Category Archives: Business

Key takeaways from Steve Jobs’ life based on Walter Isaacson’s biography

This is an analysis based on Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and other sources of research. Enjoy.

Location Really Does Matter For Entrepreneurs:

You need to be in the right place at the right time. Being exposed to many ideas, variables, and potential inputs for accidental discoveries is better than living in a risk averse environment. In High School, Jobs took an electronics class which would have been less likely in most other cities in the US or Canada. Steve Jobs was fortunate to be raised in Silicon Valley, and because of that location it is less of a mystery as to why Jobs is who he was. Defense contracts in Silicon Valley during the 1950s shaped the history of the valley, military investment was used to build cameras to fly over the USSR, for example. Military companies were on the cutting edge, and made living in Silicon Valley interesting. In the 1930s, Dave Packard moved into Silicon Valley, and his garage was the core of the creation of Hewlett Packard. In the 1960s, HP had 9,000 employees, and it was where all engineers wanted to work. Jobs was ambitious enough at a young age to phone Dave Packard and ask for some parts. That’s how he got a summer job there. Moore’s Law emerged in Silicon Valley, Intel was able to develop the first micro processor. Financial backing was made easier to acquire where rich New Yorker’s retired to…By having the chip technology that could be cost measured for projections, Jobs and Gates would use this metric to revolutionize the technological world.


Childhood Shapes Your Thinking:

Jobs was never interested in cars, but he wanted to hang out with his dad, who emphasized the importance of building quality products, and loved souping up cars. The interior of a product is equally important as the exterior for Paul Jobs (Steve’s Father). Eichler Homes were great designs, with a simple capability that was common in Silicon Valley. Paul also taught that you should know more than the person you bargain with. Paul Jobs could not successfully get into real-estate because he was unwilling to sell, and be like-able. By his teens, Jobs realized he was smarter than his parents.  Steve Jobs was willful, and his parents would go to great lengths to feed Jobs every whim by deferring to his needs. Steve Jobs got into a fight with his dad for smoking marijuana, but by his senior year, Jobs was looking into sleep deprivation, LSD, and other drugs.

Jobs was fascinated by the need for perfection in technology. Later on in the 1980s, he argued that even if you can’t see something, it should be done well. Jobs wanted to ensure that the Macintosh mother board was beautiful, so he had members of his team sign the circuit board. Steve Jobs became more interested in electronics than in car engineering, in particular the laser technology his father was working at Spectra Physics.


Go Get What You Want, If You Have The Courage:

The 9100A was the first desktop computer, it was a huge computer that Jobs saw in the Explorers Club he participated in. Jobs created a frequency counter as part of the club, but he needed a special part so he phoned the home of the CEO of HP, and spoke with Hewlett directly over the phone for over 20 minutes. This conversation got Jobs a summer position at HP. Jobs had pushed his way into the factory. Steve Jobs hung out with the engineers mostly, but he worked in the electronic components section of HP.

Steve Jobs walked into the lobby of Atari in sandals, and demanded that he work as one of the first 50 people for Atari at $5 an hour. Jobs was very intelligent, and excited about technology. Nolan Bushnell used the power of his personality to build Atari, and Steve Jobs learned about this skill in part from Bushnell. Steve was a prickly person, and he had horrible body odor. Steve Jobs was brash, and, at Atari, told many of his co-workers that they were “dumb shits.” Atari didn’t mind his horrible BO because Jobs was agressive, smart, and worked hard. However, Jobs was put on the night-shift at Atari so that no-one had to deal with him during regular work hours.


Education Is For Conformists:

Steve Jobs was not interested in memorizing information but being stimulated. He was sent home repeatedly. Jobs began to excel when he was incentivised by his game-changing teacher Imogen Hill “Teddy” who bribed Jobs into doing Math problems in exchange for lollipops. She further invested in Jobs with cameras and other toys. Steve Jobs was able to convince another kid to give him her Hawaii shirt for a school photo, he knew how to convince others to do things for him early on. Steve Jobs was put forward by one grade for his brilliance. He was not a straight-edged student however.

Assume That You Will Die Young:

Jobs believed that he was going to die young. He worked extremely hard because he was certain that he would be dead at an early age.

The Cream Soda Computer:

Wozniak was able to build a calculator that displayed binary code while drinking cream soda extensively in 1973. Wozniak’s great strength was that he was emotionally and socially inexperienced, was a high school geek who cared more about computers. Wozniak knew more electronics than Steve Jobs, and Jobs was more mature, so they met in the middle. Wozniak and Jobs both listened to Bob Dylan. Dylan’s words struck chords of creative thinking for Woz and Jobs. They bootlegged many Bob Dylan concerts. They even worked as entertainers in Silicon Valley dressing up as clowns to perform for kids.


Go To India:

Steve Jobs went to India to expand his meditation skills. Jobs sought spiritual calm but he could not get into his own inner calm in Silicon Valley. He spent 7 months in India being mentored in meditation. Jobs found a spiritual leader in Silicon Valley in Los Altos. Steve Jobs would do meditations, they learned how to tune out distractions. His friends noticed that Jobs became self-important. Steve Jobs also engaged in primal screaming which helped to resolve his childhood pain. Jobs appreciated intuitive spirituality, he wanted to grow in that way. You need to avoid getting stuck in thought patterns that are really just chemical patterns in your brain. By age 30, many people cannot escape their own grooves. You need to be able to throw yourselves out, according to Jobs. Artists go and hibernate somewhere. To be truly innovative over time, you need to think outside of the box, and escape yourself.


Pranking People Requires Creative Thinking:

Steve Jobs and Wozniak produced a banner with a hug hand flipping the middle finger to all the seniors as the graduating classes marched past during a High School pep rally. This got Steve Jobs suspended. Steve Jobs was interested in pranking his classmates, and even put a small explosive under one of his teacher’s desk. Their most effective prank had been to scramble TV frequencies with a remote control. Wozniak and Jobs would hide in the bushes while university students were watching television.

On cue, the TV would be scrambled with a small device Woz had built, and one of the students would get up to fix it. Wozniak played around so that the student would be compelled to hold an awkward position in order to keep clear the TV signal. Wozniak’s device was highly effective in manipulating people.


Starting A Company Is Very Difficult:

If you’re not passionate about what you are doing, then you will give up. So in order to succeed you need to be passionate, and hardworking. It turns out that Woz and Jobs were not trying to build a company at first but were in fact trying to build a computer that they wanted. They had not gone to business school, and they didn’t even know what the Wall Street Journal was. They wanted to just go build a computer so that they and their friends could use it.

Meet A Brilliant & Noble Engineer:

Jobs was fortunate to meet Steve Wozniak who believed in engineering as the highest, and most noble activity. ‘Woz’ did not believe in marketing, and did not aspire to be in the lime light. Their meeting was truly fortunate. Wozniak’s father taught his son how to build circuits at an early age. His father also taught ‘Woz’ to never lie, accept in the service of a good practical joke. Wozniak had an easier time making eye contact with a circuit than a girl, built a transistor to allow 6 kids to communicate with eachother, read about new computers in his spare time, and focused on designing circuits. Wozniak was socially shut out in high school. Wozniak worked on designing computers with half the number of chips the company had designed in his blue prints. Jobs had inferior tech-skills but had other advantages like charisma and persuasiveness.


Meetups Bring Insanely Great Ideas Together:

The Homebrew Computer Club did not conform to the Hewlett Packard mold, or the hierarchical business structures of the UK, Japan or Germany. In Silicon Valley, USA, there were study groups who were building up computers for creative meetups. These were basically self-fulfillment movements in the California area of Silicon Valley where everyone was sharing ideas, and everybody was gaining from that exchange. For most people, computers were ominous, government machines that would destroy life values. By the mid-1970s, computing was no longer a bureaucratic control mechanism but rather a liberating one.

The Altair computer was available in 1975 from MITS, and Bill Gates started building BASIC which would become the first software product from his company Microsoft. Jobs and Wozniak bought the Altair as well in order to learn how it worked.

Borrowing ideas was the way that Wozniak developed the Apple I. He started to sketch out the idea of the Apple I from 1975 to 1976. Since the Intel 80 was so expensive, Wozniak bought a bunch of microchips that were not Intel compatible. This incompatibility would subsequently not allow Apple computers to work with other software products without some modifications. Wozniak built on the shoulders of previous processor chips, and he wrote the code by hand. When he had built the prototype, and the letters were displayed on the screen correctly, there was great excitement. It could not have happened in New York, London, or a small city in France. Innovation is geographically situated because you need to meet the right people, and be at the right place for this kind of success.


Knowing What You Wanted To Do Earlier On Is Not Great For Entrepreneurs:

Steve Jobs wanted to go to Reed College because Stanford students already knew what they wanted to do. Reed College had a high dropout rate, and they tuned in, turned on, and dropped out. At Reed, Jobs did a lot of drugs, and he still swears by the importance of taking LSD. Steve Jobs refused to go to Reed classes that he was assigned, and focused on taking classes he was interested in, as well as breaking the rules. Steve Jobs decided that using his parents college funding which his parents had saved was unfair so, and he dropped out, but he didn’t want to leave Reed. Remarkably Reed allowed Steve to stay, and he audited classes. Steve Jobs learned about typography, and he found it fascinating. Jobs rejected the lack of idealistic vision in the 1980s, and he believed in the importance of the counter-culture movements of the 1970s.


Steve Jobs Excluded Relevant Information Where Necessary: 

Wozniak was at HP but would come by to play the new Atari games because Jobs was working at Atari. In the 1975, Bushnell asked Jobs to design a single player game which required that bricks fall towards the paddle when struck by the ball, instead of having a computer or a simple wall to compete with. The head of Atari knew that Jobs could not build such a computer programme but he knew that Jobs would likely enlist the help of Steve Wozniak. There was a bonus offered for every chip used below 50. Jobs told Wozniak that this project needed to be completed within 4 days, he then said that they would split the payment. Wozniak was so enthusiastic that he worked hard to get it done on time. The deadline was a false one as Jobs wanted to go apple picking that weekend.

In addition, Jobs did split the payment for the project but he failed to mention the bonus for the number of chips below 50. There were 45 chips so Jobs received 100% of the bonus that Wozniak did not know about. 10 years later on the history of Atari, it was revealed the Jobs was given a bonus and Wozniak was shocked. This program was the basis of the final product which was wildly successful as an arcade game. Wozniak states, “I’m not going to judge Steve’s morality. Apple wouldn’t be where it was without Jobs manipulative nature.”


Have Discipline Over Body & Mind:

Steve Jobs got into a disciplined fasting by eating just apples. He believed that minimalism led to great rewards when encountering complexity, and that experience is relative. Vegetarianism, acid, rock music, and the enlightenment campus seeking culture at Reed College was a laboratory for Steve Jobs’ development. Steve Jobs had extremely terrible BO in college because he did not believe in using any chemicals or deodorants. At Reed, Robert Freidland was able to mesmerize him. Jobs learnt from Freidland about charisma, and the art of persuasion. Friedland was a LSD drug dealer, and was sentenced to two years in prison in 1972. When he was released, Friedland ran for student president at Reed College. Freidland had met the Maharaji in India, and Jobs learned about how a state of enlightenment could be attained through practiced mediation. Steve Jobs had an ability to stare people deep into the eyes. Freidland taught Steve Jobs how to initiate the reality distortion field by bending the situation to his will. Freidland was dictatorial, and wanted to be the centre of attention, and a real salesman. Jobs said LSD helped him to understand the connection with human history, and the absence of the need for profit. Steve Jobs was hardly interested in presenting himself in a proper way throughout the early years of Apple Computer Inc.

Picking A Name Is As Simple As Picking Apples:

Steve Jobs was on a fruitarian diet and he picked apples at the One Brand Farm which was a hippy commune. Apple Computer was a smart choice as a name because it was friendly, and simple. It was counter-culture, and nothing could be more American. Apples and Computers don’t go together so it got people thinking.

Crime Does Pay!!!???: 

If you own an Apple product then you are complicit in supporting crime, kinda but not really… However, we forget that sometimes rules have to be broken in order to innovate. Read the following and see if you agree that we might never have heard of Apple Computers without an illegal gadget called The Blue Box…..

Steve Jobs and Wozniak Created Through Illegal Activity

Share this Image On Your Site

Crime Does Pay? Paul Jobs (Steve’s adopted father) made extra money by souping up cars without telling the IRS, and this was duly noted by Steve. When it came to borrowing, Steve Jobs didn’t mind using his high school’s money to buy parts from a major company. After-all, to Steve, hus school had a lot of money. By 1971, Steve Wozniak had read in Esquire about hackers, and ‘phone-freakers’ who had invented a way to cheat phone companies. Woz read the article to Jobs over the phone from college. The so-called Blue Box was invented by a guy named Captain Crunch. It was interesting because the device mimicked the dial tones necessary to connect long-distance calls thereby allowing calls to be made for free. Jobs and Wozniak went to work reading the Bell System Technological Journal produced by AT&T in order to mimic Captain Crunch’s long-distance tones mimicking device. Of course, this was all illegal.

After much research and work, the two Steves created their Blue-Box device which allowed them to call the Pope, Australia, and elsewhere free of charge. Jobs always felt that stealing long-distance calls was fair when a company like Bell was involved. Although it was illegal, Jobs believed they could sell these devices, and they did manage to sell over 100 of them. Jobs did all the pitching of the Blue Box to random people in the Palo Alto area. It was their first real entrepreneurial endeavour. In an illegal market like telephone hacking, however, there were risks. In one encounter, Jobs and Wozniak were robbed of one of these devices by a crazed man who held Jobs and Woz up at gun-point. By doing something illegal, Steve Jobs and Wozniak gained confidence that they could put a product into production. The Blue Box gave them a taste of the combination of engineering and vision. The lesson is that it turns out that crime does pay when the work is the forerunner of something like Apple.

Sharing Ideas Is Fine Up To A Point:

The Homebrew Computer Club (a collection of computer enthusiasts) believed that their ideas should be shared, exchanged, and disseminated. It was coordinated by people who believed that like-minded nerds should all share information for free. They believed that there should be no commerce at the Homebrew Computer Club. Wozniak supported that view, he wanted the Apple I to be shared for free with other people at the Homebrew meetings. Others disagreed. Bill Gates wrote a letter to the Homebrew Computer Club saying the opposite; that they should stop stealing the programming that he and his partners had created.

The letter argued “Who can afford to do their professional work if everyone is stealing it?” Steve Jobs agreed with Bill Gates about sharing ideas. Jobs convinced Wozniak to follow a closed approach, and to sell computers rather than sharing them. Jobs asked that Woz stop sharing the schematics information regarding the Apple I with others, for that reason. Jobs decided to sell these computers by buying 50 panels for circuitry. The closed system had major benefits in his later career. Starting in 1999, Apple created iMovie, FinalCut Pro, iDvd, iPhoto, GarageBand, (most importantly) iTunes, and the iTunes Store. The personal computer was morphing into a lifestyle hub, and only Apple was positioned to create a full (CLOSED) experience where the product was simple, and enjoyable. Therefore, sharing is great up to a certain point.


Most Good Ideas Have To Be Forced Down People’s Throats:

Wozniak did not want to go into business, but Jobs convinced Woz to join Apple. But first, Wozniak decided that he would do the ethical thing by telling Hewlett Parckard about his Apple I product which he had constructed based on his experience and training at HP. Wozniak presented the Apple I to executives at HP, but they did not think a personal computer made any sense. During one Homebrew Computer Club gathering, Jobs showed the Apple I and after his presentation he asked how much people would pay for the Apple I. The room was silent, no one was interested in buying the Apple I. That is, no one but Paul Terrell who owned an electronics store called The Byte Shop. Even Atari was pitched by Jobs, but they thought Jobs was a clown.

Apple’s first order was for a total of 50 computers from Terrell for $500 each. It took until 1981 for IBM which had dominated the mainframe computers industry to enter the personal computer market while Apple dominated as the fastest growing company in the history of the world at that time, and had already been in the process of developing both Lisa, and the Macintosh.

Another example is that Xerox PARC researchers had invented the Graphical User Interface (GUI) which was visual point and click system that would replace the black screen coding required to operate a computer previously. The only problem is that the Xerox management did not want to explore this personal computer technology. The management at Xerox did not understand the vision of these researchers at Xerox PARC and could not see a P&L statement that justified the time and energy to make the leap from photo-copying to personal computers. Steve Jobs would later explain that the Xerox management were “copy-heads.”

Adele Goldberg showed Jobs the Xerox GUI, but she was angry that Xerox was allowing Jobs to see ‘everything.’ She understood that Xerox had “grabbed defeat from the jaws of success” according to Jobs, by giving him access to their R&D work in exchange for shares in Apple. Without Jobs’ visit to Xerox PARC, the Macintosh, and Lisa would not have had the GUI, and Bill Gates might not have subsequently revolutionized computers with Windows.

Run Your Company Out Of Your Parents House In Order To Appear Like a Real Company:

In order to fulfill their first order from Mr. Terrell’s electronics store, Jobs ran Apple out of his parents house. This was complicated by the fact that Jobs’ father would frequently insist that he rightfully watch the end of Sunday football instead of letting Steve program computer chips on the family tv screen. Things were awkward; they even had a company phone number which was diverting calls to Steve’s mother who acted as secretary…

A curious brand marker has been the much vaunted Apple logo. Interestingly, the original logo of Apple was a ridiculous picture of Newton and a quote from Wordsworth (as seen on the left side of your screen). For the Terrell batch, Jobs and Wozniak marked up the price of the computer from production to $666.66 for every Apple I sold. Steve Jobs claimed that he was a private consultant at Atari in order to improve his start-up’s credibility. The original Apple I was displayed at a computer fair. Wozniak was the best circuit engineer, but the Sal 20 was better looking. Apple I looked like it was not created by serious people. That is when Jobs realized he needed to build a fully packaged computer, and he was no longer aiming for hobbyists but for the people who wanted to use a computer which would be ready to run out of the box.

Jobs and Wozniak agreed to start their own computer company with $3,000. Wozniak was excited to start a company with Steve Jobs. Apple started with $1,300 of working capital. Wozniak wanted to use his Apple work at HP, but Jobs insisted that the work should be  controlled within Apple, and not given to HP. Steve Jobs’ idea was to have control over the computer, and Jobs created tools so that no one but Apple employees could open their computers. Wozniak refused to leave HP, and Jobs forced Wozniak to give up HP by calling Woz’s family and friends. Jobs actively cried a lot over the phone to Woz’s family in order to convince Wozniak to quit his day job. The only way to get Wozniak onboard was if he could stay at the bottom of the organizational chart at Apple from 1977 onwards. That was not a problem for Jobs.


Mike Markkula’s Marketing Theory Is Built Around Three Ideas:

First, you need to connect with your customers, and understand their needs and aspirations. You need to understand their needs better than any other company. Second, you need to focus, and eliminate any activities that do not help to achieve your goal. Third, is to impute. You need to make sure that your brand is respected, because people form their opinion of you based on the signals that you convey. You might have the best product but if you present them in a slip-shot manner you will not get what you want. Steve Jobs would always impute the desires of his customers. He cares about the packaging, and cared about setting the tone for how customers perceived the product.

MacKenna’s Advertising Style Worked: The Apple logo was developed as a multi-colour symbol. The brochure read “Simplicity Is the Ultimate Sophistication.” Apple’s display area in computer fairs was always very impressive. There were only 3 Apple IIs that were finished for the computer fair in 1977, but they stacked up Apple II boxes to suggest they had more. Steve Jobs and Wozniak were forced to dress up, and they were trained on how to act by Markkula.


Don’t Worry About A Business Plan Until You Need Investment In A Serious Venture: 

Mike Markkula entered Apple because Jobs needed money to get the Apple II built. They needed to build inventory, and they needed to develop a marketing strategy, and distribution in order to build a business plan. Markkula worked in computer chips, and was excellent at finance, and price measures, Markkula was very successful already. When Markkula showed up he had a convertible. He wrote a business plan that centred on guesstimates of how many people would own a computer in their home. Markkula wanted Apple to balance check books, and keep receipts. The spirit of Markkula’s prediction was true.

Markkula co-signed a bank loan of $250,000. They owned 25% of the stock, and Apple was incorporated on April 1, 1976. He believed that Apple was at a start of an industry. Apple Computer was growing at an incredibly fast rate. The numbers were mind-blowing: from 2,500 Apple IIs sold in 1977, 8,000 were sold in 1978, and up to 35,000 in 1979. Remember there was no market for personal computers before! The company earned $47 million in revenues in fiscal year 1979, making Steve Jobs a millionaire on paper (he owned $7 million worth of private stock). Markkula believed that Apple would go public within 2 years, it went public on December 12, 1980 at $10 per share making over 300 people millionaires. Several VCs cashed out reaping billions in long-term capital gains. Through Markkula, Jobs learnt about marketing and sales. Importantly, Markkula did not want to start a company just to get rich.


Your Product Needs To Be A Full Simple Package:

Jobs went in to pitch Atari for support for Apple II which had colour, a power source, and keyboards. It was rejected partly because Jobs went to the meeting without shoes. Another company, building the Commodore decided that it would be cheaper to build their own machine. The Commodore Pet came out 9 months later which sucked according to Jobs. Jobs was willing to sell to Commodore but Wozniak felt that this was a bad move. They designed a simple case for the Apple II which would set Apple apart from other machines. The VisiCalc also allowed Apple II to breakinto in the Financial market. Jobs wanted light molded plastic, and offered a consultant $1,500 to produce the design. The Apple II had the advantage of not requiring a fan, or multiple jacks. Jobs wanted a closed system, a computer that was difficult to pry open. Conversely, Wozniak wanted to give hackers the chance to plug in, but Jobs did not want that option.

Steve Jobs endorsed the view that less is more, and that God is in the details. Jobs embraced the Bauhaus style which rejected Sony’s approach of gun metal or black. The alternative was to create hi-tech products by packaging the products in beautiful, white, and simple casing. Apple customers understand the value of presenting their products out of the packaging. You design a ritual of unpacking a product. Jobs also felt that intuitive ideas need to be connected in computers

Jobs’ Management Style Was “Shit” from 1977 to 1985 Firing:

Steve Jobs loved to tell people that their work was shit, and would force his co-workers to pull all-nighters to finish applications. When Apple started to get going in 1978 – 1979, he would come into the office, and tell Wozniak’s engineering team that they were all shit. This further distanced the two as Wozniak felt that Jobs was abusive, and had changed. Jobs would cry easily, and he would put his feet in the toilet bowl in the middle of the day to wash them. For more stability, Michael Scott was brought into Apple Computer Inc as the president, Scott was fat, had ticks, and was highly wound.

Scott was argumentative, and Jobs clashed with him. Jobs produced conflict, and he was only 22 years old, but Apple was Jobs’ company, he did not want to relinquish control. Steve Jobs and Michael Scott fought about employee numbers. Steve Jobs wanted to be employee number 1, and Wozniak would be number 2. So Scott made Jobs’ badge number O but in reality Jobs’ pay role remained number 2. Scott was a pragmatist while Jobs was not. Steve Jobs started crying over a one year warrantee for the Apple II. At age 26, he had a successful company and the Apple II. In 1981, Jobs was kicked off the Lisa project and took over Macintosh so that he could make a contribution comparable to Wozniak.

Once at Macintosh, Jobs was considered to be a dreadful manager. Jef Raskin (who had headed the Macintosh team and disagrees with Jobs on most issues) said the following about Jobs:

  • a) Jobs missed most appointments;
  • b) Jobs acted without thinking and with bad judgment;
  • c) Jobs attacked any suggestion without thinking, claimed it is stupid and a waste of time only to turn around, if the idea was good, and propose the same idea as his own a week later;
  • d) Jobs would never give credit where it was due;
  • and e) Jobs would cry when conflicts erupted in board room meeting.

Michael Scott was fired as he became more and more erratic giving Jobs more power. In retrospect, the New York Times wrote: “by the early 80’s, Mr. Jobs was widely hated at Apple. Senior management had to endure his temper tantrums. He created resentment among employees by turning some into stars and insulting others, often reducing them to tears. Mr. Jobs himself would frequently cry after fights with fellow executives.”

A Startup Will Become Impersonal With Success:

Wozniak wanted Apple to be a family while Jobs wanted the company to grow quickly. Jobs felt that Wozniak had failed him because Woz appeared to be unfocused, and failed to get a ‘floating point’ BASIC finished for Apple II. The Apple II launched the personal computer industry. Wozniak had created the machine, and Jobs designed the exterior which was marketed more effectively. Steve Jobs wanted to spur a great advance in computers. This meant that the company had to hire more and more people, and Jobs became increasingly disrespectful towards slackers, and B Players within Apple. The point is you can’t really have a family environment in a startup that scales. And you need to scale in most competitive industries because the big players will try to destroy you at every turn. If you want to have a family like atmosphere then good luck you but expect to fail.

Apple III Was A Bastard Child Idea: 

Apple created a failed project, and it was not marketed well. The design that Jobs insisted on was not manageable for the circuits, and the Apple team all collectively made their contributions to the device so it was a gigantic mess. Steve Jobs insisted that there be no fan in the computer, as a result, the design did not allow the computer to cool properly, and it frequently overheated, the only way to prevent the chips from disconnecting with the mother board was to drop the computer onto the desk which customers were instructed to do whenever they phoned Apple; “Okay, just pick the computer up and drop it on the desk, that should knock the chips back into place.” The IBM PC crushed Apple III in sales. It was a disaster.

Being Abandoned = Ignoring Reality & Discrediting That Reality:

Steve Jobs had an illegitimate daughter that he didn’t bother to recognize as his at first. How’d that happen? In the mid-1970s, Jobs lived in a four bedroom house, and rented the place out to strippers. Chris-Ann Brennan lived with Jobs in separate rooms, apparently they lived as weirdos, and did acid. When Chris-Ann became pregnant with Steve’s child, he became disconnected from the situation, and did not deal with the pregnancy. He could be engaged and disengaged in minutes. Chris-Ann Brennan and Jobs had sex, but instead of taking responsibility, he engaged in character assassination against Brennan, and tried to prevent a paternity test in order to avoid dealing with the possibility of bringing a child into the world. He did not want to take responsibility, and he decided to believe in his own lies, according to Isaacson. Steve and Chris-Ann were 23 when they had their child, which was the same age as Jindal (Steve’s biological father) when he had Jobs. Jobs did not try to help Chris-Ann, and instead would ridicule her.

Walter Isaacson speculates that being abandoned by his biological parents led to this heartless/irrational behaviour, but it’s not entirely convincing and clear. Another classic example of ignoring reality would be when Jobs was diagnosed with cancer, but waited 9 months before pursuing surgery. Ignoring reality is how Jobs got through tough times.

Robert Friedland helped Chris-Ann Brennan have her baby girl but Steve Jobs helped name the child, and Jobs insisted in the name Lisa Nicole Brennan.  Finally, a year later, Jobs agreed to get a paternity tests where he was found 94.1% likely to be the father, and a Californian court forced Jobs to pay a monthly child support bill of $385. Despite the test, he claimed at Apple that there was a large probability that he wasn’t the father. He did this by using statistics improperly. Jobs claimed that 28% of the male population of the US could have been the father. When Chris-Ann heard what he said, she interpreted it as if Jobs was claiming that she had slept with 28% of the US male population.


Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal:

The best way to predict the future is to invent it’ was one of Steve Jobs’ favourite sayings. Jobs was granted access to Xerox PARC which was established in the 1970s as an R&D digital spawning ground in Silicon Valley for Xerox. One of its products was the Xerox Alto which was a new computer interface that went beyond the BASIC systems like MS-DOS (ie. black screen + code commands), and in the process created a desktop that was called the Graphical User Interface (GUI) ie. everything on the screen was visually represented by icons. Meanwhile at Apple, Jef Raskin brought Bill Atkinson on board in the Macintosh division to develop a cheaper version of LISA but of course, Jobs wanted to get on the front of the wave, and “make a dent in the universe”. Jobs began to exert more influence on the Macintosh project which was Jef Raskin’s brainchild. Jobs hated Raskin because he was a professor/abstract thinker, and Raskin was obviously in control of the Macintosh project which Jobs saw as his own way forward.

In 1981, Jobs gave 100,000 Apples shares at $10 per share to Xerox in exchange for access to their Xeroc PARC. When Steve Jobs saw the demo of GUI he was amazed that Xerox had not commercialized these innovations: 1) the networking, 2) object oriented programming, 3) the mouse and GUI. With this one visit, Steve Jobs had found the way to connect users to the future with GUI, and a way to leapfrog over Raskin’s plans for Macintosh. Steve Jobs was proud of his stealing the great ideas from Xerox. What transpired was less a heist by Apple but a fumble by Xerox. Xerox was too focused on photocopies, and selling more machines. Ideas are important but execution and positioning is also crucial. Microsoft would subsequently ‘steal’ the GUI concept from Apple, but in reality, Bill Gates had also visited Xerox PARC.


The Bicycle Alternative to Macintosh nameSurround Yourself With “A Players”:

In the early 1980s, Jobs recruited people by dramatically unvailing the MacIntosh, and seeing how interviewees responded to the designs. He even unplugged an engineers computer named Andy Hurtsfeld (while he was coding), and forced him over to Macintosh from the Apple II team because Jobs recognized Hurtsfeld’s A Player status. You need to build your company with a collaborative hiring process where a candidate tours around the company meeting everyone that is relevant for hiring that candidate. Why? Because Jobs may not have always had A player ideas. For example, he wanted to call the MacIntosh the ‘bicyle’ because like an actual bike, the MacIntosh would help the human achieve objectives that were not possible on their own. The idea of the Apple Bicycle was shot down by wiser marketing minds. A Players hold you in check.

When Wozniak crashed his airplane in February 1981, he left Apple Computer. After the launch of MacIntosh in 1984, Scully merged the MacIntosh and Lisa teams with Jobs as their head. Jobs told the Lisa team that he was firing 25% of their team because they were B and C players. The management of the MacIntosh team would all gain top positions in the amalgamation. It was unfair, but Jobs latched on to a key management experience, that you had to be ruthless to produce an A Player lineup.

For Jobs, if you hire a B player you will cause of Bozo explosion. B players always want to hire people who are inferior to them. C players hire D players. So keep the best people in your team, and make sure that you keep the right people in your organisation. He believed that if you let any B players into your organization, they would attract other B players as well. A players love to work with other A players, by definition, they want to grow and be the best. That is what makes A Players valuable.


Reality Distortion Field:

This reality distortion field was empowering. Bud Tribble in the early 1980s said that “Steve has a reality distortion field. In his presence, reality is malleable. He can convince anyone of practically anything. […] The reality distortion field was a confounding melange of a charismatic rhetorical style, an indomitable will, and an eagerness to bend any fact to fit the purpose at hand.” It was self-fulfilling, you do the impossible because you would believe it. Jobs could deceive even himself which allowed him to con other people. Jobs used this tactic which helps to make irrational goals real. The rules didn’t apply to him. He was a liar, and the Reality Distortion Field is a creative way of saying that he was a liar. As a child, Jobs had been rebellious, and this plays into his special, abandoned, unique self. If you trust Jobs, he will make it happen.

That is the great part about the reality distortion field. If you pretend to be completely in control, people will believe you are, and will be empowered. Jobs was so passionate about Apple and NExT devices, and his force of personality allowed him to change peoples minds as a salesman. Steve Jobs was able to change reality by using charismatic rhetoric, and bend facts. The reality distortion field was never acutely apparent. Jobs was lying quite a lot during team meetings.

