• UP TO $132 BILLION IN “IMPROPER” TAX REFUNDS & CREDITS over the last decade is “disturbing,” according to the IRS Inspector General. He concedes that “IRS must do a better job of reining in improper payments… but probably won’t make any significant reduction in erroneous payments (predominantly ‘earned income tax credits’) – especially given that limited resources have already eaten into the effectiveness of the agency’s current methods… But, the agency is working with the Obama administration to better gauge the impact of IRS compliance and outreach efforts.” Good to know, since IRS is also now responsible for oversight of the new healthcare law subsidies. [THE HILL.com – Oct 22, 13]
  • DEVELOPING SKILLS AND CONFIDENCE IN UNDERLINGS is among the core responsibilities of a leader, but “too many managers & leaders do things everyday that send a message they distrust even their best people,” including: (1) Dele- gating orders without explaining why or how tasks fit the bigger picture – i.e. without sufficient context – which minimizes a subordinate’s contribution; (2) Specifying what or how to do the task then micromanaging work with too-close supervision, versus trusting subordinates to get the job done; (3) Overriding or ignoring employee work product or feedback without explanation, which implies that their skills or opinions are not really valued; (4) Intervening or being overprotective when they do drop the ball, which says you don’t trust employees to handle themselves well. DCG can help. [GLOWAN NWSLTR – Oct 22, 13]
  • DEFINITIONS OF ‘SLAVERY’ ARE CONTROVERSIAL, but some 30 million people on the planet are still considered ‘slaves,’ according to the Global Slavery Index maintained in Australia. “Coerced work (including construction gangs and/or provision of sex), children forced into marriage… and trafficked people, often with mental or family problems” are exploited in 162 countries. Many of India’s 14 million slaves were “born into it based on caste or other obligations; others trapped in debt bondage.” Another 5 million in China & Pakistan, with seven other countries enslaving 1⁄2 million each on average. In Africa, “children are owned by the same people who own their parents, to be used or sold.” Britain is one of the lower-ranked countries but still has perhaps 5,000. “A hateful practice with deep roots is still flourishing.” [THE ECONOMIST – Oct 19, 13]
  • “FREQUENT KISSING IS A BETTER INDICATOR OF A COUPLE’S OVERALL HAPPINESS THAN FREQUENT SEX.” A recent Oxford University research study of 900 adults focused on the “role of kissing” in their relationships to also conclude that women “tend to place more value on kissing as an important way to reinforce attachment, presumably because they bear more significant lasting consequences from the choice of a mate,” and women are far more likely than men to change their judgment after a ‘first kiss.’ Also, “kissing was most highly valued by people who rated themselves as attractive and, therefore, could be picky about their sexual partners… Courtship in humans is complex.” [THE WEEK – Nov 1, 13]
  • A FORMULA FOR ESTIMATING DAILY CALORIES MEN SHOULD CONSUME: (1) Daily Activity [based on your exercise level – guesstimate a factor between 1.2 for minimal, to 1.55 for “moderate,” to 1.9 for “extremely active”]; (2) multiplied by Metabolic Rate [pounds times 4.55], times [height in inches times 15.875], minus [age times 5, plus 5]; equals appropriate calorie level. Obviously, calorie intake greater or lesser, impacts weight gain or loss. [MENS HEALTH – Nov 13]
  • THE NEWEST RANKING OF ‘WORST STATES FOR BUSINESS’ puts California in third place – behind only New York and New Jersey. The annual Tax Foundation ranking is based on key factors including effective tax rates for personal, corporation, sales, property and unemployment insurance. [THINK ADVISOR – Oct 11, 13]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: A rather astonishing new personal grooming object: Dyson Vac Commerical For an interesting perspective on world events six years from now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Lmd3l0W5JI&feature=youtu.be

    Because humans are primarily emotional beings, we look for evidence that supports what we want to be ‘true’ and often ignore data that is ‘inconsistent.’ Up until the collapse of the economic system in 2008, “most basic economics was based on the presumption that human beings are rational in that they look after their long-term self-interest. But what we now call ‘animal spirits’ has a certain consistency about it… Fear is a far more potent emotion than euphoria or greed.” – Alan Greenspan