New evidence on family size v wealth; US v UK on healthcare; the reversal of globalization; whistle blowing on corruption and getting fired on Facebook: links I liked

The Economist reports research published in Nature that argues that the old story of fertility rates declining as Economist fertilitycountries become wealthier has changed – since 1975 a kink has appeared and family size starts to rise again (see graph) as welfare (as measured by the Human Development Index) improves.

The US health care reform is turning seriously nasty and generating some bizarre coverage of Britain’s National Health Service. The Guardian devoted an entire page to attempting to sort out fact from fiction among the barrage of accusations levelled by health reform opponents  in the US at Britain’s National Health Service. My personal favourite: Investor’s Business Daily — which poses as a reputable source of financial information — reports that “People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.” Hawking himself has responded, telling the UK’s Guardian: “I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.”

The prolific Alex Evans on why climate change has turned him vegetarian (well 3 days a week, anyway) and picking up a thread of news stories on the reversal of globalization, shrinking of supply chains etc, driven by concerns over future energy prices and the current crisis. ‘For the first time in over a decade, made-in-America steel had become cheaper than Chinese imports in the US marketplace.’

The first signs of green shoots, however feeble, prompt the Guardian’s Larry Elliott to go into a vintage tirade against Britain’s failure to learn any lessons from the crisis.

And attention all whistle blowers: ‘If you have ever come across corruption as a material business issue in your work overseas, we would be grateful if you could complete the online survey by clicking on the following link. Confidentiality is guaranteed as the survey is completed anonymously. The aim of the project is to compile information that will lead to a greater understanding of the problem of corruption. The information it provides will support British businesses in their endeavours to compete honestly and fairly in corrupt environments.’

Finally, why you should think twice before ‘friending’ your boss on facebookfacebook.

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2 Responses to “New evidence on family size v wealth; US v UK on healthcare; the reversal of globalization; whistle blowing on corruption and getting fired on Facebook: links I liked”
  1. Chris

    And why you should think twice about a) making sure you don’t ‘reply to all’ and b) why enforcing monitoring and evaluation process on others and ignoring effective feedback mechanisms can be problematic….Read from the bottom up for full effect.


    From: XXXXXXX
    Sent: Wednesday, 29 July 2009 10:40 am
    Subject: Fw: soft cafe group may results summary

    To all business people on my data base, this is no joke, be wary of what marketing groups you align and trust to be supportive of your business.

    —– Original Message —–
    From: XXXXXX
    Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 1:07 PM
    Subject: RE: soft cafe group may results summary


    If you could let me explain, I would appreciate it.

    I know it looks awful but it certainly was not as intended.

    XXXXXXX | Account Manager
    From: XXXXXXXX
    Sent: Tuesday, 28 July 2009 1:00 PM
    To: XXXXXXl
    Subject: Re: soft cafe group may results summary

    Thanks XXXX, recieved your feedback, cancel our business with you immmediately, please inform your boss that vouchers will not be redemable at our cafes from tomorrow.

    I’m involved in a few networks of business people around XXX, I can insure that they will be all recieving a copy of your email.
    From: XXXX
    To: XXXX
    Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:55 PM
    Subject: RE: soft cafe group may results summary


    This guy is a d**k…as you know, I have been trying to get him to track and he has decided to do it himself in some kind of f*****d up way! Is there any way we can put these results into our spreadsheet to get some kind of ROI? Basically from what he’s given me, he has earnt $8,537 from the program and invested $2,024. He’s had 255 vouchers but that is from all 3 locations.

    Why are all the people I deal with so f*****d in the head???

    XXXXl | Account Manager
    From: XXXX
    Sent: Tuesday, 28 July 2009 12:41 PM
    To: XXXX
    Subject: soft cafe group may results summary

    Hi XXXX,
    May 2009 results collated on my own spread sheet are as follows:
    Gross Turnover $8,537
    less discount ($2,024) 25% with cap at $15 for $60 spend
    Net Turnover $6,513

    255 vouchers average $33 per voucher
    $8537 divided by average spend per customer = 580 people

    We were unable to train staff before May to document the spend when cap was reached, so I took an average of those who spent more than $60 to gain a more accurate total spend. Is our spend high based on your averages , can you give me some feedback from your prospective and industry averages, Thankyou, XXX

  2. Ken Smith

    Hi – I’ve haven’t read the original paper in nature and maybe they have it covered but where does immigration fit into all this. Couldn’t once country gets above a threshold of HDI – simply it attracts labour to fill the gap caused by the declining birth rate ?

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