Tag Archive: Michael Jordan


“Billionaires should not exist.” — Millionaire U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont)

“Every billionaire is a policy failure.” — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York)

“Personal wealth is at best an unreliable signal of bad behavior or failing policies. Often the reverse is true.” — The Economist

Super talented and accomplished media superstar Oprah Winfrey is worth $3 billion.

Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan’s net worth is $1.9 billion.

Hip-hop star/investor Jay-Z just made into the three-comma club at $1,000,000,000.

Did government fail when Oprah, Michael and Jay-Z all succeeded and thrived, each because of their hard work, fortitude, perseverance and incredible talent?

Did anyone of them trade on their … privilege?

Almost DailyBrett doesn’t remember Oprah engaging in insider-trading.

Do you, Secretary Reich?

Ditto for Michael Jordan profiting from a monopoly unless Mr. Reich is pointing to Michael’s near-monopoly of talent against the competition he faced night-after-night in the NBA?

Is Jay-Z guilty of fraud, a political payoff or did he inherit his wealth?

Wonder if any of these “basically 5 ways” to accumulate a billion dollars in America apply to Nike founder/Philanthropist Phil Knight?

Have you read “Shoe Dog,” Professor Reich? Nike almost went under about nine times.

The former Labor Secretary’s “5 ways” Twitter screed is intellectually dishonest, and remarkably easy to discredit.

Alas, it is beneath the respect normally afforded to Robert Reich. Next time go high Mr. Reich instead of racing to the bottom. Talented and hard working people can earn their wealth on their own without resorting to nefarious deeds.

From a policy standpoint, we need to ask:

Should we punish Oprah, Michael, Jay-Z, Uncle Phil and so many others who worked their tushes off to legitimately make their fortunes with a punitive Elizabeth Warren 6 percent wealth tax (up from the original 3 percent proposal), and income tax rates reaching 90 percent or beyond?

Whattyathink Senators Sanders and Warren?

Class warfare — born out of jealousy — is not new.

The effective tax rate for achievers in the United Kingdom in the 1970s once reached 98 percent. If you don’t believe Almost DailyBrett, ask The Beatles … ask The Rolling Stones, who fled to France and recorded “Exile On Main Street.”

Can a near 100 percent confiscatory tax rate, which was thankfully eliminated in the UK by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, happen in the United States of America? Let’s hope not.

Celebrate Instead of Hate?

Almost DailyBrett remembers boys and girls practicing basketball, so they could be “Just Like Mike.”

Your author can imagine girls admiring and wanting to be the next Oprah.

You should check Ellen’s interview with Bill Gates. They discussed the works and deeds of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, donating a cumulative $50.1 billion to fight global childhood poverty and to improve public schools in our country.

According to Forbes, Gates is worth approximately $96.5 billion — give or take a shekel or two — making him the second wealthiest homo sapien on the planet. Virtually everyone in the first world is using Microsoft’s Windows Operating System, inspired and written by Gates. And his charitable foundation has contributed more than any other non-profit ever to make our world a better place (more than most governments).

His former company Microsoft is valued at $1.14 trillion, generates $96.5 billion in annual revenues, and employs 144,000 in well paying positions with full benefits and stock options. Taken together, the performance of Microsoft as a company and the generosity of the Gates Foundation, puts Bill’s wealth into perspective.

Can we have more “policy failures” just like Bill Gates, Phil Knight, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Jay-Z and so many more?

Instead of hating people who are wealthy, let’s celebrate and cheer for the achievers (e.g., Michael Jordan).

If we are concerned about billionaires, our policies should focus on stimulating competition (i.e., über-tough content streaming, video game, smart phone markets…), not limitless redistribution or punitive taxation.

If our political intent is to further divide, demonizing billionaires (as others have been publicly denigrated for ages) is a good way to engender one of the seven Deadly Sins: Envy.

If our goal is growth and prosperity, then let’s encourage Millennials and the generations, who will follow, to shoot for the stars. Let them become tomorrow’s Oprah, Michael, Jay-Z, Bill Gates and Uncle Phil.

And if they succeed financially, let’s celebrate them and at the same time root for competitors to keep them on their toes.

