What Peter Drucker Would Be Reading

Peter Drucker

Recent selections from around the web that, we think, would have caught Peter Drucker’s eye:


1.     We’ve Nationalized the Home Mortgage Market. Now What?: Writing at ProPublicaJesse Eisinger crunches the numbers and reveals that if anyone can be thanked for propping up housing prices (assuming that’s something to be thankful for), it’s Uncle Sam. “Altogether, nine of every 10 new mortgages are backed by the U.S. taxpayer, up from three in 10 in 2006,” Eisinger writes. Very few people want Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and assorted other federal agencies to have such a big hand in the market, but what to do about it? “While there are dozens of congressional bills, think-tank plans and an Obama administration white paper with proposals to resolve the mortgage giants, there has been little change.”

2.     Saving The World From The Economists: Ronald Coase & Paul Krugman: Some economists believe we don’t listen to economists enough. Some non-economists feel we listen to economists all too much. Nobel Prize winner Ronald Coase represents the former demographic. Steve Denning, writing in Forbes, represents the latter. “The sad reality is that the people do pay attention to economists and their models,” Denning declares. “Although it’s true that the tools used by economists to analyze business firms are too abstract and speculative to offer any useful guidance to entrepreneurs and managers, this doesn’t prevent them being used, with devastating negative effect in the real world.”

3.     Does it pay to know your type?: Are you INTP, EFTJ or ENFJ? We speak, of course, of the Myers-Briggs personality test that has been around for five decades or more. It’s beloved by HR departments, and more than 50 million people are estimated to have taken the test. The idea is that office relations will be much more amicable and workplaces far more effective if we understand the fundamental differences between one another in personality—and are then appropriately sensitive to them. Except that Myers-Briggs might not be so useful as all that. As Lillian Cunningham notes in an in-depth article in the Washington Post, “despite its widespread use and vast financial success, and although it was derived from the work of Carl Jung, one of the most famous psychologists of the 20th century, the test is highly questioned by the scientific community.”

4.     Dx Comment of the Week: Last week produced a wealth of comments on a number of topics, but the most impassioned and contentious (albeit entirely civil) thread concerned our question posed in the wake of last Friday’s horrors: What could have prevented the Newtown shooting? If you haven’t read through the debate, we suggest you check it out. Meanwhile, we’ll cite some words from reader Linda Fishman, who, after a bit of spirited back-and-forth with a fellow commenter, wished everyone a happy holiday season and offered some common-sense thoughts on staying safe these days in general:

Public health safety isn’t all about gun deaths and traffic deaths but also about fire prevention. So everybody be careful around candles, fireplaces and other open flames and about overloading electric circuits and preventing falls from people tripping over extension cords.