As a result, it was difficult to have a realistic deadline since bending facts has its downsides (Think wasteful factory decorations, missing product dates at NExT etc). Jobs did not like manuals, and told Gates in 1984 that they should not have any manuals, but Gates did not bother mentioning that they had an entire team working on manuals for Mac. Bill Gates was completely immune to Steve Jobs’ reality distortion field. When reality hit, Jobs had a difficult time dealing with it.


Be At The Nexus of Humanities and Technology:

Connecting arts with technology is powerful. Jobs practiced Buddhism & mediation. Simplicity is important for a company. And it is evident that Buddhism was instrumental in Jobs’ development of Apple. Keeping it simple is essential to producing a user-friendly product that even the parents of baby-boomers can use. In his senior year, Jobs loved King Lear, Plato, and Dylan Thomas. Steve Jobs took AP English in high school. Jobs worked in electronics, and learnt about literature. Jobs took an electronics class at high school with McCaulum.

At Reed, Jobs audited a typography class which Jobs later argued was responsible for the Mac having typeface or proportionately spaced fonts. Steve Jobs understood that creative people are disciplined but technology people think they are lazy, while technology people do not know how to communicate intuitively to people, and have created a secret language to exclude ordinary people. Steve Jobs bridges that gap beauty through his life’s work. Producing something artistic takes real discipline.


The Believe In A Closed System & Product Control:

The architectural structure and software had to be tightly linked according to Jobs. Functionality would be sacrificed if one were to allow for multiple software producers. While Microsoft could be used on any hardware, Jobs refused to have Apple computers fragmented by the work of partners who did not follow Apple’s rules. On the customer level, Jobs refused to allow users to alter the product, pitching the idea that Apple products were more user friendly (which they were). He did not want to give users control. The closed system is useful for the iPhone era but not from 1981 until the mid to late 1990s with IBM (Big Blue) and Microsoft working across platforms; Apple’s competitive advantage in the PC market eroded dramatically in the early to mid 1980s. By scaling with multiple hardware platforms such as IBM PCs, Dell, and Compaq, software developers had an open-source alternative to the closed Apple system. Bill Gates realised this closed system problem in the early 80s and exploited it. Jobs wanted end-to-end control so that software developers had to buy into the Apple system, however, critical mass was essential for that to work. In 1982, Jobs wanted the industry standard to be Apple software + hardware, he did not want sales cannibalization that comes with allowing other computers to use the Apple Operating System on their computers. But for developers, the labour required to work within Apple’s ecosystem was prohibitive compared to the gains made by working on an open-source PC world. As a result, in 1997, Jobs admitted that they had been overly proprietary, and thus failed to see how that was hurting their marketability from 1984-1997. In the 2000s, the closed system had the advantage as Apple become a premium/closed brand through carefully working with 3rd parties.


Market Research Is For Idiots:

For Steve Jobs, Apple was about producing what people did not know they wanted yet. To be innovative, meant producing what he believed was needed. He was not interested in group testing his products. He once asked, “Did Alexander Graham Bell create a focus group before inventing the telephone?” Customers are going to try to get a better, cheaper computer. Focus groups do not tell you what the customers actually need. Customers do not know what they want.


Macintosh As The 3rd Industry Standard:

Bill Gates’ Microsoft appeared in Hawaii for the software dating game. The Macintosh was the product that Bill Gates felt was revolutionary. The ideal relationship would be for Bill Gates to work exclusively with Apple but that was not Gates’ strategy. Gates wanted to be a competitor, and wrote software for the IBM. In 1982, 279,000 Apple II were sold compared to 240,00 IBM but in 1983 there were 420,000 Apple II versus 1.3 million IBMs and clones. IBM had taken 26% of the market, and IBM/Clones would take over half of the market which included other compatible PCs.

Motivate With The Big Picture:

Steve Jobs was not interested in profiting more than competitors, but in producing a better, more beautiful computer. Macintosh’s team was burned out in conflict, and demoralized but Jobs had moments of brilliance. To counteract the negatives of Jobs’ management style, he would illicit the big picture. In one meeting, the issue was with regard to the booting time/start time for a new computer which was over a minute long. Jobs explained that if you combined 1 million people’s boot times, it would add up to many many cumulative hours of waste. In dramatic terms, Jobs argued that reducing the booting time by a few seconds could save about 50 lifetimes in total.

‘Making a dent in the universe’ was the overarching idea behind Apple. In 1981, IBM released their own personal computer, and Apple was confident about their market position. The problem was that IBM was a more powerful company, and had real strengths in the corporate establishment, and brand recognition. The Big Blue vision was to crush Apple, and IBM was the perfect foil for the spiritual struggle of Apple. Jobs felt that once IBM gains in a market sector, they almost always stop innovating. For Jobs, IBM was a force of evil, later the enemy was Microsoft and then Goggle subsequently.


Unhealthy Competition Within A Company Can Be Corrosive:

Entrepreneurs do not always transition into effective managers. Steve Jobs had a pirate flag waving over his Macintosh office at Apple. The Lisa team was jealous of this renegade team, and stole their Macintosh pirate flag as a prank. The Macintosh members then found the secretary who was hiding the flag under her desk, and wrestled it from her. This bizarre corporate behaviour had a negative effect, it said that Jobs team was better than other ones, and it was divisive within the company.

Steve would not allow Apple II employees to visit the MacIntosh office. Jobs wanted people to know about Macintosh but he wanted everyone else at Apple to know that they sucked even though Apple II was generating the revenue for the company. Steve Jobs’ Macintosh team seemed to be trying to destroy Lisa because Jobs was kicked off the project.

The Lisa team did feel that the Macintosh was undercutting Lisa since people were going to wait until Macintosh was released before buying their next Apple product, as it was announced in 1983 that Macintosh was on the way. In the PR campaigns, Steve Jobs admitted that the Macintosh was better than Lisa, and within two years Lisa was too expensive, and would be obsolete. Within months of Lisa’s launch, Apple had to pin the companies hopes on Macintosh.


The Best & Most Innovative Products Don’t Always Win:

The Microsoft team members wanted to know everything about the OS operating system during their close partnership with Apple in 1983. Gates believed that GUI was the future, and he claimed that the Xerox Alto was the foundation of all personal computers so Jobs was stealing the idea anyway. By November 1983, Gates admitted that there were plans to create an Microsoft operating system to be launched on all IBMs and clones.

The product was called Windows. Steve Jobs was furious. Part of their partnership in 1982 onwards was that Microsoft would not develop any programs for IBM until a year after the MacIntosh launch in January 1983. Unfortunately, Apple did not launch the Macintosh until January, 1984 so Gates was within his rights to proceed with licensing to IBM. Gates came down to Apple, and Jobs assailed Gates “You’re ripping us off! We trusted you.” Bill Gates put it well, “We both had this neighbour named Xerox, and I broke into to house to steal the TV but found that you had already been there.” When Gates showed Jobs what he had developed for Windows, Jobs did not complain that it was stealing because he told Gates right to his face that Windows was a “piece of shit.” Jobs was almost crying about it, and went on a long walk in November 1983. Apple and Microsoft were now in serious conflict at this point. Windows was not launched until 1985 because it was not very good, but Microsoft made Windows better over time, and by 1995, it was dominant. Until the return of Jobs in 1997, there was a dark period of Microsoft dominance in the computer industry according to Jobs. The open system approach that Microsoft adopted by working with multiple hardware partners proved better because it allowed Microsoft to get on to multiple platforms for scalability. Meanwhile, other Apple developers began working with clones as well.


Eras Are Defined By Partnerships & Rivalry – Gates Versus Jobs Round 1:

Two high energy college drops ended up shaping the commercial PC market. Bill Gates created a program for scheduling classes, and a car counting program while in high school. Gates was skilled at being logical, practical, and analytical while Jobs was design friendly, and less disciplined. Gates was methodical in his business style. Bill Gates was humane but could not make eye contact. Gates was fascinated by Jobs’ mesmerizing persona but saw Jobs as rude and cruel. Jobs has always maintained that Gates should have dropped acid to open up his mind to creativity. The only thing Gates was open to was licensing Microsoft to Apple but not on an exclusive basis. Jobs long believed that Gates was not a creative person, and that Gates ripped off other people’s ideas or at least did not have original ideas. Meanwhile, Gates derisively called Macintosh “S.A.N.D.” ie. Steve’s Amazing New Device. Gates mentions that he did no like Jobs’ management style, as Steve had a tendency to call his own co-workers idiots on a regular basis.

The rivalry was also beyond the personal. In 1982, Apple’s sales were $1 billion, while Microsoft made $23 million. Jobs had an attitude with Gates that suggested Gates should be honoured to work Jobs, it was insulting. From Jobs’ perspective, Gates did not understand the elegance of the Macintosh. There were 14 people working on the Macintosh while Microsoft programmers created applications that had 20 people working on programs to Mac.  Their rivalry was deep and probably spurred innovation forward for that reason.


Genius Versus Shit-Head:

For Steve Jobs, you were either a genius or a shit-head/bozo. He sought absolute perfection, and he loved to define people according to this rubric. Steve Jobs tended to be high voltage and might actually say that an idea you proposed is ‘piece of shit idea’. But then he would turn around to propose your idea as his own a week later. Sometimes, he would then take your position in an argument, and agree with you just to mess you up. Jobs could not avoid impulsive opinions, his team at Macintosh were used to moderating his opinions, and not reacting to the extremes of either being a ‘piece of shit’ or ‘genius.’ At Macintosh in the 1981 – 1985 period, Atkinson taught his team to interpret “this is shit” to mean “how is this the best way?” when speaking with Jobs. Steve had a charismatic personality, and knew how to crush people psychologically. In addition, he had huge expectations with his Macintosh team, and it created a fear factor. If you demonstrated that you knew what you were talking about, Jobs would respect you. From 1981 onwards, employees were annually awarded for standing up to Steve Jobs. One marketing specialist stood up to Jobs twice because the marketing projections were unrealistic in 1981. She won the award having at one point threatened to stab Jobs in the heart.

 The Boardroom Showdown & Emotionality:

In May 1985, the boardroom meeting to demote Jobs from Macintosh was nasty. Jobs presented his case first saying that Scully did not care about computers but in response a manager retorted that Jobs had been behaving foolishly for over a year. Scully then presented his case to the board for demoting Jobs and stated that he (Scully) would either get his way or they would need a new CEO. Scully said that Jobs should be transitioned slowly out of the management role at Macintosh. Jobs felt betrayed by Scully. Steve Jobs was emotionally unstable, and even felt as though he should be able to repair his friendship with Scully. Meanwhile, Jobs would spend a lot of time plotting against Scully in light of his career crisis.

Advertising Does Matter:

The 1984 Ridley Scott advertisement entitled “1984” was a way of affirming a desired renegade style, and attached Apple Computers with the rebels, and hackers. Ironically, Apple was a controlled system. Jobs believed in total control. Initially, the 1984 Ad was not popular on the board at Apple. Markkula and Scully thought it was the worst commercial ever, and that they should not put it on during the Superbowl. They were proven wrong by the timelessness of that 1984 Ad. The next advertisement in 1985 was an ad focused on insulting business people by showing them that they were walking off a cliff as if to suggest that they were blindly following the IBM brand. When the commercial was featured at the 1985 Superbowl in January, there was little reaction, and in truth it was a blunder since it insulted the market it was trying to reach. Apple performed poorly in 1985, the ad is not the cause of the outcome but was a symptom of Apple’s situation in 1985; IBM was expanding immensely.

Frame Your Business Around War – Big Blue Versus Apple:

During the 1984 Apple shareholder meeting, Jobs set the stage for the epic conflict between IBM and Apple. The question Jobs asked at the 1984 conference was “Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer market? Will they control the entire information age? Was Geroge Orwell right?” These rhetorical questions helped inspire his company. Afterall, IBM did not have the vision to buy Xerox in the 1950s. Computer dealers fear IBM dominance on pricing. For Jobs, it was about Apple versus evil. Apple is the only hope against Big Blue. With that frame of mind, Apple could do anything. The MacIntosh was finally launched on “time” in January, 1984.


John Scully Hello WorldA Messy Company Can Still Work:

When Scully joined Apple, he was surprised at the disorder, and bickering between Jobs and the Lisa team over a) why Lisa was a failure, and b) why Macintosh had not been launched in 1983. Scully felt that Apple was ‘like a household where everyone were running to the beach when there was an earthquake only to discover a tsunami was approaching that forced them back into the house.’ (Isaacson Biography). Things weren’t great on the numbers side for Scully’s first year as CEO either. He had to announce at the 1984 shareholders meeting that 1983 was a bad year for Apple. It was. The competitors were entering the market with cheaper products that were not as user-friendly as Apple but still semi-useful machines. The Apple balance sheet still showed major growth but IBM had launched the PC, and there were many lower-priced clones on the market in 1981 onward which were harming Apple’s competitive advantage.

Steve Jobs Mike ScullyBut Macintosh was marketed as “the computer for the rest of us” and would refocus Apples efforts away from their core Apple II & LISA product offerings. Apples future was bright because there were 25 million information based users in offices across America, and their work had not changed much since the industrial revolution. The only desktop product people used was the phone until the personal computer. Apple hoped that their market share would expand with the unveiling of Macintosh….1984 would prove pivotal for Apples future (to be continued). Below is the balance sheet for the January 24th, 1984 Apple Shareholders meeting.  Apple was a chaotic start-up turned revolutionary full fledged company. It was a messy operation from the standpoint of senior management but generally Apple worked.

Apple RainbowThe Apple Computer, Inc Balance Sheet In 1983            

Current Assets 

Fiscal Year 1983

Cash and Investments


Receivables – Net






Total Current Assets


Net Fixed Assets


Other Assets


Total Assets


Current Liabilities


Long-Term Liabilities


Shareholders’ Equity


Total Liabilities & Equity



A Clean Factory Is Insanely Great But The Product Has To Sell:

Freemont, California was the location of Apples new automated factory overlooking the Ford manufacturing facility. Apple was more profitable in its early years of existence relative to Ford. Apple was indeed a miraculous company. Jobs spent time going over the machines in the new factory in 1984, at one point, he demanded that the Apple team repaint the machines for aesthetics. This repainting actually screwed up their machines, however, and corrections proved costly. The Apple factory had white walls, and beautiful machines. Jobs believed the factory was a way to establish a passion for Apple amongst employees. Jobs was influenced by the Japanese manufacturing which had a sense of team and discipline. Debby Coleman, a Stanford MBA, was the operations manager. By the end of 1984, the Macintosh’s performance in sales was very low. They had an expensive factory but a failed product.


Being Right Isn’t As Important As Winning

Renegades weren’t such a problem to Steve Jobs. In fact, he respected those who stood up to him if they knew what they were talking about on the Macintosh team. Often if they disagreed with Jobs, they realized that they could ignore Jobs’ commandments, and in so doing effectively spare Jobs the embarrassment of making a mistake or a bad judgement. One such incident involved the disk drive called Twiggy which was defective in the Lisa. The alternative would be a 3½ disk drive which was designed by Sony. The dirty Tokyo disk drive factory in Sony did not impress Jobs and he wanted to go with Alps disk drive which had made a clone of the Sony product. So Jobs decided to do a deal with Alps (a competing manufacturer), but Bob Belleville (behind Jobs’ back) decided to hire Sony in secret without Jobs’s approval.

Belleville hired Komoto who was tasked with building a disk drive for the MacIntosh from 1982-83, but Belleville did not want Jobs to know about this backup plan for the disk drive collaboration taking place at Alps, the Japanese company. Whenever Jobs came through the Macintosh office, Komoto was quickly escorted into a closet, or under a desk where he would have to hide for a few minutes at a time. In May 1983, the Alps team in Japan failed to deliver their disk drive, and asked for an additional 18 more months to work out the problems. It was a disaster as Mark Markkula grilled Jobs about what he was going to do about the lack of a disk drive with the MacIntosh launch potentially being pushed back to 1985? Bob Belleville saved Jobs by interjecting that Bob had a disk drive ready thanks to his secret work without Jobs’ approval. Jobs appreciated this renegade behaviour, and swallowed his pride. So we can infer that winning is more important than being right in management.

Bringing In An Outside Expert Can Be Costly:

Steve Jobs was too rough-edged to be Apple CEO so Markkula and Jobs went shopping for an alternative. They focused away from the tech sector to find a marketing genius. John Scully was an outsider who was an expert in management, and a consumer marketer who had a corporate polish. He invented the Pepsi Challenge campaign at Pepsi, and he was good at marketing, and advertising. Scully was struck by how poorly marketed computers were in the mid-1980s. Scully did not actually like computers because they seemed to be too much trouble, however Scully was enthusiastic about selling something more interesting than Pepsi Co.

Scully decided that Apple should work on the idea of ‘enriching their users lives’. Scully was good at generating PR, and excitement around Pepsi. The ability to generate a buzz about Pepsi would be replicated by Steve Jobs in the unveiling of new Apple products subsequently. Initially the two hit it off very well in their meetings about Scully joining Apple. They both admitted to be smitten with each-other over the big ideas surrounding computer technology. Jobs knew how to manipulate Scully’s insecurities to his advantage. Jobs and Scully seemed to understand each-other, and they had become friends, and emotional confidants. The problem was that most marketing people are paid posers, according to a former Apple manager. Scully actually did not care about computers but cared largely about marketing, and selling an idea to the public.

When Jobs showed Scully the Macintosh, he was more interested in Steve Jobs presentation skills than the computer itself. Scully claimed to share with Jobs goals but he was not 100% enamored with the product. Steve Jobs knew that Scully would be able to teach him the most, and Scully successfully sold Jobs the idea of his being appropriate for Apple. Jobs asked him famously: “do you want to go on the rest of your life selling sugar water, or do you want a chance to change the world.” Scully received $1,000,000 in salary, and a $1,000,000 signing bonus as the new CEO of Apple in April 1983.


The Original Macintosh Had Bad Sales:

During the planning for the release of Macintosh, the marketing costs needed to be factored into the price according to then CEO John Scully. Scully said $1,999 price was too low because the marketing budget required to spend more in order to sell Apple to the masses. As a result, they set the price to $2,499 for the Macintosh. Steve Jobs argues that this price was the reason that the Macintosh did not sell well in 1984. After the 2nd quarter of 1984, Macintosh started to slump in sales. It was slow, dazzling but not powerful enough. In addition, Macintosh had only 2 applications so there was a major software development gap. It was beautiful but Macintosh used a lot of memory. Lisa functioned on 1000K of Ram. Macintosh had 128K of Ram. There was lack of an internal hard-disk drive.

Jobs wanted to have a floppy disk drive. Macintosh did not have a fan so it over heated easily. When people became aware of flaws, reality hit. By the end of 1984, Jobs made a strange decision, he took unsold Lisa’s grafted on a Macintosh emulation program, and sold them as a new product. Jobs was producing something that wasn’t real, it sold well, and then it had to be discontinued within the company once the extra LISA’s were sold.

People attend the annual Apple Expo at the CNIT center at La Defense in Paris September 15. Apple p..The distribution system did not respond to demand effectively, and there was an inventory backlog which was unintended by Apple Inc. Macintosh very simply did not sell well enough for the production level of building a copy of the computer every 23 seconds. This would later help Jobs realise that a Just-In-Time inventory strategy would be better suited. This was Dell computer’s competitive advantage.

On balance, Jobs’ marketing from 77 to 85 was brilliant but there were some patchy points. Not everything that Apple did on a marketing level had been genius under Jobs’ influence in the 1977-1985 era. We always talk about the 1984 commercial but check out the worst Apple ad ever from 1985 which reads: “you corporate hacks are buying IBM computers without really thinking.”


Fall From Grace Through Management Incompetence:

Scully thought that Jobs was a perfectionist, while Scully didn’t care about products at all. Scully did not learn quickly in his new role but was instead focused on marketing and management rather than the products according to Steve Jobs’ recollection. In addition, Scully seemed to be clueless that Jobs was manipulating him with flattery, while Scully believed in keeping people happy and worrying about relationships.  Outside of Apple, the market responded negatively to Macintosh and by mid-84 into 85 a crisis was growing. By early 1985, the managers had told John Scully that he was supposed to run the company and be less eager to please Jobs. Also, Steve Jobs was told to stop criticizing other departments in Apple which was becoming difficult to stomach. Sales in the first quarter of 1985 were only 10% of their projections. Management changes were on the horizon.

Steve Jobs’ abuse of others increased through character assassinations and intense and direct criticism but this was also coupled with a quickly declining market share. Many middle managers rose up against Jobs. Noting the increased tension, Steve Jobs asked Scully if Jobs could create a Macintosh in a book-like format while also heading an “Apple Labs” project as a new R&D off-shoot of Apple Computers. From Scully’s perspective, if Jobs agreed to leave Macintosh, this solution would solve the management issues and get rid of Jobs’ presence at Apple’s head office. Jean-Louis Gassee would move in to take over the Macintosh only if he could avoid working under Jobs. The problem was that Jobs did not want to quit MacIntosh but wanted more responsibility by running both Macintosh and the new R&D project. Finally, Scully had a meeting with Mike Murray. By mid-1985, Apple executives started to blame Jobs for the miscalculated forecasting of Mac sales and resentment built up due to Job’s management style. Mike Murray, Jobs’ lieutenant in marketing, wrote a memo summarizing the problems that Apple had. Murray laid a lot of  blame on Steve Jobs which was a coup considering his closeness to Jobs. Murray pointed out that Jobs had a controlled power-base within the company which created a strategic alliance amongst high value employees. When Scully confronted Jobs, he said that it wasn’t going to work with Jobs’ approach at the Macintosh division. Jobs said that Scully did not spend enough time teaching Jobs as an excuse for the demotion that Scully was proposing ie start an R&D division outside of Apple. Jobs was erratic, he would reach out to Scully, and then lash-out at him behind his back. Jobs would phone one manager at 9pm to discuss Scully’s poor performance, and then he would phone Scully at 11pm to say that he loved working with Scully. The end of the line for Jobs was approaching quickly.


Being Vindictive Is Part Of Leadership:

In 1985, Jobs refused a $50,000 bonus for Macintosh engineers who went on vacation during the bonus awarding period. Andy Hurtzfeld quit because he didn’t like Macintosh’s team, or Jobs. Woz and Jobs were no longer friends. As an expression of that, Jobs also shot down Wozniak’s universal remote control company ‘Cloud 9’ by arguing that the design agency should not be allowed to work with 3rd party companies such a Woz’s. Steve Wozniak left Apple saying that the company was not being run properly for the past 5 years. Jobs was vindictive, and convinced himself that Woz’s remote control designs was a problem because it resembled other of Frog’s designs which were used to design Apple products. In 1999, Adobe refused to write programs for the iMac, so when the iPhone was released, Steve Jobs refused to allow flash on its products arguing that these products ate too much battery power, when in reality the core problem was that Adobe had screwed Apple in the past. In other words, being vindictive is part of business leadership as far as Steve Jobs is concerned.

Steve Jobs Rolling StonesRolling Stone PR Stunt:

Apple wanted to build a relationship with Rolling Stone magazine, and Steve Jobs pitched them to get on the cover but they rejected Jobs’ idea. In response, Jobs said that Rolling Stone was a piece of shit in the early 1980s to a Rolling Stone journalist, and that they needed to get a new audience of people who care about technology.


Finding Similarities Between Yourself & Your Business Partners May Not Be Good:

John Scully, and Steve Jobs were perfectionists, and they were self-deluded about each other. They had different values, and Scully did not learn quickly. Jobs managed to manipulate Scully into believing Scully was exceptional. Jobs was secretly astounded at Scully’s deference. Scully would never yell at employees, or treat them horribly as Jobs had. Jobs tried to find similarities between himself and Scully in order to justify choosing Scully as Apple’s CEO. Thinking in this way is a mistake.

Eras Are Defined By Partnerships & Rivalry – Gates Versus Jobs Round 2:

As Jobs stepped in the limelight again at MacWorld 1997, he announced a partnership with Bill Gates’ Microsoft stating that a zero-sum game (between Apple and Microsoft) was not the way forward. Gates had stolen the Graphical User Interface from MacIntosh which was borrowed from Xerox PARC, but had struck a deal with Scully to not release a GUI until after 1988. When Windows 2.0 was released, Apple sued them unsuccessfully for IP theft. By 1997, Gates refused to help Amelio create a Word processor. When Clinton began building an anti-trust case against Microsoft for their near monopoly (particularly their destruction of Netscape), and other unethical business practices, Jobs told a Justice department official to continue if only to allow Apple to develop an alternative.

Steve Jobs closed a simple deal with Gates with the agreement that Apple would stop suing Microsoft for stolen IP, while Microsoft would have a $150 million stake in Apple with non-voting shares, and produce Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Explorer for the Mac. At MacWorld 1997, this decision to work with Microsoft was very controversial, and there was a public relations gaffe that Jobs would later regret. When introducing Bill Gates at MacWorld, Jobs decided to have Bill Gates beamed into the auditorium via satellite. The only problem was that Bill Gates was put on a giant projector screen over looking the audience like a powerful overlord or Big Brother.

Force An Ultimatum To Get Control Of A Company:

The Friday executive meeting (in May 1985) was where Scully would confront Jobs about the attempted coup. Jobs said that “Scully was bad for Apple, and the wrong guy, you don’t know how to develop products. I wanted you to help me grow, and you have been ineffective in helping me.” Jobs said that he would run Apple better, so Scully polled the room with each person explaining who would be better for Apple. “It’s me or Steve. Vote.” Everyone supported Scully, and Jobs started to cry again. Jobs left Apple with his core MacIntosh staff. Scully was very upset about what happened. Scully’s wife confront Jobs in a parking lot and said that he had nothing behind his eyes other than a bottomless pit.

Targeting The Education Market Is Not Lucrative:

In September 1985, Steve Jobs announced to the Apple board that he would be focusing on a computer for the higher education market in a new company of his own. This was an outstandingly strange decision since it is not as lucrative as other areas, but he saw a market share for himself. Apple dominated the education market so Jobs took with him key people who would be useful for his goal. Their team would then have proprietary information about Apple’s future goals in the education sector. Jobs raided key employees in a somewhat vindictive manner. Even Markkula was offended at how ungentlemanly he was behaving. So Apple sued Steve Jobs for (a) secretly taking advantage Apple’s plans for the product, (b) secretly undermined Apple by getting new people, and (c) secretly being disloyal to Apple by using their information.

Never Tell The Allies Of Your Opposition That You’re Planning A Coup:

As the summer of 1985 approached and Jobs was transitioning out of his leadership role as the head of the Macintosh division, he begged Scully to reverse the boardroom decision. Scully refused and argued that Jobs had failed to get another Macintosh out to market. May 14th, Tuesday 1985, with a boardroom present Jobs was defiant and argued that it was alright to have Apple II and Macintosh developing two different disk drives. Jobs begged Scully again not to move him out of the role, and in-front of the board, Scully said no. The die was cast. Scully was planning on going to China to launch the opening of Apple to the Chinese computer market, so Jobs started to plan his coup around the Memorial weekend visit that Scully would be going on.  Jobs went around canvassing for the support needed to swing the board against Scully.

The board was largely with Scully. Jobs revealed his plans to Jean-Louis Gassee who was the guy that Scully was going to replace Jobs with. Naturally, Gassee told Scully who immediately cancelled his trip to China. Jobs refused to accept the reorganization of Apple with Jobs as a product visionary. Jobs did not want to play ball. Jobs was excluded from management reports. It was a personal and career disaster for Jobs.


How To Save A Dying Tech Company – Return To Your Successful Roots:

Jobs believed that killing the Macintosh clones was the way forward in 1997. He felt that licensing the Mac OS software to third party hardware producers was a mistake and that the largest battle was the software licensing problem for Apple. The problem was that by having a closed system, Apple had to manage its own software development. Microsoft dominated because they produced software that was cross-platform. The clones of Apple cannibalized Apples’ own computer sales even if these clones had to pay Apple software at $80 per sale. Jobs believed that hardware, and software should be integrated, and Jobs wanted to control the user experience from end to end. With this return to Apple’s roots, Jobs was setting a course for creating a closed, highly controlled user experience that had pros and cons.  


Avoid The Problem Of Focusing On The Small Battles & Not Seeing The Big Picture:

October 1988, the NeXT launch was an amazing event. After 3 years of consulting with universities across the country, Jobs was betting the company on new technology. Every minor detail was analysed and reworked as the release windows passed for the NeXT computer. In an effort to seek out the best quality technology, Jobs built a highly advanced product but NeXT did not have a floppy disk which was rare for the era. NeXT was risked on the lavish use of Steve Job’s finances to set up his company, and he targeted the higher education industry. The problem was that the features were great but the price of the product was $6,500. At the launch, the applause was scattered when Jobs announced the price tag, the academics were extremely disappointed at the launch event for NeXT because the machine was too expensive. Apparently, the education sector representatives of his NeXT launch were shocked at the cost given the feedback that NeXT had no doubt received. The price has to be low enough to scale the product into universities, other wise the sales pitch has to be extremely aggressive. This price shock was reflected in the sales.

Instead of focusing on price, Jobs’ team focused on features and other details…universities didn’t buy the product. Pricing a product is essential. Most of the features were trivial for the NeXT. In addition, there were too few people interested in building software for the NeXT, and the price was a massive deterrent. In addition, the NeXT was incompatible because few developers were designing the software needed to use the product. Jobs’ strategy was to target the workstations industry where Sun was dominant. It failed, and in 1991, NeXT stopped making hardware much like Jobs had given hardware up at Pixar. By the mid-1990s, NeXT was working in the Operating System market exclusively.


Gain Financial Control Against Your Business Partners:

Pixar needed to challenge Disney’s dominance in animation. Toy Story’s success was heavily associated with Disney which was frustrating to Jobs because Pixar created Toy Story. Jobs felt that Pixar was helping Disney roll out their movies and taking all of the credit for Toy Story. Pixar ran and created the movie, and Disney was the distributing channel. There was a need to go public with the Pixar considering that Toy Story was the top grossing film in 1995.

When Pixar was in trouble in 1988, Jobs needed to fire people which he did with a complete lack of empathy. The company was failing partly because their mass market animation hardware did not sell well. He gave these redundant employees a notice of two weeks, but this was retroactive from two weeks before the date of termination! Fast forward to 1995, Pixar was worth $39 per share on the first day of the IPO, Steve Jobs made $1.2 billion dollars in the initial IPO stage (a huge portion of its value). With the success of the IPO, Pixar wanted to assert a co-branding relationship with Disney, rather then being just a studio. Steve Jobs fought to make sure Pixar was every bit as valuable as Disney which later resulted in a Disney take over at a huge valuation.


Art Reflects Reality:

Jobs bought Pixar from Lucas films and became a majority stakeholder in 1986. Pixar was technology meeting art which was perfect for Jobs who wanted to live on the intersection of the humanities and technology. He looked into the finance, and strategy in the late 80s to familiarize himself more with the bean counting elements of business. Jobs spewed out all kinds of crazy and good ideas at Pixar meetings. He even tried to sell hardware, and software design via a digital animation product called Renderman but this did not sell well. In the early 1990s, John Lasseter came up with Toy Story. Originally, Woody was a nasty character (who acted like Steve Jobs) but finally they decided to change the story so that Woody was no longer a mean character, and the film was very successful after much difficulty with Disney. A Bug’s Life tells the story of an Ant with all kinds of crazy and good ideas, but he gets in trouble with the colony and he is then expelled from the colony. He goes out to find a solution to the colony’s grasshopper problem, and ends up saving the colony. It basically follows the same life pattern as Steve Jobs who was fired from Apple, only to triumphantly return.


