WMI

The 2012 Election Results: A Sign that our Nation has Failed to Educate and Communicate the Idea of liberty?

By M.  Gene Aldridge
Posted: November 9, 7:00 AM
World Marketing, Inc.

 

Prof. M. Gene AldridgePhoenix, AZ –Edmund Burke (1730-97) offers us considerable assistance in assessing our current challenges with respect to the election of President Obama to another term in office.  Burke is not only a philosopher within the political science world, but he was elected to Parliament in the 1770s and tried to apply his knowledge within the British legislative policies of his time.

 

One such ingenious approach by Burke came when he challenged the British     authorities to think differently about the American Revolution by distinguishing the ideas of “Empire” and “Liberty” in a manner that allowed less meddling by the British in the affairs of the Colonies.  He reasoned that “Empire”, as it was understood to mean all the laws of the British Empire, as  applied to all colonial groups, was inconsistent with the idea that these same colonies were created around the idea of “liberty” and British jurisprudence.  Empire and liberty were incongruous, one with the other, he said.  Burke’s understood that parliamentary sovereignty, separate and apart from the monarchy was a huge leap intellectually for the systems of British government in the 1770s. He was able to argue that “Empire” suggested command, while liberty suggests natural rights derived from God that presupposes freedom for the individual.  How could a Stamp Act be applied to the new Colonies in America if the idea of liberty were to be upheld?  Sometimes conceptual shifts can ameliorate the most difficult political challenges between parties and power centers.  In other words, if civil natural rights of a John Locke were to be violated by a Stamp Act in the Colonies, why do it?  While the Empire had the right to tax the colonies, it was not in the interest of the Empire to do so.  Taxation for the Colonies was not the key issue for sustaining the notion of Empire. He separated the two ideas.  For Burke, it was not enough to offer philosophical speculations without the application to the practical world of politics. Political philosophy had to be applied.

 

When it comes to our own time, it seems that Edmund Burke is even more relevant than ever.  Do we need to go over a “fiscal cliff” because we cannot shift our conceptual understandings of how revenues may be derived without the practical political damage that may accrue to both parties?  If we can agree, as all parties, that civil liberties or natural rights become a core value for the American political experience, then why can we not agree on such issues as tax reform and immigration, for example?  Burke also believed that both Christianity and our civil interests were key values that sustained the human experience from Roman times to the Magna Carta and,  I say, even our own U.S. Constitution.  Christianity teaches us to zoom in on our hearts.  To provide self-emptying love, as Christ did for each of us on the cross…why then can we not agree that natural rights; that is, liberty, is more important than Empire building by either party?  While the British had the right, as Empire, to tax the colonies, Burke argued that it was not necessary to stomp on individual liberties via taxation.

 

Our own conceptual shift must come by knowing that our nation needs economic growth.  If growth is paramount to increased revenues, why then can we not agree to tax reform as a means for leveling the playing field for the middle class and the aristocracy (the rich) in our nation?  Why must we engage in class warfare in order to gain some political high ground?  President Obama and the Republican leadership have a moment in time to rectify this conceptual donnybrook in Washington, D.C.  They should shift the discussions to liberty for all Americans, focus on tax reform for everyone, (which will create happy markets) and offer the result of revenue enhancement that comes with tax reform, if applied fairly.  Revenues will ensue for the government, not from taxation, but from new economic growth as has been substantiated by study after study.

 

I believe, as Burke believed, that Christianity and natural rights (liberty) have enhanced the human experience from savages to civilization, even as it is, to create core values upon which all politicians should stand.  The United States of America is on the threshold of enhancing the world because of our core values or we, as a nation, are about to demonstrate to the world our super selfish need to enhance big government which communicates the false notion of caring about each other. If we really care about each other, then we will enhance the role of the individual in favor of smaller self-government while demonstrating our compassion and self-emptying love for each other.  The liberals have over-played their hand, and the conservatives have misplaced their values.  The failed leadership of the Republican Party has created the challenges we now face today in 2012, not Mitt Romney.   Maybe it is time for a new conservative union think tank like that which was created after Barry Goldwater  in the 1960s.  We need intellectual innovation that is practical in American politics.


 

Prof. M. Gene Aldridge
http://www.worldmarketingusa.com/index.html
21st Century International Marketing
575 640 3447
mga@zianet.com

The Triumph of Liberty is not Inevitable: Foreign Policy can Drive it.

By M.  Gene Aldridge
Posted: July 31, 12:55 PM
World Marketing, Inc.

 

Prof. M. Gene AldridgePhoenix, AZ – President Obama and the U.S. State Department have failed again to protect American interests in the Syrian challenge.  Progressives have bungled the diplomatic strategy, once again, while ignoring the reform that is essential for a strong future in Syria.

