Gongol.com Archives: April 2014

Brian Gongol

April 21, 2014

Business and Finance The CEO pay gap: A matter of returns more than fairness
It's incredibly hard to say what is a "fair" ratio of CEO pay to middle-class-worker pay, but it does seem odd that the average CEO in the S&P 500 made $11.7 million in 2013, if only because that same amount could (instead of paying one executive) hire a whole team of great people for $250,000 a year each, which one might expect to produce a lot more value for the shareholders.

Computers and the Internet How Bill Gates might have stuck a rock in the gears of Google Glass
He's named in a patent that appears to be intended to block people from being recorded with Google Glass against their will

Business and Finance Social Security to resume sending benefits statements to some workers
Workers ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 will be treated to a work of fiction as they are told something between a myth and an outright fabrication about what they can expect to receive from Social Security. There's absolutely no way to pay the bills incurred without cuts to benefits and higher taxes on workers. It's just not possible. And the longer we wait to initiate a program change allowing private accounts for individual workers to manage at their own discretion, the longer we starve the private sector of potentially useful investment capital that could be used to increase the growth rate of the economy, which in turn might help to ease the impact of the government's over-spending, under-taxing problem.

News Will small private colleges survive the changing higher-education landscape?
Large public schools have enough troubles, even when they're supported by tax dollars and have enormous alumni networks to draw upon. What will come of the small schools with enrollments of 1,000 or 2,000 and not enough endowment money to keep them afloat in times of pressure? There will undoubtedly always be a sort of mystique to the tightly-knit small campus, but at a time when lots of people are having difficulty justifying the cost of higher education for its long-term return on investment (the ROI is usually there, no doubt, but it's being squeezed between rising tuition costs and wage pressures on graduates), it will be worth watching whether lots of schools go the way of Westmar as students seek lower-cost alternatives like online programs. Some character may be sacrificed in the experience, but as a business proposition, it may be unavoidable.

Science and Technology How the Citicorp Tower could have fallen down
The designer of the odd stilt-mounted tower failed to account for certain wind conditions that could have knocked over the building