Rivalry Of The Ants & Breaking With Disney:

Woody Allen’s Antz film was not a huge success but it was used to challenge the Disney production A Bug’s Life. Katzenberg (Dreamworks) wanted to copy Pixar’s Ant movie, and so Hollywood had two Ant movies being made in the same year. Katzenberg have a falling out with Disney in the mid-90s after being responsible for productions like Little Mermaid and Aladdin. Later Finding Nemo was the most popular DVD and sold $0.867 billion, and Pixar made $521 million with the showdown from Disney. Pixar was producing the films, and Disney was the distribution channel.


Build A Board That Cannot Operate Independently of the CEO:

During his transition into the leadership of Apple, Steve Jobs hired Larry Ellison, and other board members who were all loyal to Jobs. This would allow Jobs to take complete control over the company, and give him the breath of control needed to execute the long list of chances that were needed to fix Apple. Once the board was set, Steve Jobs become the CEO of Apple, and he took a salary of $1. The next step would be to rebuild the company. Instead of building Apple off of the divisions in a product line model used originally, with Jobs, there were to be no divisions with independent bottom-lines. Jobs wanted to have a cohesive structure so that he could directly control the company from the top down. He would be able to interact with smaller teams, who were in constant dialogue with each other rather than in painful competition against each other. Instead of a competitive bureaucratic structure where teams competed against eachother, Apple was now a heavily top-down organisation.

  Do Not Chase Profits, Chase Value:

By 1996, Apple had a 4% share of the market from a high of 16% in the late 1980s. Apple had expanded into every technology sector with a wide variety of products over the decade + that Jobs had been outcasted. John Scully did not think that high-tech could be sold to mass markets. According to Jobs, in the 1990s, Scully brought in corrupt people that wanted to make money only for themselves rather than create new ideas through Apple. Scully’s drive for profits at the cost of market share reduced Apple’s value. Apple’s decline was due to its inability to innovate in any area. The Macintosh hardly improved after Jobs had left. In one instance, Jobs was asked to autograph a late-1980s model of the Macintosh keyboard but first he insisted that the arrow keys be removed. Jobs hated the arrows on the keyboard and viewed it as an example of bad decision-making within Apple. Apple was almost sold to Sun and HP in 1996, Apple’s stock fell to $14 in 1996. In 1994, Gil Amelio became the CEO of Apple and wanted to integrate the Apple with Windows NT which would have corrupted Apple further. Amelio did not like Jobs much, and thought Jobs was trying the reality distortion field at every point of interaction.
tion. Amelio was probably right.


Do Not Force Other Businesses Into Your Closed System:

In 1983, Jobs loved Microsoft Excel so he made an offer to Gates. If Gates agreed to produce Excel exclusively for Apple for the first 2 years, then Jobs would shutdown his team working on BASIC, and license Gates’ BASIC. Gates accepted. This deal became a lever in future negotiations. When Jobs decided he wanted other companies to produce software for Apple, he exercised a clause in the contract with Gates so that Microsoft would not get an automatic bundling in every Macintosh sold. Instead of getting $10 per Application, per Macintosh sold, Microsoft would have to sell their products separately.

Gates knew that Jobs was good at playing fast and loose with the truth so he was not actually that upset because he then turned around, and started work on versions for IBM. Microsoft gave IBM priority, and Jobs’ decision to back out of the bundling deal was another major mistake by Jobs. When Gates and Jobs unveiled Excel, a reporter asked if Microsoft would be creating a version for IBM. Gates’ answer was “in time.” Jobs’ response was “Yes, in time, we’ll all be dead.”

apple boardHow To Save A Dying Tech Company – Fire The Board Or Resign:

In 1997, Apple was losing good people so Jobs pushed to give the best people a re-pricing of their stock options to ($13.29 per share) as Apple’s stocks were so low that they were nearly worthless. This was not considered good corporate practice. Having quality people was essential to ensure the success of the company. When the board said it would take 2 months to do a financial study, Jobs said he needed their absolute support now. His response was that he would not return on Monday if the board did not agree, Jobs needed to make thousands of decisions, and this was just one hurdle. Most of the board was happy to leave subsequently. Jobs said that the problem with Apples products was that they sucked.

Steve Jobs 1997 Insult ResponseMerge Your Venture With A Giant That You Can Take Over:

NeXT was failing and idea of being bought by Apple in 1996 was a tantalizing prospect for Steve Jobs. He wanted to get back into Apple while Larry Ellison of Oracle wanted to get more money by buying Apple outright. However, Jobs wanted the moral high ground by not making money in the process of transitioning back into Apple. In 1996, Steve Jobs negotiated with Gil Amelio the purchase starting with Apple Computer buying $12 per share for $500 million valuation of NeXT. Amelio countered with $10 per share for $400 million valuation of NeXT, and Jobs agreed as long as he received a payout in cash.

Jobs would hold 100 million in cash, and 35 million in Apple stock. Gil Amelio was not sure about giving Jobs entry into the board of Apple because of the history of 1977-85. You could say that Gil Amelio was caught in Jobs’ reality distortion field because later Amelio would realise that Jobs was positioning himself to destroy Amelio as CEO of Apple. Jobs’ return to Apple was fortuitous; if you can merge with a major company then you are effectively be hired by that company. Bill Gates said that Amelio was an idiot for bringing NeXT into Apple, and that Jobs was a salesman without an engineering understanding. An early example of the feathers that Jobs ruffled circa 1997…


How To Save A Dying Tech Company – Make Products Not Profit, Fundamentally:

Do not race to the bottom on prices. Get your user to have an emotional connection with the product. Amelio’s approach was to build a cheap product based on sketches of bolder ideas. Jobs believed in digging into the depth of what a product should do. You need to understand the essence of a product in order to get rid of the parts that are not fundamental. Can you get 1 part to do 4 times as much work? Design was not about surface but design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation. A good design can be ruined by a bad factory production. Products should be pure and seamless. Do not let the engineers drive design. Apple worked the other way. Jobs found Jonathan Ive to produce the core designs at Apple going forward.

There is an Apple office that Ive’s runs which is built around models for future design to see where the products are heading, and to get a sense of the whole company on one desk. Apple has patented hundreds of devices. They built the modern Apple company around the assumption that design and product trump profits. Together Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive produced the iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, PowerMac 5, iBook.



Skate Where The Puck’s Going, Not Where It’s Been:

“Skate where the pucks going, not where it’s been.” – Wayne Gretzky. Jobs believed that it was his goal to understand what the customer wants before they do. The iMac is about inspiring with a beautiful plastic blue, and it was translucent so that you could see into the machine. The casing would help to give all the components. The simplicity of the plastic shell had to be perfected, and they even studied jelly beans to see how it would be attractive. Some people at Apple wanted to conduct a study to see if the cost of the translucent casing would be justified by focus groups, Steve Jobs said no. iMac should sell for $1200, and produce an all in one consumer appliance. iMac did not include the floppy disk drive but it was ahead of its time. iMac was friendly so much so that there was a handle on the top of the iMac to actually pick it up. Jobs almost started crying because the iMac had a tray instead of a slot drive. May 1998 was the iMac launching. In 2001, iMac was changed to have a sunflower type design.


The Loser Now Will Be Soon To Win:

Jobs believed Amelio was a bozo. Gil Amelio did not actually present or sell himself particularly well, and he famously bombed on stage at MacWorld in 1996. That particular presentation was very poor and unplanned. Once back inside Apple, Jobs was too honest and spoke with one of the board members Willard who asked Jobs what he thought about Amelio. Jobs said that Amelio was not in the right job, and then added that Gil Amelio was the worst CEO ever. Famously, Gil Amelio had explained to a journalist that “Apple is like a ship, that ship is loaded with treasure, but there’s a hole in the ship. And my job is to get everyone to row in the same direction.” That lack of logic in this statement spoke to Amelio’s lack of efficiency as a leader.

Ellison tried to call for the drafting of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple. When Amelio confronted Jobs about the possible takeover, Jobs denied any of it but refused to declare that he was not positioning himself for a takeover. Jobs loved to dish out flattery with Amelio, meanwhile Jobs was busy turning the board against Amelio, and Apple’s dire situation financially. People were leaving Apple, and thinking of leaving Apple which is never good when your people are an important asset. Amelio was fired because he was incompetent, but once Jobs was offered the CEO job, Steve Jobs moved into the interim CEO because he was still running Pixar. After years in the wilderness, Jobs was back at the top of Apple. The first thing he did there was to commit a subtle by significant vindictive act: Jobs hated the Newton personal assistant because you needed a stylus and also because the Newton was one major innovation of John Scully’s. Scully was the man who kicked Jobs out of Apple in 1985. Jobs cancelled the Newton.


The Internet Is Made For Music:

Napster, Limewire, and other music file sharing websites allowed the illegal downloading of music on a massive scale, and a precipitous decline in sales of traditional distribution platforms for music which began dropping by 9% in 1998. The executives at the music companies were desperate to agree on a common standard for copy-right protection. If the music industry could agree to the coding of music across the industry, they might be able to get a head of the Peer-to-Peers. Sony and Universal came up with Press-Play. EMI had their own system alternative, each had a subscription based system where you would rent the music, and the two competing solutions would not license each other’s songs. The interfaces were clunky, and the services were terrible, the record companies did not get how to solve the problem. Warner/Sony wanted to close a deal with Jobs, largely because Warner/Sony did not know what to do. Steve Jobs was opposed to the theft of creative products even though he bootlegged Bob Dylan in the 1970s. If people copied Apple software, there would be no incentive for new music other than from the passion of musicians.

Creative companies never get started, and it’s wrong to steal, and it hurts your own character according to Jobs. iTunes was the alternative to the brain-dead services, iTunes was the legal alternative to P2P where everyone wins: a) users would no longer steal, b) record companies generate revenue, c) artists get paid, and d) Apple disrupts the music industry. Steve Jobs had a tough pitch with record companies because of the pricing model, but he used the fact that Apple was still only 5% of the computer market to convince them that such a deal was not have a major impact oo their bottomline. So if iTunes was destructive, it would not be quite so too damaging. Apple was a closed system, and so these Record companies could use Apple as means of controlling the MP3s.

Record companies got $0.77 of the $0.99. People wanted to own music, not rent, or subscribe to it. The subscription model did not make as much sense. Record companies had made a lot of money by having artists produce two or three good songs with 10 fillers, the iTunes store would allow users to select only the songs they liked, further upsetting Record companies. Steve Jobs’ response was that piracy had already deconstructed the album. He closed deals across the music industry which was astounding. Jobs bridged the gap between technology and art.


Brand Yourself Differently:

Think Different – the new slogan was not perfectly grammatical if you think about what you are trying to say: it is most appropriately think differently. Steve Jobs explained that Apple’s future in 1997 was to think differently. The craziness of Apple’s customer base was that they had a sense of creativity and uniqueness that others did not. Steve Jobs argued that Apple was distinctive as a brand, and they formulated a brand image campaign to celebrate what creative people could do with their Apple computers. The Think Different campaign was about reminding themselves about who they were. Here’s to the crazy ones, who think differently. Their television commercial was historic, as well as the posters for Think Different. Jobs believed in the renegade brand that people would choose because it made them feel proud and exclusive.


Create Complimentary Product Offerings Without a Lead Loss Generator:

Sales of the iPod would drive sales of the iMac, and vice versa. They got a triple bang for the buck in advertising by invigorating the Apple, Mac, and iPod. Steve Jobs completely dominated the market for music players by putting all of his advertising spending on the Mac into the iPod. So the iPod advertised more aggressively at about 100 times more spend, than the closest competitor. The beautiful iPod cost $399, some people said that iPod stood for “idiots price our devices.” The iPod was about intersection between technology & arts, software & music. 


Don’t Be Afraid To Cannibalize Yourself Because If You Don’t Others Will:

When iTunes was released, Microsoft managers realized that they needed to create direct user value with an end to end service. Gates felt like an idiot once again, and Microsoft wanted to move forward although it was caught flat footed by Apple. So Microsoft tried to copy iTunes. When Apple created the compatible iPod, and iTunes systems for other PCs it meant that PC users would not have to buy Macs to use the iPod. Steve Jobs did not want to put iTunes on the PC. The cannibalization of not selling Macs was out weighed by the potential iPod sales. Once iPods went PC, Apple was on its way to be extremely extremely lucrative. Jobs said that iTunes for Windows was the best application for PCs ever. When Microsoft came up with Zune, it was obvious that they did not care about the music or the product. Steve Jobs believed that an iPhone might cannibalize sales for Mac, but it would not deter Jobs. When the inventor of the Walkman tried to compete against Apple, they were held back by cannibalization because Sony had a music department etc etc. In 2004, the iPod Mini was the next innovation which helped eliminated the portable music player competitions. Apple’s market share in the portable music player industry went from 35% to 75% in 18 months. The iPod Shuffle also helped grow it further because people like to be surprised. Jobs decided that they should get rid of the screen, you don’t need to navigate all you needed was to skip over the songs you heard.


Focus On What People Really Want…1,000 Songs:

 Jobs could not include the first CD burners in the iMac because he hated trays. The mark of an innovative company is that it knows how to leapfrog when it finds itself behind in the development of new innovation. Napster exploded in growth, the number of blank CDs sales also increased massively in 1999, and Jobs worked hard to catch-up. Steve Jobs wanted to make music management easy. You can latterly drag, and burn a CD. Jobs bought a company called SoundJam, and instead of an interface to see your songs, Jobs wanted a simple search box. In 2001, iTunes was free to all Mac users. The next step was to create a portable player which was the simple interface. Getting all the record companies alongside iTunes would be the complicated part. By the fall of 2000, Apple was working towards this goal.

Fidel and Rubenstein clashed over the iPod because Fidel was charismatic, and wanted to claim control, and he had already been shopping around other companies to pitch his idea of a portable software based device which later became the iPod. They found small company to help them with the Mp3 technology. Steve Jobs wanted white on everything for the iPod, the purity of the white headphones became iconic. Steve Jobs pushed the idea of their iconic advertising. Apple’s whole history was making the software, and hardware together so the iPod made strategic sense. Gates said it was great, too bad it was only for Macs… By 2007 iPod was half of Apple’s revenues.


Steve Jobs Said that Google’s ‘Don’t Be Evil Mantra’ Is *Bullshit*:

Android’s touch screen features was clearly stolen from the iPhone. They had a grid app list much like the iPhone. The swipe to open, pinch to expand, these were all Apple ideas that Google was implementing. Google was engaged in grand theft as far as Steve Jobs was concerned. Jobs went to Google, and shouted at everyone there. Jobs wanted Android to stop stealing their ideas. The open source code approach was valuable because Google was able to sell their platform to multiple mobile phone providers where Apple had more control. Nonetheless the Apple App market is much larger than the Google one to this day.

Get Yourself Into The Cloud & A Castle:

Apple’s MobileMe was a failure because it did not sync data. It was expensive but iCloud was the future. This was not a new idea. In 1997, Steve Jobs explained that at NeXT he had all of his data on the server. The idea is that you won’t have to back up your computer by downloading into the iCloud. All you stuff is on the server, Jobs was talking about this idea as early as 1997. The concept that everything would work simply has been applied to cloud computing. Microsoft said that CloudPower would allow individuals to access their content wherever they are but this opens up the door to licensing agreements etc. In a final twists, the Apple Campus is under construction and will be completed in 2015. It is similar to Google HQ. Copied?


Don’t Fear Changes In Industry & Anticipate Competitive Market Disruption:

The digital camera industry was destroyed by cellphones, and Steve Jobs knew that in order to stay ahead of the wave, they would have to cover the cellphone market as well. The iPhone was born out of a concern that Nokia et al would eat Apple’s lunch by creating mobile photos that could easily play music, just as Nokia et al had crushed Kodak. Motorola was a stupid company to Jobs because the Rokr was a joke. Jobs realized that the iPod wheel was not going to dial phone numbers. Jobs was working on the iPad with the touch screen system before the birth of the iPhone. The ability to process multiple touch items was Steve Jobs’ ideas. They wanted to transfer the track pad to the computer screen. Ive never made a demonstration with other people because he know Jobs would shoot it down. The tablet development was put on hold, and shifted to the iPhone screen. Jobs split the multi touch track pads and wheel based iPhone plans. The case could not be opened, and Apple made sure that people could not access the iPhone. The iPhone was three products bundled into one: 1) internet interface, 2) mobile phone, and 3) touch controls. The iPhone was a massively successful product even though it was the most expensive phone in the world $500. Ballmer said the iPhone sucked because business people want a keyboard. Apple sold 90 million phones within months.


Create An Inventory Management System & Build Stores That Work:

Everything you do incorrectly is in order to get it right. If something isn’t right you can’t fix it later. Steve Jobs wanted to control the customer experience, which included the experience of creating wood, stone, steel, and glass an Apple store. Mega chains were where the salesman did not care about Apple because other products were available. Jobs was impressed by the Gap store business, and Jobs hired Drexler from Gap to build a prototype of the store. Tim Cook, reduced key suppliers from 120 to 24, forced many to move closed to Apple’s plants. He helped save Apple a great deal of money. Apple stores were strategically placed in Covent Garden London, or in New York. Sales are quickly tabulated using Oracle technology every 4 minutes so that they have a lean manufacturing production line, and the building of products can respond to market demand quickly.


Converge Old Devices Into 1 New Device:

Is there room for something in the middle of the iPhone and PC, Jobs asked in 2010? The iPad allows people to bring technologies together. The iPad was not sold as well as the iPhone. The name iPad was ridiculed as a women’s hygiene product. Gates still believed that it’s a nice reader but didn’t like the iPad. Further divergence in views suggests that Gates believed in a stylus while Jobs said we already have 10 stylus’. There were 800 emails in Steve Jobs’ inbox. The iPad had the limitation that it was for consumers but does not facilitate creation. The iPad arguably mutes the user turning you back into a passive observer. The question about iPad was whether it should be closed. Google’s Android was an open platform that could be used openly. The iPad was the clearest test of the closed-system model versus the open-system model. In the end, iPad was the most successful consumer product launch in history with 1 million sold in the first month. Jobs was in the process of changing the print industry, he closed deals like he did with the music industry. Apple would take a 30% take of the subscriptions sold, and Apple would have all of their purchase information which they would use later on. The problem was the publishing industry did not want the subscription base to be controlled by Apple since Apple would then change the prices. Steve Jobs believed that the paper textbook was going to be a industry ripe for digital destruction, and created digital versions of the products. The Chinese employees are paid $2.00 per day. It takes 5 days, and 3500 hands to produce 1 iPad in Foxconn China.

Do Not Ignore Medical Diagnoses:

When Jobs was diagnosed with cancer, he did not rush to have surgery to remove the tumour found in his pancreas. Instead, he tried to see if other treatments would work. Why was he hesitant? Partly because he had difficulty with the idea of opening up his body. He went under herbal remedies and psychic treatments as a result of his quibbling. As a response to his psychological concerns, Steve Jobs tried to cure himself in strange ways: reality is unforgiving. Once again, he was able to filter out the world, and ignore stuff that he does not want to confront. Jobs had been rewarded for willing things away, but in July 2004, the cancer had spread. Finally, he underwent surgery in 2004 but a less radical surgery.

The cancer had spread into the liver. Had doctors operated 9 months earlier they would have possibly arrested it. When he had a liver transplant in 2009 by going to another state and by having a multiple listing, the liver Jobs received was the product of a car accident that killed a 25 year old. Steve Jobs lied about his condition throughout the last years of his life by calling it a hormone imbalance. The privacy rights of the CEO had to be weighed, but Jobs also embodied his company more than most CEOs so the impact of negative news regarding his health could have an impact on the stock.

Make Peace With Your Old Enemies:

Microsoft had stolen the interface developed by Apple with multiple clip windows etc. IN 1997 Jobs announced that the only way forward was to make a deal with Bill Gates and Microsoft. In 2007, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs got together to talk about technology. It is an EPIC discussion.

Follow Your Heart:

there is no reason to not follow your heart, and gain meaning because you will be dead one day. Don’t live someone else’s dream. Stay hungry, stay foolish. The Stanford University commencement address is considered one of the greatest commencement ever made.Jobs did not believe that people should be materialistic but should seek to be valuable.

Steve Jobs Was A Brilliant Jerk

From the creator of Going Clear, Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine is about the now infamous career flaws of one of the most successfull entrepreneurs in American history. It looks like a good rehashing of memories from 2012 when everyone you knew + your grandma read the Isaacson’s biography.  I’m certain Kutcher and the script writers of the disappointing Jobs film are going to have a front row seat as they didn’t actually read the Isaacson biography….’cause that film sucked badly.

Steve Jobs:
  • a) abandoned his own daughter and girlfriend,
  • b) cheated Wozniak out of a bonus at Atari,
  • c) verbally assaulted the LISA team and created intense competition between teams,
  • d) screamed at Macintosh developers regularly,
  • e) cried like a baby when the iMac CD tray was a tray not a slot,
  • f) fired employees with retroactive consequences to their salary,
  • g) parked his car in the handicap spot,
  • h) sped down the highway regularly,
  • i) discovered his Syrian father (who also abandoned him) was the owner of the restaurant chain he frequented regularly but never came by to say “hi”,
  • j) tried to instigate a coup against foolish management and lost…
  • k) cried whenever someone disagreed with him,
  • l) attacked creative ideas for being idiotic then within a week apprioriated them as his own,
  • m) called his co-workers idiots and bozos whenever they fell short of his goals,
  • n) his colleagues had to hide a disc drive developer in the Macintosh supply closet (whenever Jobs visited) in order to prevent Jobs from discovering a parallel disc drive solution was being built which ultimately saved Jobs from disaster as his solution failed,
  • o) he refused to donate to any charity ever,
  • p) built and painted an expensive factory at NExT meanwhile the product completely bombed,
  • q) refused to give shares to one of his earliest Apple colleagues even though the guy put in many hours into the project and begged Jobs for a small part of the equity,
  • r) made his step-mom answer early customer service calls to Apple without pay (laugh out loud)….
  • s) took the tv away from his step-dad who wanted to watch football in order to program Apple’s……
  • t) declared war on IBM as a means of galvanising his company,
  • u) claimed Microsoft was stealing Apple’s ideas when both actually stole from Xerox PARC,
  • v) tried to destroy Adobe and any organisation that expected fair treatment…

This list is not exhaustive & what can we learn from this list, right?

This is an analysis based on Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and other sources of research. Enjoy.

Running a Company from the Financial Perspective | Accounting Analysis

Accrual Accounting versus Cash Accounting

Accrual basis = immediate recognition.

Cash basis = when the case is received.

Before we dive into earnings management as a subtopic within business analysis and valuation, it is helpful to understand the difference between Accrual and Cash Accounting. The cash basis is only available for use for companies has no more than $5 million sales per year.

The accrual basis is used by larger companies because matching revenue and expenses in the same reporting period so that the true profitability of an organization can be discerned.

Cashflows are harder to manipulate. The big difference between the two is when the transactions are recorded.

Cash basis: Revenue is recorded when cash is received from customers, and expenses are recorded when cash is paid to suppliers and employees.

Accrual basis: Revenue is recorded when earned and expenses are recorded when consumed.

Revenue recognition is delayed under the cash basis until customer payments arrive at the company. Similarly, recognition of expenses are paid under the cash basis until such time as supplier invoices are paid.

Revenue recognition: a company sells $10K of green widgets to a customer in March which pays the invoice in April. Under the cash basis, the seller recognizes the sale in April, when the cash is received. Under the accrual basis, the seller recognizes the sale in March, when it issues the invoice.

Expenses recognition: a company buys $500 of office supplies in May, which it pays for in June. Under the cash basis, the buyer recognizes the purchase in June, when it pays the bill. Under accrual basis, the buyer recognizes the purchase in May, when it receives the supplier’s invoice.

Creating Cookie Jars: by deferring revenue that was genuinely earned or by taking additional expense by taking on excessive reserves for bad debts (we’ll explore this in a future post)

Debt Covenants: Keeping ratios within certain ranges. Debt/Equity. Lender have a capped upside. So lenders like covenants; What if you are ear to violating your covenant? Then you might adjust the bonus threshold.

Opacity of the Firm: capital markets & stakeholders. Competitive consideration: opaque firms will use the argument that they can’t divulge financial statement performance to the same degree as other firms because of their competitors.

You have to sit in awe of the most in genius management invention of all: Plausible Deniability


How to adjust financial statements for distortions?

How firms communicate with financial statements and how regulations and managerial discretion affect statements for distortions. There are several steps to Accounting Analysis:

Step 1: Identify Principal Accounting Policies:

Key policies and estimates used to measure risks and critical factors for success must be identified. IFRS require firms to identity critical accounting estimates. For example banks issue credit risk and interest rate risk. For airlines, depreciation is important because their biggest asset are the planes themselves. Therefore, for airlines, depreciation is a critical accounting policy. It is also where the accounting manipulation can occur.

Step 2: Assess Accounting Flexibility

Accounting information is less likely to yield insights about a firm’s economics if managers have a high degree of flexibility in choosing policies and estimates. If the firm is using GAAP accounting; there is limited flexibility for example look at how restrictive R&D and Marketing cost are under GAAP. How much of the flexibility has management already used? For other areas under GAAP, there is a lot of flexibility for example credit risk. Is the company being aggressive or conservative? A firm that is conservative now has the potential to be aggressive.

Step 3: Evaluate Accounting Strategy

Flexibility in accounting choices allows managers to strategically communicate economic information or hide true performance. How has their accounting differed from competitors? Are the accounting strategies changing regularly; think of CGIs accounting policy changes in the last decade. Does the firm have realistic assumptions in the past.

Issues to consider include:

  • Norms for accounting policies with industry peers
  • Incentives for managers to manage earnings
  • Changes in policies and estimates and the rationale for doing so
  • Whether transactions are structured to achieve certain accounting objectives.

Step 4: Evaluate the Quality of Disclosure

Managers have considerable discretion in disclosing certain accounting information. Is the firm providing adequate information about their strategy and explain the economics of its operations? Are those accounting policies justified adequately? Is the firm providing equally helpful disclosures in bad times? Firms that are more transparent are potentially far less likely to conduct earnings management.

Issues to consider include:

  • Whether disclosures seem adequate;
  • Adequacy of notes to the financial statements
  • Whether the management report section sufficiently explains and is consistent with current performance
  • Whether accounting standards restrict the appropriate measurement of key measures of success

Step 5: Identify Potential Red Flags

Unexplained transactions that boost profits. Here are a few examples.

  • Unusual increase in inventory or A/R in relation to sales
  • Increases in the gap between net profit and cash flows or tax profit
  • Use of R&D partnerships, SPEs or the sale of receivables to finance operations
  • Increasing Gap between Net Income and Cash Flow from Operations: firm may be fiddling with accruals.
  • Unexpected large asset write-offs (suddenly just write something off)
  • Large year-end adjustments
  • Qualified audit opinions or auditor changes
  • Related-party transactions (Valeant and Philidor)

Maybe we should list MORE!!!!…..

Red Flags in Accounting used for Earnings Management by (some) CEOs and CFOs Today

Note that Earnings Management is not illegal in some cases, in fact, it’s a strategy used by many companies believe it or not. Just like a Prime Minister who announces a snap election, a CEO can engage in earnings management (the manipulation of Financial Statements) behind a wall garden that only he or she and their team is privy to…..The following at POSSIBLE red flags, it’s hard to tell in reality, but here are things to look for with publicly traded companies:

Income smoothing: Companies love steady trends in profits, rather than wild changes in profits  No kidding! Income smoothing techniques (i.e. declaring high provisions or maybe deferring income recognition in good time) led to lower wild changed in reported earnings. Items to look out for is a pattern of reporting unusual losses in good operating years and unusual gains in bad ones.

Achieving forecasts: Is there a pattern of always meeting analysts’ earnings forecasts, an absence of profit warnings, or interim financial statements consistently out of line with year-end statements? Is a company making changes in accounting policies that revise profits upwards in years when underlying earnings have fallen, and vice-versa? Could be a redflag!

Profit enhancement: Current year earnings are boosted to enhance the short-term perception of performance which is what shareholders and analysts crave!

Accounting-based contracts: When accounting-based contracts are in place such as loan covenants, any accounting policy that triggers a shortcoming can circumvent the debt covenants….

Gap between earnings and Cash flows: Is there a large gap between earnings and cash flows? Is that gap increasing? If so there may be poor accruals.

Reported income and taxable income: Is reported income vastly different from taxable income, with no explanation or disclosure? That’s a problem.

Ratios: Do obsolescence analyses reveal old inventories or receivables, declining gross margins but increasing net margins, inventories/receivables increasing more than sales, or more leverage ratios?

Unusual financial statement trends: What is the relationship between revenue and (earnings per share) EPS growth? Is there a weird pattern of year-end transactions? What is the timing and recognition of exceptional items? What is the relationship between provisions for bad accounts and profits? It’s within a CEOs discretion due to asymetric information.

Accounting policies: Have there been recent changes in accounting policies, such as off-balance sheet financing, revenue recognition or expense capitalization? Furthermore, have the nature, purpose and effect of any changes been adequately explained?

Incentives for management: Are there incentives for managers to boost short-term profit to increase compensation (i.e. bonuses based on EPS and share option plans).

Audit qualifications: Are any auditors’ adjustments outlined in an audit report significant?

Related party transactions: Are these material and to what extent are directors affected

Manipulation of Reserves: Has there been under-provisioning in poor years, over-provisioning in good year, a manipulation of reserves, aggressive capitalization of costs, overly optimistic asset lives, accelerating expenses and increased write-downs in good years, and exceptional gains timed to offset exceptional losses?

Revenue recognition: Has there been a premature recording of revenues, recognizing sales prior to physical movement of goods, recognizing service revenue from service contracts prior to service being performed, upfront recognition of sales that should be spread over multiple periods, percentage of completion estimates out of line with industry norms?

Transaction timing: On the revenue side, have deliveries been sped up near the year end? On the cost side, have discretionary expenditures, such as maintenance and R&D, been delayed to future periods?

Regulated industries: Is there a pattern of engaging in accounting practices whose principal purpose is to influence regulatory decisions (i.e. lowering reported profits where the perception of excessive profits could prompt unfavorable regulatory action)?

Internal accounting: In a multi-division company there may be incentives to shift profits to divisions (or subsidiaries in relatively low tax jurisdictions) to reduce the overall tax burden.

Commercial pressures: In the anticipation of mergers, takeover bids or IPOs, there could be pressure to create a favorable perception by, for example, lowering credit standards to temporarily boost sales OR pumping up the value of the company at the risk of harming long-term customer relationships.

Other: When a company has foreign operations and is re-translating overseas subsidiaries’ results, a functional currency is determined for each entity. However, has the company taken advantage of ambiguous situations or facts, manipulating the selection to generate favorable currency gains or minimize currency losses? Has a company allocated joint costs among long-term contracts to create the appearance that no contract has produced losses, thereby avoiding an immediate loss provision?

The existence of these potential red flags do not indicate anything wrong per se, but should lead a prudent analyst to undertake diligent investigations to see if they are justified by company-specific factors. If distortions do exist, an analyst should, to the extent possible, undo the distortions to better evaluate a company’s financial performance within a historical and competitive context.

Step 6: Undo Accounting Distortions

  • Taxable income
  • Cash flow statement information
  • Management Guidance: no one is forcing management guidance, except management themselves.  What MG is specifically, is when a C-suite manager provides insight into the company to investors or analysts. If you are close to the target. I’d like to get that bump rather have a small loss. You want to cross the Threshold of Zero.

