespective of their gender, relations and ethnicity. If the company is a family business the bloodlines should be irrelevant and also no favoritism for this will form barriers to success. In OÃ¢â¬â¢ Malleys et alÃ¢â¬â¢s article on How to Create a Winning Culture, it states that Ã¢â¬Å"showing favoritism in the workplace
Friday, August 23, 2019
Evaluating the human resource development in public and private sector IN Oman - Dissertation Example The overall aim of evaluating the human resource development in public and private sector in Oman cannot be achieved in the absence of a benefiting research design. The researcher shall therefore use the case study research design to conduct the present study. With the case study research design, the researcher shall be offered the opportunity to select specific scenarios and cases for both the private and public sectors in Oman to investigate in. The case study shall also offer the opportunity of meeting and interacting with the most suitable and appropriate respondents whose inputs would affect the research positively. In the course of the case study, the researcher shall select specific institutions, companies and organizations that fall under both the private and public sectors. These institutions, companies and organizations shall also have different industrial background so that a well balanced and comprehensive view of human resource development as it cuts across different qua rters of Oman shall be seen. This is to say that the case study shall not be limited to specific industries or service providers. The researcher shall build a sample size that shall be made up of two hundred (200) respondents. These two hundred (200) respondents shall be solicited from as many as forty (40) different organizations and institutions. This means that there shall be five (5) respondents from each company. Among the companies, there shall be twenty (20) from the private sector and twenty (20) from the public sector.
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Supervalu Company Analysis Essay One company that may provide investors such an opportunity is Supervalu, Inc. Supervalu is an Eden Prairie, Minnesota based retail supermarket chain that has experienced sharp drop in the value of their share over the past several years. The company has committed itself to a turn-around by replacing Wayne Sales with Sam Duncan as CEO. Duncan followed his appointment as CEO by shuffling the top management deck and bringing in a new president in charge of Save-A-Lot, the companies most important subsidiary. All this was done with the ultimate aim of speeding up the turnaround. The company is also trimming down with layoffs and selling some of its well known brand to investment group Cerberus Capital (Anderson, 2013). 2. Overview of Supervalu Supervalu is an American retail giant. It has been in business for more than a century. With over 130,000 employees, it is the third largest food retail company in the United States (after Kroger and Safeway), and ranks number seventy five on the 2012 Fortune 500 list of AmericaÃ¢â¬â¢s largest companies (Forbes, 2012). On June 2nd 2006, the company announced the purchase of Boise, Idaho based Albertsons, Inc and all of its 1,124 stores. The Supermarket News magazineÃ¢â¬â¢s ranking of Ã¢â¬Å"Top Wholesalers for 2008Ã¢â¬ put Supervalu at the very top of the list (Supermarket News, 2008). The company has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 1967. The companyÃ¢â¬â¢s mission is served by operations consisting principally of grocery and pharmacy operations with a total of 2,432 stores with the firm also offering supply chain services for smaller retailers, serving over 4,300 retailers (Supervalu, 2012). The retail operations are supported by 22 distribution centers, and the wholesale distribution is supported by nine distribution centers, the latter of which also supply company owned stores. The company benefits from a solid level of diversification with a number of different brands targeting different markets, including Acme, Albertsons and Shop Ã¢â¬Ën Save brands. The company owns 1,102 traditional food retail stores, as well as 397 hard discount stores trading under the Save-A-Lot brand name (Supervalu, 2012). In addition the company also licenses the Save-A-Lot brand to 935 independent operators. With what seems to be a successful operation, the company however still faces a number of uphill battles with the last three years reporting significant losses and extreme pressure from competitors. In 2012 CEO Craig Hackert in charge since 2009 was replaced by company chairman Wayne Sales. A move that saw a sharp drop in share prices was met eight months later with SalesÃ¢â¬â¢ own firing and replacement with newcomer Sam Duncan in January of this year with the aim of accelerating the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s turnaround. There have been significant problems including massive losses and decline in revenue production. Measures are now being taken to limit losses, slash cost and regain sales, including the sale of non-profitable brands as well as a shakeup in top management as discussed earlier. However, issues such as high levels of debt, a low level of equity and difficult trading conditions may persist for some time. In order to assess the organization as a potential investment, it is necessary to look at the financial analysis. 3. Financial Analysis Companies produce annual reports designed with the shareholder as the primary audience. The annual reports which are published using the standard format present the performance of the organization in the preceding 12 month period. The annual reports the 10-K in the United States Ã¢â¬â are overseen by an auditor to ensure that they reflect a true and honest picture of the company and are compiled in line with the required account standards. It should however be noted that financial reports may sometimes be rife with misleading information as was the case in recent years with Enron and WorldCom. However, for the purpose of this project, it is assumed that there are no potential misstatements. 4. 1 Summary of Statements All figures presented will be in millions of US dollars when examining the different financial statements Ã¢â¬â unless otherwise specified with the exception of per-share numbers. All figures for Supervalu, Inc. , have been extracted from the 10-k for the financial year ending February 2011 and 2012. Where industry comparisons are made, these have been taken from relevant ratio pages on MSN Money. 