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Generations

Are You Part of TV World (A Different Way to Get the News)

March 21st, 2014 // 12:01 pm @

Where to Look

I keep getting asked what I read to study current events. I actually taught a whole class on this recently—and it’s still available.tv 300x225 Are You Part of TV World (A Different Way to Get the News) By taking this class, you’ll get the real scoop on the best current events publications.

In this article, I’ll just share the Cliff’s Notes version. Read Foreign Affairs, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and The Economist.

There. That’s it.

Enjoy.

But there is a deeper way to think about this. To begin, there is actually a bit of a problem with the question itself: “What should I read to study current events?” The real answer is, “Everything.” Read a lot. If you’re conservative, read conservative and liberal publications. If you’re liberal, read liberal and conservative periodicals. You can’t study current events from one political view—not if you want to really know what’s happening.

Compare and Contrast

This goes for television and radio as well. When I watch a certain event to see how it is reported in the news, I always see what MSNBC and Fox News both have to say. Then I watch CNN and one of the networks, usually ABC or CBS, for their views as well. Bloomberg Television, C-Span, and PBS news shows often add interesting nuances.

But reading is better than watching. The NY Times and Wall Street Journal are fun to compare. USA Today and various online thought leaders share vital out-of-the-box insights. I could go on and on. Read. Read a lot. Read more.

But that’s only half of the message. The other half is a bit counter-intuitive, but it is still very important.

One of the problems with looking for one or two publications to read is that it limits us to one or two publications. This brings us to the main point: It is a major problem when we only get our news from news outlets.

To really know what’s going on in our world, you have to get beyond the news. Behind the news, under the news. You have to feel what the people are feeling, and dig to get a sense of what is happening in their culture. Their daily lives.

Culture and Events

To do this, I read lots of non-news publications. They are incredibly insightful. I read men’s magazines (like Men’s Health, Esquire, GQ, etc.), women’s magazines (Vanity Fair, More, Good Housekeeping, etc.), variety magazines (Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Via), cultural magazines (The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Harper’s, etc.), specialty magazines (Harvard Business Review, Guns and Ammo, Yoga Journal, etc.), science magazines (Psychology Today, Prevention, Popular Science, etc.), and more. These teach as much about current events as any news publication.

For example, I like to go to Barnes and Noble and grab a copy of Yoga Journal, Guns and Ammo, Entertainment Weekly, and Harvard Business Review. Then I read the main articles in each, in one sitting. It’s fascinating. These four publications are written to very different audiences, as you might have gathered, and they use different vocabularies, examples, assumptions, and writing styles. Yet all are quality publications with important articles. Add TV Guide to these four and you’ve got a manual on current America—like it or not.

Together they give the reader a cross-section insight into current events, much more than you could get by concurrently reading a top conservative magazine (say, The Weekly Standard) and liberal periodical (for example, The Nation). The ads in each of these four magazines listed above teach almost as much, sometimes more, than the articles. Reading non-news publications along with news is the key to really understanding current events.

Take off the Rose Glasses

Really. It is important, however, to read them differently than typical readers. Don’t read non-news periodicals looking for literal news. Read them to see what things they talk about that are newsworthy. Read like an anthropologist, looking for interesting trends and groups in modern society that could influence the world.

And think, think deeply, while you read. What does each article say (implicitly as well as explicitly) about our modern society? What trends does it portend? What assumptions does each author make about our current world, and what does this tell you about our culture?

Become a voracious reader. Turn TV World into Thinking World, at least in your own life. Oh, and ask the same kinds of questions when/if you watch television. We live in an Information Age, but we need more people who treat it like a Thinking Age.

*******************

odemille Are You Part of TV World (A Different Way to Get the News) Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Category : Blog &Culture &Current Events &Education &Generations &Information Age &Statesmanship

Obamacare is a Disaster

February 15th, 2014 // 10:00 am @

obamacare Obamacare is a DisasterThe stories are coming out all over the nation.

For example, Ashley Dionne is a 26-year-old woman with 2 college degrees. The cost of her monthly insurance premium has risen from $75 previously to $319 under Obamacare.