Elon Musk: Leaked Email in August 2016

So if you Tweet the kind of things that provoke strong reactions, that are basically the standard musings I might have made as teenager, you probably have no problem manipulating financial analysts! Expectation management is a tactic that Musk and other CEOs will leverage when the short-term performance for what is a long-term Bezos-style play (Tesla) . Elon Musk (graduated of Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada and whose mother is a Saskatchewanian) is of course a bat-shit crazy badass. In August of 2016, he was saying his Tesla Q4 expenditure will be huge, in the run up to new production line, so he’s providing a small negative estimate of profitability to his own employees and then intentionally leaking the email to the press to get the word out to financial analysts. Leaks in politics = leaks in business.

Here’s the full text that Bloomberg has published:

I thought it was important to write you a note directly to let you know how critical this quarter is. The third quarter will be our last chance to show investors that Tesla can be at least slightly positive cash flow and profitable before the Model 3 reaches full production. Once we get to Q4, Model 3 capital expenditures force us into a negative position until Model 3 reaches full production. That won’t be until late next year.

We are on the razor’s edge of achieving a good Q3, but it requires building and delivering every car we possibly can, while simultaneously trimming any cost that isn’t critical, at least for the next 4.5 weeks. Right now, we are tracking to be a few percentage points negative on cash flow and GAAP profitability, but this is a small number, so I’m confident that we can rally hard and push the results into positive territory. It would be awesome to throw a pie in the face of all the naysayers on Wall Street who keep insisting that Tesla will always be a money-loser!

Even more important, we will need to raise additional cash in Q4 to complete the Model 3 vehicle factory and the Gigafactory. The simple reality of it is that we will be in a far better position to convince potential investors to bet on us if the headline is not “Tesla Loses Money Again”, but rather “Tesla Defies All Expectations and Achieves Profitability”. That would be amazing!

Thanks for all your effort. Looking forward to celebrating with you,


“Gap in profitability” So he can’t miss this target badly. In the end, he sold a large build up of environmental credits: so that they could hit Tesla’s target thus satisfying the analysts who wanted to short the stock.

  • Dead giveaways that this is for analysts? Um, technical language that his employees without financial training might not dig.
  • Also, just being a total douche communicator because he probably doesn’t like analysts.

Research & Development GAAP versus IFRS

As a side note: Under IFRS, R&D is significantly more complex. Under US GAAP you will have your R&D costs expense as they are incurred.  Under IFRS, research costs are expense but IFRS has broad-based guidance which require companies to capitalize development expenditures, for internal costs, when certain criteria is met. In IFRS, intangible assets are capitalized and amortized under IFRS but expense under US GAAP. Therefore, this difference means that for IFRS; you need to distinguish research activities with development activities.

Research costs are costs created to plan an investigation or undertake research with the aim of gainin new scientific or technical knowledge. Example, search activities for alternatives for concrete rail ties.

Development costs are incurred in the application of the research findings or knowledge to plan or design for the production of new or substantially improved products before the start of commercial production. Example, testing a new smart phone OS to replace the current OS.

Under IFRS, here was when you would start to capitalize development phase of a project. When it is technically feasible to complete the intangible asset so that it will be available for sale. Its intention to complete the intangible asset and use it is another trigger.

Nintendo Business Strategy Analysis for 2017 and Beyond

The following is an analysis of Nintendo’s strategic position in the marketplace. What we’re looking at here is analyzing how they performed in the past, what are the strategic challenges? What is the challenges of their industries, because they are in several industries actually if you think about it, and how can they improve the performance? So hopefully, you enjoy.



As I said, it’s a strategic analysis of the consoles and handheld devices industry with Nintendo and where it fits within that. So it’s a hardware dedicated video game platform that we’re interested in understanding. That means we’re not interested in necessarily at the core of the software, which is where Nintendo actually does really well and they sell quite a lot of licensing etc. around their products and characters. It’s not the core focus, it will be on consoles. So just give an introduction, the team here, this is the team that we had and their names are below. I’ve just kind of made everyone anonymous. Because I thought it was more appropriate to do so.

Anyway, so here we go, let’s talk about the first thing. Let’s get a bit of a business overview here. So there’s a $4.6 billion worldwide market for hardware and games and software and this industry is very competitive and it requires a lot of intensive research and development. So that’s just the general gist of the industry, so how does Nintendo fit into this? What is Nintendo, first of all? Well, if you remember maybe as a kid, at least I did on Christmas day, getting a Super Nintendo was probably the best Christmas present I ever got. It was I think 1992 and I was pretty excited about it. I didn’t really know what it was to a certain extent. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did know what it was because a buddy down the road, he had the original Nintendo system and we used to play Mario together.


Anyway, so what makes Nintendo interesting is their core value proposition. What is it about Nintendo that makes them so strong in the marketplace? And I think there’s three or four, in a sense, core areas where they dominate, and its one is the plug-and-play. So here, much like Apple, it’s a user-friendly computer interface that you can use here and Nintendo allows young children to play video games interchangeably without any technical skill whatsoever. So you can swap in games easily done, and that was quite a significant initiative in the early ’80s. You also have this element of characters and trust. So you’ve got Mario, who’s basically a Disney-like Mickey Mouse and at the same time, you have parents who know that the video game content is tightly curated by Nintendo and it’s well-put-together. Everyone loves Nintendo products for this reason, right? And you also have this integrated closed sys, so like Apple or even we use in this sentence here, Amazon’s Kindle line of e-readers, Nintendo really needs to have cooperation from a whole ecosystem of publishers because it’s a closed system. They’re very controlling of the content that’s made and of course, this is the big revolution we’ll talk about later in terms of timing. They basically disrupted the arcade industry and video computer…computer games industries in the ’80s.

In terms of business units, we know Nintendo’s quite complex. It’s got quite a few subsidiaries and it really thrives on locking customers into their closed system through the appeal of flagship characters and obviously, we can think of Super Mario Brothers as that leading experience and software that everyone wanted to play. But we wanted to focus in on the console hardware itself because that is an area where we can parse and avoid talking about the App Store and Android stores in great depth which complicates our analysis quite a bit. So in essence, were treating Nintendo here as a manufacturer and in fact, they’re on the 8th generation of consoles at this point.

I think it’s important now to talk about the value chain that exists for Nintendo. So you’ve got this idea of a pretty well-established industry now. It’s about 25-30 years…35 years old actually. And it’s gone through quite a bit of change but there’s still some fundamentals. So you have publishers, they’re the people who are responsible for financing and managing the marketing titles. They’re very much a part of getting game developers to produce good content, and then launching it on various console platforms. So you can think, of course we’re talking about Sega historically, Sony, Xbox and Nintendo. Then you’ve got the actual developers, really a critical piece obviously, the people who actually create the games. Sometimes that’s third party, but sometimes Nintendo itself creates games in-house. But no matter what, you still have to have third-party developers to really give the ecosystem as it were, right? The array of potential games you can play. You want to give it the widest breadth as possible.

And then you’ve got at the core of it, what we care about here, is the console makers themselves and that’s Nintendo’s story directly. Certainly, consoles actually are a loss leader to a certain extent. That’s kind of built into the model and there’s a lot of in-house research and development that is undertaken to make the consoles effective and innovative, so you can think of when Wii came out there was a lot of R&D that must have been at play in order to make that major leap that they did in 2006. So you also have distributors, so those are obviously kind of connected to publishers in that they sell and get the video game software, part two and the consoles, to the various marketplaces. And of course, you’ve got your retailers, so you’ve got the classics, the major players like Walmart, but you also have these small boutique electronic stores like E&C Games on Spadina in Toronto, Canada. You know, these are enthusiasts who love Nintendo.


So you can actually see here then that… I’m just going to bring my cursor out, 1.87% is where they are and the industry is .84%. So the industry is unattractive but they actually are doing competitively well in an industry that is very unattractive. Still an unattractive industry, but they have a competitive advantage in an underperforming industry, interesting enough. You’ve got a 10%, so just giving a little more color to that, I don’t think it’s really worth getting into the nuance here. And again as I was saying, a return on sales is way more important than ROA. You could read that on your own time.

So looking at this in a more visual format, I’ve got this piston chart. You’ve got the industry average here… Sorry I can’t get this cursor out of the way. Maybe I’ll just remove the cursor. And then you’ve got industry average and you can see that Nintendo has a competitive advantage. If we look at just 2015 data… If you look at the ROS globally again, it’s 5% and then the industry is underperforming at -4.2% of less of the actual average there and you can see Nintendo has a disadvantage in the global economy but actually an advantage in the industry. A bit nuanced here, but basically the message is: “Stay out of consoles. Don’t go… If you’re going to start a new business, don’t try to build a plug-and-play console system for television sets”, that’s pretty much the message here.

But the console generation pressures is why arguably this is all happening. So the technology change makes every manufacturer of this hardware wary and probably weary as well because you have to basically start a new… Build a new console roughly every 2.5 to 5 years, and you’ve seen that. You’ve got your PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, so clearly they have to generate new platforms regularly to stay relevant. And the ROS piston chart here, again just giving a little more flavor to this, it’s much like Macintosh’s 1984 situation with the Macintosh. What I mean by that is actually, the original Macintosh which was released in 1984 was actually not very successful. It wasn’t very powerful as a computer and as a result, of a lot of software developers really didn’t line up to build on the Apple Macintosh platform. Now, as a result, Apple struggled greatly. They even got rid of Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple in 1985 because of the struggles the company was under. So if you’re going to make a closed system, you better make sure your product is very very good. This is why consoles are just so unattractive if you’re unsuccessful in your product. Of course, Nintendo’s in this business because, you know, secretly if you can create a really great console and get lots of buy-in from software developers, you’re in the money as it were.


Expanding a bit on this, Michael Porter’s five forces are probably one of the most critical tools for analyzing any business, so we will just go through it really quickly here. Buyer power is medium… Sorry. As a Power of Suppliers’ medium, Buyers Power’s medium, Threat of Substitutes medium, Rivalry is high and Threats of Entry are low.

Let’s go through this quickly. So there’s a high dependency on outside manufacturers that produce key components or simple products. You also have the sort of everyone wants to work for the big three if you’re going to be producing software products or hardware, sorry. Again sorry, confusing… We’re working on the hardware suppliers issue here so the cables, the actual plastic casing and all this has to be accounted for, so they don’t necessarily have that much to pop supplier power, but another supplier would be the game developers themselves. So you might actually have a game that launches exclusively on the Wii U as is the case with Bayonetta 2. Here clearly they don’t have that much as a supplier power. They’re giving it up, they’re saying, “Nintendo you’re so great, we want to work with you”, so the relationship isn’t, you know, like Nintendo completely owns the suppliers that they work with. They can affect Nintendo’s success, and as I said earlier if they don’t want to play, if they don’t want to cooperate with you and build games for your platform, you’re in serious trouble.

On the buyer’s level, so buyer power, consumers are constantly looking for the next console, so they can kind of mess around with your goals, but at the same time they’re really loyal. A lot of people love Nintendo consoles, so it’s a bit of a mixed conversation here and sales of consoles are really all about the video games that are launched which are extremely popular. In fact, I remember when the Nintendo 64 came out, I was really excited about Goldeneye because that was an amazing game that my cousin had bought and was playing on his Nintendo 64, so I had to get a Nintendo 64 for that reason.

Threats of substitute is another key idea. Here it’s a… just to make sure you understand it, the threat to go do something else with your money, your time. So there’s obviously lots of substitutes now, particularly with smartphones and computers which we’ll talk about a bit. And then there’s the development of portal system,s which is good because you know, Gameboy and Nintendo DS actually really do well in this space, but there is always that threat. There’s so many other places and areas of activity that you can apply for entertainment and so as part of this, Nintendo’s responded by trying to create “a home entertainment centre” around their product.

Rivalry is really interesting. I mean, you can recall perhaps there was Sega company which eventually was disband. Basically, they in the 1990s were really competitive against Nintendo and really critical of Nintendo’s Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis advertisements were really aggressive and even to this day, you can see a lot of game theory between the different players. So Sony and Xbox, they’ll try to time the release of their latest console in line with what their competitor is going to do. So it’s kind of a prisoner’s dilemma situation if you’re familiar with that theory.

And then you’ve got the Threats of Entry, it’s really not that high. People don’t want to go create consoles, particularly because of the fact that it is so difficult to do but an important point at the very bottom that I wanted to highlight is that entry is possible. In fact, that’s what Sony and Microsoft did in the ’90s. Of course, entry is possible when you’re a huge successful business already, when you look at Microsoft in particular and Sony as well. And I also want to point out at the bottom there, I don’t know if you can see that flashing thing there, okay.

So value creation, those three: the supplier, buyers, and substitutes. That’s the places, those are the ideas, factors that inhibit or allow for the creation of value. So and then if you look at the value capture side of things it’s the rivalry and entry that is really critical. So clearly the value capture area is a bit weak in this particular industry because of the intense rivalry when they’re competing to steal literally, take away customers or hopefully have customers buy both platforms or, you know, multiple platforms.


So I think we need to dive a little deeper on Nintendo’s brand identity and so again, I’ve already emphasized it’s about beloved characters, child-friendly and plug-and-play components, but I wanna understand what they did recently that’s quite fascinating. They’ve kind of moved to broad differentiated and again, we have to give a little background around what Michael Porter talks about here. If you can see at the bottom here you have four quadrants, so you’ve got on the left, you got broad and narrow and at the top, you’ve got low cost and differentiated. These are different businesses or positions that you could take as a business, so you could see that the arcades were narrow and low-cost. So they were only focused on, you could only literally play one game on an arcade machine and it was relatively low cost. It’s not like customers had to buy an arcade to play it. No, you actually had arcades, literally the places where you could play these games and for the longest time, I’d say Nintendo was quite narrow and differentiated. When we see differentiated, we mean premium so more expensive, exudes premium characteristics like distinctiveness whereas low-cost is not as distinctive so, clearly they are… They were for the longest time narrowly differentiated and then 2006 they said, “Why don’t we include…expand our market”, “Let’s go after adults”, “Let’s go after seniors”, “Let’s try to have fun with that” and that’s exactly what they did.

So customer segments is really important, I think. As you can understand, with the introduction of the Wii, Nintendo was really targeting on non-gamers quite a bit and if you look on the right I’ve got a quote here from Miyamoto, the creator of Mario and other major successful characters from Nintendo, was basically saying, “We’re trying to make it from machine that everyone, parents can love” this is what the brand is. And I think earlier on, I think in the business overview section I had sort of the value propositions of Nintendo, and here I’m saying that we’ve actually added one.

So you’ve got the plug-and-play closed system, beloved characters, child-friendliness but then you also have the non-gamers casual gamer segment. That’s what Nintendo said, “We’re going to take over in 2006 with the Wii” and they were very very successful in doing so. And again, their philosophy is it’s a toy. They are very much a playful company in that sense and the Wii contributed to the idea of who they are rather than detracting from it. They actually made a lot of sense for them, so you’ve got…and this is a really tough market. You have to have, you know, strategic issues here.


So there are a lot of strategic issues that they have to deal with and I’ve mentioned it earlier. As mentioned, you know, this decision of the short life cycles of their platform. So you have a lot of other issues as well like excess and industry…inventory. So for example of your console’s really unsuccessful and you produce a million versions of this device and only half a million are actually sold, then you’re in serious trouble and you have too much inventory, and as we’ll discuss later, there’s a resource intensive console life cycle again, so you’re constantly propping up and preventing the industry from going into decline through releasing a new console or literally distracting yourself which is what they did with the Wii. And that was really a critical move, by the way. So the traditional gaming to new neo-gaming, this is kind of how they managed to keep themselves propped up, and you can read a little more on this on the bottom. I’m not gonna go through this in detail.

They have some obvious strategic challenges. You’ve got cannibalization I’ll just mention, where you have handheld devices and then now Nintendo is considering working a lot more with other platforms like smartphones, very similar to what Apple had to do with iTunes for the PC, and of course as I mentioned again and again, the closed system disadvantages, I should say closed by the way. Nintendo is a premium game developer with exclusive hardware and so if you people don’t buy into it then you really suffer and there’s a nice little quote at then end there just to round this whole section up.


Industry trends, so Nintendo started multiple S-curves and I think it’s quite interesting just to see how they might have been…they might be about to be toppled by smartphone but it’s not totally clear what the future holds.

So here’s the story, you’ve got way back in 1980, you’ve got the PC revolution and arcades, the market is growing. And then the home entertainment games industry kind of explodes with Atari and Nintendo. Atari goes bankrupt pretty quickly but Mario Brothers and the Nintendo system is very successful and throughout the ’90s in 1995, you have a Nintendo 64 and you’ve got a lot of success. So that should be shifted over this thing here, probably should be over here but what… No worries. So you’ve got multi-dimensional games, 3D games, and then take a look at this. Basically they jump their own curve, their S-curve and bring in and reposition Nintendo radically with the Wii and that’s sort of been the curve they’re going on, and now we have… We are seeing further hybrids. Nintendo’s bringing out its own hybrid called Nintendo Switch, but smartphones are clearly disrupting them and this is in a very short period of time here, this is 2006 and 2007. So things are changing fast.

An interesting sort of look at what the consoles did. You had Nintendo, you had Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, GameCube, the Wii, and the Wii U, you can clearly see the stock prices impacted by the success and innovativeness of a console. So clearly Nintendo’s Super Nintendo was I remember when I got it at Christmas like I mentioned earlier, it was a pretty big deal for me, and then Wii was also quite revolutionary because it was saying, “Let’s have casual gaming rather than hardcore gaming as the true value proposition of Nintendo.”

And I think the big challenge now is to understand, is this actually a glide path to history? Are the consoles as an industry in complete decline? And I think actually the answer is no, I think there’s still space here. But principally, I think also that the space is portable. People want to have the portability that a Nintendo DS or Gameboy allowed. Given that everyone is so used to smartphones now, the smartphone culture which has emerged in effect since 2007 since the release of the iPhone has been shaped by this drive towards portability. And actually, if you look at the performance of the consoles historically, Gameboy is actually one of the most well received consoles and Nintendo DS as well. So more so, than even the PlayStation Sony, the original CD-based PlayStation and PlayStation 2 was quite successful. So there’s a story here that people… The customers do like handheld devices and Nintendo needs to respond to that.

So now we want to look at sustainability. What is Nintendo going to need to do in the next couple years in order to remain relevant and grow as a business? Is it sustainable? Should they just abandon hardware, get rid of consoles and just focus on licensing their various characters? That’s a very legitimate question to ask, it’s a really legitimate question to ask because if you look at that industry as we already looked, at it’s not that great.


So we applied the VRIO approach here, so we’re asking the question is this valuable company? Obviously, they’re valuable. It’s a great manufacturer, well-known IP. Do they have the resources and capabilities? Yes, they’ve got the resources and capabilities, and is it easy to imitate them? No, it’s not easy to imitate Nintendo. They’ve got such a great reputation and style. I mean, I can imagine people could, it’s not that unbelievable to imagine but when it comes to the console, I don’t see that many big opportunities in the space. Although you could argue that with the Raspberry Pi anyone can build the console pretty quickly and do something cool with it. So I mean, I expect maybe the console industry to actually be disrupted independently of the software components, eroding of smartphones, eroding Nintendo’s profitability, but you also have the are they organized question? So is the firm organized? Nintendo is organized to succeed. I mean, they have had difficulties with CEOs not knowing where to go, being incredibly dependent on the success of consoles, the console that they launched, so those are also major issues but generally I think they’ve they focused on hardware which is has been a risk, but that’s their true identity. It’s a combination of software and hardware like an Apple. So, and as you can see with Apple, if you get things right the sky’s the limit in terms of profit.

Sustainability through innovation. So I just want to walk through these ideas about what Nintendo’s doing. They’re an industry where it’s a Red Queen industry, in a sense that you have to be running full speed at all times just to stay in place in the console industry because all these competitors, there they’re coming up with great new consoles to compete against you. And so I created sort of this quadrant system here. You’ve got on the vertical axis, you’ve got the real world to virtual and then to the left is ultra violent and the right as child-friendly. Clearly, Nintendo occupies that right side, the child-friendly side with Super Mario Maker and Pokemon Go which is augmented reality. So I can expect in the near future maybe they’ll do Mario Kart outdoors. I think that’d be hilarious, people running around in parks playing Mario Kart. And the competitors on the other side, there they’re just dominating in Halo, Battlefield, really graphic intensive games, high-resolution graphics.

So an interesting thought will be where do they go with this augmented reality? Do you think you can imagine people running around pretending to shoot each other? Probably not a good idea. But anyway… And then just to emphasize this is Mario’s Super Mario Run which is now available on Apple devices, so smartphones obviously. Big deal because for the longest time Nintendo refused to work with Apple’s platform, predominantly because of the terms and conditions and the commission that Apple gets for every company that has software on their platforms.

So I guess just to close off on this section, sustainability through new console adoption is critical. You need to get everyone on board and as I’m saying here, in order to succeed in 2016 everyone needs to switch to Nintendo Switch, and why I think Nintendo Switch is exciting because they are taking into account the revenue realities that, yes, Gameboy and Nintendo DS were the most successful Nintendo platforms. So if they’re the most successful Nintendo platforms then maybe we should make our console portable. That’s exactly what they’ve done here, so you’ve got plug-and-play, a closed system, as usual, beloved characters, child-friendly, casual gamer plus the new core proposition has to…core value proposition has to also take into account portability. So clearly, they’re making some great strides in the right direction. Of course, it all depends on execution. It depends on the execution for Mario Run, it depends on the execution for Nintendo Switch games, are the games any good? That has yet to be seen yet, so no judgment either way but that’s going to be critical. The actual customer experience has to be first and foremost.


Finally, I just want to talk about strategic options. You’ve got the sort of, you know, general launching more hybrids, which is what they’re doing with the Switch, continue with the idea of the home entertainment center with the Wii Karaoke you can see here, you know, there’s potential areas that they could work on. They certainly have also done some work on past glories and they could look into virtual reality like everyone else is trying to do, just to introduce some additional value to a really challenging industry with consoles. So one framework that I’ve applied here is Roger Martin’s five questions framework. And we’ve positioned this as two options, so you’ve got remain as a game, toy company, or become a technology expert. This is sort of a throwaway thought about what Nintendo could do. And I think they generally seem to be doing the right things as you might have noticed with the sustainability section, they seem to be kind of doing exactly what we’re talking about.

But this section just all popped up at once. There’s a lot of words here but the questions you have to ask for any strategic decision is what are your aspirations as a company? What do you want to achieve? If you want to remain a toy then you want to be the preferred toy to play at all time and you want to make sure that Mario is marketed even to the level of theme park ride and create situations where you play Mario as a toy and he’s a fun character. If your aspiration is to be a technology expert, Nintendo would have to go and extend its expertise into retail channels and probably go build some Nintendo stores in every urban center and have intense video game parties or what not.

Where do you… Where we play? Which is important, but what areas does our company need to play to win? So with the option one, remain a toy, the current profit profitable niches and then also a family in senior homes and casual settings. Same thing with the option to how do we win? This is kind of a key question, the character awareness, creation of new characters, expand the fun to other dimensions.

Option two, if you want to be a technology expert, you’d want to specialize in stores and promote Nintendo expertise, become the industry technology champion for high-resolution graphics, which is not what they’re doing as you know. What capability do they need to make this happen? They need to attract more technology and creative talent, acquire more Miyamoto-style talent, you know, the creator of Mario. If they want to be a technology expert they should hire retailer management from existing tech examples, IE, you know, hire someone from Apple Store who runs the logistics around that and get some experts actually in those stores like the Apple Genius Bar. Get some Nintendo geniuses.

Finally, management systems. What management systems do they need to succeed? In option one, if you want to remain a toy company you want to have that horizontal diversification to create different plat…different areas of your marketing and that includes a theme park, for example. We’ll throw that idea out there because Nintendo is so similar to Disney, it’s kind of shocking. And finally option two for technology experts, what would you do with the management system? What management systems do you need? You need that vertical integration within the value chain, so actually try to absorb the publishers and developers a bit more. Don’t try to diversify, so don’t go into theme parks or cruise ships or whatever you want to do with your loved characters. Stay within your niche and focus on the technology, and own the value chain, thereby making it more difficult to imitate.

So, in conclusion, that’s the whole presentation. Thank you very much for listening to this. If you have any comments or questions, awesome. Please leave them below the video. If you liked this video please subscribe to Professor Nerdster and thank you very much for your time.



1.Nintendo Annual Report 2016. (2016, April). Retrieved November 30th, 2016, from

2.Shah, Nick. MBA Fellows Project: The Video Game Industry, And Industry Analysis from a VC Perspective. Tuck, Dartmouth. Center of Digital Strategies. (2005). Retrieved November 30th, 2016, from The Video

3.Microsoft X-Box’s Gamble. Tuck, Dartmouth. Center of Digital Strategies. (2002). Retrieved November 28th, 2016, from

4.Krishnan, Vijai. Gaming: Corporate Strategy in a Multi-Screen World. (April, 2013). Retrieved November 28th, 2016, from

5.Business Case: Nintendo’s disruptive strategy: implications for the video game industry. Harvard Business Review, 2008.

6.Game Industry Magazine. (2016, April). Retrieved November 30th, 2016, from

7.Nintendo President Challenge. Fortune. (2016). Retrieved December 8th, 2016, from:

8.Pokémon Go. Fortune. (2016). Retrieved December 8th, 2016, from:

9.List of Best Selling Game Consoles. (2015). Retrieved December 8th, 2016, from

10.Extensive Industry Analysis Interview with Erika Szobu: Youtube Personality ( at A&C Games on Spadina Ave, December 12th, 2016

Synopsis of Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty

Slides from Capital in the 21st Century, Thomas Piketty

Piketty’s Thesis: Thomas Piketty’s thesis is that the rate of capital returns is greater than the rate of economic growth in developed countries. The message is clear “forget about income/salary inequality, take a look at wealth inequality!” Wealth is getting collected and retained at a faster rate than economic growth is occurring in the overall economy. This assertion is a much more sophisticated argument than the classic “the rich are getting richer.” Private wealth is increasingly concentrating in the hands of ‘the few’ which is troubling since it’s doing so at a faster rate than the rate of new wealth creation. It’s also troubling (if it’s true) that ‘the few’ are just lucky & riding compound interest into a promising future instead of creating true value through their own productivity. This trend has been tracked over the last 250 years and with increasing accuracy since developed countries have implemented income tax. Piketty’s challenge is to address the issue that wealth concentration will grow relative to economic growth in the future without any significant policy changes.

Therein Lays the Controversy: Piketty’s solution is to create a progressive global wealth tax (i.e. a tax that targets all accumulated equity rather than in the income tax and cash). His argument pushed him into global super-stardom in 2014. From The Economist to the Wall Street Journal, Piketty’s data based argument was an important turning point in thinking about taxation policy and wealth distribution.

Editorial Input: Of course, everyone is getting richer: just ask your great great grandparents if they ever skyped with their parents 10 km away, instantly for <$0.01 per minute. Your great grand parents lived on average 25 years less than your parents etc etc. Even those below the poverty line today are more wealthy than some of middle class from the 20th century (Um: kinda, depends how you measure wealth). As a species, we are rich relative to our ancestors. And of course, remember that money is a PROXY for VALUE, it doesn’t track a bunch of valuable things like, you know, love and happiness for example. What’s novel about Piketty is he’s saying that wealth (the measurable part) is growing faster than that economic benefits (the measurable part) of new technology, productivity etc. What to do about it requires more thought, multi-variate testing and anticipated the unintended consequences of public policy.

Capital in the 21st Century / Le capital au 21e siècle

The book is in four parts;

  • Part 1: Income and Capital
  • Part 2: The dynamics of the capital/income ratio
  • Part 3: The structure of inequalities
  • Part 4: Regulating capital in the 21st century

Income and Capital: The Database

The World top incomes database: Piketty has collected data about income tax because it is available since it’s creation; starting in 1913, the US brought in Income Tax (hence the thought that world war was the motivator is not correct); Canada in 1917, UK in 1915, France 1915. Taxation is excellent for gathering information about citizens in a positive sense, to better empower them and to use that revenue to improve the infrastructure of society; AND to allow citizens to understand how money is shaping their life. It focused people to consider their finances. Income tax also is the basis of Piketty’s data set!!

Income Going to the Top 10% (what this graph below shows)

The theory that Income Inequality should decline over time has been proven false in the US. In the past 30 years, the share going to the top has moved to almost 50% of all income. Remember income is all cashflows of an individual. There is a trend towards 50% of the income going to the top 10% today in 2014. So the problem is that the CEOs are getting paid really well but we don’t see extra benefits of their effort in the business; or at least it is difficult to measure. It is difficult to understand how a top manager is able to generate a $10 million income both for and against productivity gains from that individual. It doesn’t mean that CEO isn’t worth every penny and more, it’s just we can’t measure that value well…..

The key for Piketty is that income is, in fact, over-rated. He believes that income inequality is not as interesting or important as is wealth inequality.

Wealth distribution is more important long-run. The total value of capital and real-estate assets has increased since in the 1960s as you can see below. The inequality in property is very serious. This doesn’t necessarily have to lead to an inequality as a whole. But this graph does represent job income inequality. It dropped as income tax was applied and is creeping back up.



Three Central Points of Capital in the 21st Century:

  1. The return of a patrimonial (or wealth-based) society in the Old World (Europe, Japan): Wealth-income ratios seem to be returning to very high levels in low growth countries. Intuition is that a slow-growth society, wealth accumulated in the past can naturally become very important in the future. In the very long run, this can be relevant for the entire world. Population growth in Europe and Japan is low.
  2. The future of wealth concentration: with high r-g during the 21st century (r= net-of-tax rate of return, g=growth rate), then wealth inequality might reach or surpass 19th century oligarchic levels; conversely, suitable institutions can allow to democratize wealth. Wealth inequality tends to concentrate better and that we should have more transparency and have more diffusion of wealth.
  3. Inequality in America: is the New World developing a new inequality model that is based upon extreme labour income inequality more than upon wealth inequality? Is it more merit-based, or can it become the worst of all worlds?

Point 1: The return of a wealth-based society

The ratio of wealth and capital concentration was supposed to a constant, at least that’s what economics textbooks advocate. However in the data, it is not a constant.

The Beta of private capital. Beta being the level of inequality. Here we can see that over time the level of private capital has grown over time in rich countries from 1970 to 2010. The database is a combination of data which includes real-estate prices and is a bit messy.

Public Debt versus Private Wealth

The rise of wealth in Europe on the private side has grown, but look at the public capital. Many doom sayers are abound stating that public debt is a fast approach train wreck. For example, the balance sheet of Italy would show that they have more debt than they have equity. The rise of public debt is significant as an issue in public discourse. However, this concern about public debt to GDP has to be squared against the private wealth that is left by the babyboomer generation etc. In reality, we own our lives as private citizens. The private wealth of Europeans and North Americans towers over the public debt accumulated by our respective governments. So…….




Imagine a market with 100 people in it. If we think about capital as a pile of apples, it might be illustrative. As individuals we have stock piles of apples. The top 10 each have 15 apples (7 apples are hiding in their trousers), the next 45 have 5 apples and the other 55 people have 1 apple. The issue is that over time, top 10 are getting more apples per year at a faster rate than the 45 people with 5 apples and the other folks with having 1 apple each, and getting a sliver more per year. Wealth is concentrating privately and the government isn’t able to do much about that with out new ways to track wealth. In the long run, if you have a lower growth rate, the total stock of wealth accumulated in the past can naturally be very important giving the top 10 the ability to advance their progeny in ways that the 45 middle class and 55 lower class folks can’t.

