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Investment Perspective: Two Books that will Tweak Your Understanding and Jump Start Your Imagination (September, 2006)

Submitted by Steve Selengut | RSS Feed | Add Comment | Bookmark Me! print

If you haven't been living under a rock for the past ten years or more, you have experienced a global socio-economic change that is truly mind-boggling. In one sentence, Thomas Friedman offers this insight, which I believe should give all of us a great sense of confidence in the globalization/flattening that is escalating all around us: "By the year 2010, there will be more English speaking people in India than in the entire rest of the world", and nearly all of them will be educated…

Similarly, he warns of the need for our institutions to accept and embrace this new intellectual/technical/economic revolution if we are to continue to be competitive in the world economy. Our major multi-national corporations are in there participating… let 'em breathe!

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, by Thomas L Friedman. (You can buy it through my Amazon Link.)

I'm not a big fan of ABC 's 20/20 or, as you know, of the media in general, but I found investigative reporter John Stossel's work as smile provoking as it was thought provoking in several areas. You almost have to trust a guy who is self confident enough to blast the tactics of his own profession. Look at the media reporting today, as they seem to be wishin' and hopin' for a disastrous hurricane!

A second group he bears down on is Congress, the real seat of destructive power in this country and a place that really could use an electoral tsunami. Big government is more of a danger than big business ever will be and Stossel is one of few reporters I know of willing to climb out on that limb.

Stossel hits a lot of nails on the head in what qualifies as a "dark comedy in woids".

Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel--Why Everything You Know is Wrong, by John Stossel. (You can buy it through my Amazon Link.)

As totally different as these books are in size, subject matter, and writing style, they brought me around to the same periphery broadening conclusions. As investors, we are perhaps the largest single non-partisan constituency in America whether self-employed, employed by others or retired. Our interests are similar, if not identical, and we need to make others understand how better to please us. The rules were written when the Investment Game was played by the very few and a Robin Hoodesque Congress was necessary. Today, the player roster has grown, and mostly outgrown the need for the taxes on investment and retirement income of all kinds that at one time were necessary. Let us breathe!

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