4. 2. 1 Income Statement The income statement, which can be found in appendix 1 is also called the Consolidated Statement of Earnings and shows that the financial year which ended on February 25th 2012 (a 52-week year) saw net sales of $36,100. This represented a deep in revenues on the previous two years as the 2011 net sales was $37,534 and the 2010 net sales was $40,597. Since 2010 the company has seen an 11. 0 percentage point decline in revenues. Some downward movement in revenue was however expected as a result of the divestments that occurred in mid to late 2011. The gross profit for the year 2012 was $8,019 which is a gross profit margin of 22. 1%. However the company saw a loss in operating profit of $519, primarily the result of high cost on intangible assets. 2012Ã¢â¬â¢s operating profit was still a lower loss in operating profit compared to 2011 when it was $976 and a gain of $1,201 in 2010. Net earnings are shown on the income statement. For the sake of accounting, net earnings may be presente d before or after taxes. Since Supervalu is experiencing an adverse financial climate and took advantage of a negative tax payment in 2010 and 2011, this paper will utilize the definition of net earnings as being earnings after tax. After provisions for income taxes were factored in, the company showed a loss of $1,040 or -2. 88% in net earnings in 2012. It must however be noted that this number represents an improvement on the previous year when net earnings registered a -4. 02% loss at $1,510. In 2012 there was a loss of $43. 91 per share in net earnings. This number is however an improvement from 2011 when the net loss per share was $7. 13 . It should be noted that these changes are not influences by the weighted average of outstanding share which stood at 212 million (Supervalu, 2012). The income statement highlights a company in some serious difficulties; however the numbers show encouraging signs of a rebound to better times in 2010. 3. 1. 2Balance Sheet The balance sheet referenced in Appendix 2 defines the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s position in terms of assets and liabilities. The company experienced a drop in the value of its assets in 2012, however there was also a decrease in total liabilities overall. Current assets generally calculated as having an economic shelf life of 12 months or less fell steadily from 2010 ($3,711) to 2011 ($3,420) and 2012 ($3,225). This decline can be seen across all asset categories. Long-term assets also declined to $12,053 representing a 12. 39% drop in value. Measures to cut cost and control debt are starting to take hold as the level of current liabilities has declined year to year since 2010. The long term liabilities of the companies on the other hand have seen an upward tick with total liabilities rising from $11,524 in 2011 to $12,032 in 2012. Important to investors is the decline in the level of equity within the organization. This has gone down from $2,887 in 2010 to $1,340 in 2011 and just $21 in 2012. The balance sheet continues to paint a picture of current gloom face the organization in the near term. 3. 1. 3 Cash Flow Statement The cash flow statement in Appendix 3 shows $157 in cash and cash equivalents in hand at the end of 2012. This represented a decline in the previous two years of $211 in 2010 and $172 in 2011. This represents a gradual but consistent drop in cash and cash equivalents of the company. Significant impacts are the losses carried over into cash flow which amounted to $1,040 for 2012 and $1,510 for 2011. The net effect is a reduction in the amount of cash provided for operating activities. It is important to make note of the fact that while the company has engaged in disposing of some assets, there have also been new investment resulting in overall net investing of $484 in 2012 and $227 in 2011. Cash flow from financing activities was also negative with $291 raised from the issuance of long-term debt, but this is counteracted with $798 payment of long-term debt and capital lease obligations. This results in net cash outflow from financing activities of $587. However, this is a decline on the previous year of $975. 3. 1. 4Statement of Owners Equity The consolidated statement of stockholders equity found in Appendix 4shows the balance of equity over a period of four years, 2009-2012. The statement shows that the position of common stock has not changed, with a total of $230. The capital in excess of par has only change very slightly from $2,853 in 2009 to $2,855 in 2012. The major factor of the equity level is a deficit which resulted in a negative balance of -$1,892 at the end of 2012. When added with other accumulated losses results in a total shareholder equity in the firm of $21. This is a notable change compared to 2009 when the total balance of equity was $2,581. . 1 Ratio Analysis Ratio analysis can be used here to explore the financial position of the firm and the way in which it is performing by analyzing internal performance as well as providing a benchmark for comparison with the industry. This section puts forward some ratio analysis calculations and makes comparisons with industry averages where available. 3. 2. 1 L iquidity Liquidity is an important measure companies facing hard times. It measures the firmÃ¢â¬â¢s ability to survive in the short term and meet its current financial obligations (Libby et al, 2010). The current ratio and the quick ratio are the two main measure of liquidity also known as the acid test. The current ratio measures the firmÃ¢â¬â¢s ability to use current assets to settle current liabilities. In the case of Supervalu, there are insufficient assets available to pay current liabilities. This is however not unusual as like in many industries with rapid cash flow, a relatively low current ratio may be acceptable based on expected cash flow. Supervalu is therefore not necessarily showing any signs of mounting distress with the current ratio at 0. 0 as shown in table 1. The industry average is slightly higher, however this difference may be indicative of better use of capital Ã¢â¬â although it could also indicate cash flow issues. Table [ 1 ]: Current ratio Current ratio| 2010| 2011| 2012| Industry Avg. | Current assets| 3,711| 3,420| 3,225| Ã | Current liabilities| 4,167| 3,786| 3,590| Ã | Current ratio| 0. 89| 0. 90| 0. 90| 1. 