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Showing posts from August, 2014

The Broader Implications of the Georgia-Clemson Game

Today's 2014 football season opener between Georgia and Clemson is major.

This rivalry, dating back to to the 1800's, is now rare. Throughout the 1970's, 80's, and 90's, the Georgia-Clemson game was a near surety on each team's schedule. Matchups between the two schools were not nearly as frequent in the early 2000's. That's what makes this game a gem. Neither school knows the next time they may play each other.

Another reason, Clemson recruits Georgia athletes. In fact, Clemson University is only a few miles from the Georgia line. Therefore, it's almost a brother against brother rivalry. Players on both teams played together or against one another growing up in either Georgia or South Carolina.

Another reason, this is the first season of the College Football Playoffs. The winner of today's game will increase their playoff chances.

Lastly, I have decided to pursue a master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning. The winner of today's ga…

Sustainable Joy

Philippians 3:1- "... rejoice in the Lord..."
Philippians 4:4- "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice."

Here's the bottom line: Nothing in this world offers sustaining, non-stop, renewable joy. Only Christ can.

Happiness is based on happenings, stemming from happenstance. Based on circumstances, happiness goes up and down.

Money, fame, cars, clothes- absolutely none of them offer sustainable joy. Nor do they offer peace, healing, salvation, healing, or hope, for that matter. Only Christ can. That's why we're told to rejoice in the Lord.

Actor Robin Williams had it all. He was among Hollywood's elite and a household name. Yet, last week he hanged himself with a belt. From afar, I can only imagine that none of his stuff could give him the peace or joy he really needed.

I am not against money, fame, cars, or clothes, and I am a fan of Mr. William's extraordinary talents. However, the message here is that we can everything, but have …

Observation: Basic, Yet Powerful

In his 1984 book, What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School, Mark H. McCormack gives a seven step plan for watching and reaching people.

Interestingly, the first three of Mr. McCormack's seven steps are all about observation.

Here is a synopsis of those first three steps from Mr. McCormack.

1. Listen Aggressively. Don't only listen to what people are saying, but how they say it.

2. Observe Aggressively. Body language and dress are oftentimes context clues.

3. Talk Less. You learn more, hear more, see more, and make fewer blunders when you talk less.

James 1:19 sums it up: "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath."

Basic, yet powerful!

US-Africa Leaders Summit's Importance

This week President Barack Obama hosted a three-day US-Africa Leaders Summit, the first of its kind and the largest gathering of African heads of state by an American President.

The Summit lasted August 4 (Monday)-6 (Wednesday). Its focus was on trade, investment, and strengthening ties between the US and Africa- one of the world's fastest growing regions.

During the Summit, the President announced $14B in new private sector investments supporting a variety of industries, creating thousands of jobs, and opening up new opportunities for future collaboration.

President Obama is the first US President of African descent. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was a Kenyan economist. Given his close African heritage, it seems only right that President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, monumentally lay the groundwork towards stronger relations with Africa.

As an economist, economic developer, voting US citizen, and African-American, I am proud our President capitalized on t…

19th Century and the Urban Creation

The 19th century in the US was all about urbanization. And in great thanks to the Industrial Revolution.
Agricultural machinery made farmers more productive causing would-be farmers and field workers to head for other employment opportunities, mostly in cities.
Enterprises moved from cottages to factories. Large factories required workers. Workers created the need for nearby housing which then created the need for consumer goods and services. This led to the growth of department stores. Departments stores, then, also needed workers to stock the shelves. Education and entertainment also grew in demand as cities grew.
Immigration and nearby water were also attributable to the rise of 19th century cities. Water transportation was cheap, travel by horse and trolley were expensive, and trains had not yet realized their expansionary potential.
So, yes, US urbanization is a by-product of the Industrial Revolution. The 20th century witnessed the decentralization of these urban areas, mostly d…