2015年6月7日 星期日

Robert B. Reich 羅伯特‧賴克:美國公司的人力資源; 論破產法的起草和執行的操弄;論平均身高與國力.......

羅伯特‧賴克(Robert B. Reich)教授80年代初即相當出名,戴明博士和他弟子的書都多次引用他的著作。我這次當了他的粉絲。
他最重視社會平等.....這次在Wikipedia 才知道他的身高。(所以有人建議他移民荷蘭以拯救美國之數字.....90年代初,我與一位義大利同事到荷蘭廠開會,我們發現到了巨人國,男女皆然......)
今天他談平均身高與國力---以及美國的速食文化之惡.....
我也順便找一下台灣的資料。



  1. Robert Bernard Reich is an American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. Wikipedia





Robert Reich  2015.9.7
I’ve just come from ABC’s “This Week,” where Newt Gingrich, Matthew Dowd, Donna Brazile, and I went from talking about “American Pharoah”’s Triple Crown win to the Republican and Democratic primaries. In other words, it was all about horse races. The media seems to have no other way to address American politics than to ask who’s ahead and who's behind, rather than what the candidates stand for and what America needs.
Seven months until the first primaries, and 17 until Election Day, we have plenty of time for a national debate about the nation’s real challenges. Yet every Republican candidate is repeating the same platitudes (strengthen the military, lower taxes, and promote religious values) the GOP has been spewing for 35 years. Scott Walker leads the pack in Iowa, but on the basis of, what? Fighting unions, defunding Planned Parenthood, making it harder for students and low-income people to vote, blocking abortions after 20 weeks even in cases of rape or incest, and threatening a constitutional amendment allowing states to decide on same-sex marriage. Oh, and he rides a Harley. He’s a brainless knee-jerk conservative whom the media is celebrating because he happens to be up in Iowa, whose Republican caucuses haven’t predicted anything in years.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are discussing real issues. She wants to create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and expand Obama’s executive order on immigration, roll back Republican state laws designed to suppress the votes of the poor, automatically register citizens to vote when they turn 18, demilitarize the police, and get rid of mandatory prison sentences. Bernie Sanders wants to bust up the biggest Wall Street banks, make higher education free, and strengthen safety nets. But as long as the media remains fixated on the political horse race, America isn’t going to be debating any of this. Horse-race reportage allows the Republicans to get away with their racism, homophobia, anti-worker economics, and total dearth of ideas, while burying the important initiatives Democrats are proposing.
So what's the answer?




Just spoke to gathering of human-resource professionals, several of whom told me afterwards they were angry and frustrated with the financial types in their firms who “think only about the short-term bottom line” and don’t consider the long-term well-being of the company and its employees. When I asked them how pay was determined, they said they’re instructed to benchmark what competitors pay their top executives and recommend pay at or above the top of the range, so their firm gets the best. But they’re also instructed to recommend below-average pay for lower-level managers and employees, on the theory those jobs are fungible. The director of HR for one of America’s biggest corporations told me “this can’t go on. A revolution is coming.” Really?

comments_image 24 COMMENTS

*****
論破產法的起草和執行的操弄

 2 million remain in danger of foreclosure. Likewise, graduates who can’t repay their student debts aren’t allowed to use bankruptcy to negotiate reductions in their payments, resulting in extraordinary hardship for those who can’t find jobs paying enough. Bankruptcy in Detroit, meanwhile, is requiring sacrifices even by municipal pensioners whose pensions were supposedly guaranteed under Michigan’s constitution. In none of these instances have the big banks had to share the pain. In fact, they're more profitable than ever. The real looming bankruptcy is of our democracy, and the power of Big Finance to set the rules.


*****
論平均身高與國力
The Netherlands has the world’s tallest people, with an average male height of over 6 feet and average female of 5’7.” It’s also where incomes are highest. That’s no accident. People in wealthy countries are on-average significantly taller than people in poor ones, because they’re more likely to have better nutrition as kids. The United States used to be the tallest country in the world but is now one of the shortest of all developed nations (I assure you I’m not solely responsible for bringing down the average). Average heights have grown steadily across Europe since the 1960s, but the United States hasn't gotten significantly taller. European countries have done a good job ensuring all their citizens get adequate nutrition; we haven't. Low-income kids in America consume an inordinate amount of fast food. That’s bad for height. In a recent British study, one group of schoolchildren was given hamburgers, French fries, and other fast foods; the other got 1940’s-style wartime rations like boiled cabbage and corned beef. Within eight weeks, the children on the rations were both taller and slimmer than the ones on a regular diet.