1| (Supervalu figures are extracted from Supervalu Inc. 10-K. Industry comparison figure from Microsoft Money, 2012). The quick ratio is another way to evaluate liquidity within a company. The idea behind this is that an organization may not be able to realize the full value of its inventory if they are required to liquidate inventory in order to pay current liabilities. Calculations for the quick ratio are similar to the current ratio minus inventory value which is deducted from the total current assets as can be seen in Table 2. Table 2: Quick ratio Quick ratio| 2010| 2011| 2012| Industry Avg. | Current assets| 3,711| 3,420| 3,225| Ã | Inventory| 2,342| 2,270| 2,150| Ã | Net current assets| 1,369| 1,150| 1,075| Ã | Current liabilities| 4,167| 3,786| 3,590| Ã | Quick ratio| 0. 3| 0. 30| 0. 30| 0. 7| (Supervalu figures are taken from Supervalu, Inc. 10K. Industry figures are taken from Microsoft Money, 2012) 3. 2. 2Asset Management The companyÃ¢â¬â¢s ability to manage assets will be a key deciding factor in its return to profitability. Measures of asset management include return on assets and return on equity. For Supervalu, the return on assets shows a sligh t improvement in 2012 at -8. 06% compared to -10. 00% in 2011. Table [ 3 ]: Return on assets Return on Assets| 2010| 2011| 2012| Industry Avg. | Net income| 393| -1510| -1040| Ã | Total assets| 16436| 13758| 12053| Ã | Return on assets| 2. 31%| -10. 00%| -8. 06%| 6. 80%| (Supervalu figures taken from Supervalu Inc. 10-K, industry comparison figure from Microsoft Money, 2012) The return on equity is poor. While the actual loss has declined in 2012, the phenomenal change in the return on equity showing large losses is the results of adjustments that followed the steep decline in the level of equity. Table [ 4 ]: Return on equity Return on Equity| 2010| 2011| 2012| Industry Avg. | Net income| 393| -1,510| -1,040| Ã | Equity| 2,887| 1,340| 21| Ã | Return on equity| 13. 60%| -112. 69%| -4952. 38%| 15. 5%| (Supervalu figures taken from Supervalu Inc. 10-K, industry comparison figure from Microsoft Money, 2012) The return on equity may not be enough to make an assessment of managementÃ¢â¬â¢s use of assets. An alternative measure will be asset turnover (Libby et al, 2010). This analyzes the way in which assets are used to generate revenue. It will show how many times assets have been turned over in a given year. Supervalu seems to be improving efficiency in terms of utilization. They turned over assets equivalent to 2. 8 times in 2012 which was an increase from the previous two years (2. 9 times in 2011 and 2. 39 times in 2010). Looking at this in terms of industry context where the average is 2. 4 times, Supervalu appears to be improving efficiency which is positive for recovery. 3. 2. 3Debt Management The companyÃ¢â¬â¢s debt equity ratio seems to spell doom for the future. This ratio measures the proportion of debt to equity. Compared to the industry average of 1. 03 shown in table 5 Table 5: Return on equity Debt to equity ratio| 2010| 2011| 2012| Industry Avg. | Total debt| Ã | 11,524| 12,032| Ã | Total equity| Ã | 1,340| 21| Ã | Debt/Equity| Ã | 8. 6| 572. 95| 1. 03| Supervalu figures taken from Supervalu Inc. 10-K, industry comparison figure from Microsoft Money, 2012) Another measurement of debt management is the debt ratio. SupervaluÃ¢â¬â¢s debt ratio show s that it is in a delicate position with the majority of assets being funded by debt. Many companies have gone through similar issues due to losses in equity but have rebounded as was the case with auto maker General Motors. These numbers do not therefore signify an inability for Supervalu to rebound. 3. 2. 4 Profitability An important measure of viability is the profitability of the organization. There are various measures of profit, however in this report I shall focus on net profit margin. This is the level of profit that remains after all cost has been deducted. In this report, I shall utilize the measure after interest and taxes. As can be seen on table 6, the company is slowly digging itself out of a low point in 2011 when the net profit margin was negative 4. 02%. However in an industry where the average is 3. 24%, it is obvious the organization has a long way to go. Table 5: Return on equity Net profit margin| 2010| 2011| 2012| Industry Avg. | Revenue (Net sales)| 40,597| 37,534| 36,100| Ã | Net profit| 393| -1,510| -1,040| Ã | Net profit margin| 0. 96%| -4. 02%| -2. 88%| 3. 24%| (Supervalu figures taken from Supervalu Inc. 10-K, industry comparison figure from Microsoft Money, 2012) 3. 2. 5Market Value There are a number of different measures of market value, the most common of which is the price earnings ratio. This is a measure that assesses Harold company will take to earn is total capitalization. However, as Supervalu is making a loss this ratio is not relevant and cannot be calculated. To assess market value a measure which may be utilized are the earnings per share. The earnings per share are shown in table 10, and are a measure of the profit, or loss, the company makes attributed to each share outstanding. As expected, this is in line with the net profit margin in table 5, with the earnings per share being -$4. 91 in 2012 falling from -$7. 12 in 2011. Table 6: Return on equity Earnings per share| 2010| 2011| 2012| Net profit| 393| -1,510| -1,040| Average share out| 213| 212| 212| Net profit margin| 1. 84%| -7. 12%| -4. 91%| (Supervalu figures taken from Supervalu Inc. 10-K 3. Competitors Supervalu is widely considered the third largest supermarket chain in the country. Its main industry peers areÃ Safeway, Kroger, andÃ Whole Food Market. Supervalu generated a steady gross margin of 22. 21% in 2012 and 22. 41% in 2011. However, the company is a loss-maker and it produced negative earnings in the previous year. Safeway, Kroger and Whole Food Market generated operating margins of 2. 37%, 1. 61%, and 6. 36%, respectively. It is clear from these gross margin numbers that the grocery industry has very slim operating margins on sales. Table 7: Competitor Analysis Figure in Million| Net Income| Long term D/E| Operating Margin %| Supervalu| -1244| Very High| -2. 1| Kroger| 728| 1. 8| 1. 61| Whole Food Market| 465| 0. 001| 6. 36| Safeway| 523| 2. 3| 2. 37| (Competitor results taken from Finviz. com) It also seems that Supervalu continued to struggle with insufficient growth in its operating activities in the last quarter of 2012. The corporations operating income fell for fiscal 2012. Furthermore, Supervalu is susceptible to financial leverage as it took on a new $2. 