She wrote:

“Liberals claimed this law would help the poor. I am the poor, the working poor, and I can’t afford to support myself, let alone older generations and people not willing to work at all. This law has raped my future. It will keep me and kids my age from having a future at all.”

But the issues go much deeper than just Obamacare. Dionne said,

“All of the kids that I went to school with, and friends from other colleges, are experiencing the same thing — they don’t have work in their field, they are taking whatever they can get, and we’re really competing with kids who just have GEDs and high school diplomas for really low-paying jobs.”

Obamacare has made it even worse for many. Dionne continued:

“I feel like our future has been stolen, in that we don’t have a choice in this. They’re saying, ‘You have to buy this whether you want it or not. And whether you can afford it or not.’ …I’m someone who has always worked hard, and I’m being told, ‘You have to get on Medicaid.’ I don’t want to get on Medicaid. I want to work, and I feel that were it not for Obamacare I could get 40 hours, and I could support myself.”

So many companies geared up to lay off workers and/or reduce employee hours that the Administration unilaterally postponed Obamacare requirements for businesses for a year.

Even with this change, Gallup noted that 41 percent of medium and small businesses have frozen hiring and growth.

This includes fast-food joints (like Wendy’s, Subway, Papa Johns, Del Taco, and many more), family restaurants (like Applebee’s, Denny’s and others), medical suppliers, local governments, and public colleges. There are many other industries that have stopped hiring and growing, and many have announced thousands of layoffs.

Many businesses are also planning to lay off even more employees next year when Obamacare does kick in for companies. In fact, right now, as businesses gear up for Obamacare, we’ve reached the point where 65 percent of all jobs in the United States are part time.

This is a disaster, and it will get worse until something significantly changes.

As for the other point, 50 percent of college grads for the past several years are unemployed or underemployed.

“A college degree once all but guaranteed a well-paying job and higher earnings than high school graduates,” wrote Alana Semuels for the Los Angeles Times. “But fewer of these good jobs are now available because of both long-term economic changes and the lingering effects of the Great Recession.”

“In the 1980s and 1990s, the demand for college graduates started booming, especially in the lead-up to the tech boom,” said Paul Beaudry, an economist at the University of British Columbia who has studied this trend. Wages grew and a college education paid off.

“But when the tech bubble burst, the economy was left with an oversupply of college graduates. Some went into industries related to housing or finance, and then the recession wiped out those jobs. No industry has emerged to employ all the people who got college degrees in that time,” he said.

“As more college graduates have flooded the market, employers are able to offer lower wages. The earnings of college grads have fallen about 13% in the last decade,” according to Drexel University economist Paul Harrington.

“Saim Montakim has a bachelor’s degree in accounting but drives a New York City taxicab. It’s strenuous work, but he can make $200 on a good day. On a bad day, he barely can pay the rent for the taxi and the cost of gas.” And half of college grads are working in jobs that don’t require a degree at all.

Those who learn to think creatively and innovatively, tend to do better than others, and in fact grads with liberal arts degrees are doing better than others in this challenging economy.

So a great education is still a top goal for some young people. In fact, innovative entrepreneurs are doing best of all.

But for most young people, the old promise of “do good in school and get a great career” simply isn’t working.

“The stakes are enormously high,” wrote Lynn Stuart Parramore on AlterNet. “The young people graduating today will feel the effects of the bad job market for decades to come. [A] Demos study found that if we simply continue to add jobs at the 2012 average rate, it would be 2022 before the country recovers to full employment and restores decent opportunities for those Americans who are just starting out. In the meantime, a whole generation of bright and capable young people is getting left behind.”

“‘I’m starting to feel numb,’ said Karen S., who is trying to find a job while ringing up groceries at a Whole Foods in Manhattan. The 24-year-old from Queens graduated in 2012 with a degree in broadcasting. ‘I did well in my classes, and I looked forward to putting my knowledge and skills to use. Instead I ask, ‘Would you like a bag today?’’ Like Karen, many recent graduates are forced to take McJobs.”

