The Powerbroker – Urban Planning and the Battle for New York City

Hailed by many as the greatest city in the world, New York grew from a series of small settlements in the 17th century to a bustling metropolis by the 19th through a combination of excellent geography, intensive trade and industrial development, and a concentration of cultural and business acumen. The growth produced tremendous problems along…

Flaming McDonalds Wrappers – After Dark

When the fires of 2020 have finally died down, and the ashes have fallen to earth and smoke no longer clouds the air, one thing is certain – uncertainly and lack of clarity is the pattern that the leaders of this fallen nation have inflicted on the population either by design, gross incompetence, or both….

Forging America – The Story of Bethlehem Steel

After the end of the second world war, America strode triumphant, unmatched the world over in surviving capital stock, industrial capacity, and economic and military power. No other industry epitomized this power more than steel, with the saying “where steel goes, the nation goes” capturing the alignment between the incentives of the business, working, and…

James LaFond – Waking Up in Indian Country

If the events of 2020 have had a common theme, it is there is nowhere to hide. If the plague doesn’t get you, the riots will, followed by a helpful dose of economic displacement and firestorms from 20,000 simultaneous lightning strikes as seen in California recently. If this all doesn’t make one believe in a…

Disney – Escape from Tomorrow

Viewed from the lens of a business, whether in the form of t-shirts, movies, amusement parks or even cruises, the ubiquity of Disney’s empire is a sight to behold. Viewed as a cultural phenomenon, the company and the legacy of its founder in particular demonstrate similarly profound impacts on the moral framework of America and…

The New Russia – Dr. Matthew Raphael Johnson

In the words of historian and noted Russian scholar Dr. Matthew Raphael Johnson, the Soviet Union was the only empire to fall without a war. To the ordinary Russian citizen, however, the 1990s were no less tragic as life expectancy, average income, and birthrates all plummeted as crime, alcoholism and unemployment all rose. As the…

Herbert Hoover – Building a Legacy

Herbert Hoover’s reputation as President is quite often thought of in less favorable terms, having presided over the United States as it entered into the depths of the Great Depression in the 1930s. After the economic boom of the 1920s, the contrast was stark, and increasingly clear in Americans’ minds as Hoover’s limited attempts at…

The Money Game – ZMAN on Financialization of the Economy

In 1880, the financial sector’s share of US GDP was slightly over 1%. By 2009, however, it had grown close to 10%. Including the related industries of insurance and real estate, that share swells to 21% in 2019, making it the single largest segment of the American economy, followed by trade and transport at 15%…

John McAfee – Silicon Industrial Complex

In a world of psy-ops, plutocrats and pandemics, many normal people are becoming desensitized if not immune to the latest scandals and dictates from the powers that be in one of the strangest years on record. Security pioneer and entrepreneur John McAfee, however, has long been familiar with world of cyber spying and industrial espionage….

Pirates of Silicon Valley – Digital Panopticon

Before the Industrial Revolution, economists saw land and agriculture as the fundamental source of wealth. When feudalism gave way to mass production and the increased power of manufacturing, labor and capital became the chief measures of economic might. With the coming of the information age, however, power has shifted away from large factories and massive…

The Dictator’s Handbook

Power is an ancient concept, with formalized attempts at understanding it going back to at least Machiavelli and almost certainly to Sun Tzu. In a more modern context, authors Mesquita and Smith in their 2011 book ‘The Dictator’s Handbook’ explore the factors that drive how politicians gain and retain power, with special emphasis on coalition…

The Rise and Fall of General Electric

Founded in 1892 by Thomas Edison with the backing of J.P. Morgan, General Electric has been a stalwart of American business for most of its history. Sprawling over a multitude of industrial divisions, including electric turbines, jet engines, locomotives and medical devices, the conglomerate outperformed its rivals in the 1980s and 90s by a wide…