5 billion of debt in the third quarter of 2012 (Boehme, 2012). Supervalu needs to continue to reduce its operational cost in order to record positive results. 4. Conclusion The shedding of 877 grocery stores in a $3. 3 billion dollar deal with Cerberus Management LP in the first quarter of this year seems to have been a sign of a new and positive beginning (Dezember, 2013). The companyÃ¢â¬â¢s stock has been one of the top performers this year; contradictory for a company still drowning in debt and declining sales. However the market has a positive outlook on the company. Since January 1st this year, shared of the company have gained a solid 133%. Supervalu closed the first day of trading this year at $2. 60 and ended the last week trading at $5. 26. Thanks to these positive numbers, both Fitch and MoodyÃ¢â¬â¢s have upgraded their ratings on the company from negative to stable which has been a boost to investor confidence. The reduction in non-performing assets is expected to continue to improve the stability of the company. With less exposure to market volatility, the company should be able to rebound and even thrive. Decreasing the debt level will boost the balance sheet and future net revenues. 5. Recommendation Although the bullish run of Supervalu which started early this year continues, the company still has a long way to go in its quest to recover. Therefore the subjective recommendation of this report will be to hold. Based on the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s current trend, it is very likely that within the next year the company will show even more positive signs of improvement and therefore warrant a change to a buy recommendation. If the organization is able to make a recovery it will be in a very strong position in the market as the number three grocer that also benefits from a large wholesaler and supply chain management operation. References Anderson, Jake, (January 10th 2013), Supervalu to Sell 5 Chains in $3. 3B Deal, Replace CEO. Retrieved April 13th 2013 from http://tcbmag. om/News/Recent-News/2013/January/Supervalu-to-Sell-5-Chains-in-$3-3B-Deal,-Replace Patton, Leslie, (July 30th 2012), Supervalu Names Wayne Sales CEO Amid Strategic Review. Retrieved April 13th 2013 from http://www. bloomberg. com/news/2012-07-30/supervalu-names-sales-chief-executive-officer-to-replace-herkert. html Forbes Inc. (2012), Fortune 500 List of Best Companies (2012). Retrieved April 13th 2013 from http://money. cnn. com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2012/full_list/ Supermarket News (2008, SN Top Wholesalers for 2008. Retrieved April 17th 2013 from http://supermarketnews. om/top-75-retailers-amp-wholesalers/sn-top-wholesalers-2008 Supervalu, (2012). About Supervalu. retrieved April 13th 2013 from http://www. supervalu. com/sv-webapp/about/about. jsp Boehme, Kate, (September 16th 2012), Can Supervalu Survive Its Debt? Retrieved April 18th 2013 from http://seekingalpha. com/article/869491-can-supervalu-survive-its-debt Dezember, Ryan and Hudson, Kris (January 10th 2012), Property Is Plum in Supervalu Deal. Retrieved April 18th 2013 from http://online. wsj. com/article/SB10001424127887324581504578233411904827872. html
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
School uniform Essay Imagine waking up every morning and going to school. You put on the same clothes that you were wearing yesterday and walk to school. You open the door to the school and see everyone, all wearing the same exact outfit as you. The dread feeling you get because you feel the same way as you did every day. That is what every day would be like if school had uniforms. I think that uniforms are a commitment, they donÃ¢â¬â¢t allow you to express yourself as freely, and they are boring. Parents have to go out of their way to find the right uniform and spend ridiculous money on buying them. Majority of parents wonÃ¢â¬â¢t buy more than five uniforms. Every day when you get home from school, your parents have to wash your uniforms so you can wear them the next day. Parents might have better things to do than wash your clothes every afternoon after school just so you wonÃ¢â¬â¢t be out of dress code. You are wearing the same dirty clothes over and over again while you have nice, clean clothes in your closet that you canÃ¢â¬â¢t wear to school. This is the biggest reason why school should not have uniform. Everyone knows when it comes picture day we want to pick out a perfect outfit to dress up and look real nice. But, you have to wear your uniform in the picture. I believe that uniforms are preventing Kids from expressing themselves through style, which is why schools shouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t have them. You might have a lot of clothes that say a lot on who you are as a person, but if you have to wear a uniform every day you canÃ¢â¬â¢t do that. Also, girls canÃ¢â¬â¢t use accessories to make their outfits more interesting. When you have to wear uniforms for school you canÃ¢â¬â¢t wear other things that arenÃ¢â¬â¢t part of the outfit. Not everyone has the same style. What happens to the kids that donÃ¢â¬â¢t like the uniform or how they fit? Having school uniforms donÃ¢â¬â¢t allow you to pick, choose and refuse to fit your style and comfort. If you have any of these problems you canÃ¢â¬â¢t fix them, because you have to wear the uniform for the whole year. Some might say itÃ¢â¬â¢s a good thing to have uniform because you donÃ¢â¬â¢t have other groups of people criticizing what you wear or make fun of you. Also no one has to worry about how expensive or where you buy your uniforms from. But, have you ever walked into the cafeteria in the morning and you couldnÃ¢â¬â¢t find you friends. You never mix it up with new and exciting clothes for school. Every student just keeps wearing their uniform day after day. It would be hard to find your friends. You canÃ¢â¬â¢t see your friends and they are in uniforms so, they could be anywhere! Without uniforms, people can easily locate their friends by the clothes they wear. So, I think that uniforms are a very big commitment, they donÃ¢â¬â¢t allow students to express themselves, and they are boring. All of these are reasons why I strongly believe that schools shouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t require students to wear uniforms. It would just cause more problems for students and their parents.