 

 

Poor President Obama, he cannot seem to get anything right.  His failed economic policies have led to the $15 trillion dollar debt which may very well bring the U.S. to its knees in coming months.  His energy policies are full of deceit and lies that simply do not hold up to closer scrutiny by outside observers especially as it relates to energy independence which he touted in his election rhetoric. Now a deal has been struck for Canadian Oil with the Chinese.  His dithering on energy is killing our ability to use energy as a growth mechanism economically. For example, Obama’s hypocrisy allows him to invest in offshore drilling for Brazil, but not the U.S. His foreign policy efforts have failed in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, China, and now Syria.  He did capture and kill Osama bin Laden and has used drones to destroy Al Qaeda’s rising revolutionaries,  thus, leaving the U.S. intelligence community without the ability to interrogate the Al Qaeda militants and gain strategic information.

 

Progressives like Obama and the U.S. Secretary of State, Clinton, do not seem to understand that diplomacy, while a great subject for theory building in international relations programs, in the end, must be backed by power and the ability to leverage the change required in protecting American interests as President Jackson would have wished.  This is especially true in the Middle East where tribalism and theocratic governments wind their way to some unimaginable future.   A soft diplomatic approach, not grounded in a position of power-politics for American interests, is useless policy in today’s international environment.  Worse, it is unrealistic for our nation to conclude that security competition and war have been supplanted by some kind of cooperative diplomatic world.   This warning has been clearly articulated by professionals like Mearsheimer  (2001) in his work on The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.

 

First, I have written before, that the U.S. State Department (DOS) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) must find more effective ways in which to coordinate the strategic interest of the U.S. with respect to foreign policy.  For example, dividing up the world into strategic areas that are parallel and overlapping for both DOS and DOD will go a long way to integrating regional world efforts on the part of our nation.  This approach must be highly developed for the next Administration that enters the White House and for the U.S. Congress national security committees.  Likewise, the funding for defense must be protected, where appropriate, while cutting the waste.

 

Second, let us be clear, there are optimists in foreign policy theory that believe the world is now structured around cooperation and that somehow security competition and war have been eliminated from our national interest agenda in foreign policy.  For them, “human rights” means waiting around until a leader or two understands the new democratic ways of caring about every citizen.  Egypt is a good example.   In Syria, the international community has allowed Assad to kill over 17,000 citizens.  While Assad lies, he also continues to kill.

 

The optimists are wrong, dead wrong, and Obama leads the progressive pack in this respect along with previous Clinton Administrators.  Remember, Mogadishu, Somalia (1993 and 2006)?    All one has to do is observe Russia’s new interest’s in the Middle East and Europe, and see the distribution of power regionally, for example.  The same is true with the security interests of a China that builds new ships and a stronger navy in readiness for conflicts at sea in the Pacific or Indian oceans or, worse, in support of Iran oil reserves.  What of Iran’s interest in security power through the development of nuclear weapons grade technology and delivery systems?  How will North Korea play out the security threat by advancing  weapons and technology to other third world or even Al Qaeda held groups within nations?  What of the change in Turkey with respect to the New Ottoman Empire emerging around Islamic theocratic interests, not secular ones, in Europe and the Middle East?  Power shifts are just beginning to occur in Latin America with nations like Brazil who have allowed property rights, and are building the new capitalism business model for Latin America.  Please do not forget Chavez in Venezuela where rights and liberty have been thrown out.  Are we to assume that new security threats regarding natural resources, technology (cyber wars), and even conflict cannot emerge from these new international shifts in economic and political power?    What implications for security and war are evident in the economic chaos produced in Europe?  What about the economic chaos in China and India presently?  Do we dare raise the specter of a North Korea being coddled by a Chinese government in a time of economic downturn?

 

Recent movement of our U.S. naval resources to the Pacific and Indian Ocean theaters by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta begs questions of importance about power and war readiness for the U.S. and allies in the region, including Singapore and Australia.

 

Obama’s response to the 21st Century international system as it relates to foreign policy is naïve and requires a change of Administration in order to protect the security of the United States.  This is not being discussed in the elections because it has no “sex appeal” for the electorate. Our naval power and control of the seas is as important now as it was during the World War II, for example.  Yet, what is the response from Washington?  To cut back or sequester the defense effort while allowing the private sector businesses to fail and not produce jobs and an economy that has the power to respond. Thus, depleting revenue that leads to growth is insane and not cutting federal spending in wasteful places like the GSA or Health Care or Education is unconscionable?  U.S. sovereignty of the United States is at stake with respect to our actions in foreign policy.  We must ensure that any new Administration in Washington understands the international system and what is required of our defense and state departments in the near term and longer term.  We will need to be very creative and thoughtful.

 

The triumph of liberty worldwide is not inevitable.   The idea that there is an “end to history” is pure academic folly. Our foreign policy must protect our interests and we cannot sit idly by while our national interests are managed by the feckless Obama foreign policy, led by the “human rights” diplomatic professionals, who weaken the US foreign policy.