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/11/09/billionaires-are-only-rarely-policy-failures

https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2019/11/07/have-billionaires-accumulated-their-wealth-illegitimately

https://www.gatesfoundation.org/who-we-are/general-information/foundation-factsheet

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-lonely-guy-standing-in-line-for-a-burger/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/taxing-uncle-phil-to-death/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/three-comma-club/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/taxing-the-fab-four-exiling-the-stones/

“Marcus Mariota told NFL it is ‘important to him, personally and culturally,’ to be in Hawaii to celebrate the next step in life. No draft for him.” – ESECPN Draft Analyst Adam SchefterMarcus Mariota

There is no joy associated in being picked last for kick ball.

There are permanent scars for some not being asked to junior prom – if you don’t believe Almost DailyBrett, just ask former Rep. Michelle Bachmann.

And then there is the spectacle of the celebrated college football stud, the ultimate BMOC, sitting in a nouveau riche suit bought by his sleaze-ball agent, waiting hours upon hours for his name to be called … and ESECPN cameras covering every nanosecond of the agony.

Does this scenario sound familiar Johnny “Rehab” Manziel? Surely, the home state Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t pass on the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M with their 16th pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft?

Oops! They did exactly that.

Finally, the Cleveland Browns rescued Johnny with its first-round selection in the 22nd position, ending the sordid spectacle of Manziel being passed up by almost two-dozen teams. In basketball, two teams forever regretted passing on Michael Jordan. Considering that Manziel just emerged from rehab, one can postulate that Cleveland is regretting awarding him with a four-year pact at $8.3 million; $7.55 million guaranteed and a $4.38 million signing bonus.manziel1

Remember storming out of Radio City Music Hall at the 2013 NFL Draft, Geno Smith? Your agent confidently projected you would be picked in the first round. Hmmm? Turned out it was the next night, Round 2, pick #39 overall, before your name was mercifully called by the New York Jets.

The good news, Geno: You were picked by the New York Jets. The bad news, Geno: You were picked by the New York Jets.ginosmith

Why Be There?

Let’s ask the obvious football public relations/reputation management/personal branding question right here and now: Why even show up for the first round, let alone be present for any of the NFL draft?

Do you (e.g., football hero) really need a picture taken of yourself in another new ball cap, a jersey with #1, with the NFL commissioner? Isn’t what you really want, is a contract with as many guaranteed dollars as possible to play a violent game for four years or maybe longer?

Maybe 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston is making a smart public relations move for once by so far deciding to not attend the NFL Draft festivities, even though he may be tempted by his agent to venture to Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre this coming Thursday.

The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Mariota from Oregon, will not be in Chicago. Instead, he will be home in Hawaii with dad, Toa Mariota, and mom, Alana Deppe-Mariota, and his family and friends. Mahalo!mariotaparents

Yes, the author of Almost DailyBrett is a tad biased when it comes to the joys of Oregon football. Having dispensed with that obligatory consumer warning, it is still a great personal and PR move for Marcus to stay away from the draft.

Besides where would you rather be: Hawaii or Chicago?

Character Matters

After the notorious antics of the last two Heisman Trophy winners, Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston, Mariota is refreshingly boring with his refusal to take any glory upon himself and ALWAYS thinking of his teammates.

Who can forget Mariota breaking down in front of mom and dad, his coaches, and all the past Heisman winners as he accepted the most hallowed trophy in college football? Some wonder whether Mariota is too nice to play in the NFL. The question in some respects is an indictment of the league with its warm-and-cuddly owners, such as Jerry Jones.

When and where to will Marcus be drafted on Thursday? San Diego? Tennessee? Cleveland (bye, bye Johnny no good(e)?) New York Jets? Philadelphia? Some days it seems that Mariota’s draft stock is up and some days it seems that it is down.

Where is Marcus in the mock drafts? It changes from day-to-day. Seems remarkably similar to rolling tracking polling for political campaigns going down to the wire.

These questions all point back to the wisdom and the genuineness of Marcus watching the draft back home in Hawaii with mom, dad, siblings and friends.

If it turns out to take a little longer than expected (who really understands the vagaries of NFL scouting?) at least he will not look like Johnny Manziel or Geno Smith waiting for someone, anyone to draft him.

