Episode #169: Free-rider Friday - November 2017

Ron’s Topics

“Scam or substance?” The Economist, November 11, 2017


Bitcoin has risen 700% this year.

ICOs—Initial Coin Offerings have attracted $3.2 billion this year, approaching internet startups Venture Capital funds. Investors expect to be at the birth of another Bitcoin.

The SEC brought first charges against an ICO, and China and South Korea banned them.

The Dotcom boom brought us Amazon and eBay, and ICOs could bring new form of firm, such as crypto co-operatives with lower transaction costs, aggregation of capital, and a decentralized structure.

The Economist writes it’s wrong for regulators to ban ICOs, citing how Quebec invites ICOs into a regulatory sandbox with less strict rules.

What Most Americans Don’t Know about Extreme Poverty,” FEE, Jeremy Horpehahl, September 18, 2017


766,010,000 people live in extreme poverty today, defined as $2 per day, or less.

That means 6,412,820,000 are not living in extreme poverty.

In 1981, 88% of China, or 878 million lived in poverty. Over time:

  • 61% in 1987
  • 41% in 1999
  • 15% in 2008
  • 1.85% in 2013

Damage Control,” The Economist, October 14, 2017

Trauma hospitals are war zones. The new KPI: “critical mortality,” the share of those admitted to hospital with life-threatening injuries who die. It’s more meaningful than the ratio of fatalities to injuries.

Between 2001-2017: after terrorist attack this KPI was 15-37%.

On June 3rd  in the UK London Bridge attack, eight died at scene, but all 52 who were admitted to a hospital survived. None died in the hospital after the Boston terrorist attack in 2013.

In the Las Vegas mass shooting, out of 104 admissions, only four died.

In World War II 30% wounded died; in Korean and Vietnam wars it was 20%, and in Iraq and Afghanistan it was less than 10%.

They debrief and capture Lessons Learned. It is critical for Drs to admit their mistakes!

Cuban Doctors Revolt: ‘You Get Tired of Being a Slave’”, Ernesto Londono, September 29, 2017, The New York Times

Thousands Cuban doctors work abroad, and are Cuba’s most valuable export. Brazil pays Cuba millions every month, with the doctors receiving approximately 25%.

Brazil pays Cuba $3620 per doctor per month, for around 8,600 doctors. The doctors receive $908/monoth, which is greater than the $30/month they’d earn in Cuba.

150 doctors filed suit Brazilian courts (some won, some lost).


This article made Ed recall one of his favorite Bible passage, Luke 12:13:14, which is the preamble to the parable the rich fool:

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” - Luke 12: 13-14

I believe our Lord wants us to help the poor and indigent. However, the question is, should the government be the "judge or arbitrator" of how this is done?

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good. CCC-1883

Sadly, the "lower orders" have been all but abandoned, especially in the United States.

What is time?

Listener Todd asks Ed: Time referred to as a commodity, but is it a resource? Here is Ed's reply.

Autonomous vehicles at Wal-Mart, scrubs the floors.


Ed Kless

Ed Kless joined Sage in July of 2003 and is currently the senior director of partner development and strategy. He develops and delivers curriculum for Sage business partners on the art and practice of small business consulting. Courses include: Sage Consulting Academy, Business Strategy and Customer Experience Workshops. Ed is the author of The Soul of Enterprise: Dialogues on Business in the Knowledge Economy, a compendium of a few of the episodes of his VoiceAmerica talk-show The Soul of Enterprise: Business in the Knowledge Economy with Ron Baker, founder of the VeraSage Institute where Ed is also a senior fellow.