 

Just as the U.S. applied the narrative about the Soviet Union and communism, we need a new narrative about terrorism and the expansion of Iran’s influence.  Can we imagine an Iran with nuclear weapons where war and military options become impossible for the U.S., for example?   Once Iran has the nuclear threat, their religious fanaticism gets kicked into high gear and human rights are out the window, for not only Iran, but their sphere of influence too.  We need to contain terrorism while also containing their ability to have access to weapons of mass destruction.  Pakistan may be the most dangerous country in the world for this reason.   Our containment strategy for Pakistan is to provide millions of dollars in money for the “Johnny-be-good guys”.  Is this what we want for the U.S.; where liberty and religious freedom are our strong suit in foreign relations?   What exactly is the human rights/religious strategy of the new leader (Morsi) in Egypt from the Muslim Brotherhood?  Recent killing of Christians in their own churches within Egypt suggest Morsi and the military will look the other way, a very dangerous policy for the world to watch, no?

 

Where are the Jacksonians now, when we need them in our foreign policy?  The U.S. will need new leadership that knows how to mix foreign relations with effect free trade and marketing, and not resort to just raw power.  As nations become important to each other in trade, the pressure from the people in free trade businesses will become strong enough to drive deterrence.  Crafting foreign policy around military power, foreign relations and business-economic interests will take creative leadership in the 21st Century. Men and women of liberty from all cultures must know that, by our foreign policy, we stand with them.  This will take courageous leadership in America and not the awful response we are giving the world with respect to Syria.

 

Prof. M. Gene Aldridge
http://www.worldmarketingusa.com/index.html
21st Century International Marketing
575 640 3447
mga@zianet.com

Feckless Foreign Policy: The U.S. President must defend Israel in the Case of Egypt’s Abrogation of the Peace Treaty.

Prof. M. Gene AldridgeBy Prof M. Gene Aldridge
President/CEO World Marketing, Inc.
Public Policy Research for the 21st. Century
Posting: January, 13 2011, 11:30AM MST

 

 

Phoenix, AZ – Egypt’s new government, organized around the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist groups within Egypt, is prepared to abrogate the treaty between Israel and Egypt.  Remember, this treaty was the great work of President Jimmy Carter thirty two years ago?  The treaty called for Israel to return land-for-peace. Does this mean that the U.S., EU and the UN must now require Egypt to return the land to Israel, if the treaty is not sustained?  Of course, the answer is a resounding “YES”, but will this administration’s feckless foreign policy allow this to happen?  We think it will not allow such a commitment.  My friends, this is why the extreme left in the White House should not be allowed to govern the U.S. foreign policy.

 

Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are committed to destroying Israel.  Fatah, remember the pretend party of no power in Palestine and led by Mr. Abbas, is still trying to negotiate a treaty with Israel to even give up Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.  Hamas has, for all practical purposes, taken over Palestinian life and terrorism in Gaza and Palestine, so why should Israel sign anything with Fatah, Abbas or anyone else in the Arab world, when they will not live up to their treaties?  Where are all the brilliant diplomats in Washington, D.C. when we need them?  Oh yes, they left when Bush left.

 

Israel should not give up any more land and especially should take Jerusalem off the table as part of any agreement with radicals in the Arab world.  Recently, the exiled (1961) radical leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has now returned to Israel.  His name is Yusuf Qaradwari.  He is calling for the destruction of Jews everywhere.  Here is what the journalist Caroline Glick said about him, “Over the years, Qaradawi has issued numerous religious rulings permitting, indeed requiring, the massacre of Jews. In 2009, he called for the Muslim world to complete Hitler’s goal of eradicating the Jewish people. As for the US, in 2003, Qaradawi issued a religious ruling calling for the killing of US forces in Iraq. Qaradawi may even be the go-between that the U.S. is using to negotiate with the Talban in Afghanistan.  Does this sound like the shades of Khomeini in Iran?

 

As Glick and others are pointing out, the land-for-peace is a hoax in the Middle East and the Western powers should not tolerate any further discussions about land-for-peace.  Israel must be defended at all costs against the terrorism that is Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

If the treaty between Israel and Egypt is not sustained, then the U.S. and Western powers must help Israel defend and take back the land related to the treaty with Egypt. As Caleb (The Lessons of Terrorism) reminds us, terrorism must be defeated, not by killing innocent people with willy-nilly wars, but should be fought with a comprehensive preemptive strategy against states and terrorists who deliver the insecurity to populations of people.  Perpetual insecurity for those who terrorize creates the same form of instability which the terrorist tries to deliver.  Our nation must be imaginative and decisive with respect to foreign policy and our own defense, if we are to stop the madness in the Middle East.

 

There is no angel in our whirlwind in the Middle East, but this political election will determine whether the American people want undisturbed continuance of the feckless foreign policy by the Obama administration or whether we need to become seriously engaged in the fight to preserve Israel and American interests. The values inherent in America’s commitment to foreign policy are on the line.

 

Our interests as a nation require us to move boldly, but our current limitations have to do with leadership on foreign policy, not our ability to create effective foreign policy.  Make your vote count in November.