Piketty says the following:

  • “Will the rise of capital income – ratio Beta also lead to a rise of the capital share alpha in national income?
  • If the capital stock equals Beta = 6 years of income and the average return to capital is equal to r = 5% per yea, then the share of capital income (rent, dividends, interest, profits, etc) in the national income equality alpha = r x Beta = 30%
  • Technically, whether a rise in Beta also leads to a rise in capital share alpha = r Beta depends on the elasticity of substitution <a) between capital K and labour L in the production function Y = F(K,L)
  • Intuition: <a) measures the extent to which workers can be replaced by machines (e.g. Amazon’s robots)
  • Standard assumption: Cobb-Douglas production function (<a)= 1) = as the stock Beta goes Up, the return r goes down exactly in the same proportions, so that alpha = r x Beta remains unchanged, like by magic = a stable world where the capital = labour split is entirely set by technology
  • But if alpha > 1, then the return to capital r goes down falls less than the volume of capital Beta goes up, so that the product alpha = r x Beta goes up.
  • Exactly what happening since the 1970s-80s; both the ration Beta and the capital share alpha have increased.”

Point 2: The future of wealth concentration


In practice, we have extreme wealth concentration occurring. The direction of national wealth is declining. There was no decline in wealth concentration With income tax, the progressive taxation in France, land was only 5% of the wealth in the 1910s. So what are the forces that explain the wealth concentration?











r being bigger than g means that wealth will get amplified over time without intervention.


r and g are moving further. r is larger than g. The growth rate is slow than the rate of return. The industrial revolution increased the growth rate but the rate of return increased as well. So that suggests that inequality has gone down in the 20th century but it’s growing again. The gap between r and g did not change that much before World War 1. 

We should be concerned about the concentration of wealth over time! – Piketty















Solutions: Piketty’s Want Equal Access to Skills!

You want the most number of people getting access to the information and skills they need to succeed and thrive. It’s the diffusion of equality. The university system, practical education systems that need to improved. You need to reconcile efficiency with access to universities. Inequality to a point can be good for growth and innovation but if inequality gets too extreme it is not good for growth. Inequality before World War I was not helpful according to Professor Piketty. Certainly levels of inequality are just and good, but at a certain point that inequality is counter-productive. Europe had a higher level of inequality Pre-World War 1 than the US.

Solutions: Understanding the Mathematics of Equality

Piketty doesn’t really like Genie Co-Efficient. However, looking at the numbers is more powerful. He believes that thinking about wealth around percentages is better. And by the way, Globalization is a positive sum game, Piketty.

Theoretical Deduction is an Insufficient Basis for Policy Development

Piketty started by collecting data. He wasn’t starting with a hypothesis specifically. He wanted to take his theories of inequality and explore if they were valid based on data collected from >30 countries. Data is better than ideological frameworks. 

Transparency and Sanctions

You cannot ask politely for banks to provide more transparency if their clients are benefiting from opacity. Opacity facilitates wealth protection. Steeply progressive tax systems didn’t seem possible until governments brought in the income tax in the 1910s. So Piketty is suggesting a wealth tax is gonna happen, expect it. Sometimes the governments do not have a plan for how to use the funds but with a wealth tax perhaps paying down the government’s public debts is a possible area to fix, thereby lowering interest payments on the declining public debt and liberating that wealth to energize government funding…or something. More research required.

!!It’s All About the Wealth Tax!!

Niall Ferguson The Square and the Tower

Niall Ferguson “The Square and the Tower”

There is the Square and the Tower; both are networks. The tower is the intellectual elite and the square is the general public in this metaphor. Ferguson’s findings are that there is a continuum of hierarchical structures as well as social networks. History repeats itself in many ways with the social media of today. Hierarchically organized family prevail, but then social networks are empowered to challenge the hierarchical order within each era.

We do in fact flip between the Org Chart of a company and the Network of Family in our own lives, according Niall Ferguson.

Think about Google as a crawler of the internet network that looks at the credibility of website: starting with sites such as and flows outwardly from there. History is hierarchical in the hands of government. History is typically written by the victors. So it should be looked at through the diaries of the leaders of the past and how they leveraged networks to achieve their ends (Nazism and Communism in particular).

Niall Ferguson had to become a Network Scientist to Write this Book: it’s anthropology, engineering, interdisciplinary. But networks inherently are around the idea that birds of a feather flock together: we congregate into clusters. We drink the cool-aid.

Social Media Today

List of social network enablers ie. the technology that crazy uncles have used throughout history:

GuttenburgPrintingPress, CarolusNewspaper, NiepcePhotography, MacconiRadio, FarnsworthTelevision, Silicon ValleySocial Media

Global Community is Not Great:

Luther was wrong to believe that if everyone had a copy of the Bible, everything would be amazing according to Ferguson. The network is not a happy community; they start to polarize. Martin Luther -> social networks. Luther thought that we would get the priesthood of citizens. We don’t get a happy network, we get a viral tumult of ideas, according to Niall Ferguson. The polarization in the US; its Conservatives and Liberals is partly a function of networks.

  1. The point is that technology is not that big of a leap; Martin Luther certainly was an innovative thinker. But we wouldn’t know it if he didn’t have a printing press.
  2. Facebook is a Smaller World Phenomenon: things spread more rapidly: the reformation spreads faster than in the renaissance, for example;
  3. Things Go Viral: is about the structure of the network. The network is as important as the meme.
    Witch crazes spread virally, equally crazy ideas go viral. To deny there are witches = you are a witch would be an example of social pathology then and now. A cognitive error that is shareworthy (like it or not).
  4. Networks never sleep: they are complex system. Networks are bad at defense: the KGB penetrated the UK government in the 60s for example.
  5. Networks are not equal: there are few nodes that are equal. We can graph who knew who, it would be some of you are better connected than others.
  6. The Nazi and Bolshevik Parties should be studied to see ‘how were those networks structured.’ We need to understand Fascism and Communism from a networked perspective, according to Ferguson.
  7. The Power has moved from Washington to Silicon Valley> the Chinese have figured out how to extend it’s position; they can monitor and respond and has extensive collective behaviour: how do you align with a social credit score.

We need a new Guide for Totalitarianism:

China believe the world is going well ahead: there are constraints. They have the largest bourgeoisie in history in China: they can’t alter the needs of bourgeois: you desire property rights; and it can be arbitraged but Ferguson is going to watch for the Bourgeois revolution in China but so is Xi JinPing!

The Importance of Counter-Factual:

Counter-Factual should be explicit in history. The Hillary Clinton presidency would have meant gridlock and angry Alt right reactionaries, calls for impeachment and a Trump TV Network….

Populists don’t last long: it doesn’t deliver benefits to core supporters. And the president will fail to deliver according to Ferguson. Populism -> is not dead in Europe. Muslim’s will be 20% of Europe in the mid-21st century. Ferguson implies that there will be cultural conflicts as a result….

Attacking conspiracy theorists as a credible Historian is very difficult. Again, Ferguson is worried about his street credibility. The power of the Freemasons is smaller because it shows that they didn’t manage to prevent certain events from occurring. If you can’t have private conferences then you are not intellectually free, according to Ferguson.

The social mobility at the bottom of the pyramid. Basic Income is not a patch. The distribution of the medicaid is not going to work according to Ferguson. Distribution of spending is inefficient where as UBI might work.

China’s economic expansion: The US and China could still go to war. The Chinese don’t really care about a trade war. One Welt and one Asia. Chinese Welt-Politik is a reality, according to Ferguson.

US is susceptible to a cyber-attack: it’s a known fact: how large of a disruption could that be? Preparations must be made, according to Ferguson.

Ferguson on Trump and Advertising, FacePalm!

  • Ferguson is wrong on Trump and he knows it. But he must protect his credibility amongst fellow academics (close-minded for sure). Facebook and Twitter are what caused Trump to win? The single causal variable? The leading variable even? Doubtful! Facebook was a variable but to be true data scientist, we have query this assertion. Why? Because the +75,000 votes across the many counties that Trump won in the swing states were spread out and you have to assume that all 75,000 changed from Hilary to Trump because of something their crazy (Russian) uncle wrote on their feed that inspired critical few to Trump’s camp. Hindsight is a revisionist’s dream: we tend to think things were inevitable AFTER an election when before they were uncertain…because they were, folks. Predicting the future is extremely difficult.
  • Ferguson claims that Trump would never have won without Facebook sharing and advertising? This is a totally clueless claim, from someone who probably hasn’t advertised on Facebook, because the power of Facebook advertising to shift opinion is overstated….earned media is perhaps a term Ferguson is not familiar with at all. Absent Twitter, Trump would have not had the reach for sure but Twitter exists, alas. Absent Facebook ads, I’m more dubious….because Facebook is highly overrated as a platform.
  • Facebook is not the cat’s meow solution for advertising effectively, it’s an improvement but not a gold standard in 2016 or ’18. For example, if you see an ad on Facebook for Coca-Cola BUT you were thinking of buying a Coca-Cola before you see that ad; how do we really know the ad caused the Coca-Cola purchase that you make after seeing the ad? We don’t. Same if you didn’t want a Coca-Cola, saw the ad and then went and bought a Coca-Cola, the ad may have changed your mind subconsciously or consciously or maybe something else happened between the ad exposure and the decision to buy Coca-Cola! We can’t know either way without direct access to your brain at the point of purchase. If we could know it, the person who invented that technology would be a billionaire in very short order**.
  • The same problem applies with an ad for Trump or Brexit, Facebook facilitates echo-chambers where people are already interested in Trump or Coca-Cola or Brexit. It doesn’t mean Facebook shaped that interest; it only means that Facebook is trying to generate revenue off of advertisers who don’t know which people will convert but will spend the money to get awareness at least as a baseline. Facebook is trying to convince social scientists that their platform is amazing because it captures data better than a billboard BECAUSE it is in Facebook’s interest to claim it is the cat’s meow.  Human beings consistently screw up your marketing experiment by having agency/choice. If you believe an ad can switch opinion in the subset of the population that was voting for Hillary but saw the ad and switched to Trump then you should make that rather nuanced case. It’s a rather narrow pool of people effected which also implies THEY, the Russians (a country with the GDP of a tiny country indeed), KNEW the exact 75K people in question which is incredible. I guess you could say a larger pool was targeted and only 75K mattered in the end, fine but how could you believe that it was on the basis of an ad on Facebook alone? There were surely other factors that are inputted into a voter’s decision, therefore, you have then accept that other factors impacted the 75K which invalidates your central claim that Russia won the election.
  • What’s interesting about Ferguson is that over the course of the book tour, every interviewer wants his thoughts on Trump. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Ferguson is disingenuous because he is evidently preoccupied with what other people think of him and his klout amongst academics would be damaged if he said anything positive about Trump’s ability to tap into the Square. And most people are emotional rather than rational in political matters because they are passionate without a post-ideological framework…another billion dollar value technology yet to be invented. Academia is so partisan that people aren’t intellectually free to explore counter-arguments in some sense. In these interviews, Ferguson goes for “Trump is the devil, now let’s get drinks in the history department!” Of course, even anything I write here could be misconstrued. I’m a political scientist, trying to maintain objectivity and independence. Oh, and I am not an American citizen so I have no say.
  • **Zuckerberg is a billionaire because eye balls are valuable in and of themselves. Advertising does work BUT only in exceptional cases. All you need is 1 person out of 1000 to get an Return on your Investment in some situations. There are definitely examples of direct marketing where you see a product on Facebook and then order it immediately in the moment, but that’s very very rare 0.01% of the time. Despite the rarity, advertisers spend billions on platforms like Facebook because there are many eyeballs visiting that site ie. brand awareness is mixed in with direct marketing. And Facebook wants you to believe they are the signal and not the noise.

Why People Vote The Way They Do

Models of Voting Behavior:

If you don’t know about these models you’re screwed!
• Research on voting behavior focused on political orientation or social background characteristics.
• Academics seemed to focus on these two models: developed in the US and widely used. They came to be seen as competing models. 2nd model was a critic of the 1st model.
• EACH SCHOOLS characterization of the other school’s models striped away the other model.

1) The Columbia School Model: Sociological Model by Godey

• First major study based on modern methods (Ohio) – US Presidential Election 1940. You see what percentage voted NDP, Liberal: they went out to interview people systematically. America was in upstate New York for them. Compared to Eerie Ohio and Amera, NY.
• What was interesting was how the voters made up their minds. They went back to interview people on 7 different occasions. The 7th interview was after the election. They tracked people. How did people change over the course of the campaign? How do people choose a president?
• There was little literature on surveys: you have to formulate expectations: you have to ask the correct questions.
• The OBJECTIVE – try to understand how people would make up their mind during a campaign.
• The ANALOGIES – What process would you liken voting to? How to choose a life mate? (Social network). Columbia School came up with Purchase decisions as the method for making a voting choice:
• They likened these parties to market products: advertising = promotional campaign to buy product. Voters = Consumers.
• Interested in the psychology of choice. How did advertising by parties affect people’s voting choice?
• There was a belief that the media could have massive effects.
• That’s why scientistis studied a small communities: they would have the same influence, same media, and same radio stations.
However, they choose a really bad election: 1940 election was unfortunate because there was a war. FDR was running for his third term. You didn’t need the campaign to help you decide that Roosevelt was effective or not. Brand Loyalty was substantially high. THEREFORE THE campaign had minimal effects.
• Very few changed their votes. Few people were undecided. It was the staunch Democrats and staunch Republicans: if you were a Republican your vote would be crystallized. WHY was the effect only to reinforce?
• You have to take your core seriously. You need to remind them why they are Liberal or Conservative BUT you do need to reach out.
• WHAT happened was that Republicans paid attention to Republican ideas and Democrats paid attention only to Democratic ideas? Each systematically over-estimated their chances of winning.
• The undecided felt conflicted, this is called: cross-sectional pressures.
• They were disappointed with the results.
The Sociological Model of Voting
• Secondary Factors: Primary Factors:
Socio-Economic Status________________>
• Sex________________________>
Religious and Ethnic Group Affiliation___> VOTE
• Age________________________>
Regional and Urban Rural Differences____>

The Index of Political Predisposition (IPP): can use it to make predictions about how people will vote. Protestants are very likely to vote Republican. Catholics are very likely to vote Democratic.
• Model contends that voting is a group experience: people who work together, neighbors
• Opinion Leaders played a key role: it makes you think of people who are elite but opinion leaders were the most interested: the political junkies.
• Two step flow of communication: opinion leaders listen to media; opinion leaders talk to other people & pass on media messages. They talk to other people. The two-step flow of the hypothesis.

CRITICISMS of the Columbian School Model:

Cross-pressures are extremely important. The Index of Political Predisposing was a scale: very effective if you fell in the middle of the index about a certain issue.
This model says that politics doesn’t matter! where’s the politics in all of this? What about the issues? Leaders?
This model doesn’t take into account the personal interests and obfuscation on the part of parties.
• How can you explain that electoral outcome vary so much?
• Social background characteristics don’t change. Very few people change religion.
• Not enough change between elections to change the outcome of an election.
• The model is much too static.
• Why would religion have an impact? Social networks and teachings. The Priests used to tell people how they should vote.
• Religion may have nothing to do with Party choice and making some other factor. (Catholics traditionally poor, protestants rich)
• The Columbian Model doesn’t work that well in the Canada. Knowing their social background only gets you so far.
• The Index of Predisposition is only accurate 60% of the time.
• Cross-pressures are crucial: Is a sociological model the notion of cross pressures. They didn’t view social background characterizes as conclusive. Catholics in Western Canada. Strong sense of grievance against Ottawa. Your religious affiliation: Catholic Ukrainian but do they vote Liberal?
• Some people can’t resolve the dissonance and will not bother to vote.
• For others, it will depend on the campaign.
• If a campaign plays up region, region will trump religion, and so on. So now politics matters!!!
• Once you start talking about the leader and you can see the campaign is important.
• They didn’t see social categories as important themselves.
• Social background: you know who they will be. Social networks.
• Social interactions: maybe the party really isn’t speaking to you.
• Contact Breeds Consensus: Examples that are not in the readings: two ideas that were introduced in the 1940s was the notion of contact with other members of your group. Someone mentioned going to a place of worship. Going to mass every Sunday, you are much more likely to vote along certain lines.
• Religion can pass on political ideas.
• The Breakage Effect: If you are cross-pressured, one way to resolve it is through breakage effect. The dominant regionalism will take over: so if you live in a Republican territory you’ll breakage towards the Republicans.

2) The Michigan Model: Socio-Psychological Model of Voting

• Supposed to fix the socio-economic model. i.e the Columbian School Model.
• 1993 from PC 143 seats down to 2 seats. Why can voting vary dramatically in the short term?
• These are the core-elements of national politics: attitudes towards, parties, issues, candidates and leaders.
• A key to dynamics: new personalities new leadership Kim Campbell vs. Mulroney.
• What to do about the deficit 93 what to do about the surplus 00.
• The Michigan saw voting as a response to psychological forces. They describe the process as a funnel of causality. The access of the funnel.
• Voting response to psychological processes (see figure 10.2)
• They look at non-political, external & exogenous factors.
We don’t ignore social background characterizes but have major additions to the Columbian Model.
Party identification: a psychological identification in a political party.
• They look at the politicization of the parents.
• You don’t have to belong to the party but you have to have a sense that you think of yourself as. Its formed earlier in life.
• It’s not immutable but it’s a resistance to change: the Conscription Crisis 1917: change in party identification. The main change can occur in the intensity of party identification (marriage, cataclysmic events).
• Women are more likely to adopt their male’s party. Less likely that men suddenly follow women’s political leaning.
• Key long-term influence on vote choice (direct influence or indirect by shaping opinions on leaders, issues).
• This model didn’t look to socio-economic background because party ID was the main factor & represents the sum of all prior influences.
• There is a long-term inertia component.
• People will normally vote for their party identification.
• Campaign communications & interpersonal discussions.
• All of the factors here effect voter choice.
• Elections Canada is trying to make it easier to vote…. technology.
• The intensity of the party’s attachment.
• Party identification formed early in life. Direction of partisanship.
• Canadian party affiliation isn’t very strong because of the federal and provincial levels.
• Short-term forces: need sufficient time to tell. 2004 sponsorship scandal hits and people abandoned the Liberals. It induces people to defect for the short-term.
• The two biggest leadership or
• Normal vote is the vote you’d expect to see if everyone voted for their party.
• Eisenhower Democrats, Reagan Democrats existed.
• Strategic Voting: isn’t as wide spread. You need to be sophisticated: people often over inflate their party’s chances.

Criticism of the Michigan Model: Psychological Model of Voting
• Evaluation of the candidate: vote for the one they like, so what have you explained? Party ID is too close to voter choice.
• Need to flesh out the funnel of causality. If party id is so important, what shapes party ID?
• Very little scope for social context.
• More overlap between the Two Models: Columbian looked at social groups and system of interaction. Both believe people have long standing predispositions. Differ in how they characterize it.
• What shapes Party ID? Why do some people vote Liberals and why are non-partisans.

The Class Voting Paradox

There is no evidence of class voting in Canada.
• Less in Canada than in the US. UK has the highest amount. No class voting in Canada. Are class cleavages declining in Europe: are social cleavages less important? They are according to Tony Blair.
• Is there any class voting in the first place: NO THERE WAS no class voting in Canada, according to Gidengil.
• This is a paradox because the assumption is that in western post-industrial democracies people should divide along class lines. Why should this matter?
• Material interests should have an influence in our politics. “politics is about who get’s what”. Material interests should play a part. We expect material circumstance to play a role in voting. Vote for party concerns about the same things as you are!!!
• We expect economics to differ between parties: we see a difference between party
• Parties think about taxation; what role should parties have in job creation.
• We expect people’s material circumstance to play some role.
• People vote for the party they are concerned about.
• Alfred found very little evidence of class voting Canada. Some scholars question Method of Research. Classified NDP, Liberals as Left. PC and Social Credit on the Right.
• Critics: say that this was misguided, should’ve focused on NDP vote as a leftist vote along. Liberal and Cons are central parties…
• When the NDP is strong the Liberal Party tends to move to the left-> Jack Layton makes the Liberals move to the left.
• Regional expressions influence voting.
• In a country was deep linguistic divisions exist: You need a party that brokers power. We are always trying to find the broker party. To exploit the medium Canadian voters.
• PC. Liberal (Bobsy Twins of Bay street): obfuscation: Parties trying to mute class cleavages then why were other countries less fortunate.
• Manual workers only slightly more likely than non-manual to vote NDP. In 1990s manual workers more likely to vote Reform and Alliance.
• The issue of sovereignty: in Quebec overwhelms.

The Relationship between Occupational Status and Vote in 2006 (outside Quebec)

• Manual workers were much more likely to vote NDP. NDP twice as likely to vote for NDP than non-manual workers (2006) Conservative 40%, 33% NDP, 21% Liberal.
• Union non-union differences
• In 2006, manual workers voted 40% Conservative, 33% NDP, 21 Liberal. Non-manual works voted 44% Conservative, 33% Liberal, 17% NDP.
• First time class cleavage was evident in NDP voting, BUT more manual workers voted for Conservative party. Could argue that the Liberals had shifted to the left in 2006 election.
• Public-sector unions.
• Economic vote: do people look at secure jobs.
• Asking about job security because it didn’t work.
• Education: the meaning of education differs across the country. Quebec CEGEP:
• People in white collar more likely to say they’re middle class, even if they are in a low paying occupation.
• Hierarchy of graduation: Marxists think of social class in terms of fundamental discontinue (interest lifestyle, culture values). Stratification approach look at income and education.
• 2006 elections: Low Income NDP 23%, Libs 31%, Cons 44%
o Middle Income: 24% NDP, 27% Libs, 42% Cons
o High Income: 19% NDP, 33% Libs, 41% Cons
Education: no high school 57% likely to vote Cons, least likely to vote NDP 16%.
University educated people 35% Libs & Cons, 23% NDP.
• Own/control mean of production: control own labor power.
• Working Class = don’t control own layout power, which is blue and law level white
• New Middle Class = sell labout in return in return for a wage. But have a huge a control over own labour, autonomy (professors, knowledge intensive jobs, supervisors of labour process).
• High middle class = own means of production
Relation between occupational status and vote
• We would expect a triangular pattern, that vote share for NDP would increase from the top down. Actually more variation between the working-class itself than in high level mangers.
• Manual labour was highest NDP vote in 2006.
Unclear that there is an effective way to represent social class.

CRITICISM of Alfred’s party classification  doesn’t change much. Way he classified class voting.

• Agreement that not much class voting in Canada. When conditions are right maybe we’ll have class voting.
• Evolutionary model: different cleavages hold at different points in a country’s development.
• Canada is the richest undeveloped country: we produce primary goods. Our industrial development is stunted. We export semi-processed goods. If Canada was more fully industrialized we would have class voting.
• Response is that we are a postindustrial society. No working-class culture in Canada.
• If we want to find class voting: secondary factories in Ontario are likely followed by Quebec and BC. Most damaging element for the evolutionary model: highest levels of class voting in Ontario and Quebec Where is the highest

CLASS AND NDP voting in Ontario 2006

• Very weak relationship: the more lower class you are in Ontario you voted NDP.
• Low income 27% middle income 17% high income 16%
• University 23%, post 19%, high school 17%, no high school 12%
• Union household 26%, non-union 17%
• Very little support for the evolutionary model.
• Most class voting found in Saskatchewan.
• Potential for class voting that hasn’t been realized. We would expect there to be class differences.

Income and Attitudes toward Free Enterprise and the Welfare State (2006)

• Do more to reduce the gap between rich and poor.
• No significant difference on any findings “spend more on welfare” low 29%, middle class 22%, high 20% versus “when businesses make a lot of money, everyone benefits” low 35%, middle 34%, high 45%.
• Gaps are not very big: absolute levels of agreement or disagreement are not supportive of unrealized potential for class voting. High are more likely to oppose having private hospitals.
• Improving social programmers first priority
• Oppose having private hospitals
• People who don’t get ahead should not blame the system seems balanced between the groups: False Consciousness seems crazy
• There is more mingling of neighborhoods in Canada between different economic classes than in the US or the UK.

Stephane Dion did some research on private public actors
Only 12% of 28% said they thought of themselves as working class over a 6-year period (about 3%). To people, class is a meaningless abstraction.
Langford: 2 reasons for weakness of alternative value system in Canada:
1) Nature of Canadian unions.
2) NDP’s failure to articulate a more radical vision: not hardline socialist enough.
Union membership and vote in 2006
More likely to vote NDP if members (31 NDP, 30 LIB, 34 Conservative) non-union members (17 NDP, 32 Lib, 44 Cons).
• The Unions in Canada: have focused narrowly on business concerns, wages, etc not articulating a more radical critique of the radical system.
• Union members are more skeptical of profit principle, that those who don’t get ahead are to blame, oppose private hospitals, do more to reduce rich/poor gap. No large gaps on an issue.
• Langford critical of NDP for not being more explicitly socialist in its vision. NDP is still clearly on the left. So why doesn’t it do better with it’s natural clientele? NDP is not seen as managing the economy well, so people vote for their material interest by NOT voting for the NDP. Awareness issue (had 2 low key female leaders). In 1997, NDP not in news during campaign 1 of 3 nights, idea of hopeless cases get hopeless coverage.
• Particular parties have particular strengths.
• NDP couldn’t manage them out of a paper bag.
• Awareness issue (had 2 low hey family leaders) In 1997 not in news during campaign 1 of 3 nights.

Education and Knowledge about the NDP (2006)
• NDP are the best for improving the welfare programs: less education means that less likely you are to think that NDP is best for social welfare programs) Notion of issues ownership, the NDP have not had a much issue ownership.

The Religious Paradox

Why is the religious cleavage so strong? Catholics vote Liberal, Protestants vote PC & Liberal.
• Canada had electoral earthquake in 93: most devastating defeat ever for an incumbent party in a western democracy: PCs reduced to 2 seats.
• Began the fight for the Right: Reform renamed Alliance. PC and Alliance merged to form the New Conservative Party. Through all of this, religious affiliation has been associated with choice of party.
• In 2004, gap narrowed. More strimingly, Protestant more likely to vote Conservative than Catholics (2.5x). Gap of 26 points.
• How different is the new Conservative Party in terms of its support base from the Alliance? The more similar it is to the Alliance, the more limited its prospects for increase support.
• Non-Christians vote Liberal. They are most likely of all to be voting Liberal.
• Secular people are more likely to vote NDP, only more likely in 2004 than before. Divide vote equally between Lib, Cons, NDP.

In 2006: Religious Affiliation and Vote Choice in the 2006 Election.

Catholics didn’t vote Liberal this time around. In 2006 the division between Protestant and Catholic is minor in 2006. This traditional voting cleavage disappeared in 2006!!!
• Liberal dominance had rested on the strength on partisans who will vote Liberal through thick and thin.
• Liberals lost 13% of the Catholic vote and the Conservative Party gained.
• Religious cleavage: Protestants vote Conservative. The action now; protestant disproportionately Conservative.
• Fundamentalists: all vote Conservative 26 points from Liberals.

The Difference between Protestants and Catholics

• Why is there a difference. Can’t generalize with Jews, Muslims and Sikhs.
• People think of Catholics are more collectivist. Protestants are more hardworking.
• Values in understanding voting behavior. People’s values and normative beliefs in behaving.
• Issues like abortion, gay marriage!
• Liberals voters shifted on the left-right continuum.
• Scholars are embarrassed about this cleavage: there are archaic cleavages and poli-scientists are less interested in religion and would like to talk about social economic cleavages.
• Religion is the Eccentric Houseguest: (Irvine 1973)
• (1) See whether religious cleavage is a surrogate for another cleavage underneath.
• A) Ethnicity/Linguistic: Francophone Quebecers are less likely to be protestant than the ROC. FC less likely to vote Cons (historically). Maybe its an ethnic vote, not religious. Implication: Q vs ROC religious cleavage should disappear.
• 2006 ROC: C & L Catholics were Equal. For various historical reasons, the Catholics never vote Conservative, 88, 84, 06 (exceptions).
• B) Social Class: Protestant are haves, Catholics are have-nots. Haves vot Conservative, Have-nots vote left. In 2006, income & Conservative vote: high-income protestant less likely to vote Conservative than low income Protestants (47% to 55%). The Religious Vote is being masked by Social Class voting. Protestants have been more likely to be haves Catholics are have-nots. People in Canadian who are haves support the party that promotes tax cuts.

• Why is there a difference. Can’t generalize with Jews, Muslims and Sikhs.
• People think of Catholics are more collectivist. Protestants are more hardworking.
• Values in understanding voting behavior. People’s values and normative beliefs in behaving.
• Issues like abortion, gay marriage!
• Liberals voters shifted on the left-right continuum.
• Scholars are embarrassed about this cleavage: there are archaic cleavages and poli-scientists are less interested in religion and would like to talk about social economic cleavages.
• Religion is the Eccentric Houseguest: (Irvine 1973)
• (1) See whether religious cleavage is a surrogate for another cleavage underneath.
• A) Ethnicity/Linguistic: Francophone Quebecers are less likely to be protestant than the ROC. FC less likely to vote Cons (historically). Maybe its an ethnic vote, not religious. Implication: Q vs ROC religious cleavage should disappear.
• 2006 ROC: C & L Catholics were Equal. For various historical reasons, the Catholics never vote Conservative, 88, 84, 06 (exceptions).
• B) Social Class: Protestant are haves, Catholics are have-nots. Haves vot Conservative, Have-nots vote left. In 2006, income & Conservative vote: high-income protestant less likely to vote Conservative than low income Protestants (47% to 55%). The Religious Vote is being masked by Social Class voting. Protestants have been more likely to be haves Catholics are have-nots. People in Canadian who are haves support the party that promotes tax cuts.

Religious Affiliation, Income and the Conservative Vote in 2006 (outside Quebec):

• Low income: Catholics 37% Protests and
• Middle income:
• High income:
• Low income Catholics are the most likely to vote Liberal there isn’t a massive gap between middle and high Catholics. Low income Protestants will vote most in the Liberal Party.
• Not a religious vote but an ethnic vote: the religious cleavage should disappear. Religious affiliation and Vote Choice in the 2006 Election.
• Liberals Catholics outside of Quebec stills strong. The Catholics are split between Conservative and Liberals.
• Sovereignty trumps age, language, religion.

Religious Affiliation, Non-European Origin and the Vote in 2006:

• Liberal Catholics in Western Canada. People coming from northern Europe are protestant.
• Central Europe: Eastern Europe. Catholics.
• Newer group of likely to come from Latin American, Asia Eastern Europe = Catholic.
• Liberals were associated with opening up immigration.
• Official Multiculturalism: under the Liberals.
• Liberals helped get people immigrate.
• The older immigrant groups: would vote Conservative: Anglo-conformity: Assimilate into the Anglo-English Canadian encouraged them to vote Conservative.
• A much greater reluctance to accept accommodating French. Why can’t we be recognize the West as a founding peoples as well? They did all the hard work.