And that includes the New York Jets.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/25130998/report-marcus-mariota-will-not-attend-nfl-draft

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/25149193/26-players-to-attend-2015-nfl-draft-no-jameis-winston-marcus-mariota

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Manziel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geno_Smith

http://espn.go.com/nfl/draft

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Heisman_Trophy_winners

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000350347/article/2014-nfl-draft-firstround-signing-tracker

 

 

 

 

 

hamburgerfries

That used to be the punch of the joke about what liberal arts majors will be doing after college? You didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

For those who are the butt of this joke (maybe not English majors), the tide may be turning…or at least there is a glimmer of a real shift in traditional thinking.

According to an Association of American Colleges and Universities survey of chief executives, 74 percent of C-level respondents recommend a 21st-century liberal arts education in order to create the dynamic workers needed for the modern workplace.

This report brought into question why everyone is getting their knickers in a collective twist over STEM skills or the focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Is the proverbial paradigm shifting? Maybe not.

The Economist recently reported that once again the way-too-low U.S. allotment of 85,000 H-1B visas for the best-and-the-brightest technology Wunderkindern from overseas (mostly East Asia and the Subcontinent) were snatched up in the first five days of April. Recognizing this paltry number, some technology trade associations are lobbying to raise the H-1B visa cap back to 195,000 annually, but it is tough sledding in the face of predictable opposition from organized labor.

At the same time, the national unemployment rate (measuring only those who are actually looking for work) remains stubbornly high at 7.7 percent, and it does not include the millions of underemployed Americans.

How many contradictions can you count in these reports?

There is an increased demand for articulate and talented graduates in the written and spoken word. Does that mean that our digitized society should not put so much time, treasure and effort into STEM?

And yet we need to import those particularly adept in science, technology, engineering and math from overseas…because there is a talent shortage in this area.

Let me ask: Where are the Americans?

There are literally 14 million…give or take…who are unemployed and underemployed…and recent reports indicate that only 50 percent of those with college degrees or some degrees are finding work.

And yet there are obvious shortages for STEM-winders and now (gasp) liberal arts graduates…and what seems to be a permanent, unacceptable unemployment rate.

Got that?

At the risk of being completely off base (wouldn’t be the first time), let me offer that education should be seen as the answer, albeit there are no guarantees. At a minimum, a graduate with a bachelor’s degree or better yet, a master’s degree is better positioned to compete in today’s lifelong learning society.

NYSE_Building,jpg

Consider that the venerable New York Stock Exchange has 2,304 listings. The “Big Board’s” edgy competitor, NASDAQ, has 2,784 listings. Together, there are more than 5,000 publicly traded companies in the US alone that are required by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to report quarterly earnings releases, issue annual report letters, hold choreographed shareholder meetings, and send out any “material” news on a crash basis that could influence investor buy, hold or sell decisions.

These mandated disclosures alone are testaments to the need for liberal arts graduates with an understanding of how business works to fulfill these requirements.  These complex announcements about how a company makes money and competes cannot be effectively outsourced. Not only are there thousands of corporate jobs supporting these disclosure mandates; there are thousands more at public relations agencies and trade associations that are related to these activities.

And let’s not forget the public relations/marketing supporting the sale of the products and services these companies create and offer.

Reflecting upon my years as the Director of Communications for the Semiconductor Industry Association and as the vice chair of its Communication Committee, I distinctly remember our efforts to stimulate more middle-school and high school students, particularly young women, to pursue careers in engineering. That of course meant more math and science. There was no engineering Michael Jordan to serve as a role model.

We obviously have more work to do.

And when it comes to fast food, McDonald’s is offering university-style training for those who want to start flipping burgers and eventually working their way up the corporate ladder to the C-suite. Reportedly, only one out of every 15 applicants is accepted.

Yep, there may be a day when liberal arts graduates are not electing to “receive” when it comes to a javelin throwing competition. The ability to write well, speak well and tell the story well should always be in demand.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100642178

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21575782-how-hurt-economy-needlessly-not-working

http://www.economist.com/news/international/21576656-degree-burgerologyand-job-too-fries

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