 

Prof. M. Gene Aldridge

575 640 3447

mga@zianet.com

Distance Learning Development Site Preparation

NATIONAL FORUM OF TEACHER EDUCATION JOURNAL
VOLUME 22, NUMBER 3, 2011

Barry S. Davidson
Troy University

Charles R. Harris
World Marketing, Inc.

Roselia Alaniz
University of Houston, Victoria

______________________________________________

ABSTRACT

Cooke-Plagwitz & Hines (2001) examined the issues of planning and faculty receptiveness in training decisions. Course design and development should emphasize teaching and learning concerns. Implementation should convince faculty in a non-threatening, helpful manner of the need to upgrade course delivery systems. Course developers need to include modern real world examples (case scenarios), and provide learners with the opportunity to practice and demonstrate skills. Professional development mentors need to assist teaching faculty and provide opportunity to master the course management system in a helpful supportive manner. Novices need time to ‘learn by doing’ which we believe embraces the educational theory of progressivism.

A basic research question asked by Hislop & Ellis (2004) is does teaching online take more time? Depending upon the faculty Subject Matter Expert’s (SME) experience in developing course content for delivery online, and the level of course design and development support provided by the instructional designer(s), online course development may require more time. Online teaching typically requires tasks which are not needed in an on-site class.

_____________________________________________________________

Within an ever-changing educational milieu, a greater emphasis has been placed on meeting student needs via distance learning on-line instruction. In the 21st century technological advances must be consistent with educational demands of non-traditional learners. Faculty and support staff, such as instructional designers, must continue to work together in updating courses to serve the numerous and diverse student populations requiring alternative access to higher education.

 

Prior to having a course fully functional for presentation to students, many preliminary and background steps must be followed. One of the overlooked areas, after syllabus preparation, has been the design of and use of Blackboard Course Management System development sites which provide a workspace for on-going and continuous course updates without affecting actual course delivery sites which typically must remain unchanged after course launch.

 

Course Development

When teaching online, all course materials must be available in digital, rather than hardcopy, format. Additionally, entering course materials into the course management system is time-consuming. Depending upon who is preparing the course management system development site, this issue may, or may not, require additional time from the faculty member. Perception is still very important, as we review instructor effort pattern across different courses. Team teaching is a new area to explore with regular full-time faculty and instructional design specialists working as a team.

 

Class size does not matter from our perspective in course development. A key is reinforcement/support and encouragement from both regular administrators and distance learning administrators. Many online students tend to be non-traditional students. As experienced online teachers, observed student work habits indicate a propensity to engage online course material on weekends. With a course management system it is possible to monitor students’ patterns of course assignment completion and interaction with course content.

 

Milam (2000) addresses the issues of start up costs to develop a new course for online instruction. For some novice faculty members it can take up to 150 preparation hours to have a new course in working order. Many institutions are now reviewing faculty/staff workload adjustments in response to greater needs and demands of online instruction. Student service and advisement issues need to also be reviewed. Institutions have become aware of the need to provide the same level of student services to all students irrespective of whether the student is a traditional on-site student or an online student. True enrollment costs and amortization issues are now coming to the forefront. The issue of shared and pooled resources for online content development needs additional review. Institutions need to conduct in-house surveys to determine the percentage of faculty time being devoted to student advisement with a breakdown for on-campus and online efforts.

 

Cost issues need to be documented for online student expenditures including phone calls retuned to students, postal mailings, duplicating of materials, computer printer cartridges, paper, and computing facilities. Practicum, independent study and field project supervision costs need to be calculated into time and effort studies, as well as administrative costs. Follow-up surveys and interviews need to be conducted with online faculty as well as students for program implementation ideas. The overall costs to prepare an online course may exceed a traditional course. Content development is initially more intensive with first time preparation. Over time, development costs decrease for online courses, and it may be less costly than a traditional section of the same course.

 

By providing continuous access to a course development site in the course management system, faculty time may be more efficiently utilized since development and integration of new, or revised, course content may be based upon faculty preference of time and effort. The level of institutional technical support in course development may be a larger issue for some faculty than many administrators realize.

 

Technical Issues

Hislop & Ellis (2004) remind us that technical support is one issue overlooked sometimes in distance learning course planning efforts. Instructor competence in regards to online instruction surfaces when the issue of technical support questions, concerns, and problems arise. Many faculty spend a greater amount of time in course development for online courses, and blended courses, than for traditional face-to-face courses. Online teaching may take more preparation time and may require more technical support. With more preparation time is the demand for greater financial remuneration by faculty. One needs to separate course development from technical support. In their review of the literature related to online teaching, Tallent-Runnells, Thomas, Lan, Cooper, Ahren, Shaw, & Xiaoming (2006), highlight technical support as a need for distance learning courses. In most cases instructor preparation time expenditure would be self-reported.