And all of this was a major problem before Obamacare. With the new health care law, it’s getting even more difficult for many young people.

*******************

odemille Obamacare is a Disaster Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Category : Blog &Economics &Education &Generations &Government &Politics

A Huge Shift is Coming to America

January 23rd, 2014 // 10:00 am @

constitutional amendment 300x200 A Huge Shift is Coming to AmericaWe entered a new cycle of history during 2013.

Like any cycle, this one started small. But it is growing quickly, and it is already swaying the future.

To understand this, let’s briefly go back to the beginning — when this cycle was first described.

In 1836, even before Alexis de Tocqueville finished his famous classic, Democracy in America, a British official named Henry Taylor published a book entitled The Statesman.

Taylor’s main point was that the Anglo world had been focused on forms of government for too long, ever since 1787 when the Americans wrote their Constitution. Taylor noticed that that there are two main types of political leadership:

  1. Setting up forms and systems of government (statesmanship)
  2. The business of governing (politics)

The first, which consists mostly of writing and discussing what is the best constitution or model of government, is always led by statesmen.

The second, which consists of day-to-day politics that focus on the issues, is dominated by political parties, special interest groups, politicians, and bureaucratic agencies.

The first usually emphasizes freedom and liberty, while the second is all about increasing government spending and regulations.

Statesmanship vs. Politics

In 1836, Taylor’s message was that Europe and America had spent sixty years focused on the first kind of leadership, and he argued that it was time, in his words,

“to divert the attention of thoughtful men from forms of government to the business of governing.”

It was statesmanship versus politics, and Taylor believed that it was time to forget statesmanship for a while and emphasize politics. The era of the politician had come.

Specifically, the statesmanship era from 1776 to 1836 was followed by an era of politics from 1836 to 1913, which was followed by an era of statesmanship (changing constitutions and overarching societal systems) from 1913 to 1945. Then came another era of politics (increased government spending and regulations by politicians and bureaucrats) from 1945 to 2013.

We are on the verge of another major shift today, and the changes will be drastic.

Instead of the major national dialogue focusing on issues (e.g. immigration, abortion, energy policy, national security, health care, gun control, education policy, etc.), the increasing focus will be on how to change the Constitution.

It has already started, in fact. Less than a year ago, for example, Georgetown professor Louis Seidman wrote an article in the New York Times entitled “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution.” He argued that the Constitution is outdated, and that it is time to “scrap” it and write something better.

This brought a series of angry rebuttals from the Right, and a number of strong suggestions from the Left, but few seem to realize that this is the beginning of a new era of the American debate.

Several others have entered this growing discussion, like David Brooks, who wrote in the New York Times on December 12, 2013 that the U.S. should alter our system to “Strengthen the Presidency.”

And New York Times bestselling author Mark Levin wrote a series of new amendments that he feels should be added to the Constitution to fix our current system and get America back on track.

Just a couple weeks ago, almost 100 legislators from 32 states met in Mount Vernon, Virginia to discuss the possibility of adding amendments to the constitution through a convention of the states, as authorized by Article 5 of the constitution.

The Next Shift

leadershift cover A Huge Shift is Coming to AmericaWhen Orrin Woodward and I wrote the New York Times bestseller LeaderShift and released it earlier this year, neither of us knew that 2013 would be the year of this major shift — from politics to statesmanship, from issues to changing the whole system.

This is momentous, and our book outlines nine specific changes, in the form of proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution, that would put American prosperity, freedom, strength and power quickly back on line.

I am convinced that LeaderShift is representative of the best of this new trend, this growing debate on how to change our system to get it headed in the right direction once again. And you can read all four of the new commentaries in this emerging debate (Seidman, Levin, Brooks, Woodward and DeMille) and decide for yourself.

Make no mistake: this is THE debate of the coming decade. As a nation, we have concluded that Washington is broken. The American people generally feel that the system is fractured and needs to be fixed, and those who are focused on daily governing will miss out on the real tide ahead: coming changes in our overall system.

Since such changes aren’t usually the focus in elections, many people won’t realize that this is happening. But as I already noted, the debate has already begun.