Religion Affiliation, Northern-European Origin and the Vote in 2006:
• Is there an urban rural voting is Conservative Party.
• Northern Europe: Conservative 55% protestant, Liberals 35% protestant, Liberals Catholic 35% and Cons 35% Catholic.
• Irvine declares success on the third try

Family Socialization Argument: the differences between voters choice could persist because of the family. It’s very likely that you’ll inherit their beliefs or at least their values. You probably have some religious teaching or lifestyles. Most people don’t change their religion. People tend to inherit their parents partisanship.
• People don’t mention religion BUT everyone seems to vote Conservatives and Liberals. I believe it is the breast milk of your mother dictates voting behaviour.
• This only works if your family is very politically involved, if people don’t care then argument doesn’t hold. Some parents don’t necessarily agree.
• Some people aren’t interested in politics: so people just vote on religious lines.
• Subconscious socialization.
• Irvine got it partly correct: it makes sense: but it seems that offspring misperceive parental partisanship. Sometimes the offspring get it wrong about their parents. What about parents who don’t have a political affiliation. This is so unreliable.
• Doubt about Canadian identity people change their vote and party id very easily in Canada. There is a lack of political discussion at the dinner table. How do they pass on their party identification.
Richard Johnston: 1970s: only 1/3 of Canadians inherit their parent’s partisanship.
• Intergenerational transmission doesn’t explain the religious cleavages.
• “I wonder…what about parents who realign party ID during life of children? Would child remember early age or later age? Early b/c formative years of life, when older want to form own opinions???”
• Irving found that the most successful in passing on their partisanship: Liberal parents transferring their partisanship to their kids.
• Many people forget who they voted for in the last election.
• Dick Johnston: given the process of intergenerational-transmission are weak, given the Liberal do a better hob, must be something ouside enforcing connection between being a Catholic and a Liberal: And the liberals pass on their partisanship better> Religious schooling itself, Catholics have their own school systems, expose to people who share similar beliefs.
• Johnston’s argued that there are influences in the larger Catholic community. There is an influence out side of the family.
• They’re disputes over religious schooling; another possibility is religious schooling itself: Catholics. Separate Schooling is Catholic: exposed to other schooling Catholic.
• There is a distinctive Catholic ethos that is spread.
• Private Schools are Protestant in Ontario.
• Johnston: the reproduction of Liberal Catholics has to be reinforced by larger full influence. Columbia: the two different used to describe the social behavior: there is a connection between social background and the breakage effect: voting is a group experience.

The THREE Dimensions of Religion Affecting Vote Choice:

• Belonging, Behaving Bad Believing
• 1) Belonging: your catholic, protestant you belong to that groups so you should just do it.
• 2) Behaving: the practice of faith, going to a place of worship means being exposed to religious teaching and co-religionists. More interaction more salient religion is to your life, more likely to divide along religion. Contact leads to consensus. You’re exposed to religious teachings: the more you’re interacting with your co-religious the more likely you’ll divide amongst religious lines. You behave: religion.
Personal importance of Religious and the Conservative Vote in 2006:
The difference between Protestants and Catholic vote is biggest for people who say religion is important (38 to 61), not important is hardly different.
Very important somewhat important not very important. Catholics less obsessive about religious importance.
The more salient religion is in your life.
Personal importance of Religion and the Liberal Vote in 2006:
• Very important: somewhat important: not very important.
• 3) Believing: accepting the major tenets of your faith. You have a religious understanding of the arguments and believe in your religion deeply. There is a distinctive Catholic ethos. You’d expect Catholics to oppose abortion. Catholic Church promotes social justice. Being supportive of unions, which fight for equal conditions. You favor narrowing the gap with the poor. Opposition for nuclear weapons. Social justice is about giving equal rights to people.

Religious Affiliation and Political Attitude 2006 ROC
• For 2006: on social justice: opposition to private hospitals: they only care little about welfare, and social gap. They want to cut defense spending.
• The more exposed you are to secular media; the media doesn’t cue religion. People who watch television.
• People who paid attention to the media will likely lose religious hardening.
• Catholics pay less attention to television is less likely to vote Liberal. Mainstreaming worked in 1988, 2006 (didn’t work). Catholics pay less attention more likely to vote conservative

REGIONALISM and Vote Choice

Canada has divided itself along regional lines: region has become more salient in voters choice: 1993 intensified regional voting. BLC (only in Quebec) and Reform (was Canada wide but western Canada).
• 1993 region is still important.
• Ontario west gap is 20 point difference. In 2000 only one western voter ¼ in other words Ontario was ½ to vote Liberal.
• New Conservative Party of Canada more successful that the CA>
• The Alliance won twice as many votes in the West than ¼ Ontario. Huge gaps between parties.
• As the Conservative support increased.
• 2006: Liberals lost ground everywhere: 2004 dominance in Atlantic and Ontario. 2006 Conservatives finished only 2 point behind in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.
• Western Liberals were in third place behind the NDP.
• Liberals lost a 14 points in Quebec. 5 points behind the Conservatives.
• The Strategist: said there was no point in Conservative in Quebec.
• Can the Conservative hold on to the Quebec?
• NDP isn’t very regionalized except little support in Quebec.

Regional Artifact Theory:

First Question: Are Regional Differences Real? Are they true? If they can’t be explained by differences in the social make-up of the regions?
• The “regional differences are really marked in other differences’: the racial makeup, the ethnic, urbanization of the region.
• 1) Regional Artifact Theory: says region only masks different social makeup. Religion, ethno-linguistic, racial, urban/rural, economic
• Example: Catholics are more likely to vote for the Liberals: more Catholics in Atlantic Canada then in Ontario. 1/5 are Catholic in Western Canada
• Ethno-linguistic divides.
• If the region: someone who has a given social characteristic shouldn’t change his or her vote in another region. So, if they are consistent throughout Canada then this isn’t regionalism? Why are people trying to explain away the regional divide. Academics are uncomfortable with it.
• What do we see when we see religious cleavages.
• Religious Affiliation and Vote Choice in 2006:
Catholics should vote the same way regardless of where they live. SO is NOT THE CASE. Catholics in Western Canada are less likely to vote Liberal: only 25% are voting liberals as Catholics. Ontario and Atlantic Canada
Protestant in Ontario and Atlantic Canada are most likely to vote Liberal than Catholics in the West.

Religious Affiliation and Vote Choice in 2006
• Atlantic Catholic Lib 43 Cons 25 NDP 28
• Ontario Catholic Lib 43, cons 35, ndp 12
• West Catholic Lib 25, cons 57, ndp 15

• At Liberal 35, Cons 49, NDP 15
• Ont: Lib 32, Cons 45, NDP 16
• West Lib 15, Cons 59, NDP 19

Politics is in a constant state of flux. Some people are anchored by social identities, so must understand this to under vote choice. Why is this useful? If you don’t understand behavior of voters you won’t win and election. Columbian model focuses on static factors, when politics is in flux.

Short term forces matter but social background and values play a role. Must understand inertia component.
• In every region, Catholics are more likely than Protestants to vote Liberal. But is this not a religious cleavage? Despite region, Catholics always more likely that Protestants to vote Liberal. Catholics are more likely to vote in the Liberal party. The Cleavage in Conservative voting: do 26 points in Atlantic Canada.

Ancestry and Vote Choice in 2006

Ontario/Northern European 2/3 vote Liberals lost votes to Conservative. In the West, 25% non-Europeans vote Libera. (in 2004, both were the same). Libs lost support of key non-European constituency.
Ontario/Non-European vote was strongly Liberal. BUT significant drop in West/Non European.

Rural/Urban and Vote Choice in 2006

At/Urban ndp 23, cons 32 lib 40
Ontario/Urban ndp 18, cons 37 lib 39
West/Urban ndp 22 cons 45 lib 21

At/Rural Lib 31 COnse 42 NDp 21
Ontario/Rural Lib 32 Cons 45, NDP 18
West/Rural Lib 10 Conserve 66 NDp 20

Big Gaps: 1997 Difference between Reform Voting: West and Ontario

1997 Difference between Liberal: West and Ontario
The Compositional Differences only explains 3.3 point in the gap (Reform and in Liberal 1.0 and compositional difference didn’t explain any difference in Atlantic Canada.)
1) Compositional differences: How much of a gap can we explain through social makeup of regions?
• Biggest difference in Reform gap voting between West and Ontario but only 3.3 points were explained. Gap between Liberal Ontario & West, 1.3 points, between Ontario and Atlantic Liberal vote, didn’t explain anything.
• Surprise by how little economic difference make a difference. Does lower income take into account lower cost of living? Is economic vote attached to provicial government instead, because strong provincial governet can extract more resources from the federal government, maybe personal vote more important in Atlantic Canada because known candidates.
• PEI highest turnout, Newfoundland has lowest turnout. Idea that people vote to balance out provincial and national governments. Also, provincial parties do nto mirror national parties.
• READ THE ARTICLE: surprise how little economic character makes a difference in Atlantic Canada. YOU’D THINK this would effect regional voting. Regional gaps: Atlantic Canada higher unemployment. Economic votes in Provincial Government. Personal vote has an influence in Canada.
• The role of partisanship in PEI.
• Region trumps religion
• Conclusion 2: Most of the differences between regions are real not artificial. It depends on where they are in the country.

What Explains this Difference If It Is Not Social Organization?

• REGIONAL GREAVANCE: Ontario is the most likely to brag about the benefits.
• West and Atlantic Canada are less likely to think their province is treated well. Explains why Liberals do poorly in the West.
• DISAFFECTIOIN with politics in general. Ready to believe that politicians would say anything to get elected. Desire to go back to the grass roots. The Prairies: populism: Canadian Political Thought: the relationship between the citizens: David Leacock wrote a book on populist thinking on the Prairies. It’s an anti-party sentiment: political parties are hierarchical institutions that prevent citizen participation. ANTI-Party parties.
• People are against politics in general. The NDp has been important to voice unhappiness on the way politics works.

PARTISAN CLIMATE: Part OF THE Liberals problem in Atlantic Canada and the West is the partisan climate: you need to have a solid core of partisans. How many partisans you’ll find in the region Another factor is the ideological climate: more partisan to the right.
• Do Liberals have more partisans given the value system, or do Conservatives have more support that’s what the partisan climate means.
The Partisan climate: Michigan School: party identification is the perfect distillation into a person’s history. Their social background influence. Party id is the perfect distillation of all these things.
• Why is the partisan climate in the West which is so anti-liberal? Historical grievances: when there are conflicts the interests of westerners get sacrificed.

Simplest Short-Cut of All: (Brendan O’Neil)

The similarity of themselves and the leader: The Western Liberal Leader John Turner: people will vote for the party lead by a westerner. All levels of sophistication.
• Regionalism: does someone’s partisanship change.
• Railroad Tariffs: Policy tariffs protected the railway tariff but it screwed the west. Western had to compete: had to pay higher costs to buy goods.
• The Western didn’t get 1930 Section 93: didn’t have jurisdiction. Peter Lougheed: the effects would not have been as devastating. NEP, CF 18 Winnipeg  to Quebec.
What do attitudes sociology on policy questions?
• If you ask people how they would characterize their opinions. Alberta will tend to say they are fiscally conservative. Less spending on welfare, individualism, let the market run freely as possible. Social conservatives in Alberta.
• West: economically conservative, socially conservative, less open to diversity. Reform, and Alliance seen as ethno-centric and xenophobic (little evidence: say what? As Jerome Black!), close to radical right-wing European parties that are anti-immigration.
• Westerners are stereotyped as less open to diversity: immigration, Reform xenophobia. The reform was not driven by anti-immigration. They were similar to Radical right-wing parties in Europe.
• Quebecers too have been called anti-immigrant: don’t accommodate to diversity; Quebec is much more collectivist. Quebecers are much more socially progressive.

Region and Social Conservatism 2006:
Should not do more for women: Ont 57, West 59, Atlantic 43,
Should be difficult to get an abortion
Oppose same-sex marriage
Tougher sentences for young offenders
Support death penalty
Should scrap gun registry

The Only Big ISSUE that the West and Ontario disagree on was the gun registry.

Stereotype that Atlantic Canada is the least conservative, Atlantic Canada aren’t into gun control.

Regional and Views about the State vs. The Market 2006

• When business makes money everyone benefits (Disagree)
• Increase welfare spending
• Oppose
• Check slides.
• Quebec is the least opposed to two-tier health care. Quebecers are tied of the actual system in Quebec. The media play up what’s wrong.

Regional and Attitude toward Minorities 2006

• Do less for Quebec Q 3, Al 38, Onto 37, West 45
• Do less for racial minorities: 23% West, At 12, Q, 9%
• Reduce immigration: stereotypes don’t hold, all open.
• The Gaps in opinion across province are modest. What does differ is the Salience of Different issues: (ex; people in Ontario don’t care about accommodating Quebec, but West is made about it).

The answer: the in the aggregate the salience of different issues views matter more about Quebec. Ontario doesn’t care as much about Quebec. 1997 job creation in Quebec voted liberal. West voted for the national unity question more because different issues.

• Women were more likely to vote on the left. Men were more likely to vote for the conservatives. This pattern: is becoming increasingly common in western democracies.
US GENDER GAP is substantial: 1980 when women were less likely to vote Reagan.
• Ingelhart: Development Theory: realignment process underway: In some countries women are to the left of men. In some countries women are to the right of men. This is changing. Different countries at different points of realignment.
• There is a process of gender re-alignment. Men and Women are shifting positions: in some countries there is still a traditional gender gap. In some countries, different countries there are no difference between women and men.
• Women moving the left of men:  Women and men: there theory focuses on women and changes in women’s lives.
Does Canada qualify as a case of gender realignment? When did this realignment occur?: to answer to that questions:

Evolution of Gender Gap in NDP vote, 1965-2006

• Before 1980 women less likely. 1965-3. 1979 -1. 1984 even. 1988, 1993: +2. Peak in 1997 at 6% higher. 2006 at 4%.
• Since 1997 significant gender gap in voting NDP.
• Gender realignment does seem to exist.
• Seems that modern gender gap emerged in 1997. US 1980. But must first look at other parties.
• She’s taken all the studies: when have women gone less likely NDP and then full out NDP?
• We have had a gender gap. On the other hand, in order to decide when this re-alignment began it dates back to the last ten years. The modern gender gap emerged here early and in the US.
The Evolution the Gender Gap in Liberal Vote Choice 1965-2006
• Women were more likely than men to vote Liberal from all that time dipping to 2 point 1997-06.
• Under the Liberals Trudeau’s sex appeal. Liberals aren’t really the centres left or right. Gender Gap: the emergence of the gender gap was much earlier.
• In 1997, the gender gap disappeared: the same year the gender gap opened up.

The Evolution of the Gender Gap in PC/Conservative Vote Choice 1965-2006
• Men were more likely that women in 1974.
• The Party did attract some women. Having a female leader in 1993.

1965: 2 1968: 2. 1974 -1. 79 – 4. 80 -8. 84 -3. 88 -5. 1993 +3. 97 +1. 2000 +2. 2004 -3. 2006 -5. Women leader seems to have helped attract more women’s votes. Joe Clark better with women.
• Wasn’t late 1990s to 2000 when the men left the PC and joined Alliance, so W Conservative voting should be higher?

Gender Gap in PC/Cons Vote Choice 1965-2006
• 1993: Reform -8. Pc 3. Bloc -1.
• 1997: Alliance -8. PC +1. Bloc 0.
• 2000: Alliance -10 PC 2. Bloc 2.
• 2004 Bloc 2.
• 2006 Bloc 2.
• Reform Party: women were much less likely then men to vote Reform. In 2000 as the Canadian Alliance.
• This is damaging to women and any theory that focuses on women and changes in women’s lives. This gender gap shows that men were more likely than women to move toward the right.
• Moving to the Bloc and Reform: were mobilizing people in those elections.
• More men than women moved to the right: other gender gap literature. The conceptual focus on women.
• The opening up of the gender gap gave women a lot of ammunition: it helped advance women into political parties. Women are no longer relegated that they have no chance of winning.
• People who study gender
• Women are less likely to have financial security: child bearing.
Gender and the Evolution of the NDP Vote, 1965-2006
• Women have shifted to the left in 1979. Since collapse in 1993, women more likely to move back.
• Why have men moved to the right?

Gender and Vote Choice Outside Quebec in 2006
• No difference Little gender gap Liberal Gap.
• Conservative: men 45.2% women 39.7%
• NDP 18.0 men// 23.3% women.
• Women are less knowledgeable then men.
• There are differences between women and men.
• Here are women here are men: it’s divisive. No one is just a women or a man.
• Losing support from the men in the Conservative party is possible  shifting women.
• Women voted the most for Conservative.

Gender and Vote Choice in Quebec in the 2006 Election
• In Quebec, people who are more likely to vote: they are more likely to vote for the Liberal party. The gap is narrowing; the older federalists work harder.
• The Gap in Bloc Support: 47 women 36% men
• Men voted 27% for Cons.
• Liberal 22% women/men 19%
• Women live longer so there are more older federal women than men.
• Gender gap emerged in 2004: why only a gap now? Possible temporary phenomenon due to sponsorship scandal. Could be a function of women’s political knowledge (lack therefore) that Men vote NDP more because Women just don’t know about the NDP: not well known in Quebec.
• Why is there a no gender gap for separatism? Big difference between women and men is the salience of healthcare.

How to explain these gender gaps:
1 AGE: the traditional gender gap why would women have traditionally voted to the right and explain why they have been shifting to the left.
2 Confinement to the Domestic Sphere: Women less likely in the workforce in the 60s. They didn’t witness discrimination. It was expected that in the 1980s the gender gap would close once workplace participation was equal (no 60% of Women in workforce). Having children makes women more Conservative (concerned with law and order).
• Confinement to the domestic sphere, women are more religious than men. Increased divorces women are individualist. Changes of women lives.
• Far more women who are single parent.
• In the 1970s: the second wave of feminist  this is when the transitional period takes off. Now the third wave: people are considering the promise of burdens for the future. In 2006: older women were less likely than younger women to vote Conservative. The Sense effect: for men: women don’t
• Women are more conservative  at youth and then become 30-40 move towards women’s view.
3 Greater Religiosity: Women more religious than Men. True today as well. Vote right because they attend church thus exposed to socially conservative values. The traditional gender gap was explained by gap, confinement to the domestic sphere: women’s greater religiosity. The gap argument. The gender gap and liberal voting. Women live longer than men.
4 People More Conservative as they Age: There are older conservative women than older conservative men: older people are more conservative.
• Now increasing instability of marriage means that more women are living alone in the world. Logical that feminist movement would be a catalyst.
• Married women with lots of ties to high status likely to NDO. Women with same sex social spheres vote left.
• When women marry they tend to become more conservative. Seems to be less likely to be fiscal and more to do with moral traditionalism. Effect holds even for common law: (so do W, once married and having own children, think abortion is bad when they previously supported it?)
• Why has the gender gap disappeared on the left.
• In 2006: women who were employed voted conservative. It either doesn’t make a difference or that the employed women vote more conservative. 60% of women are employed.
• Married Women are more likely to vote Conservative: 2006
• Gidengel: women who have diverse social networks: lot of same-sex ties: Married women have a lot ties to affluent society BUT this effect can be transcended if they interact with high networth women.
• When they marry women become more conservative; something about being married that brings women closer to the right. It’s not fiscal it’s with moral traditionalism: moral rules of action.
• On surveys: some people aren’t comfortable about telling a stranger about your sexuality.

• Women are more likely than men to have socially conservative marriage.
• Reder O’Neil: feminism is pulling women in one direction.
• Women are more secular than they used to be.
• In 2006, it’s very clear that the gender gap in conservative voting but for the fact that women are more conservative than men.
• Gender Gap in support of the alliance.
• The gender gap in conservative voting has been wider.
• The best explanation is that religiosity revolves around: mental illness you’ve got some kind of mental illness: I hate school this is going to ruin your future if you don’t get help.

Modern Gender Gap Gender and Views about Feminism and Gender-Related Issues 2006
• Inglehart attributes gap to gender shift, by hypothesize that it will be value shifts and structural changes.
• Structural: objectives different in Women & Men’s lives. Women more likely to need social safety net: feminization of poverty (this argument implies that, once equal income achieve, gender gap would disappear).
• more development issues: more likely to take a stronger stance. Value shifts are a consequence of cultural changes.
• The gender gap has disappeared in the social safety net. Women are more supportive.
• Women’s attendance in University. The Cultural argument: if women and men have different values way did the timing come off? Education asks women’s to act more autonomously. Education is an important factor.
• The welfare state: services for themselves. The other part of it: women are more likely to work in the public sector.
• They are more likely to be clients in the welfare state.
• The Liberals engaged in a policy deficit reorganization.
• Women should be more skeptical that the free enterprise: if you’re on the loosing end of the trickle-down effect.
• In 2006, Women who worked for the public sector were much more likely to vote for the NDP. Men in the public sector tended to vote Liberal.
• How would I explain men moving to the right: The threat of power in women. There has a reaction to this shift. Preference for the status quo.
• There could be a welfare state backlash: there was a close connection to contributions and benefits has been eroded. You saw women benefiting more: there is a backlash. They want to see how much you put in and take out.

Gender and Vote Choice in Quebec in the 2006 Election
• Briefing Reports;
• Gender Re-Alignment: used to of the right of men. It’s not 100 % clear the difference between men and women.
• That Gender Gap: men are more likely conservative. The gender gap has reversed overtime. No massive gaps.
• Women in the public sector are more to vote NDP than men.
• Low income women NOT more likely to vote NDP than others.
• Women are more likely to vote for the NDP but more Women voted conservative than NDP. Why are women voting Conservative?
• Society has become more secular: the number of women in the work force has doubled. Women are more religious than men are.
• Distinctive experience in the workforce. Feminist consciousness, questioning of traditional gender roles, more supportive of collective provision (need programs to help deal with family responsibilities if working).
• Entering the paid workforce is a radicalizing experience.

The Welfare State Dismantlement argument point to the feminization of a poverty.
• Women are less likely to have good pensions.
• Women are more likely to be clients of the welfare state. Women are more likely to use the welfare state, and to be employed by it.
• The 1993 deficit reduction and deficit elimination.
• The argument is half-right. Women who work for the public sector and more likely than women in the private sector to vote NDP.
• The Welfare State dismantles thesis doesn’t work: low-income women are not more likely to vote NDP.
• The gap has closed on the Canadian workforce. Why women would be more likely than men to vote for the NDP.
• Doesn’t work in Canada. Working Women are less likely to choose NDP more likely to vote Conservative:
• Structural and situational explanations in general do not work well to explain the gender gap.
• In statistical terms, control for these things and the gender gap gets bigger (should get smaller).
• To the extent that these explanations worked in 2006, they had contradictory effects. State employment pulled towards NDP, while religion pulled towards Conservatives. Structural Explanation help understand why the gap isn’t even wider.
• Men’s changing behavior.
• Nature of the welfare state has changed: less benefits.
• You’d expect men to be more attracted than women to the welfare state. Removal of the link between inputs and outputs in social services.
• The participation in the workforce by women has doubled.
• The traditional gender gap: women have become more unionized
• Women will move to the left after experiencing the work force. Women are in more low paying
• Employment: Women in Pink Collar jobs (sales, etc0 radicalizing effect. More supportive of collective provisions. You nee all sort of social services and programs, if you’re working and you have dependants.
• This all sounds possible, bit its not all that true in Canada. Because women were looking for pay in 2006, were less likely to choose NDP over the conservatives. Structural and situational theories do not explain the gender gap on the left.
• Gender Gap actually gets bigger.
• Public sector employment pulled women to the NDP BUT religiosity pulled women. So structural factors can’t explain the gender gap. Public sector employment pulls people to the left.
• At best the structural explanation helps us explain why there aren’t bigger gaps still. Structural and situational explanations do not work well to explain the gender gap.

Cultural Explanations
• Ingelhart: people who grew up in the 1930s and world war had to be concerned with their safety and security: material issues. Security needs were primary.
• Structural changes in society have been accompanied by shifts in cultural values, which have been accompanied by shifts in priorities.
• A) changes in cultural values and practices
• B) cultural values and practices increasingly influence people politically.
• Generations after the war grew up in security and prosperity and normative issues Post-materialist.
• Canada is an exemplary. What kind of cultural values matter in a way they didn’t.
• Women are more likely to go to university. Gidengel  her professor LSE said women should not be educated at the LSE
• Women may bang-up against a ceiling. Women are less ready to accept it.
• Women used to be more active on the ground in political parties.
• Mobilizing Effects of Feminism make Women lean more to the left: focused on reproductive choice (2000 election major issue), discrimination in the workforce, representation of women in elected office.
• 1980s women movement got more women elected. Let women run in winnable ridings.

Gender and Views about Feminism and Gender-Related Issues 2006
• Sympathetic: 60 women, 58 Men
• Should do more for Women: Women 48, 38 Men
• Favour equal candidates for political parties gender-wise: 23 Women, 12 Men
• Society Better if Women Stayed Home: Women 41, Men 35
• How do we explain that Women seem to have more traditional definition of gender roles? (bigger than regional differences often). Women part-time versus full-time, and both working and raising children so identify with homemaker role, and working not so great.
Socialized to think responsibility to care for kids. Want to work and enjoy independence, but not sufficient child-care facilities.
Gender and Views about moral traditionalism 2006 (thermometer scale)
Positively view homosexuals 60 w, 48 m
Oppose same sex marriage 29 w, 39 m (minority for both W & M)
Should be Difficult to get abortion 31 w, 31 m
• Representation of women in elected office. Why would it not drive a wag between women and men.
• Conceptual focus to men: Why have men being pushed to the right. Some men prefer gender relations today. And being active in the lives. There is a suggestion that some men will resent their gender roles. Men’s position into eh private sphere was challenged by feminism.
• There isn’t much evidence about a feminist backlash.
• Society would be better off if more women stayed home: women (43%) men (35%)
• Different types of feminism: Are we talking about liberal equality of opportunity or are we talking about affirmative action. Many men are welcoming the equality of opportunity, but there could be a backlash.

Gender and Views about free enterprise 2006
All Benefit when business rich 35 w, m 44
Blame self for not getting ahead 59 w, 66 m
Jobless should move to jobs 57 w, 66 m
Let private sector create jobs w 31, m 38
• Childhood socialization. The theoretical underpinnings called in a different voice. Maybe men and women have different reasoning.
• Carol Gilligan  Men when questioned about moral reasoning: rights of individuals involved. Women: the responsibilities and friendship.
• Men and women reason differently in moral methods. Women would be more skeptical of the free market institution. Readier to help the needy. Doesn’t this sound like the welfare dismantlement thesis. Gilligan isn’t crazy there is something to it.
• Women are more skeptical of free enterprise and the trickle-down theory. Women are less likely to get ahead.
The Welfare System: social welfare is the most important issue. Women are more willing to close the gap between rich and poor. There is a substantial degree of support.
• Social welfare hasn’t figured in as a key issue: health care is most important; for men it’s corruption.
• Men approached Free Trade as an Economic and Women were about social issues there was a 16 point gap shaped by the need to open markets. Women viewed the agreement about the strong social safety net. These differences could be explained with income gaps. Women were more skeptical of competition. Women want inclusiveness doesn’t like competition. Women were supportive of the welfare state.
• According to Gilligan: women see society as a web. The women see agrees ion as a failure of aggression.
• They are more concerned about violence and the use of force. Differences in adult roles.

Brenda O’Neil “Sugar and Spice” and childhood socialization: institution of family exerts powerful influence on people as a child. Media society, school reinforces role of women as self-sacrificing, caring. Points to childhood socialization. Institutions like motherhood and the family are so strong, they exert a powerful influence on use when we’re very young.
• Even women who choose not to have children are still socialized: like schools grade one, two three are teachers.

Gendered subcultures: difference between women and men they inhabit different political worlds. She’s on stronger grounds. Women tend to be more interested in grass roots community.
• There is a normative overtone with women: sugar and spice and all things nice.
• Women are anti-immigration than men.
• There is a timing issues: the Gilligan argument: nothing has changed women have been socialized into these roles: parents are trying to mitigate. The gender gaps still exist.
• Women need more autonomy to express their differences and that they are psychological dependent

Views about welfare system 2006
Social welfare most impt issue
Do more to reduce rich poor gap
Increase welfare
Increase social housing 48, 44

Views about healthcare
Most impt: 50, 32
Increase spending: 82, 71
Oopose private hospitals 48 42
Do not allow ppl to pay: 54 47

Taxes, corruption, health, envr: men chose tax, w chose healthcare
-1995 study by Gidengil free trade analysis: m view it as an economic issue, w as a social issue. More skeptical of market arguments, of virtues of competition (involves losers), more supportive of welfare state

Crime and Punishment 2006
tougher on young offenders 47, 51
want death penalty 33, 46
oppose gun control 30, 46
scrap gun registry 52, 65
more defense spending 37, 49
-w more opposed to use of force
-adult socialization: w have children, this socializes w and gives rise ot maternal thinking. More likely then to feel compassion for needy ppl, concerned w violence. So could explain in terms of diff in adult roles.

• Reading widely, discern the main lines of argument. Enter into a debate and build up and argument for why one side is more plausible. Where can we find this literature? (10-12pages). The twist at the end: relate it to the implications of the party in the region. Why does this really matter? Does it tell us something useful or insightful. The part that you draw out the implications should be the 2 pages. The focus of the paper is the critical synthesis of some body of literature. Do people vote on the same issues? Ideology: The role of the leader evaluation and voter choice. Certainly be going far beyond the reading: academic literature. MUST refer to literature. How many sources?
• Social cleavages in BC. Class politics BC is more salient.

Ideological Thinking in Canada? IS IT Possible?
• Do Canadians structure their thinking about politics in ideologically coherent ways? Why does it matter? Why should we care? What are the implications of a citizenry that does organize their thinking. With a polarized electorate then there won’t have parties that compete for the centre: moderate voters.
• Ideological/class cleavages might be good because would reduce language and regional cleavages  regional brokerage and that’s why we don’t ideological cleavages.
• If people do understand that politics is structured along ideological lines they can make more sense of politics and be more effective political actors. Think through individual issues: or alternatively, not think about issues because automatically filter through left/right ideology. Some people aren’t able to engage in the discourse because they don’t understand the right versus the left. People don’t understand other parties.
• Some people were trapped in an ideological past. Does the article say that people understood the right more than the left.
• The extent to which people understand these terms has influenced the left right scale. 7 point scales from leftwing to right wing. They were asked to place their ideal party. There were 13 items: powerful, honest, dishonest, good, bad, left wing, right wing. They wanted to build a median image of each of the political parties at the time.
• Some of the strange results; people didn’t want to answer the ideological discussion. Either people didn’t understand the term but they didn’t know how they could label the parties. They didn’t answer. Those who did answer, answered in ways that were puzzling: they placed their parties further to the right then did people who identified the Conservatives. NDP identifiers would place NDP more to the right. WOW!!???
• Every parties own identifiers placed their own identity right of centre. NDP was a little bit a little right of centre. Every party including the NDP being perceived as right wing was more important than being perceived as left wing. People simultaneously received it Right Wing: each party would receive most votes that see them as right wing and for the working class. It seemed that there was no left/right thinking.
• The problem was the people were consistent (not randomly answering). You saw parties going right wing and for the working class.
• How can we explain this pattern: what determines whether they are centre left or centre right. Some people will give warmer scores overall. Academics debate where to place the Liberal Party.
• People who are working class want to maximize and support
• The Author explained that these patterns didn’t understand the terminology. Provide survey researchers you can really pick that you are straining to answer questions. People are forced to produce the answer: people didn’t understand but they attached their understanding to be on the right. Right is positive. Left is satanic: it isn’t actually right (correct). “Right means: honest, principle, correct”.