 

Pachnowski & Jurczyk (2000), remind us of the importance of technical support, especially in the initial first term of novice faculty instruction. Schifter (2002) indicates that for some faculty an excellent technical support system with positive encouragement maybe the difference. Some researchers have discovered a main faculty concern is a lack of technical and follow-up support for instruction (Schifter, 2002). Special technical support services are key to overcome faculty concerns. One cannot over-emphasize people first; the human element is the most critical component in any course’s success. Technical efficiency and technical support is critical in a seven to ten week distance learning (dl) term. Scheer, Terry, Doolittle & Hicks (2004), ask the important question, what is the level of technical infrastructure and student support services? Schifter (2000), mentions how do we motivate faculty to “learn new” technologies? For any academic program to thrive, faculty is a key. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation needs to be taken into consideration. What really motivates faculty to develop online courses? Tallent-Runnells et al., (2006) remind us that technical problems in any distance learning course mean a loss of time on task for both student and faculty member.

 

Web-based teaching may require some additional accommodations, a special technical assistance. Training sessions and encouragement from department and college supervisors and financial support need not decrease over time.

 

Training Sessions

 

According to Essex (2004), faculty have many demands on their time and therefore training sessions should be collegial and informal. Workshops should allow faculty/instructional staff the opportunity to showcase their “best practices.” Pachnowski & Jurczyk (2003), remind us that numerous training sessions are needed because of the amount of work that goes into the preparation of on-line courses being taught for the first time. These training sessions should provide supervisor encouragement and financial support continuing from the department for several semesters.

 

Instructional Delivery

 

Roberson & Klotz (2001), address the issue of designing and instructional delivery as related to course technical support. Does it really matter which course management system if an institution opts to use.

 

Discussion Board

Benjamin (2001) mentions that faculty discussion board responses to student postings builds a form of class camaraderie. Johnson & Summerville (2002), feel that the monitoring of discussion board components of an online class and follow-up emails may improve student course satisfaction. While Rendon (2001), believes that instructor feedback that is prompt and positive to discussion board posts goes along way in the motivation of learners. Tallent-Runnells et al., (2006) reviews the issue of classroom culture and the question of how to handle situations involving inappropriate discussion board posts. In an asynchronous discussion, students have more time for reflection and thinking before responding to posts of course colleagues and the instructor. An online course syllabus should state specific student expectations of faculty response time, as well as faculty expectations of students.

 

Faculty should develop a rhythm for managing an online course that provides timely and consistent feedback to students. Students have a right to know when the instructor will provide feedback on assignments, or respond to questions via electronic mail or discussion threads. Faculty should explicitly provide students guidance regarding assignment due dates, assignment instructions, and rubrics which provide guidance for learner outcomes assessment.

 

Compensation

Schifter (2000) provides the reader with compensation models in distance education. Issues raised are why faculty teach and what motivates an individual to accept the instructional challenge of working in a new innovative program? It may be surprising to some to learn that a key may be support and encouragement from the instructional designer. The level of institutional technical support in course development may be a larger issue for some faculty than many administrators realize. A few decades back it was not uncommon for department heads to discourage off-campus faculty teaching because it was perceived as interfering with research and publication efforts needed for promotion and tenure.

 

Faculty compensation and incentives are issues of concern. Faculty overload pay for developing an online distance learning course varies significantly from no financial remuneration to $5,000. Some institutions pay faculty per each student enrolled and others pay per class. Still others remunerate according to a scale with pay differentials based on instructor academic rank, some institutions also differentiate between undergraduate and graduate courses.

 

Conclusion

 

As a result of this study, one can see that the issue of distance learning course development site preparation involves a better understanding of the numerous components that make up an outstanding online program of study. Continued follow-up research and planning studies are needed for future implementation to determine student achievement.

 

References

 

-  Benjamin, J. (2001). To recruit & retain distance learning faculty, learn the  three R’s. Distance Education, 5(5), 1-2.
-  Cooke-Plagwitz, J., & Hines, S.C. (2001). How to, and why? What you should know about course (pp. 2-7). (ERIC Document Reproduction Services No. ED 466 171)
-  Essex, C. (2004, October). Faculty development through streaming video: A new delivery medium for training [Proceedings]. Association for Educational Communications and Technology (27th Annual), Chicago, IL.
-  Hislop, G.W., & Ellis, H. (2004). A study of faculty effort in online teaching.
Internet and Higher Education, 7(1), 15-31.
-  Johnson, C., & Summerville, J. (2002). Rural creativity: A study of district mandated online professional development. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 14(2), 347-361.
-  Milam, J.H. Jr. (2000). Cost analysis of online courses (pp. 2-6). (ERIC Document Reproduction Services No. ED 445 649)
-  Pachnowski, L.M., & Jurczyk, J.P. (2003). Perceptions of faculty in the effect if distance learning technology on faculty preparation time. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 6(3), 1-10.
-  Roberson, T., & Klotz, J. (2001). Confronting design problems in developing on-line courses in higher education (pp. 1-6). (ERIC Document Reproduction Services No. 459 674
-  Scheer, S.B., Terry, K.P., Doolittle, P.E., & Hicks, D. (2004). Online pedagogy:
Principles for supporting effective distance education. Journal on Excellence in
College Teaching, 15(1/2), 7-30.
-  Schifter, C.C. (2000). Compensation models in distance education. Online Journal of Distance learning Administration, 3(1), 1-8.
NATIONAL FORUM OF TEACHER EDUCATION JOURNAL
-  Schifter, C. C. (2002). Perception differences about participating in distance education.
-  Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 5(1), 1-14.
-  Tallent-Runnels, M.K., Thomas, J.A., Lan, W.Y., Cooper, S. Ahren, T.C., Shaw, S.M., & Xiaoming, L. (2006). Teaching courses online: A review of the research. Review of Educational Research, 76(1), 93-135.