Issues and Politics

When Orrin and I were interviewed by many journalists about our book, it was a bit of a surprise to us that nearly every interviewer wanted to focus on issues, issues, issues and partisan politics, politics, politics.

That’s been the tone in America for over sixty years, so we probably should have expected it.

But now the tide is shifting. This isn’t something we can afford to get wrong. Change is upon us. President Obama was elected by promising such change. Yet if we make the wrong changes, it can only hurt this great nation.

Change is here, and it is the kind of change that focuses on our Constitution and the very fundamentals of our society and national system.

The debate will grow in the years ahead, the way such changes always do — slowly for a while, and then all at once.

Yet the ideas at the center of this debate, the ideas right now argued by Seidman, Brooks, Levin, Woodward and DeMille, and others who join the discussion, will sway the 21st Century.

I wrote in my book, 1913, that the year 1913 was a pivotal time of change. It looks more and more like its century year 2013 will be even more significant. This is the year we began the shift from politicians, bureaucrats and issues to and major changes to our Constitution and system.

Some will argue that we should change nothing, that the old Constitution is the best. But in reality we haven’t been following the original principles of the Constitution for many decades, and the primacy of the Constitution continues to erode due to the way Washington skirts, reinterprets and at times ignores it.

Whatever you think of our current system, change is imminent. The only question is: How will we change, what precisely will we change?

That is what this debate is all about. A LeaderShift is happening, right now, under our noses. America is changing while its citizens sleep.

What we need is a new generation of Madisons, Adams, and Jeffersons.

We need more men and women who understand how to write constitutions and amendments that create and protect real freedom. If you are one of these people, or should be, it is time to join the debate.

It is time to take action, so we go in the right direction.

*******************

odemille A Huge Shift is Coming to America Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Category : Blog &Business &Citizenship &Constitution &Economics &Education &Entrepreneurship &Generations &Government &History &Politics

How to Solve the Immigration Problem

January 15th, 2014 // 10:00 am @

border patrol 300x187 How to Solve the Immigration ProblemI finally read a proposal in the mainstream media for an immigration policy that is based, at least partly, on the American founding model.

The solution was suggested by Jagdish Bhagwati and Francisco Rivera-Batiz in their recent Foreign Affairs article, “A Kinder, Gentler Immigration Policy.”

This is exciting, and this can work.

The proposal boils down to this: Let the states try their own ways of handling immigration.

The results of such a policy would be interesting. At least one or two states will likely take a hardline policy against immigration, and a few will no doubt adopt a more lenient approach. Most will probably choose policies that are more in the middle.

As this happens, we’ll get to watch the results. Will the hardline states see negative social and economic consequences, or will the results be positive? What will happen in the states with lenient immigration policy?

States will have to decide whether to pay for the education and medical expenses of illegal immigrants, and how to deal with other issues that are truly, according to the Constitution, meant to be local and state issues anyway.

They will have to determine how to assess taxes from illegal workers, and how to respond to businesses that hire illegal immigrants in ways that bring the most benefit to the state, and they are much more likely than any federal agency to do these things effectively.

Over time, legislatures and courts will learn from these examples and trend toward the policies with the best results.

Not everything needs to be done from Washington. In fact, the founders specifically wanted most things to be done at the local, and if necessary, state levels.

A full 28 percent of Federalist Papers are dedicated to supporting this very point — what can be done by the states should not be done by Washington (see Federalist 17,23-30,33,41-51,53,59-60).

Critics will argue that illegal immigration poses a number of national security threats, and that national defense is clearly a federal issue. To address these important concerns, we can amend the proposal as follows:

  1. Secure the border, to fully protect our national security.
  2. Let the states try their own ways of handling immigration.

If history has shown us anything, it is that one of the fifty states is a lot more likely to adopt the right policy than Washington.

In fact, if the issue is left to Washington, it is doubtful whether we’ll ever get an effective policy — and many people feel that if Washington does pass something it may well be more bad policy.

America was founded as a federal republic, where the individual states were designed to laboratories that could teach each other — and Washington — what works and what doesn’t.

