Leadership in an Age of Globalization
Matt Miller is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress; a contributing editor at Fortune; and the host of "Left, Right & Center," public radio's popular week-in-review program. Miller's first book, The Two Percent Solution: Fixing America's Problems In Ways Liberals And Conservatives Can Love, was published in 2003, and was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. His latest book, The Tyranny Of Dead Ideas, was published by Henry Holt/Times Books in January 2009. Miller served as Senior Advisor to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1993 to 1995. He lives with his family in Los Angeles.
Question: Will the financial crisis change the way leaders behave?
Miller: I guess… I think one of the biggest problems we face now is that business leaders who I think are our critical constituency for a lot of the things that need to happen, business leaders of global enterprises have less of a stake in the quality of public policy in the United States than they used to. What do I mean by that? If you’re running a multinational firm and half your sales are outside the United States today, and in the next five years most of your growth is coming from outside the United States, if the US education system is failing, it may be a pity for your country, but it may not be a big problem for your business, and if we’re honest about that, and I think most business leaders don’t like to conceptualize it in those terms, but if we have an honest conversation about that as a country, it helps explain why, you know, business leaders today will say, well, you know, if the Kentucky school system isn’t good, I can hire the engineers and site the manufacturing place I need in Singapore. And that changes the conversation, and I think what we need, and one of the things I urge in my book, is really a resurgence of what I think of as patriotic US based business leaders who can step outside some of their traditional incentives or the polls that they fill now globally to say time out, you know. As Americans, we need to get our house in order, and we need to do what we need to, and I’m prepared, as a business and with other business leaders, to step up and be a constituent for the changes that we need to make so that all Americans have a chance to thrive. I think, you know, unless we have business leaders actually take greater ownership of some of these public issues, then we’re going to have a hard time solving them. So, I’m hopeful on the sense that I think that, once appealed to, business leaders can actually step up in this way, because they had before. After World War II, the martial plan, the whole economic recovery, business leaders played an enormous part in that in the US, but I think they haven’t been summoned really to step up in a way that they need to, and I think, if they are, I’m hopeful they’ll answer the call.
Question: Do CEO’s need to rebrand themselves less as leaders and more as icons?
Miller: I’m not sure if I’m thinking of it so much in the sense of the superstar CEO and, you know, the brand of the company, though that’s, you know, in the media age, that seems to be, you know, a trend that continues, but I think we’re going to need, we’re certainly going to need a good list of name brand CEOs, people who are known to the public and who have clout, to step up on some of these public issues, to help say, you know, business wants to solve this, and right now business ends up, business approaches all its issues as if they were an [asylum]. There’s the trade issue. We want free trade or we want protectionism, depending on the business you’ve got. There’s taxes and we deal with that. There’s, you know, different state level issues, etc. I think what business, what too many CEOs don’t understand is that all these things meld together now in an era when ordinary Americans feel tremendous anxiety about their economic future, and unless business as a constituency views these issues in an integrated way and realizes that business needs to be an advocate for changes in the social contract that we’re talking about, then the consensus for markets and capitalism, etc., is going to erode and there’ll be a real backlash against the values that most business leaders care about.
Forbes editor Matt Miller envisions the post-crisis CEO.
A plan to forgive almost a trillion dollars in debt would solve the student loan debt crisis, but can it work?
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren has just proposed a bold education reform plan that would forgive billions in student debt.
- The plan would forgive the debt held by more than 30 million Americans.
- The debt forgiveness program is one part of a larger program to make higher education more accessible.
America isn't immune to attempts to remove books from libraries and schools, here are ten frequent targets and why you ought to go check them out.
- Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
- Every year, the American Library Association puts on Banned Books Week to draw attention to this fact.
- Some of the books they include on their list of most frequently challenged are some of the greatest, most beloved, and entertaining books there are.
In most states, LGBTQ Americans have no legal protections against discrimination in the workplace.
- The Supreme Court will decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also applies to gay and transgender people.
- The court, which currently has a probable conservative majority, will likely decide on the cases in 2020.
- Only 21 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws effectively extending the Civil Rights of 1964 to gay and transgender people.
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