 

Charles R. Harris, Ed.DBy Charles R. Harris, Ed.D
World Marketing, Inc.
charles_r_harris@yahoo.com

China’s Economic Condition: Precarious–International Marketers Beware!

Prof. M. Gene AldridgeBy M Gene Aldridge, President World Marketing, Inc.

Former President NM Independence Research Institute

A Public Policy Think Tank

mga@zianet.com

Posted: December 14, 2011 10AM

 

Phoenix, AZ – China may more fragile because of its banking system and its change in the real estate markets.  Moody’s, for example, has estimated that China has spent $550 billion to recapitalize banks in China since 1998. The International Monetary fund has noted that China has loaned its banking system over $3.8 trillion in new loans in 2011 to ostensibly stop the bleeding from the worldwide crisis in finance.  China has also experienced a 32 percent decrease in banks stocks, according to the MSCI index of banks in China.

 

Normally, we would expect a strong consumer market to pick up the slack from these fragile banking conditions, but China’s consumer market cannot take off because China keeps exports cheap and holds a tight reigns on the consumers. The real estate market is rocking and rolling in China because of the changes China is undergoing this year (2011) and into next year (2012).  Our WMIR (World Marketing, Inc. Research) indicates that China’s dampening effect on the huge consumer markets combined with the delicate banking system position since 1998, plus the bailouts for sovereign funds in China that has occurred, lead to a very weak economic position for China in 2012 and maybe 2013.  We agree with Mr. Chanos of Kynikos Associates Ltd., that China has not addressed past debt from the 1990s and has carried much of its paper forward to 2011 and 2012.  This leaves the banking system very precarious in China.

As the U.S. and Euro economies are weakened and inflation or hyperinflation occurs from the quantitative easing of the Fed in the U.S., China might experience a huge decrease in the value of its dollars held from the West. This further weakens the Chinese economy because banks are seizing up, while consumers are reined in, and inflation in the world markets, against the U.S. dollar, may create an even more fragile China market place.

 

Signs of our WMI predictions are beginning to emerge in late 2011 and may continue into 2012 as real estate prices plummet by forty percent in China. Consumer demand cannot take off in China to save its own growth pattern, nor can the accumulated dollars ($ 2 trillion) held by China be used effectively in the coming months because of inflation on the dollar. This is a strange house of cards for the U.S. government and its growing dependency on the Chinese financial largess.  All this is happening while U.S. consumer demand and unemployment remain low and high respectively.  China may end up with a thirty percent ratio of debt to GD. For China. this is very high and unsustainable.

 

China needs to unleash the consumer markets and allow the consumer buying habits to develop now when they are needed in China and the world.  This may become a much slower process for the Chinese in the coming years, however.  Added to this challenge in Asia are the Australians who have hitched their economic wagon to China too.

 

China has other challenges that international marketers can easily understand as inhibitors for growth.  China has a tendency to privatize growth and gains, while using socialism to manage losses that we see today in the banking system.  This is very dangerous for marketers who are seeking to engage the Chinese consumer.  This situation, combined with the high fraud that still exists in China, creates new higher risk while the banking system has a soft underbelly papered over by years of neglect in debt servicing for the losses that have been carried forward.

The off the books debt in China boggles the mind, as yet another example of the challenges marketers have  in assessing the marketplace called China.   State governments have so much off the books that it is almost impossible to even assess the vehicle inventory of local government, for example.  Another issue to worry international marketers is to understand the seventy percent of China’s economy in 2011 is construction.  China is in deep trouble on many fronts.

 

The next President of the United States will have to address our relationship with China while fending off the issues created in the Middle East.  We live in a complicated world, pay attention,  lest we slay hope.

 

Prof. M. Gene Aldridge

575 640 3447

mga@zianet.com

Perfidious Obama

Prof. M. Gene Aldridge
By M Gene Aldridge, President World Marketing, Inc.
Former President NM Independence Research Institute

 

 

A Public Policy Think Tank

Heritage Foundation Resource Professional

Posted: December 9, 2011 10AM

Phoenix, AZ – With his approval rating hovering between forty and forty-three percent, our President Obama should be very alarmed.  One would think that the best tacking for sailing these rough waters would be to compromise with Congress and work out a deal, but not the liberals in Congress or our President Obama.  Why, no, they promote him and give speeches on socialism and progressive collective values that remind us of Karl Marx.  Obama’s line in his Kansas speech is this lie “Capitalism doesn’t work”.