The wisdom of the framers can help us today in the debate on immigration.

*******************

odemille How to Solve the Immigration Problem Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Category : Blog &Foreign Affairs &Generations &Government &Liberty &Politics

It’s Time for Optimism and Leadership

January 10th, 2014 // 10:00 am @

visionary 300x199 Its Time for Optimism and LeadershipIt’s time for optimism in America. Right now.

I’m convinced that the best era of America is still ahead. And it’s time to start building it, even if Washington won’t, and even if the politicians are going to bring us both ups and downs in the years ahead.

When we turn on the news, we hear of debts ceilings, a $17 trillion national debt, deficits, credit rating downgrades, inflationary money, layoffs, political party anger and name-calling, leaders who won’t negotiate, government shutdowns, sequesters, defaults, international unrest and conflicts, and on and on.

It’s a bit overwhelming, and most people are either deeply frustrated or have decided not to follow the news too closely.

But this is only part of the story.

While those in Washington argue, over and over, about their latest Crisis of the Month, a lot of regular citizens have done something very important. They’ve realized that the future is up to them, and not to the politicians.

And the numbers of such people are growing. Some are getting more involved than ever before at the local level, and others are spending more time strengthening their families. Some are studying current events with real passion, and others are tackling history and the great classics in order to learn a lot more.

Still others are focusing on community projects, service, teaching the youth, and supporting charities that really need more support, and quite a few are increasing their entrepreneurship — building the economy for themselves and others instead of waiting for politicians to get their act together.

And make no mistake, when the regular people in America, Canada, and other nations realize that it’s up to them and then take action, it’s like rousing a sleeping giant. When the average citizen stands up and gets involved, like after Pearl Harbor or during the American Revolution, big things really happen.

Right now, the giant is just starting to stir. The signs are faint, but they are growing: Tea Partiers, Occupiers, protestors, bloggers, radio-show callers, “social medi-ers,” and above all, lots of newly-focused volunteers and entrepreneurs.

The people are beginning to feel the need to take their nation back, especially their economy. The future is bright.

Whatever Washington does, the leadership spirit in our homes will determine the years and decades ahead. Many experts have dubbed the 21st century “the China Century,” but in truth the reason China is growing is widespread entrepreneurship. That’s the real story.

And up until now, most freedom-lovers have argued that American entrepreneurs will bring back our economy — if Washington will just get out of the way. This message is now changing.

As the problems in politics keep increasing, more and more people are looking around, taking stock, and saying, “You know what? Washington might never get its act together. So, I guess it’s up to me.”

This is the spirit of enterprise, and there is almost no power in the world as strong as a people fully committed to free enterprise.

This is an exciting time. Instead of waiting for the politicians to free up the economy, we’re now making the great FreedomShift: Regardless of what Congresses and Presidents and Justices do, let’s build our families, communities, and the economy to a whole new level — and show Washington what to do. We’re the leaders now. When we lead, the politicians will have to follow.

If you haven’t joined this movement yet, today is a good time to start.

Build a business.
Or read a great classic.
Start a class for kids in your area.
Or begin attending all your city council meetings.
Make and follow a plan to double your savings rate.

Brainstorm. Identify where your passions are, and then take action to genuinely improve your life and the world around you.

Get started. The economy and society need you. It’s up to us.

What the media and politicians don’t realize is that this is happening. The worse Washington gets, the more people are taking personal action. It’s real. And it’s growing. Whatever Washington does, this is the movement that will make or break our future.

Smile. Laugh with a friend. Tell your kids a joke and giggle together. Tell them that the future is bright. And take action to make it true.

Now is a time for real optimism.

*******************

odemille Its Time for Optimism and Leadership Oliver DeMille is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling co-author of LeaderShift: A Call for Americans to Finally Stand Up and Lead, the co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd.

Among many other works, he is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, The Coming Aristocracy, and FreedomShift: 3 Choices to Reclaim America’s Destiny.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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Category : Blog &Economics &Education &Family &Generations &Government &Leadership &Liberty &Mini-Factories &Politics

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