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Democracy According To Karl Popper Karl Popper (1902-1994) was one of the most provocative philosophers and thinkers of the twentieth century. Born in Vienna, he grew up in a city witnessing great intellectual ferment and cultural excitement. One of his most celebrated and well-known books, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, appeared in Germany in 1934; it marked Poppers decisive break with the philosophers who formed the prestigious Vienna Circle and exposed many of his most influential arguments and ideas, above all we should remember his theory on the growth of scientific knowledge. On the eve of World War Two, Poppers life took a dramatic turn: because of the threat of German invasion, in 1937 he was urged to leave his own country and he emigrated to New Zealand where, reflecting on the tyranny that was sweeping around Europe, he wrote The Open Society and Its Enemies, published in 1945. This work is undeniably a classic, Karl Popper decided to write it in March 1938, when the Nazis invaded Austria. This personal background says a lot about Poppers motivation for writing The Open Society, and about its main theme as well. In this book as well as in The Poverty of Historicism, he attacks totalitarianism and its intellectual supports: the attempt to impose a large-scale planning on the lives of human beings in the light of holistic and historicist considerations. In order to analyze Poppers idea of democracy we shall sets out key tenets of his social and political thought, as well as a few of problems with them. The paper will try to underline Poppers conception of human nature and show how this provides a framework for his theory of history, his critique of historicism and his conception of the open society and democracy. After considering Poppers central political values of freedom and reason, well go through the political programmes of democracy and piecemeal social engineering; after these considerations it will be possible to conclude that Popper can not sustain an exhaustive anti-dogmatism and, contrary to the philosphers own declaration, his political ideas can not be classified as liberal in any honest way. Historical and Intellectual Background Even if Popper rejected Marxism in 1919, he claimed to be a socialist till 1932; it was the socialistic ethic and its idea of justice to which he retained adherence, not its political strategies. Awareness of the growth of authoritarianism in the Soviet Union and what he saw as deficiencies in the Marxist theory and practice of Austrian social democracy pressed him to revise further his political views. Both the idea and the experience of violence were catalytic. Social democracy, by holding to their threat of achieving their objectives by violent means, were implicitly provoking state authorities to a ruthless response, Popper then adopted a more traditional, liberal political stance: deciding that freedom was more important than equality he reaffirmed his rejection of violence. The central core of Poppers social and political theory resides in The Poverty of Historicism and The Open Society and Its Enemies, regarded by the author as his war effort: they were intended as a defense of freedom against the obvious impulse towards totalitarianism and authoritarianism. Poppers further espousal of the values of reason, toleration, peaceful discussion and respect for the individual all find their predecessors in Kants moral and political philosophy. The Austrian thinker extends Kants ethical precept of criticism and self-criticism providing a foundation for his philosophy of critical rationalism and joins Kants optimistic idea and hope in the possibility of obtaining social reform and peaceful relations within and between nations. Human Nature To explain human behaviour and history Popper refuses the utility of a general theory of human nature; his conception of human nature may be found in his knowledge of biology and psychology since he considers human beings similar to any organism, in that they have inborn needs or expectations. According to the author, people tend to hold on to the uniformities they discover, become afraid of change and even wish to dominate others; so if this occurs, the failure of a regularity provokes social disorder and also encourages people to create traditions and taboos. Even though the attachment to regularities is a source of dogmatism and intolerance (attitudes which are anathema to him), Popper advocates social regularities, like social traditions, more favourably than would many other liberals. He suggests that the maintenance of traditions (by which he seems to mean culture or settled ways of thinking and acting) brings order and predictability into our lives and even provides the founda tion of social structures: the important political task is to discriminate between valuable and harmful traditions. This conception of human nature has direct implications for the sort of society he wants to promote and the principles by which it is to be guided. He suggests a slow, gradual reform because this kind of change will not suddenly remove the traditions to which people have become accustomed and thereby create anxiety, terror and violence. There are many contradictions between Poppers advocacy of boldness, novelty and revolution in intellectual but not in social life: I think they might be explained more with reference to his theory of human nature than to his epistemology, even if he justifies the distinction in epistemological terms, it becomes clear that objective knowledge is preferable because of the constraints it exercises over subjective fears and impulses. This account of Poppers conception of human nature demonstrates his concern for the practical impact of ideas upon the social life of human beings, here we may notice a conservative tone in his political thought. Epistemology and History Poppers social and political thought includes a more general, speculative philosophy of history which indicates the character of historical progress. For the author, ideas are the main influences upon whether or not human progress is maintained: all social changes and conflicts, wars and revolutions can be seen as the result of conflict between opposing ideas and ideologies. Even with these conclusions, he shares with the historicists, whom he so vehemently attacks, a belief that there exists a direction to human history given by the growth of knowledge. He claims that the growth of knowledge, and thus the history of science, is the heart of all history. The social dilemmas produced by the most crucial episodes in the evolutionary history still remain; for the author these are best exemplified in the evolution of the different social arrangements that have arisen from the exercise of different human facilities. So the open and the close societies represent ideal types of two differen t stages of social and cultural evolution. According to the author where the lower biological needs are dominant, the social structure has the character of a closed society in which all social life is guided by myths and rigid taboos. A kind of magical attitude prevails, in the closed society there is no scope for self doubt and personal moral responsibility; changes in these kind of societies come about more by the introduction of new magical taboos than by ration attempts to improve social conditions. Popper affirms that the breakdown of the closed society began in Greece around 600 B.C., when new intellectual values, methods and ideas of acquiring knowledge arose together with an original style of politics. The Ionian School inaugurated a new tradition of critical thought: its innovation was to question and discuss dogmas and traditions instead of merely accepting them. Within this historical and philosophical transition, according to Popper, we can trace the emergence of a scien tific method. The ideas of criticism and democratic practice allowed human beings to commence their entrance into the open society where they could become