 

It is not enough to blame Bush for Obama’s woes, but rather now with his failed policies socially, economically and politically he has a new straw man, capitalism.   This is the lie that the USSR perpetrated upon its people for over 70 years. Even the Western economies in the 1930s and early 1940s adopted Keynesian economic policies, over Austrian free market principles, which created the New Deal from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  We have been paying the price from the “New Deal” ever since!  Obama’s perfidious behavior and assertions are outrageous.

 

My own family went through the Depression.  My father worked everywhere to earn a living and he endured many days of worry about his children then.  When the soup lines were long and tailed around the corner people began to lose hope because the local theory of the time was that the lines would continue and “American common sense was failing” as Shlaes writes in her book on the Forgotten Man.  The fear was setting in at the time and now it was translated to the political world. Roosevelt spoke quickly, as the unemployment lines grew longer, about the “increasing concentration of wealth and power.”  Does this theme sound familiar?   His  theme then was the “forgotten man” just as Obama’s theme was the American middle class.

 

The irony of this phrase is that it was William Graham Sumner who invented the idea of the “forgotten man” as the taxpayer or the little guy who paid into the system by his or her hard work, not someone who received benefits from such government programs.  Just like the lies of Obama today, Roosevelt drove home the idea that it was government that should provide for the forgotten man, not the other way around.  Obama and his progressive nut house gang are destroying the truth and the historical record of free markets for this nation and the middle class.

 

My parents and our family survived the Great Depression by working hard and creating free market wealth.  First, my father worked in galvanizing manufacturing plants as a foreman, raised chickens to increase his wealth, and built his own home with his own hands.  Then he retired in 1948 from manufacturing and created his own restaurants and invested heavily in his ideas which created modest wealth for our family in the 1950s and 1960s. He did this on an 8th grade education!  He was the forgotten man, not of Roosevelt, who was seeking government subsidies from the largess, but my father created the largess for his own family and paid taxes which helped our economy grow.  Obama, like Roosevelt, is not telling the truth to America today.  Obama is covering his own horrible track record by creating new straw men, like the wealthy, to blame for his failed “progressive” anti-capitalistic values and policies.

 

American citizens must reject these lies.  They must not only vote Obama and his Chicago socialists out of office, we must all send a strong message and beat him badly in the upcoming elections.  This will let the thirty percent minority, who believe in these progressive lies, know that we still embrace liberty and less government, not more.  The forgotten man is the taxpayer who pays into the United States of America.  Pay attention America, they are trying to steal our house, but also the values that got us here.

 

Prof. M. Gene Aldridge
575 640 3447
mga@zianet.com

Effective Public Policy: Capitalism and the Moral Imperative

Prof. M. Gene AldridgeBy M Gene Aldridge, President World Marketing, Inc.
Former President NM Independence Research Institute
A Heritage Foundation Expert Resource

 

Posted: October 10, 2011  11AM

 

The Occupy Wall Street mobs raise interesting back story questions and hidden assumptions that must eventually be checked by those who embrace capitalism in the U.S.  The back story is the need to emphasize the moral consequences associated with the image of capitalism and at the same time attack the hidden assumptions about things like “collaborative” communication  in our democratic society.

 

Speaking to the last issue first…The Occupy Wall Street mobs recently emphasize a “collaborative model” for reaching consensus without the use of government or other intermediaries.  The research in human communication suggests that there are many dimensions and factors associated with collaborative communication.  The task of the group, the social-emotional issues within the group and the outcomes of the group are all important to effective communication in small group communication.  In other words, while the task and outcomes of the group are important, relational issues loom very important to group communication results.  Could it be that capitalistic organizations  need to review carefully their relationship (social-emotional issues) that they are importing to others in our society?  What does an Enron or WorldCom sin produce by way of relational issues with Americans?  Could it be that bailing out banks without bailing out consumers is not a constructive image for capitalism? Is it possible that the current U.S. policies communicate that only government can solve the challenges of our everyday life while socialism, communism and authoritarian rule offer a better relationship to certain segments of our society?  Some will argue that these are the exceptions to capitalism, but they still loom large within the image of capitalism in the minds of some in our society.

 

While the American constitution provides for a democratic life, it is a representative form of government and a republic, not mob rule by a phony “collaboration” that is without deliberative processes to uncover conflicting issues and needs in society.  Collaboration, of the kind proposed by the Wall Street mob groups, is dangerous and fully ignorant of what collaboration even means.  These are tactics of leftist groups around the world.  They are the hollow men and women.

