Archive for February, 2012

“Leveling the Playing Field” for U.S. Businesses

February 29, 2012

The New York Times, Wednesday, February 22, 1012:  Business Day

Obama Offers to Cut Corporate Tax Rate to 28%, by Jackie Calmes

Washington–“President Obama will ask Congress to scrub the corporate tax code of dozens of loopholes and subsidies to reduce the top rate to 28 percent, down from 35 percent, while giving preferences to manufacturers that would set their maximum effective rate at 25 percent, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.”  President Obama will also “establish a minimum tax on multinational corporations’ foreign earnings…”

Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary, said that the proposed overhaul “will help level the playing field for businesses and allow the government to collect needed revenue while promoting economic growth.”

A previous blog was about “gaming the system”, so perhaps by “leveling the playing field” of businesses there will be less gaming going on.

Gaming the System: How the Political Strategies of Private Prison Companies Promote Ineffective Incarceration Policies

February 29, 2012


This article states:  “At a time when many policymakers are looking at criminal and juvenile justice reforms that would safely shrink the size of our prison population, the existence of private prison companies creates a countervailing interest in preserving the current approach to criminal justice and increasing the use of incarceration.”

…For profit private prison companies primarily use three strategies to influence policy:  lobbying , direct campaign contributions, and building relationships, networks, and associations.”

Perhaps private prison companies are bending the rules or “gaming the system” for their own advantage.  


Reforming the U.S. Corporate Tax: A Long Overdue Debate

February 29, 2012

The New York Times Thursday, February 23, 2012: EDITORIALS/LETTERS

Reform and Corporate Taxes:  The Obama framework is a start to a long overdue debate

This well reasoned editorial essay for reform begins with “the (U.S.) corporate tax system is a mess.”  It ends with…”Serious reform requires specific proposals, tough trade-offs and hard numbers attached.  Without all of those, this effort could too easily be hijacked by powerful corporations and their high-paid advisors.”  In other words, corporations and their managers could game the process and “unless it is vigilantly managed could actually reduce revenue and add to the deficit.” 

By gaming the process, corporate tax rules could be bent, manipulated for a particular corporation’s benefit, possibly abusing the system set in place.

Senator Santorum States Politics is a “Team Sport”

February 28, 2012

The New York Times National, Friday, February 24, 2012

Santorum is Forced to Defend His Record, by Michael D. Shear

Senate Credentials Are Easy Target

Washington–Rick Santorum is being asked tough questions about his conservative credentials by Mitt Romney, his opponent in the Republican nominee for president race.  In responding about his votes for family planning financing and for the “No Child Left Behind” education law, Mr. Santorum stated that politics is a “team sport.”  

Team sports are played on playing fields, including the Senate of the U.S.

Media Hype for Lin

February 20, 2012

The New York Times, Monday, February 20, 2010

In the Business Day page of The Times, David Carr, writes about the media and Linn in Media Hype For  Lin Stumbles on Race.   

Jeremy Lin is a 23 year old basketball phenomenon who plays professional basketball for the New York Knicks.  There, apparently, has been some unfortunate racist coverage, but generally  the media loves this story:  “… every once in awhile a tale comes along that turns them (sports reporters} into fanboys…  The Lin story has broken out into the general culture because it is aspirational in the extreme, fulfilling notions that have nothing to do with basketball or race. Most of us are not superstars, but we believe we could be if only given the opportunity.  We are, as a matter of practicality, a nation of supporting players, but who among us has not secretly thought we could be at the top of our business company or team if the skies parted and we had our shot?”

We love stories of success, and like to envision ourselves as a top player like Jeremy Lin. The sports idioms here are players, team, and shot, particularly “shot” which, in this case is a basketball shot at the basket, but in another context could be a shot from a gun.  


Management: Strategizing With the Team

February 15, 2012

The New York Times, Sunday, February 12, 2012


In an interview with Mr. Bryant about corporate leadership qualities, “Tim Bucher, founder and C.E.O. of, a wine site says he takes his team to weekly dinners, as it’s hard to discuss the big picture amid distractions at the office.”  

Mr. Bucher also says one has to communicate the vision.  “You have to show the team where you’re going…you’ve got to pull the whole organization in the right direction…In a start-up, everyone is pulling on the same oars.”

Perhaps Mr. Bucher was part of a crew in high school or college, as he wants his team to row together, pulling on the same oars, hoping they will win the race.  

The Playing Field Is A Boardroom

February 11, 2012



For This College Sport, the Playing Field Is a Boardroom, by KEVIN ROOSE

At the first Wall Street Training Valuation Case Competition, the Tulane/Shanghai team won first place.  They pitched a 3.2 billion aquisition of RPC, an energy services company by Chesapeake Energy Corporation.  

This article has a clever title comparing a corporate boardroom to a playing field with teams.  There is a baseball term is the second sentence in this post, “pitch.”   A pitcher pitches a ball, but this team pitched an idea for a takeover.