aware of the importance of personal decisions and individual moral responsibility. Where biological and physical bonds became weaker more abstract relations, like exchange and cooperation, linked together people and groups. Democracy and the Open Society One of Poppers most striking contributions to contemporary political thought maybe found in his conception of democracy and of what he defines as open society. The idea of the open society operates both as a minimalist ideal to be sought after and as a celebration of the achievement of modern rationality and liberal democracy. Much of its appeals lies in its apparent capacity to limit the impact of our inevitable errors and to contain potentially harmful social tendencies. The open society, which is basically identified by the author as his idea of democracy, aims to promote criticism and diversity without succumbing either to violence or irreconcilable social division. This adventure in a creative and critical thougth produces conflict, but such problems are resolved by peaceful means; the values of freedom of thought and speech, toleration and individualism operate as both a motivation for, and a constraint upon, individual behavior. Those more substantial differences are to be channelled into the democratic process whereby governments can be replaced by free and regular elections. Popper recognizes the presence of certain dangers in the historical evolution of the open society: he suggests that it could become an abstract society in which social relations might become too rational but, although Popper acknowledges that modern industrial societies exhibit many such features, he denies that the process of abstraction or rationalization will actually complete itself. According to the philosopher there will always be emotional needs which human beings can not satisfy in an abstract society; in this view we see the distinction made between the private and the public sphere. The familiar function of the private sphere provides emotional and biological regeneration for authentic life in the public sphere; though Poppers neglect of the problems of unequal power and authority within family and personal life places him clearly in the mainstream of patriarchal political thought. Even though he knows, and admits, that such democracies fall short of his ideal, he is quite optimistic about their potential. Anyway we must recognize that the transition to the open society remains incomplete and its achievements are always and constantly under threat. On the one hand, biological needs, old traditions but especially the difficulties of living with rationality and personal responsibility all combine to challenge the new society; the passions of our lower nature are always liable to rise up and overthrow the controls instituted by self critical scientific rationality. On the other hand the open society may be inherently self-destructive because critical thought continually erodes those older closed traditions that sustain social institutions. Democracy performs a vital function for both politics and epistemology. I tprovides a peaceful means for reform and change pf government, while ensuring the freedom of thought and speech necessary for intellectual progress. This process encourages a pluralism of ideas and groups, it is the necessary precondition for the working out of political meaningn and aims, and is vital for the processes of critical through and the goal of emancipation through knowledge. Poppers theory of democracy typically grows out of his criticism of other approaches to government, initially Platos than Marxs. Our philosopher denies that the guiding principles of politics should be determined by answers given to the question Who should rule?, instead we should ask How can we so organize political institutions that bad and incompetent rulers can be prevents from doing too much damage? which is followed by an other essential question How can we get rid of those rulers without bloodshed and violence?. In responses, Popper argues that democracy should be founded upon a theory of check and balances: basically we are assuming that even the best rulers might fail, so this theory relies on institutional means for curbing their power. The major check is provided by periodic elections that enable people to oust their government without using violent means: this shows the difference between democracy and its opposite, tyranny which consists if governments which the ruled can not get rid of except by way of a successful revolution. He denies any true meaning or essence of democracy, but he asserts it doesnt mean the rule of people or even that the majority should rule, if only because this is impossible in any practical way. Democracy relies upon the political methods of general elections and representative government and Popper considers that these are always open to improvement; so in such a system individuals are allowed both to criticize the majoritys decisions and, within the law, to revise them. Actually Popper provides little details on the practical aspects, like the methods of representation, size and nature of electorates, and length of terms of office. He does reject proportional representation because of its origins in dubious theories of sovereignty and also because of its propensity to produce unstable coalition governments; in Poppers view, two party government is preferable if only because it allows for more serious internal self-criticism after elections defeats: his view of democracy is, in this sense, a relatively conventional elaboration of liberal pluralist principles. But on their own these principles may not guarantee the survival of liberal democracy: issues of representation, size, nature of electorates and so on all have a bearing upon weather citizens would consider themselves to be member of a legitimate democracy. A pluralist system of checks and balances may be so restrictive as to prevent a duly elected government and business to manipulate public opinion there may be little pressure at all upon those in office in order to change their policies. Assuming that the mass of people can not govern,Poppers theory of democracy may be reduced to a theory of competing elites; for this reason his procedural arguments lie within the tradition of realist and revisionist democratic theory that gives priority to competitive elites and argues for democracy as a method for choosing governments. But Popper departs from realist democratic theory because he recognizes that control over government is not all there is to creating a democratic state and society; his solution, however, is not to encourage widespread political participation but to require that the state protect democracy in two ways. First, since democracies must always be open to new ideas, protection must be given and assured to minorities, except to those who violate law and especially those who incite others to the violent overthrow of the democracy, so we must exclude just those violent changes that could put the democracy in dangerous. Second, because Popper is concerned to avoid the misuse of political power and economic power, he exhortes democratic states to engage in social and economic reforms; he strongly affirms the need of institutions to be constructed in order to protect the economically weak against the economically strong. So he sees the necessity of some sort of economic interventionism as well as some social reforms, the necessity of reforms are essential ingredients for a democratic order: the democratic system should work step by step in order to safeguard freedom form exploitation. Although such strategies create greater possibilities for increased state power and bureaucracy, these may be diminished by strengthening democratic institutions and by following the principles of piecemeal social engineering. This kind of policy is not as restrictive as it is commonly thought, but it odes rule out the nationalization and socialization of the entire private industry of a country. A separate point in favo r of piecemeal social