Archive for August, 2001

Unfinished Business. Roger Douglas.

Unfinished Business , Roger Douglas. 1993 ISBN 1869411994. Douglas was the Labour Minister of Finance in New Zealand when they made major transition from a Socialist system to a free enterprise system. In 8 yrs they dramatically reduced govt ownership and debt while increasing the GDP and reducing all taxes. He is an accountant so all the numbers are there, the homework has been done.

Douglas has been involved with the BC Liberal party policy planning process over the last few years. His arguments are compelling, lucid and sensible. His eight principles are:

  • 1. For quality policies, you need quality people.
  • 2. Implement reform in quantum leaps, using large packages
  • 3. Speed is essential. It is almost impossible to go too fast.
  • 4. Once you build the momentum, don’t let it stop rolling.
  • 5.Consistency+credibility=confidence.
  • 6. Let the dog see the rabbit.
  • 7. Never fall into the trap of selling the public short.
  • 8. Don’t blink. Public confidence rests on your composure.
  • 9. Incentives plus choice vs. monopoly. Get the fundamentals right.
  • 10. When in doubt, ask yourself “Why am I in politics?”

His telling point for me was the question,” How does it make sense to heavily tax the middle class , then give much of it back in the form of subsidies and tax breaks? Just do not take it in the first place and give people choices in health, insurance, education and social services. Ever wonder how much each of us is presently paying for public health, education and social services. . Find it in the library.

Wharton on Dynamic Competitive Strategy. Day, Reibstein and Gunther.

Wharton on Dynamic Competitive Strategy. Day, Reibstein and Gunther. 1997. ISBN 0471172073. Very ambitious and well researched book on competitive strategies. If you are in a deathly competitive struggle this will help. If you are contemplating a struggle, this will forewarn you. My warning. It is not a light read and fairly costly. Take it out of the library, but it may take more than the 4 weeks allowed to finish it. And then you still may want to keep it handy. Some sections reminded me of heavy thermodynamic theory while parts of others could have been edited by Harvey MacKay The essence is, in our business this is not a light nor trivial topic.