 

On the second issue…The Judeo-Christian groups in America should rise up to call the hand of capitalistic marauders, free riders, and demand that they reach a higher moral standard in business affairs of our nation.  Otherwise, capitalism is a joke and a tale told by a fool.

 

The Old and the New Testaments demand that we act in the image of God (Imago Dei) as humans in the joy of discovery that arises from entrepreneurial work in capitalism.  We are called to be creator on earth with moral grounding as God would have us act. Not God, mind you, but in his image.  Capitalism, like our religious value, is attached to hard work and manual labor too.  The creator and the created are separated in a manner that gives humans higher authority over nature without the attenuating taboos that are suffered in other cultures and societies. Additionally the Jewish and Christian sense of time is linear, not cyclical and we can plot our progress, thus we are able to respect the marketplace and its results.

 

Mobs like the Occupy Wall Street group, to be sure, are frustrated, but many of them are frustrated with our nation’s inability to give them a free lunch or free rent, as the economists like to speak of it, on the rest of society.  Herman Cain is right to call them out and require of them responsibility.

 

Capitalism is accused of having greed and competition as central values as evidenced by some media coverage. For capitalists, both competition and cooperation are essential.  Christianity upholds the needs of the poor and dispossessed in societies worldwide.  Just as the second millennium  changed the role of Christian life because of economics rooted in capitalism, the third millennium will need to rediscover its roots in capitalism as a central message of Judeo-Christian theological principles of the faith.

 

A moral vision is needed for capitalism that reinforces the economic order worldwide, but which also sustains the moral values of Judeo-Christian faith.  One thing for sure is that capitalism cannot just be based upon materialism lest we find ourselves without sound moral authority and continue our economic decline.  Capitalism must have as its central value the moral imperative that comes with open and trusted markets.  If not, mobs will attempt to rule our society with any moral imperative that is convenient to them and offer authoritarianism in the name of phony collaboration.

 

As Michael Novak writes: . Capitalism “is a system designed for sinners, in the hope of achieving as much moral good as individuals and communities can generate under conditions of ample liberty.”

 

Prof. M. Gene Aldridge
575 640 3447
mga@zianet.com

Foreign Policy: Failed Presidency of Obama…Like the Walls of Jericho, U.S. Policy Comes Tumbling Down

Prof. M. Gene AldridgeTempe, AZ—Like the Walls of Jericho that came tumbling down, the Obama ideological rampage is destroying U.S. foreign policy.  A recent article by Glick (Ideological- Driven Strategic Ineptitude)  demonstrates how inept the Obama adminstration has become.  We cannot continue, as a nation, with such child-like fantasies about our world and the U.S. role in it.

 

In Pakistan, for example, most Americans are not aware that this unglued nation has doubled their nuclear reserves.  While Obama fantsizes into the future, Pakistan has over 110 nuclear bombs now, up from 30-60, in just five years.  According to Glick and the ISIS (Federation of American Scientists and the Institute for Science and International Security), this is even more alarming because of the failed nation of Pakistan and our U.S. policy there.

 

Over the past few years, for example, the U.S. has provided, similar to the Egyptian military, over $7.5 billion (U.S. Inspector General) to the Pakistan military.  Now Pakistan has nuclear missiles with a range of over 1500 miles. Pakistan is a government hostile to the U.S. interests with respect to the Taliban, al Qaida, and assistance on the Afghan border.   Link all this with the horrible social and economic conditions of a nation that is being managed by radicals for at least one fourth of the land area and we have a mix that is most frightening.

 

Nonetheless, Obama refuses to use words like Jihad, Islamic terrorism, and radical Islam.  Now we have to use “overseas contingency operations” to refer to our fight with the Jihad terrorist radical threat.  This is just more progressive nonsense and fantasizing about the real world in which we find ourselves in the 21st century.  Marketing foreign policy in this manner is false advertising for targeted segments, the U.S. citizens and the world foreign press.  There seem to be few adults in the White House who can counsel this child prodigy born with a 1960s model in his head!  The challenge is the inherent totalitarianism embedded with the Arab radical Islam Sharia law and theology.

 

The truth is that whether the topic is China, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Yemen, North Korea or the Muslim Brotherhood of revolution, Obama’s foreign policy is an ideological pile of effluent.  Despite the relativistic assumption, that everyone is entitled to ride whatever hobby horse they choose, Obama is demonstrating his abdication of truth in foreign policy.  These are troubling times, but to have a failed leader in the office of President of the United States makes a laughing stock of American foreign policy. The walls are tumbling down on American security when Obama’s own Security Director, Mr. Clapper, claims that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is a “largely secular” organization.  Clapper should be fired for his now famous comedic like presentations on behalf of the White House.  In all fairness, the white House did follow with a correction, but the statement has made the U.S. look very ignorant.

Sources:

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0211/glick021111.php3

 

M. Gene Aldridge, President/CEO
World Marketing, Inc.
International Marketing and Investment Projects

575 640 3447
mga@zianet.com

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