engineering is thought to be its scientific character. Popper considers it methodologically superior to holisitc and revolutionary programmes, in part because social engineers accept the limitations of their knowledge. By reformulating key questions about democracy, Popper sidesteps some of the more usual difficulties of universalist democratic theory. By requiring state action to remedy certain kinds of social and economic problems, he offers more of a policy substance that the usual realist and proceduralist forms of democratic theory. His goal is to avoid or at least minimize the violent conflict that he sees inevitably arising from arguments over the good society. Whereas we may not be able to agree on abstract universal values, the shape of an ideal society or the ultimate good of people, we can generally reach agreement on concrete social and economic evils such as poverty and disease; Popper doesnt develop any universal values but he doesnt abandoned the m. I think a major advantage of Popper commitment to non-violence, public-criticism and freedom of speech is that allows us to retain a critical perspective upon all kinds of governments. His idea of minimal proceduralism and gradualism, for example, may accommodate democratic aspirations less developed or developing countries without subscribing to wholesale westernization and modernization. Poppers substantive policy proposals reject the radicalism of laissez-faire economics and offer the social benefits of gradualism, stability and security. Their negative utilitarianism encourages governments to ameliorate the worst aspects of individualism and capitalism, and allows a legitimate role for state intervention in society and economy. Popper combines ethical proceduralism with a requirement for state-initiated reform, his theory advances somewhat beyond the usual forms of democratic elitism and revisionism. Poppers social and political thought comprises elements which may be designed as liberal, social democratic and conservative. He deeply respects individual freedom and emphasizes the power of ideas in promoting progress while critical rationalism lies primarily within the mainstream of the liberal tradition. Nevertheless his conception of human nature is a combination of liberal and conservative assumptions, which sets out both an optimistic view of human potential and a largely pessimistic account of human needs. Poppers social vision, however, is a liberal rationalist one: an open society in which the values of freedom, reason, toleration and non-violence prevail; he suggests institutional guidelines for building and maintaining democracy, advocating policies such as piecemeal social engineering, oriented towards protecting individuals form the ravages of the market. But for a liberal philosopher, however, the guiding values of liberty, rationality, toleration and non-violence of t he open society are relatively undeveloped. Poppers conservativism is most evident in his political realism and his uncritical attitude towards contemporary liberal democracies. Underlying his stress upon the need for creative and revolutionary thought there is the fear that this will bring social disorder. Hence, such intellectual processes need to be contained within firm traditions whose overthrow cannot be countenanced except to establish a democracy. I believe we might see his political project as an attempt to provide more suitable tradtions or controls upon human thought and action; but I still find an unavoidable conflict between his liberal rationalist values and his perception of the perverse and intractable nature of individuals even if his ethical individualism and cosmopolitism differentiate him form most conservatives. Popper sees totalitarianism of all stripes as essentially tribal, as a closed society, a rebellion against the strain of civilization. He assaults it by using his philosophy of science (which greatly emphasizes falsification, i.e. the refutation of statements and theories) to criticize the doctrines of those whom Popper takes to be behind modern totalitarianism, namely Plato, Aristotle, Hegel and Marx. Brian Magee ably summarizes Poppers reasons for defending the Open Society: Because he regards living as first and foremost a process of problem-solving he wants societies which are conducive to problem-solving. And because problem-solving calls for the bold propounding of trial solutions which are then subjected to criticism and error elimination, he wants forms of society which permit of the untramelled assertion of different proposals, followed by criticism, followed by the genuine possibility of change in the light of criticism. Regardless of any moral considerations he believes that a society organized on such lines will be more effective at solving its problems, and therefore more successful in achieving the aims of its members, than if it were organized on other lines. Such a society is what Popper takes to be social democracy, entailing the prob lem-solving of piecemeal social engineering. This social democracy may indeed have once inspired the intellectual elite of the West, seeking (as many were) alternatives to fascism and communism, but today it inspires hardly anyone. And for good reason, for what else is democratic social reconstruction but that postwar system of fine-tuning the economy, the reign of countless redistributive social programs designed by politicians and social scientists to meet those alleged social needs that a host of interest groups are pressing upon the political systems of the West as non-negotiable demands? Since the Second World War, most of the Western democracies have followed Poppers advice about piecemeal social engineering and democratic social reform, and it has gotten them into a grand mess. Intervention has been piled upon intervention; regulations have been continually modified in unpredictable ways (Popper advocates such revisions in the light of experience); taxation has increased dras tically to finance social welfare programs (as has inflation, with its resulting economic fluctuations); and the unhampered market economy, so forcefully defended by Poppers close friend F. A. Hayek, has been reformed out of existence. Interventionism, piecemeal or not, has worked its inevitable way, and has led to precisely those consequences that Mises, Hayek, Rothbard and others had predicted: economic stagnation and political conflict. Democratic institutions themselves are threatened by those whose vested interests are entwined with the State apparatus. Dime store tinkering, even with freedom of criticism and revision, is leading to the closed society that Popper so fears. There is indeed nothing new in this warning; it is the theme of both Ludwig von Mises Socialism and F. A. Hayeks The Road to Serfdom. In short, the Open Society is not enough. If the Open Society is equivalent to a society in which everything and anything is open to democratic revision except the basic institutions that make democratic revision possible then Popper is only focusing on one need of human beings (that a dubious collective need), not the broader need for liberty that is implied in the outline of his argument as stated by Magee. Popper makes a great deal of noise about individualism, but nevertheless only applies the structure of that argument to collective processes of hypothesis, testing (action) and revision in the light of experience; the argument would apply to individuals as well, since they are the sole constituents of society. By focusing on this collective democratic character of the Open Society, Popper ignores the more basic need for individual liberty in art, business, science, and all other areas as well.The arguments for democracy that Popper presents, then, are in principle identical to arguments for individual liberty. It is the principle of non-aggression, the first principle of liberty, that properly limits the domain of democracy. If Poppers arguments for democracy (as opposed to his advocacy of democracy itself) are valid, then it is not the rigidity of a