網路舊資料:

台灣人的平均身高
男生一百七十一點六公分
女生一百五十九點五公分
我國教育部於九十一年四月調查發現(18歲)男生平均身高為171.5公分,
女生平均身高約159.0公分,男生平均體重為65.0公斤,女生平均體重為53.0公斤。
歐洲女性的平均身高多少? 168.7
美國女性的平均身高多少? 170.1
日本女性的平均身高多少? 165.4
日本男性的平均身高多少? 170

韓國女性的平均身高多少? 164.5
越南和東南亞女性平均身高多少? 160.3 161.2 
拉美女性的平均身高多少? 167.5


荷蘭人的平均身高為歐洲之冠,男生平均身高約184公分,
女生平均身高則約174公分。



Robert Reich: 'Freedom' Is Just Another Word For Letting the Rich Get Richer

The conservative mind has never incorporated economic power into its understanding of freedom.
Photo Credit: Via Comedy Central
On Monday the Supreme Court  struck down a key part of the Affordable Care Act, ruling that privately-owned corporations don’t have to offer their employees contraceptive coverage that conflicts with the corporate owners’ religious beliefs.
The owners of Hobby Lobby, the plaintiffs in the case, were always free to practice their religion. The Court bestowed religious freedom on their corporation as well—a leap of logic as absurd as giving corporations freedom of speech. Corporations aren’t people.


The deeper problem is the Court’s obliviousness to the growing imbalance of economic power between corporations and real people. By giving companies the right not to offer employees contraceptive services otherwise mandated by law, the Court ignored the rights of employees to receive those services.

(Justice Alito’s suggestion that those services could be provided directly by the federal government is as politically likely as is a single-payer federal health-insurance plan—which presumably would be necessary to supply such contraceptives or any other Obamacare service corporations refuse to offer on religious grounds.)

The same imbalance of power rendered the Court’s decision in “Citizens United,” granting corporations freedom of speech, so perverse. In reality, corporate free speech drowns out the free speech of ordinary people who can’t flood the halls of Congress with campaign contributions.

Freedom is the one value conservatives place above all others, yet time and again their ideal of freedom ignores the growing imbalance of power in our society that’s eroding the freedoms of most people.
This isn’t new. In the early 1930s, the Court trumped New Deal legislation with “freedom of contract”—the presumed right of people to make whatever deals they want unencumbered by federal regulations. Eventually (perhaps influenced by FDR’s threat to expand the Court and pack it with his own appointees) the Court relented. 
But the conservative mind has never incorporated economic power into its understanding of freedom. Conservatives still champion “free enterprise” and equate the so-called “free market” with liberty. To them, government “intrusions” on the market threaten freedom.
Yet the “free market” doesn’t exist in nature. There, only the fittest and strongest survive. The “free market” is the product of laws and rules continuously emanating from legislatures, executive departments, and courts. Government doesn’t “intrude” on the free market. It defines and organizes (and often reorganizes) it.
Here’s where the reality of power comes in. It’s one thing if these laws and rules are shaped democratically, reflecting the values and preferences of most people.
But anyone with half a brain can see the growing concentration of income and wealth at the top of America has concentrated political power there as well—generating laws and rules that tilt the playing field ever further in the direction of corporations and the wealthy.
Antitrust laws designed to constrain monopolies have been eviscerated. Competition among Internet service providers, for example, is rapidly disappearing—resulting in higher prices than in any other rich country. Companies are being allowed to prolong patents and trademarks, keeping drug prices higher here than in Canada or Europe.
Tax laws favor capital over labor, giving capital gains a lower rate than ordinary income. The rich get humongous mortgage interest deductions while renters get no deduction at all.
The value of real property (the major asset of the middle class) is taxed annually, but not the value of stocks and bonds (where the rich park most of their wealth).
Bankruptcy laws allow companies to smoothly reorganize, but not college graduates burdened by student loans.
The minimum wage is steadily losing value, while CEO pay is in the stratosphere. Under U.S. law, shareholders have only an “advisory” role in determining what CEOs rake in.  
Public goods paid for with tax revenues (public schools, affordable public universities, parks, roads, bridges) are deteriorating, while private goods paid for individually (private schools and colleges, health clubs, security guards, gated community amenities) are burgeoning. 
I could go on, but you get the point. The so-called “free market” is not expanding options and opportunities for most people. It’s extending them for the few who are wealthy enough to influence how the market is organized.
Most of us remain “free” in the limited sense of not being coerced into purchasing, say, the medications or Internet services that are unnecessarily expensive, or contraceptives they can no longer get under their employer’s insurance plan. We can just go without.
We’re likewise free not to be burdened with years of student debt payments; no one is required to attend college. And we’re free not to rent a place in a neighborhood with lousy schools and pot-holed roads; if we can’t afford better, we’re free to work harder so we can. 
But this is a very parched view of freedom. 
Conservatives who claim to be on the side of freedom while ignoring the growing imbalance of economic and political power in America are not in fact on the side of freedom. They are on the side of those with the power. 
Robert B. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He also served on President Obama's transition advisory board. His latest book is "Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future." His homepage is www.robertreich.org.
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