Ron Lambert: argued that the low level of ideological thinning was a methodological artifact.
• Power powerful, honest, dishonest, dull and inspirit. You had thirteen bipolar scales. They had 13 different scales. A scale of 1 to 7. They were asked to make 65 judgments. We get people not thinking about what they are saying. If they’ve always had dull and exciting they are going to keep on getting the higher numbers in the party. Exciting: they stopped thinking and give the number they had been given. They made the cautious answer.
• Because the scales were simple to understand. People were reluctant to say, “I don’t know what right wing and left wing means”. They had all these scales and used to give right wing numbers. The other effects of having easily understood terms what do you do but you don’t understand.
• You can’t infer meaning. What would the strategy. Answer neutrally. Answer in the middle. So the safe response is in the centre. Problem of Reliability: people answer differently depending on day.
• Comparability: different people don’t anwer the same, on same scale. Some cluster, others use all numbers.

Lambert went on to the 1979 election: he concluded that there was evidence of left right thinking> there were sizable pockets of left right problem.
• What you really need was a question what does this term mean. Lambert was one of the principles of 1984. They tried to elicit was what does the term left and right mean to you? Then the affect of the terms: they looked at the attitudes about people’s self-placements: did they take positions on the left that you would expect people to take on the right? Did people use the terms consistent with their party’s identification.
• Lambert was impressed the majority of respondents responded quite sensibly. The over whelming majority.
• One journalist was pretty impressed: many people cite the argument more favorably. You glasses half empty. 60% of people said they used left right terms but only 40% of people provided definitions. The overwhelming majority of respondents who attempted to respond were not off the map but they weren’t eloquent.
• There is a personal vote: only 6% factor in the local member over and above these considerations.
• Only 40% were willing to give out a definitions: some people felt intimidated. Some of the definitions were merely half. Some of the definitions were merely leaders: if you were able to look at Stanfield.
• People’s positions on the right wing issues:  In 1984: data. Would you expect to find people more comfortable. Unite the Right there is more of a difference. In 1984: left-right tems on the election.
• There was a lot of uniting the right in 1997. People are less likely to read a newspaper. People rely on television coverage. Even on the basis. Civic education: people do understand in their own way.
• Does it matter why do people need this knowledge to be effective citizens. The problem it is harder to express needs and wants. “Reform” its RREEEFFFOORRRMMMMM
• Willingness to Rate Political parties and Self as Left, Right or Centre (percentage providing a rating)
• Self 54%
• Liberal 58%
• Alliance 52%
• PC 52%
• NDP 46%
• BLOC 38%
• ONLY HALF WERE able to place the Alliance.
• 2/5 people placed no party. ¼ placed all 5.

Number of Parties Rated:
• None 39%
• One 61%
• 67% Two parties
• Three 53%
• Four 45%
• Five 27%
Where people placed the Parties: NDP 69% anchoring the left, had the Alliance anchoring the Right. The PC was to put the Conservatives on the Right. People would anchor the Liberals in the Centre. The Bloc is between the NDP and the Liberals.
• What percentage of people factor in the right. Barely half the people will place the NDP. 46% of the people rate the NDP. Barely the 3rd of Canadian rated them on the left.
• .52, the fight for the right, how many people lace the conservatives on the right.
• Only 38% of people rate the Bloc on the left. There is evidence of left right thinking.
• Centrist Canadian Voters: only 56% place themselves in the Centre.
• Does this effect people’s choice of party.
• We are only looking at half the electorate: the Alliance attracted its natural constituency. The Alliance: only 14% of people were on the right. BUT they got 61% of that vote. The PC got more people from the centre than they did people on the right. There were more people on left.
• The Second Choice was the not the Alliance.

Left-Right Self-Placement and Vote Choice (outside Quebec) 2004.
• Conservatives like the Alliance before them. They did better than the Alliance in increasing the centre vote. Able to pick up a moderate centrist voters.
• The NDP did better in 2004: their share of the left vote did better on the right.
• The NDP double their vote form the Centre.  it could be the sponsorship scandal. The Liberals did better with voters on the right.
• Why aren’t the differences aren’t sharper: they don’t understand the terminology…Strategy voting: wanted to stop the Conservatives. Some one this may reflect. What’s the best way to defeat the Conservatives. There isn’t smooch strategy voting.
• People define themselves in different ways.

• The assignment: bear in mind: the bulk of the paper is synthesis of literature on the subject.
• Last Time: Ideology
Left-right self-placement and Vote Choice (outside Quebec) 2004
• Left-Right Self-Placement and Fiscal/Economic Priorities (2000)
• A quarter of people on the right thought we should be improving social welfare. Those we should be cutting taxes: So some people might be using left/right placements you have to wonder about some of the patterns.
Social issues Salience (2000): fighting crime is important: fight crime 48 L, 69 C, 74 R. Traditional family values 34 L, 47 C, 51 R. Environment 67 L, 55 C, 52 R.
• Is The Environment Policy: it’s not a left-right divide. People on the left and right: they differ on what they consider to be important.
• People on the Right are more likely to provide private hospitals.
• What are the criticisms about using the left right terms: some people see it as academic. Some people don’t think about ideology and focus on concrete solutions that pursued those people.
• There are more than just left-right ideology.
• There are two left right dimensions. What about people who aren’t political but want to be able to put themselves on the spectrum.
Ideology is a yard stick but the argument against using it as such is that the left right divide is too restrictive.
• The old left right dimension: market versus state. Old left and skeptical of free enterprise. The government should intervene.
• In Canada being on the left over the right has entailed opposition to closer ties with the US less continentalist: this reflects that hate of US weaker social safety net.
• New Left-Right: lifestyle, law and order, diversity, family values, sexual orientations. Right wings are more tradition, get tough on crime: put 10 year olds in jail!
• Fundamental beliefs and values: did they go together in ways that were consistent with the left-right distinction.
• We put people into categories: did people’s fundamental beliefs go together in coherent ways.
• Most people don’t posses true attitudes: some people answer randomly. You can’t predict attitudes: but different may put their attitudes together in different ways.
• These basic dimensions encapsulate people. These beliefs and values serve as a template.
• If a new issue comes a long they will evaluate the new leader on basic beliefs. So someone isn’t open to diverse lifestyles they are going to like a leader who stands for those things. When a new issue comes along those people react negatively to private hospitals. The represent something more enduring.
• There are certain beliefs that go together. They correlate highly. Canadians do have coherently structure. We made a distinction between basic outlooks and communal outlooks.

Communal Orientations: view Canada as different to the US.
• There are 3 orientations: IN Quebec: it was a no brainer:
• 1) The most important orientation views about sovereignty has influenced. VERY little else matters after the Bloc Quebecois.
• Reform broke through by advocating a tougher line on Quebec. Prior to 1993, they plot voters in a two-dimensional space. A lot of voters want to get tougher on Quebec and broke through on that fact.
• 1997 Reform’s position on Quebec was a handicap: Manning was a threat to national unity for their views about Quebec. “Get in the family or leave, Quebec!”
• The Alliance did distance itself on being too tough on Quebec in 2000.
• In 2004 and 2006, views about accommodating Quebec returned. People who want to stick it to Quebec, Conservatives are trying to build support for the Quebec section.
• People who wanted to be hard on Quebec  and voted Conservative.
2) People’s orientation on outgroups (aboriginals, racial minorities): don’t want accommodate other groups. Quebec was time bound, there was a positive view about accommodating racial minorities but its view of aboriginals. OKA crisis.
3) Continentalism Orientations: the Canada/US FTA dimension disappeared. In 2000, it was not a factor. Continentalism: was important in separating Conservative voters and non-Liberal/Non-NDP.
4) The Basic Outlook: was cynicism. Politicians lie and make promises they have no intention of keeping. The Reform served as a lightning rod for political disaffection. People are not as disaffected as they were ten years ago. Reform was able to tap into that outlet for anti-party sentiment: Social Credit legacy.
5) The protest vote in 2004-2006 split between the NDP and Conservatives. The NDP was not able to play it’s role that the cynicism party. The protest vote was the Bloc Quebecois over an above soveringyt and regional alienation. The populist sentiment in the Bloc Quebecois was important.

The two dimension are most important: free enterprise and moral tradition.
• People’s orientation to the profit system; does the money trickle down economics to the poor.
• Moral traditionalism, views about women’s place: family values. Both senses of beliefs went together within Quebec. The two dimensions comprise the dimensions between Quebec. There is potential in Quebec for these values but are overwhelmed by sovereignty.
• There is a link between issue positions: voters for each party can be lined up along a single dimension. They anchored
• The only one that was not distinctive was based on free-enterprise. Difference between Liberal voters: they were all towards the right there are only NDP voters on the left.
• The average position of voters for NDP and Reform. Liberals Bloc is between the Liberal and the NDP
• There was something to the idea that the Liberal and Conservative brokerage parties.
• The PC voters were just to right of Liberal voters. PC voters were much closer to the Liberals than they were to reform or alliance. That’s why the alliance was able to grow.
• The last piece of evidence: knowing people’s place on the left-right dimension: we found that it did. People’s fundamental beliefs to correspond to the left right dimensions.
Old and New LR dimension help explain vote choice: Level of coherent ideological thinking is higher than thought. See where people place simultaneously on these two dimensions. People twice as likely to be L on social (new dimension_ than old More polarized on new.
• I want to see where people place simultaneously between the spectrum
• The Bloc Quebecois doesn’t want to take health on the federal level. They regard health of provincial jurisdiction.

Economic Liberalism-Conservatism and Fiscal Priorities.
• The gradient is less steep than with self-placement.
• Old LE and policy attitudes: researcher placement does allow some degree of predictive capacity. Gradients are steeper.
• The only way to tell if there is causation rather than correlation is to talk to people about the way they think about politics.
• In Canada, there usually aren’t large difference in public opinion, which makes this type of research more difficult.
• New LR is harder to identify but researcher classify everyone, whereas self-placement only applies to half the people.
• Ideology mediates the connection between social background characteristics.

Party ID: much as people might identify with a religions, ethnic group.
• A salient social group is like being political.
• Parties stand for relatively stable ideals: religion is relatively stable.
• Party ID as a long-term component. Issues come and go, as do leader: Parties endure.
• There is a psychological attachment to a political party. This has implications on how you measure it. This depends on people’s self-identification. You have to ask people how they think of themselves. Their self-perception is central.
• The classic question has been asked until 1988. “Thinking federal politics do you think of yourself as a Liberal, Conservative or NDP or what.”
• If someone was a liberal how do you feel. Then you follow-up how strongly you feel. Do you fell closer to one of the political parties. There are people who say they leaners.
• Party identification was established in early childhood. Just like being a Catholic you grow up as thinking yourself as something that you grow into.
• Party ID can change but in the original model can include You move to Ottawa and become a Liberal.
• Marriage can affect party id: the women changes her partisanship. In Canada, people who are married are conservative. The relationship changes political views.
• Personal focuses can change party id.
• On the other hand, you can see whole sale change called realignment.
• Party id: As we grow older our party ties strengthen. We may grow-up feeling we are conservative.
• Which way does influence go? Are kids socialized into a person. Does the party have a socializing aspect. It molds people’s views.
• Party ID strengthens with time.
• Other things being equal, you’ll identify with the party will you be predisposed to vote Liberal. In a normal election most people will vote their party id.
• There is an indirect link, by effecting people position on the issues.
• There is an effect via, positions on the issues and evaluations of the leaders. If you identify the leader; you are more likely to identify with the leaders.
• Party identification serves as a screening function. They react through the filter of their party attachment. If you id with the incumbent party: you will evaluate economic performance. You may be more likely to support the government
• What’s that chances of winning they systematically over estimate their parties chance.
• People pay more attention to between about the party of their loyalty.
• People who were Reforms created the negative stories as okay.
• How do you affect people’s social background.
• In the Michigan Model: a persons vote in a given election is decided by a) long stand disposition to favor the party and b) the short-term forces of that particular election.
• The short-term focus: the issues, the presidential candidates, the local candidates, there are short-term forces that they deflect someone from their usual party vote. A Liberal Partisan in the 2006 election.
• A liberal identifier: they didn’t like the sponsorship. Or the Liberals vote for Chretienite. Catholics are Liberal voting in 2006 but still think of themselves as Liberals.
• If people vote along aligned there would be much explanation. A protestant church. If people always voted in the line with the party id, it would be a boring concept. It should help predict but it should predict too well.
• Party ID predicts votes too well: so do people have other ID
• THE KEY POINT ABOUT ID: even if they vote for another party they must retain their identification. Did those people who were Liberal partisan ALSO change their party id. Even if some defects do they retain their sense of being a liberal.
• The only change that was anticipated: was a change of intensity. The stronger party becomes: the more constaining the filter will be.
• Europe is not interested in party identification. BUT Canada is whishwashy about party id. It’s too close to voters choice. In western Europe people would prefer to use left rights.
• Would you expect that work in the US. Is this just an American theory.
• A Concept that only works in the US is a two-party system.
• The stronger the party id, the more likely people are to simply not vote when they are angry about an issue (sponsorship scandal).
• Catholics and non-european are more likely Liberal partisans. BUT there is nothing. Black vote is democrat.
• Strong regionalism don’t necessarily have
• The democratic party used to be able white southerners and then turned into the civil right party.
• We have brokerage parties that are trying to bridge people they are trying to exploit cleavages.

Institutional Arrangement in Canada: What about institutional arrangements? What doesn’t exist here? Presidential system is more polarizing. The Presidential System: the presidential candidate is a person apart from the party: people can vote from that candidate.
• In our system we vote for the local candidate, but if we vote for a candidate who is of another party we don’t feel good about. Eisenhower democratics.
• US primaries: people are required to label themselves Democrat or Republic. Americans have multiple of ballots: they may have to vote for a long list of positions. State treasurers…etc
• So if you’re trying to decide? The party label is a great short-cut. Part of the voting mechanism. You can vote a straight ticket.
• If you have multiple ballots and you might go down the list: you might know some person.
• Municipal Politics in Canada: we don’t have Bloc running in the provinces.
• Municipal elections are random and focus on different issues. Provinces elections is different that could help you to reinforce your sense of the parties.
• Something else in Canada, during the Trudeau years you don’t have term limitations.
• When you ask someone in the US why you support someone they’ll see the talk about the party.
• You ask people here about the Liberals they talk about Paul Martin.
TEXTBOOK Theory: The concept does not apply in Canada
• A similar conclusion has been reached in Europe. The doubts about party identification were led by Miesel. The 1965-1968 were modeled on the Michigan Studies. They posed the question in Canada. The party identification: is almost inapplicable in Canada.
1974, 1979, 1980 Canadian election studies: heavily influence by Michigan Model didn’t pay much attention to the social background.

Damning part of their evidence came from their panel (re-interviewing people from previous election). Panel data is good because can track the same people, otherwise have to rely on peoples recall. Recall tends to be skewed towards current support. In those 3 elections, 40% of people changed party id. Switched from one to the other, or switched from ID to not id, or from not id to ID. Another 40% retained the same party id and vote choice. Among people who changed vote, party id traveled with them (not supposed to happen). 11% of the panel consisted of voters who changed their vote but kept their party id (as theory predicted).
-from 1984-88 14% kept id, changed vote. 1988-93: 17%. (odd, because with new parties you’d expect new party id).
-outcome of this is that stable party id with changing vote does not apply in Canada.
Harold Clark et al. ended up modifying the concept of party id.
-intensity, stability, flexibility: used this to classify everyone as a durable or flexible partisan.
-durable: fairly strong id, stable across time, and consistent id across federal and provincial levels. Most of them always voted for the same party. Strong, stable consistent.
-basically flexible partisans are everyone else: either unstable in attachment across time; inconsistent across levels (not the same party fed and prov, or 1 part fed and no party prov); weak partisan. Fail any one of 3 tests, flexible partisan. Flexible partisans are also those who indicated no party ID at a federal level (argued that there were ppl who were caught in the moment of transition between party ids). 63% of ppl flexible partisans. By 1988 and 1993, 75% were flexible. Flexible were more likely to change vote, more susceptible to short term forces.

Consistency; either a durable partisan or a flexible partisan: durable partisans have a very strong identification.
• Flexible partisans were either unstable across time or inconsistent across levels of government or they identified with one party provincially and no party provincially. People who were flexible and were moving with their way to changing they id.
• Durable partisans tend to have a standing position and flexible people are more likely to be interested. Think about the party id questions. For you usually think of yourself to federal party: NDP, Liberal and Conservative: why is it a poor question.

Party ID
Can we reformulate notion of partisanship to fit the case better? Durable partisan identify very/fairly strongly, stable party ID across time, same party at federal and provincial level. Flexible partisans were those who failed any of those criteria, or who replied none. The theory was that “none” were in transition from on party to another.
-what do we think of their reformulation?
-why not non-partisan category?
-federal/provincial parties are not the same. Strong criteria, hard to defend. Elections take place at different times, federally and provincially.
-theory that Canadians balance their votes by voting for a different party federally and provincially?
-issues dominating fed and provincial elections are not the same
-in a multi party system, common for people to feel warmly about more than one party, and feel negatively about only 1 party.
-parties themselves do not have strong ties between federal and provincial levels (Liberals are the least integrated). Not much movement from provincial to federal wings.
-parties with the same name do not stand for the same thing.
-BC has many split identifiers. 1978 prov, 1979 fed. 49% of PC identifiers were split. 18% identified at one level but not the other. Split identifier were no more likely to switch votes in a given pair of election than people with consistent partisanship. What mattered was not consistency, but intensity of feeling. (study)

Textbook theory of party ID in Canada:

  1. many Canadians have flexible ties. May not be saying anything more than the way they just voted.
  2. Party ID travels with the vote.
  3. Intergenerational transmission tends to be weak in Canada. Liberals somewhat of an exception (is this bc Liberal is most consistent party?).
  4. Study by Richard Johnston on intensity. (original idea is that ID grows stronger as ppl age). Over the typical life cycle from 18-75 the average gain in intensity was .33 on a 4 point scale. Very small. -Gidengil: classic Michigan concepting does have applicability in Canada, previous studies underestimate partisanship.
    1. many Canadians do lack meaningful attachment. Many do have a meaningful attachment. The non/weak partisans are up for grabs, the strong partisans must be mobilized.
    2. when party id backed up by something more meaningful, like sovereignty, tends to stick better.
    3. Clark et al. notion of flexible partisanship is a very powerful one. Argued that at aggregate level there was much stability, but this masked individual volatility. If volatility comes together, party system will implode.
    4. Gidengil thinks they overestimate party flexibility. Deeper problem relating to the way party ID is measured: “none” is not given as an option. “or what” is not something people want to choose. Many people name a party because they were encouraged to name a party. People name the party they will vote for. Party id made to appear more unstable than it is because none wasn’t an option.
      -Richard Johnston study: 1988 “none” added as an option. Proportion of “none” increased, # of party identifiers went down. Still didn’t know if party IDers were stablers. In 2004-2006 had a panel: why were these elections ideal?
      -same parties. (same leaders, though this is negative)
      -same issues to a certain extent (sponsorship scandal). If ppl remain liberal partisans despite voting for another party to punish liberals, then proof of party id.

Change in distribution of party ID 2004-2006
-very little change in other groups. Decrease in people who answered none from 2004 pre to post election. Liberals stayed the same. Cons went up, mostly from “none”s. why can aggregate distribution be misleading? Can be movement between parties that cancels each other out.
Number of times respondents repeated their 2004 campaign response
-only 2/3 of liberals repeat ID 3 times. NDP 55%. Cons 70%. Bloc 80%. Few people identifying with minor parties were likely to give the same answer. 1/3 of people repeatedly said they were non partisans.
-among very strong id, 84% kept same. Fairly strongly 64%. Not very strongly 45%.
-people who didn’t answer the same were as likely to say none as they were to say another party. Only 18% named another party. 75% only ever named one party or said none.
-half of people interviewed qualified as stable partisans. Same party id along all 4 waves. This is much stronger than Clark’s findings, reflective of the wording of the question. 18% of people switch at least once. ¼ gave no id at least once, but never switched. 9% always said none.
-if add these people up, there are 1/3 of people with no attachment to a party.

-where do people go when they switch parties? More go to none than to other parties. Tend to switch to adjacent parties on the left-right line.
-is party id traveling with vote? In Michigan conception, vote is a product of their interaction between party id and forces peculiar to a particular election. What is key is that they retain party id regardless of who they vote for.

Campaign party id versus reported vote
-close correlation between party id and reported vote, except in minor parties where ppl don’t vote as much as their id.

-people who didn’t vote not included.
-liberal identifiers least likely to vote for party, probably because of sponsorship and “team martin”. In 2006, 1/3 of liberal IDers didn’t vote liberal
-NDP often vote Lib, strategic vote.
-don’t want correspondence between vote and ID to be too close.
-if people ID with party of right and transfer allegiance, makes sense to add 2000 PC and Alliance figures together and get 2004 Cons figures.

-crucial test to judge if ID is meaningful is if it travels with the vote, or stays meaningful. About 15% in 2004/2006 retained party ID but changed vote, which is more than the 5% who changed ID and vote. 5% also changed ID, but voted the same.
-% liberals who voted against their party changed by 6 points.
-party id in Canada behaved the way it should in the face of a powerful short term force. Liberal partisans voted against their party but retained ID.

Party ID and Voting Behaviour (2006)
-leaners (people who have no id, but feel closer to one) closely vote for the one they named. Probably because no id and pushed to name a party
-85% of very strong id voted for party. 5% abstain. 10% other party.

Party ID and ratings of party and leader (2006)
-shouldn’t be too close.
-party id serves as a filter for people to judge party and leaders.

• Social Background, Partisanship, economy, non voting on age. It’s not just a cut and paste. You need to think through how it will play in the upcoming election.
• Need to have a draft of the project ahead of the presentation. You have a chance to make changes and to fill in gaps. Tell me what you’ve found. You need to tel Gidengil about information.

Do Canadians Vote with their Pocketbooks?
• The Economy and Economic Voting: the notion of economic voting sounds straight-forward and plausible. It’s the Economy, Stupid is the basic summation. If they are doing well they will vote for the incumbent government.
• People engage in a reward and punish calculus. Am I better off? IF the answer is NO, they vote the incumbent out of office.
• Election Day is Judgment Day and dole out rewards and meet out punishments.
• The Economic Voting Model has its’ roots in rational choice theory. Economic voting is actually very complex. The issues: what the parties are doing, how competent they will be. Take into account strategic considerations.
• Have to take into account of group loyalties, partisan loyalties. Basic beliefs and core values. It’s a very complicated.
• People are cognitive. They look for rational short-cuts, something that will enable you to make the correct decisions, without investing a lot of time and effort.
• Politics is not salient in people’s lives. Most ridings the vote is nile.

Problem 1) Economic Conditions and Vote Choice: the first assumption so the political universe shrinks down to one salient political object is the incumbent party.
• Voters believe that they have some responsibility for their own wellbeing.
• You may believe that you’ll do even better with a different party in power.
• The US focus, it’s a no brainer, if you are not happy with party in power: there is a two party option.
• In Canada, it’s not such an effective short-cut. If you’re unhappy with the incumbent. Who do you choose from?
• Focusing on the incumbent, makes sense, they can scrutinize the incumbent for the rational shortcut. But it goes so far to have to deal with other shortcuts.
• Some political parties own an issue they are good at dealing with issues or the NDP have the real liability of the fiscal irresponsibilities.
• Parties on the right as seen as very good with the economy. There is a problem when you focus on the incumbent parties.

Problem 2) The Model Assumes that People Vote Retrospectively: they vote on past economic performance. Retrospective judgments are more important about the past judgments.
• Retrospectively but short-term. And also media: influences the economy and when the economy isn’t important disappears. The economy the economy is still doing well. Media frame a negative focus.
• A voter ought to make a future oriented act certainly when sizing up the incumbent.
• Prospective evaluations you now have to decide which of the opposition parties you have to vote for. You have to ask will you be better off
• You care about the political business cycle; the incumbent parties will manipulate the fiscal and levers in the short term.
• When they announce the elections. The idea is that if people are voting retrospectively they will be easier to make sure that things are doing as well as they can right before the election.
• If voters are looking ahead they need to have the wit to realize that it is manipulation.
• There is retrospective and prospective voting.
• Another questions about who does retrospective and prospective analysis. Bankers vote retrospectively and workers prospectively
• Is this a rational shortcut. What kinds of policy was the government pursuing. The only way policies are judged is by the outcome. You assume that the government must be pursuing.
• Short-term benefiting from a high level of spending.
• What about the election focus. There is an assumption on material self-interest.
• They only vote materially: get higher or lower on economic voters.
• IF you are being told better government intervenes the least.
• A rational short-cut; it could be sheer luck. Maybe they got lucky. Maybe their policies have nothing to do with how the economy is going. May it would have been better: you may be helping the government for the bad luck for being in power when things are going badly.
• Which level of government holds them accountable. Economic voting would be weaker with multilevel government the burden on governments is heavier. Who should be punished who should be blamed.
• They are doing it in a context where there is a strong incentive to shift blame.
• We have done limited work on attributions of responsibility. If varies depending on the province.
• There are second level elections: European elections you don’t punish the incumbent but you send them a message in the sub-national elections.

Problem 3) Models assumes that voters are even handed. Voters are equally ready to reward or punish: this is simply not true. Just as likely to reward for good time and bad times. This is not true empirically that they are more inclined to reward.
• Due to the media: the economy is more salient when the economy is bad. Issue of bad economics  people are economically happy.
• Bad economic times are more photogenic. Makes for great television news. It’s a good photo times. Graphs, you could put up a graph and show unemployment has gone up. News values: it’s not the media; they want to maximize audience entertainment. News values that encourage values.
• Growth is less pronounced when the drop of growth is less visible.
• Other issues become salient when economy is doing well.
• People expect the government to manage the economy so why reward your government. You don’t need to reward them for something they are supposed to do. More fashionable and easier to hate all politicians than to say that you like them. “Old PEI saying ‘You don’t vote politicians in, you vote them out’.
• Clarke and Kornberg: the more positive state of the national economy. And it’s the governments fault to blame and praise.
• People expect the government to manage the economy, so why reward them for what they’re suppose to do?
• The Incumbents suffer when the economy is doing badly and don’t get rewarded.
• Al Gore should have won in 2000 but this didn’t happen. The economy was doing well.
• Reagan’s victory in 84’ isn’t true.
• The final assumption, the notion that people vote their pocketbooks. Consult your booket book, more money in your wallet four years ago.
• People often have sociotropic evaluations; they vote on the basis of egocentric voting. Some people vote on sociotropic voting.
• Do you find it puzzling that people vote more sociotropically then egocentric. They care about the economy as whole  more people who are maximizing their utilitiy. It’s people who are more likely to think about their collective good.
• People assume that they govern their own wellbeing while the government are more responsible for the rest of the population.
• Researchers have found it puzzling: they asking what have you done for the economy. We should love our neighbours but we shouldn’t love our neighbours more than ourselves. Some people find it odd that they are only responsible for macro-conditions.

Problem 4) assume that people vote their pocketbooks. Its most often socio-tropic voting (the economy as a whole) that we observe. Evaluations trump egocentric (pocketbook) evaluations. Many people care about the economy as a whole, more socio-tropic value democratic participation.
• Other problem with socio-tropic voting: it puts a heavy burden on voters. You know things aren’t going so well. To figure out how the national economy is going. The media won’t give you the information about yourself. Where as you know how the countries going overall.
• It might be impossible calculus: there are elements that people. The prices change overtime so they realize that things are changing.
• TV is cheap. There as a time when computers are low prices. I have a computer now and didn’t have one three years ago.
• We may underestimate the value of pocketbook voting: socio-tropic evaluations are shaped by egocentric voting. Am I doing better, and then they extrapolate for how the economy is actually doing.
• If you have a regression analysis and social tropic evaluation if egocentric evaluation and socio-tropic evaluation. You will underestimate the value of egocentric evaluations so we may be underestimating the effect of egocentric evaluation.
• How do you evaluate the future look at the past.
• Another thing to realize about economic voting is it tends to be contingent. Looking at a country across time, Clarke and Convert: economic evaluations don’t necessarily have political relevance: the only time it has impact is if it effects the government in power.

Harold Clark & Stewart: sociotropic evaluations shaped by egocentric valuations. Pocket book voting has been underestimated. Also egocentric voting is underestimated: if egocentric affects sociotropic and sociotropic affects vote choice, we will underestimate affect of egocentric voting.
• Idea is that peoples own circumstance will give them an idea on how the economy overall is doing.
• For Clakr and Stewart: economic voting are contingent of the context. Economic evaluations only have political relevance if they attribute responsibility to the incumbents.

There are two critical conditions for economic voting to occur:
• 1) Clarity: what happens in the federal system, who do you blame the federal government the provincial government. There clearer the conditions of economic voting the less clear the economic voting you will see. Economic voting will be more significant in coalition governments.
• Is it the presidents fault: is it the senate, is it the house? People are able to assign responsibility and blame.
• 2) Alternatives for decent: the alternative parties need to be a clear party alternative. You need an alternate class.
• What might cloud responsibility? Disasters that influence the economic downturn.
• If the party has been in power for only a few months the government was in power for too short of a time. Blais/Nadeau short-term election.
• 2004 Martin tried to distance itself from the government but he didn’t talk about the economic performance.
• The US economy and the Canadian economy. The Canada is subservient to the American economy. Our exports go to the US. The Canadian economy looses the economic controls and levers. NAFTA, the global economy and the less the government is more powerful.
• The Ideal political setting for economic voting is Unitary State or a highly centralized federal system with two parties. Canada has neither requirements. We also are heavily reliant on the US economy. All of these factors serve to weaken economic voting.
• When you have 5 parties in power in Quebec.
• The economic voting isn’t very strong in Canada. And yet Nadeau/Blais which suggests you can predict based on economic variable. So why can you have such discrepant results and random economic vote shares.
• What does the Nadeau/Blais: imply for economic campaigns. Can you compare economic voting.

Economic Voting:
• Economic voting is not strong in Canada when it comes to survey data. Do they think they are going to be better off then they were four years ago. You need to relate them to a study.
• Canada is reliant on the US economy.
• Blais/Nadeau suggests that economic conditions predict vote choice very well. They use a different method> there is a lot of debate. They used Election Outcome from 1953-1988.
• We ought to look at objective economic conditions: individual economic judgments the other approach to macro-economic conditions and relate that to the other part.
• The aggregate level approach is to focus on popularity look at popularity functions and people have taken Gall-up polls to rate the governing party to changing evaluations.
• Blais/Nadeau 1953-1988. They looked at real disposable income as probably the best reflection of individual wellbeing. They looked at inflation and unemployment.
• Only of the economic variables is statistically significant: Unemployment.
• 1 pt in unemployment rate compared to 5 years ago translated into 2 point drop in vote share.
• Unemployment and inflation effects voters the most. Unemployment and inflation get played up by the media. The measures are all relative, it’s not the absolute level of unemployment that matters what hurts is when there is a change. Government don’t have to pay as tough a price.
• It turns out that one of the economic variables: is statistically significant is unemployment. This model assumes that the national level. They found that an increase in 1 point in unemployment reduced the two point drop in vote share.
• One none economic variables: the provincial origin of the party leader: paying from Quebec has a 5% value. Boast it’s share of seats in Quebec.
• A vote shares rather than seat shares.
• They are able to correctly predict vote shares.
• Voters punish unnecessary elections. 2000 was election was designed to call an election.
• Campaigns could be charitable. Campaigns don’t matter.
• That model works very well from 1953-1988 it doesn’t work subsequently.
• NAFTA allowed them to pass the buck on employment. Globalization.
• The economy didn’t matter when the new era of 1993-2006 opens the politics system being so fragment.
• The model is covariant the causal link may not be helpful. You may find the causal element with people that are making the voting decision.
• Hard to imagine to find an underlying factor in flux in party voting shares and economic performance. There is something going on.
• Polls only move
• There is a monitorial model: citizens don’t need to pay attention when there is a run-up to an election.
• Another problem with these models: you specify these models: what period do you look at when your analyzing the voting. You can fit a model to the data points.
• You try to have a three year and then change the model to 2 year and the .5 years.
• Fitting a model to a few data points.
• There is one huge reason that they fall apart and that is they assume that it’s objective economic conditions. Perceptions matter. Perceptions mediate the economic decisions.
• Blais model should have shown that in 1997 the Liberals should have been rewarded but their vote share didn’t go up. But it wasn’t a winning issue. Voters have negative perceptions.
• 80%of people didn’t believe that the employment rate had gone down. Unemployment went down two points. Those negative perceptions limit the scope of their victory. Fitting a model through a certain points.
• Over 80% believe that employment had not gone down and 40% thought it had gone up. Chretien had promised more than they could deliver in 1993. They didn’t play up their performance for that reason.
• Perceptions hurt the liberals the probability was 8 point higher then they would be more likely to vote liberal. The impact of the liberal point share.
• They thought things would have been going up in the future.
• They were in a bind: after 1993.
• It had similar problems in the UK and got the outcome right. US predicted in 2000.