technology of social engineering that we should seek, but an unhampered market economy, where people can constantly act on their own judgment and can continually revise their plans in accordance with the new information brought by change. This brings us not to social democracy, but to the doctrine of libertarianism. Far more important than the principle of democracy, then, even by Poppers own arguments, is the principle of individual liberty. Liberty is paramount, democracy at best secondary: democracy is important only insofar as it is the servant of and means to the end of liberty. Thus, in following the logical implications of Poppers views (which are not, after all, that original), we move from the open society to the Free Society, and find ourselves agreeing with Michael Polanyis claim, contra Popper, that the Free Society is not an Open Society, but a society committed to a very definite set of rules. In Poppers Open Society, the principle of democracy is regarded as fixed, as not being open to revision. In the Free Society, it is the far more fundamental principle of individual liberty and non-aggression that is not open to revision (though its implications may be refined with growing knowledge). Poppers reasoning is, by and large, correct, but it is individuals who must solve problems to survive, not societies, and therefore individuals who must be free to think and act to achieve values and to revise mistaken plans and impressions in the light of experience or more critical thought. Why is it important to consider The Open Society and Its Enemies after all these years? Very simply, because these are the times when totalitarianism is on the rise, and Western democracies are in the midst of crises that are threatening the stability of their basic institutions, and perhaps even their very survival. In this battle against totalitarianism todays right-wing social democrats the neo-conservatives such as Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Irving Kristol and Daniel Bell are once again raising the banner of social democracy against tyranny. But this is pointless, for such democracy combined with social engineering and statist reforms is inherently unstable and is unjust as well. No mere democratic machinery, no mere procedure, is enough to oppose fascism or communism, not in a world of those real social dynamics that are set in motion by interventionism. Only liberty can fully oppose closed societies, and only if liberty is seen as something that is not to be bargained away or a bandoned through as series of insignificant piecemeal reforms. Liberty must be regarded as the ultimate political end, foremost among those political values held dear by reasonable men and women, the highest and most noble political form possible to human beings. I do not wish to leave the impression that The Open Society is worthless. It is indeed a heuristic work, tossing off suggestive arguments and insights on nearly every page, and the criticisms of Plato, Hegel and Marx are always pregnant ones. Popper is a great and forceful advocate of reason, science and progess, and his passionate idealism shines forth continually from the pages of this work. But so too does nearly every moth-eaten philosophical cliche around, e.g., the attack on certainty, the fact/value dichotomy, and the Humean assault on induction. Moreover, Popper is unnerving in his treatment of capitalism. Opponents of the Open Society who see it as being too coercive are slighted by Poppers astonishing smears of laissez faire, his continual granting of Marxist historical points against capitalism, and his cheerful parading before us of those democratic reforms that have all but obliterated the unhampered free market economy. Social democracy, the Open Society, has been tried and found wanting. The question that faces us now is simply whether those lovers of experiment and flexibility are experimental and flexible enough to advocate that liberty be given a chance. If it is not given that chance, there may be no tu rning back, and we may yet arrive in an era when we shall look back at the totalitarianism of the 1930s as a veritable golden age. But in one sense, at least, Popper is right: the future is ours to shape. Liberty has never been fully tried. It is the task of readers of this journal to remedy that unfortunate situation; if we do not, no one else will.
Germany, a country rich in culture and heritage, yet plagued by the fallout of World War I and World War II, has progressed to become the centerpiece of the European Union and the worldÃ¢â¬â¢s third richest economy. The first German Empire dates back to the Roman Empire starting in the 8th century AD. During the Middle Ages the German Empire fended off many attacks against their soil from the Hungarians and the Slavs. Fighting and power struggles continued until the 1400Ã¢â¬â¢s, when the modern world gradually came into existence with intellectual, economic and political changes. During the late 1490Ã¢â¬â¢s and early 1500Ã¢â¬â¢s, Maximilian I put into motion his plan to reform the German Empire by creating an Imperial Supreme Court (Reichskammergericht), levying imperial taxes and increasing the power of the Imperial Diet (Reichstag) (Wikipedia). By the mid 1500Ã¢â¬â¢s Germany was a reforming nation with revolts, uprisings and a general division of the empire based on religious beliefs and resentment. This division of factions led to the Thirty YearÃ¢â¬â¢s War which ravaged Germany from 1618 to 1648. The war ended in 1648 with the signing of the Peace of Westphalia. As a result, German territory was lost to France and Sweden. In the following years, imperial power declined as states gained more power. This power struggle led to a century of resistance against German rule and persecution. The French revolution sparked a new war between France and its Eastern neighbors. In 1803 Napoleon relaunched the war against the Roman Empire and abolished almost all the smaller secular states and most of the imperial free cities (Wikipedia). The Roman Empire was formally dissolved on August 6, 1806 when the last Holy Roman Emperor Francis II resigned. At that time the Confederation of the Rhine was established under NapoleonÃ¢â¬â¢s protection and in 1815 Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo. Following NapoleonÃ¢â¬â¢s defeat, the territory of the former Roman Empire was broken into a loose union of 39 states with 35 ruling princes and 4 free cities. Germany began to be industrialized in the 19th century. In 1825 the first steamship sailed on the Rhine and in 1833 the first telegraph was constructed. Railway lines were built in 1835 and in 1866 Siemens constructed the first dynamo (Wikipedia). The industrialization led to modern warfare techniques and ultimately the nationalism, imperialist competition and mi... ...est Berlin (Wikipedia). West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl outlined a plan for the unification of the two nations on November 28, 1989. A formal union of the two political systems occurred in October, 1990. In essence, East Germany was annexed by West Germany and took on its monetary and legal systems. Currently, Germany is quite possibly the centerpiece of the European Union and a strong support of the enlargement of NATO and the EU. GermanyÃ¢â¬â¢s military participate in multinational relief efforts and has backed the United States in Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. With annual exports of $900 billion, Germany is the WorldÃ¢â¬â¢s leading exporter, well ahead of the United States. Even with its tarnished past and history of war and struggles, Germany is a country that has come a long way in the last two decades with respect to its government, industry and education. Detwiler, Donald S. Germany: a Short History. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1999. Ã¢â¬Å"History of Germany.Ã¢â¬ Wickipedia. 4 Aug. 2005. 28 Jul 2005 Ã¢â¬Å"History of Germany since 1945.Ã¢â¬ Wickipedia. 24 Jul 2005. 28 Jul 2005 K., Joseph & G., Owen. A History OÃ¢â¬â¢Germany. 7 Feb 2001. 28 Jul 2005