What About the Armies of Talent behind the Top 25?
Hooray for the Top 25! ("The top 25 managers of the year," Special Report, Jan. 8). I'm sure they're worthy of your designation. But let's not forget the people in the lower ranks who toiled hard and wisely to make the Top 25's business plans come to fruition. The whole team makes the company shine, not just the people at the top!
I've never thought of Thomas Siebel or Herb Kelleher as "managers." At one time, perhaps, but certainly not today. What they are, along with Martha Stewart and Daniel Warmenhoven and the others, are leaders. A manager manages process. A leader manages people.
One surprise: It's hard to fathom any list of the Top 25 Managers without the inclusion of Jack Welch.
Glen Mills, Pa.Return to top
Take the "For Sale" Sign Off U.S. Politicians
Campaign-finance reform is more than a tactical challenge for George W. Bush ("Bush vs. McCain, round two," News: Analysis & Commentary, Jan. 8). It is at the heart of restoring credibility to the American political process and putting control of it back into the hands of citizens, where it belongs.
The excessive influence of corporations, unions, and other moneyed interests has disenfranchised the average American, preventing reasoned debate on a variety of critical issues such as health care, educational reform, and energy policy. Increasing globalization raises the specter of not only American but foreign corporate entities' dominance of the American political process. For Bush, this is a test of statesmanship.
Paul W. Rosenberger
Manhattan Beach, Calif.Return to top
Tax Away Short-Term Stock Plays
When will our government come to grips with issues that cause counterproductive nervousness in our economy ("Are we talking ourselves into a recession?" Business Outlook, Jan. 8)? Why not tax away (100%) short-term, speculative capital gains of less than a few months or even a few weeks, then use the proceeds for education, health care, research and development, infrastructure development, etc.? With the stock markets taking a purely investment view, there would be one less dimension of the economy to be affected by mass-media impact on economic psychology and behavior.
Naperville, Ill.Return to top
To Fix the Power Mess, Make Buildings Smarter
Re "California's power failure" (News: Analysis & Commentary, Jan. 8): Supply-side steps such as long-term power-purchase contracts and streamlined power-plant construction may be effective short-term, but any permanent solution requires action on the demand side, too, starting with the promotion of existing "smart building" technologies.
These technologies, designed for large commercial buildings, can respond automatically to real-time price signals sent by utilities and save customers inside as much as 15% of their power costs. Prototype systems have proved their worth: In 1995, a large Manhattan hotel saved $6,300 in a single day.
The next step is to bring building owners, equipment manufacturers, regulators, and other stakeholders together to map out a plan for commercializing these technologies as quickly as possible.
California electrical bills include welfare support of free electricity for some, the cost of building and abandoning nuclear plants over earthquake faults, subsidizing unsightly wind-power generators, and of not allowing new oil- or fossil-fuel-powered generators, since they emit 1% or 2% more emissions than scarce natural gas. Liberal California politicians and lobbyists created this mess, and they should not correct it on the backs of federal taxpayers.
Joseph J. Neff
IndianapolisReturn to top