The Philippines levels up with strong leadershipLeadership is about providing greater good to greater number and providing safety nets for the displaced sectors. In assessing an administration, we should use multiple scorecards, and not focus on rhetoric, or specific-per event assessments. It’s a matter of netting the achievements with the costs. Strong leaders. Most nations moved forward under “strong leaders.” Germany under Bismarck, England under Queen Elizabeth, Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew, South Korea under Park Chung Hee, Malaysia under Mahathir Mohamad, etc … US under Trump? Statistically progressing under a “strong leader” would be the normal case, given that leaders selected because of average temperament and catering to all interests rather than prioritizing, or not pushing against the larger traditions where they are obstacles to progress, will not give an outstanding performance.“Human rights” has been a constant issue with … [Read more...] about The Philippines levels up with strong leadership
Is democracy compatible with economic growth
MANDALIKA, Indonesia — The woman threw herself on the road in front of the motorcade, forcing the vehicle with the license plate “Indonesia 1” to slam on the brakes. “Jokowi, I love you,” she cried, as President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, re-elected with the release of the vote count Tuesday, rolled down his window to clasp hands with the sobbing fan on a rural roadside on the island of Lombok. Commonly known by the nickname Jokowi, Widodo seems an unlikely figure to command such rock-star reverence. His oratory depends less on grand vision or populist rhetoric and more on statistics about road building or village financing down to the 10th decimal place. He favors plain white collared shirts and black trousers. He speaks softly. Yet Widodo’s re-election to a second and final term as president of the world’s fourth most populous nation is a powerful counterweight to the democratic weakening and strongman politics that have recently dominated the … [Read more...] about Indonesia bucks strongman trend with Widodo reelection
Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief, The Straits Times Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief, The Straits Times These days, Harvard Professor Graham Allison is hailed as something of a prophet. Officials he met in China recently referred to him as the man who “predicted” a clash between the United States and China, he says. “It was not a prophesy,” he adds. “I simply pointed out the recurring patterns of history.” “Today, the conversation has moved to the more urgent question, which is, what’s to be done, and how to escape Thucydides’ Trap?” He is talking about his ground-breaking, best-selling book, published in 2017, with the ominous title, Destined for War: Can America and China escape Thucydides’s Trap? The book, whose title refers to an ancient Greek historian’s chronicle of upstart Athens taking on Sparta, caught global attention for its study of 16 periods of power rivalry over the past five … [Read more...] about US, China: Frenemies?
As recently as the 1980s, many publicly traded U.S. corporations idealistically sought to spread their wealth among their employees. Generous benefits such as profit sharing, stock ownership, lifetime pensions, career-long training, and even job security were routine at such companies as AT&T, General Electric, Hallmark, J.C. Penney, Procter & Gamble, and Sears. But these practices mostly vanished before the turn of the millennium. In today’s companies, as New York Times reporters Nelson Schwartz and Michael Corkery noted in an October 2018 front-page article, employees tend to “lose benefits while shareholders grab the spoils.” For example, Amazon’s employee stock program was canceled in 2018 to offset the cost of a salary hike. When today’s business leaders wish to demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility, they tend to do so through environmental practices and transparency policies. And if history is any … [Read more...] about The Short Life of Enlightened Leadership (and How to Extend It)