Two Things Right Now
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One of the biggest things I've struggled with over the course of my life is having that little voice inside me that says that everyone else is smarter, more talented, or just plain better at [fill in the blank]. "They have some magic that I don't," the voice says. Now I've learned how to flip the voice on its @ss & use it to drive me. But the reality is, the whole self-doubt & comparison thing can really kill us. In this episode, I share 2 things that help me win that battle. They can help you win it, too.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. WNBA star Brittney Griner today was moved to a Russian penal colony to serve out her nine-year sentence. Do you have an update right now on her condition? What do you know about that? And does this mark a new phase in negotiations with the Russians to secure her release? Can the U.S. now fully engage in talks on a prisoner swap?
"Ethics has to do with what my feelings tell me is right or wrong.""Ethics has to do with my religious beliefs.""Being ethical is doing what the law requires.""Ethics consists of the standards of behavior our society accepts.""I don't know what the word means."
Like Baumhart's first respondent, many people tend to equate ethics with their feelings. But being ethical is clearly not a matter of following one's feelings. A person following his or her feelings may recoil from doing what is right. In fact, feelings frequently deviate from what is ethical.
What, then, is ethics? Ethics is two things. First, ethics refers to well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues. Ethics, for example, refers to those standards that impose the reasonable obligations to refrain from rape, stealing, murder, assault, slander, and fraud. Ethical standards also include those that enjoin virtues of honesty, compassion, and loyalty. And, ethical standards include standards relating to rights, such as the right to life, the right to freedom from injury, and the right to privacy. Such standards are adequate standards of ethics because they are supported by consistent and well-founded reasons.
KURTZLEBEN: Well, I want to ask you about two things in particular that get mentioned as potential causes of inflation, and that is pandemic stimulus and corporate price gouging. Those make intuitive sense as causes. Do we have a sense of how much those things actually have been pushing prices up?
SINCLAIR: This idea that prices should actually come down across the board, that's not the Fed's goal, right? They want to just bring inflation down, but not actually prices coming all the way down to where we got used to them before.
WOLFERS: I think the right thought experiment is to close your eyes and go back two years ago to the depths of the pandemic where you didn't know if your family was healthy. You knew that most workers were at home, and you didn't know whether your workplace was ever going to reopen. And ask yourself, in that situation, would you rather the government risked doing too much and as a result, got everyone back to work but caused a bit of inflation? Or do you wish that they did too little? And a bunch of people, millions of people, stayed out of work, and we had no inflationary risk. I would have chosen the former. That's, in fact, what the federal government chose. It's what the Federal Reserve chose. And I think it was a wise choice. After the global financial crisis in 2008, they made the opposite choice, and the recovery took years and years and years and years.
KURTZLEBEN: The Federal Reserve is trying to strike this careful balance - right? - of slowing down the economy, slowing things down from being overheated, but not too much. And the - just this week, we saw them raise interest rates by 0.75 of a percentage point. That's a lot to do all at once. Is that the best way to tame inflation? Or are there other solutions? What do you think, Tara?
WOLFERS: I can't promise any of your listeners there won't be a recession, but none of the warning signs are flashing bright red right now, and almost none of them are even flashing amber. Look, when people are worried about a recession, it's the very real fear that the Fed could overreact, do too much, and choke off the economy. But you know what else? They could make the opposite mistake. They could underreact, do too little. Inflation keeps chugging along, but so does the rest of the economy. And we all keep spending money, and we're all in jobs, and some of us start to get pay rises. So yeah, we should worry about the downside, but let's acknowledge there's an equal and opposite upside, too.
KURTZLEBEN: All right, I want to finish by zooming out here. Tara, what do you think is important for consumers to better understand about this current moment? What is a good takeaway for our listeners?
SINCLAIR: Well, I think the big takeaway is that we are in a - once again, an unprecedented time. And so I think it's both important to look back and see how much success that we've had in terms of recovering as quickly as we have, as well as to look forward and say, OK, that was a relatively short time period, and we've been in this inflationary environment for a relatively short time period. And so we can expect that as things stabilize, that maybe we can also picture a return to normal coming along the lines of a return to stable prices as well.
With massive amounts of data from Whole Foods shoppers, Amazon will ultimately be able to tailor the grocery shopping experience to the individual. Amazon has already mastered the process of upselling, i.e. offering additional items that go with the items the consumer is looking to buy. With consumables like groceries, Amazon will know when you run out of cereal and will present you with the offer to buy more at precisely the right time. Alternatively, the new box of cereal may just show up at your door at the moment you take that last bite.
As Amazon's reach extends into other sectors, it's anyone's guess what they will do next. It is critical that retailers and brands learn to not only gather the right kind of data that helps them to understand their customer, but harness its power to ensure their products and pricing are in line with expectations and keep customers coming back.
I kept wishing that Elie would dig more deeply into the oddness of the odd couple he has brought together: the divinity of Bach and all his moral associations, and the super-secular microphone, an amoral, utterly neutral agent if ever there was one. Just as the art of recording begins to mature, and the story begins to get a bit decadent, leaving Africa (Schweitzer) and war-torn Europe (Casals) for film studios in Hollywood and Santa Barbara (Stokowski), we come across the most peculiar and famous of our heroes, an anti-divinity in his own right. I am referring, of course, to Glenn Gould. He arrives armed and dangerous, a crusader, in the wake of hearing Tureck:
Feeling rejected is the opposite of feeling accepted. But being rejected (and we all will be at times) doesn't mean someone isn't liked, valued, or important. It just means that one time, in one situation, with one person, things didn't work out.
Sometimes a rejection is a harsh reality check. But if you approach it right, it could help nudge you in a direction that turns out to be the perfect fit for your talents, personality, and all the really great things that make you who you are.
3: Acknowledge THREE things you hear. This could be any external sound. If you can hear your belly rumbling that counts! Focus on things you can hear outside of your body.
2: Acknowledge TWO things you can smell. Maybe you are in your office and smell pencil, or maybe you are in your bedroom and smell a pillow. If you need to take a brief walk to find a scent you could smell soap in your bathroom, or nature outside.
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The three major European elections are in The Netherlands (March 15), France (first round on April 23), and Germany (September 24). Much of the focus was on French election fears surrounding far right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen. While only 22% of investors think that Le Pen will win, it's important to remember that investors also did not expect Donald Trump to win the US election or for the UK to vote to leave the European Union.
Recent electoral outcomes have centered around fears about the economic future, and voter demographics supporting the nationalist movements have been similar for the Brexit vote, U.S. and French elections, with noncollege-educated segments of the population favoring nationalist candidates. The classical divide between the right and left is now less relevant. The big divide is on globalization, between the winners and losers. 2b1af7f3a8