Election 1997 experience drives home three points:
• 1) economic perceptions matter and they don’t always agree. What is the unemployment level? Minimum wage can’t get the wage right. People just don’t care.
• 2) The economic is a valance issue: a valence issue is where everyone agrees on the goal: a healthy economy. There isn’t a policy position. A healthy economy: we’d be better economic managers. We are more competent to manage the economy. Parties don’t take opposing stands on the economy.
• It wasn’t us it was global forces, unions, NAFTA blah blah. What couldn’t about how much the economy is doing. Its how the parties frame economic performance. Who’s partisan claims are they going to claim. What the parties have to say and it depends on what they media intends.
• 3) Perceptions: the unemployment rate may be higher in one region than another. Their occupation and social class. People in a vulnerable positions and some people are going to be more injured. They think that they are an serious danger of losing their jobs.
• 4) The medias perception of the conservatives: sometime you think there is a completely different campaign going on.
• They are more likely to get dramatic images people lined up in the streets.
• 5) Partisanship: could effect perceptions: we have trouble reacting to events: an economic record is good enough for an incumbent. People who are in one party will think that they are doing a horrible job. We tend to see what fits into our party disposition. We see things more negatively.
• Those assessments mediate economic impacts.
• Blais/Nadeau assume that it is relative economic conditions. BUT in absolute conditions in 1997, the absolute level was still sufficiently high for the liberals.
• Retrospective time frames: Nadeau/Blais people are very myopic in terms of voting some of the voting took place. Voters look at a short time frame when they look backwards.
• We assume that economic perceptions have a direct effect. Clarke and Kornberg: the two issues: Canada US free-trade agreement. Voters were so negative about the GST they become increasingly negative about the negative on NAFTA. There could be indirect economic voting

Lessons from “It’s Unemployment, Stupid”
**What counts is not necessarily the state of the economy, but the way voters perceive the economy.
**Absolute conditions can matter (1997 unemployment dropped from 12-10, but 10 is still a huge number)
**Voters are fairly myopic when they look backwards, see only a short time frame.
**Clark and cornberg say can views on economy can affect vote indirectly by affecting views on the issues. Voters were so negative about the GST and became increasingly negative about NAFTA bc they perceived that the economy was getting worse.

Party Leaders:
• 1) Are Canadian elections leader-centred?
• 2) Are party leaders becoming more important to vote choice?
• Leaders are more important than anything. Leaders have become more and more important. So there has been a decline in party voting. The more important leaders are the less important.
• There has been little surprising analysis. It’s been assumed across western democracies. The studies: the Rise of Candidate Centred politics.
• Does the American phenomenon travel elsewhere.

1) Leaders are important. Leader matter more in Canada than in Sweden, Germany, Netherlands. Anglo American democracies  all have important place for leaders.
• This has been shown Clarke: Superstars of Canadian Politics.
• Mallory: he came up with idea in 1949: Mallory argues for a national theory: the party leader will stay in power as long as the leader is able to embody the nations mood.
• Leaders play a keep role.

2) the first full length book in voting: Diefenbaker Interlude. He chose the name of the book after the PM that dominated the country at the time.
• Governing from the Centre: the presidentialization of Canadian politics.
• In the 1970s there was some speculation about the presidentialization: this idea that we resembled a US president is not a new idea in Canada.
• PM is more powerful in Canada. The PR versus SMD. The electoral system.
• The Liberals and the PC have been characterized as brokerage parties they aren’t necessarily centrist parties but you don’t see a lot of conflict. If you don’t have ideological divisions. Voters fall back on the party leaders. Who looks like who will be the better manager.
• Brokerage politics makes flexible partisan ties. They don’t have strong party loyalties.
• The leader has to find a brokerage group. Mobilize the partisans and the non-partisan ties. The media plays the role: the spokespersons. The way the media covers things make leaders important.
• Leader provides a shortcut for voters: if citizens are rationally wrong. But they don’t want to understand the details of politics. Leadership is the rational short-cut.
• People can look at the leaders personality traits. Are you competent. Are you attractive. Social background characteristics. Female will do a good job of health, and family politics.
• Regional differences. Sex works.
• Religion doesn’t work: not visible.
• Women were more likely to support Kim Campbell.

MEDIA coverage: Matthew Mendelson.
• Matthew Mendelsohn looked at television news coverage there are two dominant frame the Horse race and the Leadership. Who’s gaining group winning ground. The horse race and the leadership race was used interchangeably. The question asked is usually who is going to win and why. It s quiet different to disentangle the leadership horserace. Mendelsohn says the horse race is a shortcut for the voters. Gaffes come to define wow the campaign is going. The media decides what qualifies as a gaffe.
• The leader frame and the horse race frame. The new campaign promise.
• The focus on what the leader has to say the focus is why are they doing this what is their motivation. Mendelsohn if the leader takes a day off then they the party doesn’t get covered.
• In 2000, Stockwell Day on Sunday.
• The other thing that plays a role is the televised leadership debates. The next 1979, 1984 one in French one in English.
• In the 1984 there was a women’s issue debates.
• How the leader does on the debate. A good example: Clarke in 2000 he saved his party from electoral extinction. Otherwise the alliance would have wiped-off the map. The leaders debates: John Turner 1981 Clarke and Charest 2000 and 1997; There was an issue of the timing of the debate.
• 1997: Chretien popularity gave a 5-point boast. Charest had 12 point popularity.
• 2004: probability of voting for party increased from 20-30 points depending on leader (for individual voters).
• Leader are important for vote choice Chretien popularity outside of Quebec Charest didn’t had positive prospects that is why there was hopes to Conservatives. He is not as popular in the province of Quebec.
• The probability increased from 20-30 if they liked the leader.
• On the other hand: leader evaluations didn’t have a big impact on electoral outcomes; in the individual level you have a massive effect. Leader are the deciding factors for leaders: leaders did not have the impact on election. In 2000, 2004 leadership didn’t help the leaders.
• Liking the leader only makes them more likely to support. We’re controlling for the party id. Leon average rating of the leaders: if the average rate of the leaders support can mean that the voters are effected by how they rate the party leaders. Zero to 1000 scale if the leader is remarkably more popular: Bouchard was very popular in Quebec Chretien was unpopular in Quebec
• Look at the presidential realization: have leaders become more important. Why would expect that they would become more influencial in voter choice over time.

• Leaders don’t matter as much about electoral outcomes.
• If one leader is no more popular than individual vote choice.
• The leader is a lot more popular than the others. Leaders have become more important in vote choice in Canada.
• Leaders are more important today in vote choice why are leaders.
• Leader respects the media: Paul Martin. The relationship between the journalists and the media.
• Media focus: gender bias: When Kim Campbell made errors it was an attack. She rubbed the media the wrong way. Kim Campbell: “policy isn’t important in elections.” Chretien said something to the same effect and got away with it.
• People just fall back on leaders. They may not know the candidate. You used to have ca
• It’s a matter of valence issues: who can manage this issue better.
• No party will endorse two-tier healthcare: trust us will do better

Partisan de-alignment: people are not attached to political parties. At least people are becoming increasingly detached from political parties, can no longer fall back on parties as a guide to vote. Do see a decline in leaners (those who indicate closeness to one party if pressed). People who identify very or fairly strongly if fairly constant.
• If you identify on the line of party loyalty. If fewer people can find a motivation for party voting. It’s debatable whether there is a party de-alignment.
• In Canada, Western Europe: you don’t see a decline who identify very strongly. You see the decline in the so-called leaners. The one thing that has changed is proportion of a residual sense. People who are confident which party is worthy.
• There is a relationship and party de-alignment and
• Patterns of media coverage, they are much more reliant on television. You begin to see the main source of politics is television. Changing patterns of media coverage: newspapers coverage has changed. No more decline since 2000. For leaders, much more fluctuation less decline in leader than in party evaluations (but began higher 1968 was Trudeau mania).
• Media centred politics: the rise of candidate centred politics. Canadian elections resemble Martin, Harper, Layton, Duceppe not the parties.
• Causal arrow changes because of the leader.
• Why leaders vary more? Because individuals vary more than parties do.
• Why party decrease? Inglehart’s post materialism (people care more about self-actualization and personal autonomy, and less interested in parties because they are seen as unnecessary intermediaries).

Trends in average leader rating and average party ratings, 1968 – 2006
• Leaders and Parties
• Turcott: there has been an erosion of party leaders in Canada.
• Both parties and leaders are less popular than they were. People have gone from feeling positively to feeling negatively (for party 10 pts on 0-100 scale).
• No more decline since 2000: Plateau in 2000-2006.
• 1968: Trudeau mania: more popular in that period. 1974 to 2006 is a drop of about four points for leaders.
• Leaders vary a lot more that’s why it fluctuates much more.
• Party doesn’t vary as much. Inglehart “Decline of Deference”: post-materialist ideas: maximizing autonomy people are less interested in political parties because they are intermediary.
• Most leaders suffer a decline in popularity overtime: Trudeau, Stanfield, Chretien. Regardless of how popular they are to begin with. The honeymoon is always over.
• Popular new leader gets a boost.
• Broadbent dropped and become more popular.
• Layton improve his ratings.
• Duceppe was unpopular in 1997: fallen heroes syndrome.
• Broadbent shows that a popular leader doesn’t help that NDP that much.

Clarke et al called this the Fallen Heroes Syndrome (up to 1988). Leader have become more important to individual vote choice, thus party is less of a factor. In fact, Party ratings have more effect on vote choice than leader ratings, probably because party label is all we know about candidates. Leaders and parties matter independently.
• Presidential Thesis (as it relates to elections and impact of leaders): Leaders are more important at the expense of the parties they lead. In fact, party ratings have a stronger vote choice that leader-ratings.
• Each has an effect independent of each-other: leaders impact on parties. Parties effect leader popularity as well.

Evaluate the impact of party leaders by performing what if counter-factual.
• What if leaders didn’t matter? How much would vote choice differ. We calculated the predictive probability. Leader evaluations has an effect.
• If we remove the impact of leaders: leaders clearly do have an impact of vote probabilities. In these simulations, net of how they rate the parties.
• Across the 8 elections, the average is about 8 points: the average probability changes by about 8 points. If leaders got more important, should see a steady increase across time. Can’t in this graph (not much higher now than in 1968).
• Asked them to rate the leaders but not the parties in 1984.
• The effect varies from election to election. The impact of party leaders was barely difference in 1980 and 1988. There hasn’t been an increase in party leaders.
• If leaders don’t matter and they are voting for the party to supporting the party.
• How many people would change their vote if leaders didn’t matter.
• If leaders wasn’t a factor: the impact is a little less than what we expected. Looking at what people were induced to change their vote.
• 6% of people would have voted differently had their opinions of leaders changed.
• Is it liking a leader that attracts them to the leader while negative evaluations may have a larger impact. Being a nice guy won’t drive you to the party as much as hating the leader will drive you away from a party.
• The final aspects: the bottom line: how much difference do leaders make to vote change. Unless one leader is more or less popular: for every person is attracted to a party you can have
• How much would the party vote change if the leaders didn’t matter. For the 8 elections the average impact was only 3 percentage points.
• In 1993, the impact of party vote shares is twice as large. If leaders hadn’t mattered in 1993: the liberal vote share would have dropped to 6 percent, Conservatives gain 4 points, NDP gain 2 points.
• 1993 leaders was really important. The party with the most popular leader would stand to loose the most. This usually means the wining party.
• Leadership mattered most to the losing parties: PC. If leaders didn’t matter Reform would have displaced the PCs and there would have been no merger.
• 1997, 2000 if leaders hadn’t mattered, Reform would’ve done better.
• It will be hard to argue with this data that leader have become more important, if anything the trend is downwards. Seems that as popularity of leaders decline, leaders matter less to outcomes. Therefore, the presidentialization thesis is difficult to argue.
• For leaders to become more important than the parties they lead. As popularity has declined they have mattered less.
• Leaders are important but they haven’t become more important in recent years.
• Leadership is a broader element: if you have a leader that has a charismatic nature it will attract better candidate.

CRITICISM of How Leaders Effect Parties:
• Controlling for party ratings and how they feel about party leaders are very closely aligned.
• Other problem is that the first television election in Canada was in 1957. Maybe if we could find there was a jump of impact of leaders before the period we are looking at. Only after 1968 had people began to name TV as most important sources of info  television personalizes coverage more that radio or newspapers.
• Attention to leaders can vary from year to year: we don’t know how coverage has changed and not changed.
• The attention paid to leaders has increased BUT much lower in Canada than it was in the US and France.
• People are voting for a local candidate in Canada and party label. Local candidates have a powerful effect about vote choice.
• Attention to leaders has increased but it’s nothing like in the US;.
• BUT there is a fluctuation: it varies: 1968 a lot of attention paid to the leaders. But sometime parties become more salient. Television coverage becomes more and more salient.
As attention to the media fluctuates
• Some leaders are assests for their party: in other cases the party will play up that party leaders. Some leaders are more visually more interesting more lively personalities.
• Presidentialization thesis.

Who Votes on the Basis of Leaders?
• The less informed, and the people with the least educated parties.
• They don’t have the cognitive skills and reading skills. May not have the resources to find out about the parties.
• Somehow people should be voting about the issues; that we should be weighing the party issues BUT politics is about shaking hands. Giving a mandate to a party: the party has won the election and the party now has a mandate BUT this isn’t true.
• Voting on the basis of leaders: it’s unsophisticated at best about the leaders and at worse somehow irrational.
• If the leader is going to be prime minister, they should be important in the decision making process. Elitist argument: it would be better for people who don’t know the issues don’t vote.
• Sophistications: who looks the best. If you can’t run a campaign if you dress funny. Preston Manning image change in 1997 might be important, here.
• Education doesn’t make much difference for whether they vote on leader evaluations. It’s important for people who really struggle.
• People now say that the Canadian people decided to vote in favour of Free Trade.
• At every education levels people factor in leader evaluations. There is research in Canada and the US. They have a good scheme of what a good president or what a good candidate should be.
• Amount of attention paid to leaders can vary from year to year (no studies comparing coverage across time). One study of newspapers found that more attention is paid to leaders, but amount of attention paid to leaders as opposed to party is lower than in both France and US.
• When you look at the prototype it reflects performance criteria. The sorts of traits are using has an influence.
• When voters in the US are asked: people in the University will make personal comments about the leader. People in University  are more about the personality of the leaders.
• Where education makes a difference is in the nature of the comments: the performance related characteristics.

Steven Brown: what do you like what do you dislike about each party leader. The key leadership attributes, dynamism, empathy, personal style, political skills.
• They found that the people who are more educated are concerned with task related elements. The notion of proto-types are relatively enduring.
• Some people have a fairly constant understanding of the leaders.
• Based on theories of social cognition: The studies that look at prime ministerial have a limited ability you can process the information. Human beings have limited capacity to process information we look for cognitive shortcuts. One reason that leaders are important in Canada is that the complexities of multiparty system. People are in more need of shortcuts.
• People can make inferences about leaders based on personal characteristics. Female leader is more compassionate. A leader that has skills in foreign policy will be better at dealing with that area.

Cutler: the leaders social background characteristics. People will support the leader if they are the same as them. If they are male they will not support the female. If the westerner runs the party then they will vote for that party.
• People vote for them.
• Cutler: it applied across the board that demographic similarity voted for the leaders party.
• The key characteristics are sex, language. Sex matters in 1993. Even though the nDP lost support massively. They did manage to bring women to the party. Conservatives attracted some female voters in Kim Campbell.
The two leader. Men liked Campbell much less than they liked Manning.
• Women were less resistant about negative messages in media culture.
• Cutler: religion didn’t work: Catholic leaders doesn’t make people more likely to vote for the party. Language is obvious: Man or Women
• Media doesn’t talk about the leaders religious supporters: Manning fundamentalist preachers, Stockwell religious. The media made a great play that Stockwell: Fundamental Day, religion is salient: dis-similarity of the religion.
• The Christian Fundamentalist don’t like him very much there.
• 1993: Brendan O’Neil, sex mattered in 1003 because the NDP & Conservative attracted new female voters despite massive electoral losses. Idea that Women more resistant than Men to negative messages about Kim and to positive messages about Manning.
• Exception in Cutler’s study was that religion didn’t work: why? Because language is obvious, gender is obvious, region is well-known, Religion not usually a factor in the media. (Both Manning and Day were fundamentalists, but only affected Day because Manning’s religion wasn’t well known.
• We look at the leaders versus parties: a 32 year span do leaders have more impact than they did in the past.

Do Campaign’s Matter?
• Campaigns don’t matter quite frankly until recently. Until recently, conventional wisdom was that they didn’t matter.
• Why? 1) Columbia Studies: they were 1940 studies. They were trying to understand the impact of campaign communications. They wanted to understand attitude change dynamics.
• Campaign propaganda: they started off with a consumer model. Companies were marketing their products. Campaign propaganda.
• Voters were likened to consumers: debating which car you want to get. SO you might weigh the benefits of one party and the other.
• Unfortunately it was the 1940: Roosevelt election. They didn’t need the campaign to make up their minds. Only about 8% changed over the campaign. Their mind over the campaign.
• Using the language of their consumer model: the major function of the campaign is to reinforce existing predispositions or reactivating.
• Or the campaign would crystallize the attitudes.
• The major function of the campaign was reinforcement. People paid attention to news about their party. That’s one reason campaigns don’t matter very much. There were not real findings that shook this decision.

Blais/Nadeau economic voting. These models show economic voting. If you can take one economic variable and one political variable: whether the leader is from Quebec. It seems you can predict outcomes: these models seem to predict elections. If you can find one economic variable and one leadership variable.
• Campaigns are important for democracy  people need to see things happen in democracy.
• If they don’t change the outcome.
• There is a strong tendency to compete: if the parties have equally strong campaigns.
• Economic voting models there is nothing automatic about these process. YOU need the campaign to form their evaluations vote choice.

Time of Vote Decision 2004 and 2006 CES: during a Campaign (38%/29%), On Election Day (14%/15%), Before Campaign (48%/56%).
-before campaign 2004 48% 2006 56%
-during campaign 2004 38% 2006 29%
-election day 2004 14% 2006 15%
Around 15% of ppl decide on election day, and this is consistent across time.
• Study showed that more than half of voters decided on how to vote.
• People decide on election DAY>
• Reactivation the Outcome: 1993 the progressive conservatives failed to reactivate party loyalties. They failed to reactivate the electoral coalition.
• Opportunity for new female candidates to forget yse to media, stuff, learn the ropes.
• Valance ISSUES: issues where everyone agrees on goals but each party has a very different management strategy to show its success.
• Incumbent party will try to shift blame on others.
• Position issues are when voters do take sides. Which policy proposal do they find more persuasive. Do they want $100 month or do they want a national daycare program?
• Help voters locate the parties on the issues: the campaign played an important role. Where does a campaign effect voters position on issues.

When is a campaign most likely to affect voters? On what kind of uses do campaign matter more?
• Same-sex had its people breaking down it’s support. If there is a territorial issue: GUN agriculture. Highly concentrated has a big impact on the issues.
• Two issues that are new and dramatic.
• Bloc says we want TWO TIER health: that would be new and dramatic. Then it becomes a rhetorical issue: Free trade election was almost a one-issue election. It was a rhetorical struggle. The opposition parties called Free Trade the Mulroney deal. “Deal is shady terminology”.
• The opposition parties tried to make it a social issue, lose of sovereignty. The Conservatives were about economic issue: anti-protectionist issue.
Another way that campaigns matter is through priming.
• Nadeau/Mendelssohn talked about priming in their religion reading. Priming occurs when voters change their mind. They weigh some other factor more heavily in their vote choice.

What is primed in a campaign?
• Leaders: media focus. Difficult to downplay leader in debates. As election day gets closer, leaders should get more important to vote choice, especially of those who pay attention to news.
• The extent to which leadership gets primed depends on the campaign.
• Are they going to give the most weight on party loyalty
• Leadership as a primary factor. The Party ID.
• As election day draws near you would se leadership play a more and more of a role. Precisely because of the personalized way people cover elections.
• The leadership depends on whether it gets primed.
Issues: parties has a strong incentive to prime issues. They want to give voters & parties loyalist a reason to vote for them. The extent to which issues get primed depends on the issue. It’s been a period of high unemployment.
1988 issues primed: free trade: exception.
1993, 1997: either classic valance issues or multi-issue agendas. Issues crowd each other out.
• Some issues are already salient with healthcare. There is much less scope for day to day issues. Of the three elections, the only one.
• In 1993, 1997 you either had classiv valence issues: and you had multi-issue agenda’s Your much less likely

Party ID:
• Priming people’s party loyalties. Some people are Liberal to the core, but even party loyalists will tire of voting for a party if it doesn’t remind them of why they are partisans 2000, 2004: Liberals ran a values-based campaign.
• The Liberal Values mobilized the partisan.
• Parties have a strong incentive to prime party ID> The typical election campaign generally de-primes party ID. If you think about the Michigan Model makes sense here> People vote for the party id unless short-term forces are sufficiently strong to change your vote. The more an issue/leader gets primed the less important party ID becomes to vote choice.
• It can effect their vote by getting them to see the leaders.
• Priming is a zero sum game: priming is media effect because they personalize coverage.
• Campaigns affect directly (make them change/make up their minds) or indirectly (affect basis on which they vote). Priming explains why People change their minds (election is REALLY about leadership, rather than other issues).
Campaigns don’t effect all people equally. Matters most for those who aren’t strong partisans. Some voters have seen their mind by direct attack and priming is indirect. What’s this election about? It may be leadership.
• This will work with people who aren’t strong partisans. Those people will be hard to persuade. There are others who don’t have a predisposition to support a party.
• Campaign matter most to people who will make up their mind during the campaign (seems obvious, but if we want to measure campaign effects we must look at the half of people who haven’t already made up their minds).
• If you look at everyone you’re going to see that half the people have made their mind up already.
• Campaigns aren’t going to affect all people equally. They affect non-partisan mostly. Young people are more likely to make up their mind in the campaign.
• Even people who decide on election day: campaign deciders are a little less interested in politics. A little less knowledgeable about what the parties are promising. Some of the people who decided before hand they decided they were interested.

Reported Vote by Time of Decision 2006:
Before Campaign
• Liberal 30%/26%
• Conservative 41%/41%
• NDP 15%/20%
• Bloc 13%/7%
• Greens 2%/7%
• First Two weeks of the Campaign
• Lasts Two Weeks of the Campaign
• Liberal (35%/26%)
• Bloc (11%/6%)
• Conservative (21%/31%)
• NDP 15%/22%
• Greens (4%/6%
Campaign Deciders: Vote Choice and Vote Intention 2006 CES
• Liberal intention

Evaluation of Debate Performance, 2000
• 44% Clark, 10% Chretien, Day 17%, 5% Duceppe.
• Interviewing data.
• Joe Clark’s winning debate performance in 2000 helped his party with a 4 point increase after the debate.
• Chretien ratings dropped 3 points and remained there. Chretien weak performance in the debate cost 2 percentage points and remained there.
• Important for Conservatives & NDP because they were facing electoral extinction.
• Relationship between standing in the polls and coverage. The party needs to do better than expect if a minor party wants to get coverage.
• Do telephone polls affect the way people vote? People do use poll results to decide how to vote, but surveys themselves shouldn’t impact vote decision. Problem is that people surveyed are more likely to vote because if the agree they are likely to be interests and by talking about the issues people deliberate and decide to vote.
• The campaign was not that consequential.

• Conventional wisdom until recently was that media a little effect. Initial academic thinking believed in massive effects of media (Lipman Lasweel: idea of a hypodermic injection of propaganda). To say there is a minimal effect of the media runs against our intuition.
• The massive effects thesis was destroyed by the Columbia School in Eerie.
• Columbia school found that media reinforced existing/reactivated and preferences and crystallization. Minimal effects attributed to selected exposure and interpreted news as favourable to their party even if it wasn’t. So the predisposition was stronger and reinforced existing preferences.
• There was some cases where we saw crystallization: people could preict the values and the media and the campaign crystallized their position.
• Selective exposure: people who were Republicans pay attention to Republic media. When they watch the news they saw favour in their party.
• Preaching to the converted
• There was a two step flow of communication. Opinion leaders every stratum of society. The people who are most partisan. These political junkies and then they talk to other people: water coolers.
• The Two Step Flow of Communication: does it still apply.
• The 1940 Columbia School left academic community with idea that media has minimal effects. Renewed attention in 1960s (TVs more widely available). Expectation of more media effects, disappointing results.
• Television is a different source of medium most accessible. Doesn’t require cognitive resources so there was an expectation that we begin to see more effects: IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.

The Limited Effects: Not-So-Minimal Effects Thesis: These researchers saw the power of the media on what to think and how to think about it.
• Agenda setting relates to priming: the media had taken a lot of emphasis on leadership. IF the media play up a particular issue: on the leader.
• Another indirect effect is framing: how the media frame a story can effect people’s views. Some parties seen as owning particular issues. Was Free Trade about social issue or an economic issue?: getting access to American markets…
• Agenda Setting and Priming are related. Priming occurs because of Agenda setting. There are more direct effects.
• Agenda setting occurs when media attention increases the important of that issue. It sets the election agenda. What’s the election all about?
• The amount of attention in the media was an issue primority.
• This agenda setting was a case of the media telling them what to think about. Which issues they should think about. Determining the salience of issues. The more coverage an issue receives the most important the issue.
• Why Agenda setting is important? The media might focus on issue ownership. Some parties own a particular issue. Parties that are Centre/Left on health, education. Parties of Right own economic, inflation, crime national security, foreign policy.
• Parties have enduring image of being good.
• Parties will try to play up the issues that will help them. They will play down the issues that will hurt them.
• Think of campaigns of competitions of control of the agenda. Parties try to set the agenda. They want the parties to focus on the issues that they are strong.
• Media is a critical player. It’s still the case that the parties are heavily reliant on the media to get their messages out.
• The Internet, Email Campaigns has provided with more direct communication with voters.
• Parties rely on television. The parties are reliant opn the media to get their messages out. That’s why agenda setting theories are really media theories.
• It’s not a competition between the parties and the media. The media aren’t neutral: They are FILTERS: The media mediate the flow of communication.
• The media pick and choose.
• The media has to worry about audience share and readership: they depend on advertising revenue. Advertisers will want to buy advertising time and space.
• The media will play up some stories and play down others. The criteria they use: it is a right wing and left wing bias.
• Media content is governed by news worthiness. You have to provide content that will attract viewers or readers. That means selecting stories that feature conflict.
• There can be a selection process at work. The media may decide to highly. Can hurt some parties. The media will not necessarily line uip with the agenda of the political parties.
• The final thing: agenda setting is a zero sum game. One issue gets played up the more airtime. T
• The New York Times: on ABC, CBS will fit on the NEW YORKTIMES> Mansbridge said that the CTV, and the Globe and Mail. If you transcribe the news on television. There is only so many stories of the news paper
• Why might you expect that agenda not very strong. A lot agenda setting tends to not be very strong.
• Those commercials that play up particular issues. In that sort of situation you see strong agenda setting.
• Media emphasize the gay-marriage issue.
• There are different media sources: There is a pro-liferation of media sources. Now there are multiple places for exposure to news.
• Stuart Soroka: did a dissertation and looked at the coverage of newspapers; the agenda was similar: if you looked at any period of time you might see a difference amounts of attention overtime the fluctuation was very similar no matter what the region of the country. But when health become more important it was more important everywhere. Some stories are sensational and therefore have much potential (gay-marriage, scandals). This didn’t hold, in 2000 health-care was already prominent but because more so.
• The news stories news cycle: you can go
• Maybe people have become more political consumers of the media;. The Biases in the media tend to be very subtle and when you do that it is amazing.
• People have to be paying attention. Some people don’t pay any attention to news. Stuart Soroka typology had a priori; Stuart said there were issues that were important there wasn’t much scope for agenda setting.
• Most evidence for agenda setting occurred with health. Spending on social programs become more important. Crime want’s very important there was limited agenda setting effects.
• Another factor there isn’t much issue coverage: ¼ of stories focus on issues. Polls, horserace, gaffes, leaders. The media is focus on the horse race. Framed by the leaders/horserace. “Why is the leader taking that position now? Who is he trying to appeal to??” Who is behind who is ahead. It’s the leaders. When the issues are covered why is the leader common to appeal to who is this supposed to appeal to.
• When you look at the way the media portray the issue they want to attract the votes. People who are paying attention there is proliferation of media sources. Different issues lend themselves to agenda setting effects.
• ¼ is type of all democracies in Canada.
• When we looked at press releases.

Media Coverage: Objective of the Parties:
1) Agenda setting we want the media to focus on the issue that they ‘own’.
2) They want to be visible. The voters are least likely to see the NDP would be their natural constituency.
3) They want to have positive coverage. Their coverage needs to be mostly positive.
• Parties that can’t form the government don’t get much coverage: NDP and PC got much less coverage. English Canada did emphasize the Bloc
• In Quebec these is a big visibility bonus. Martin promises a nationally funded day care program.
• A lot of people will only see the headlines: Just get the headlines: There is usually a story about each party. There are five stories and then a general story about how the parties are doing.
• The two leading Parties get a large share of the headlines.
• The most dramatic evidence: When we look at the order of presentation. NDP is last almost always. CHECK WebCT.
• It gives people a clear message. These are the also runs in the fourth event in the news.
• The order of presentation about the election.
• You see a pattern of negative news stories. The frontrunner get more coverage more prominent coverage but they get much more negative coverage.
• Does the tone coverage matter>

The Mendelsohn/Nadeau Reading: example of not-so limited effects. Gidengil says it’s a possible EXAM QUESTION: Include the article for Religion on mainstreaming Catholics who pay attention to the media. FOR THE EXAM. Why? Can do content analysis of media coverage day by day & link with changing voter choices (polls).
• The Mendelsohn/Nadeau reading “The Rise and Fall of Emerging Candidates” is a direct persuasive effect. One reason we see direct persuasive effect. When the change is made to interviewing people in the campaign. They did a content analysis of the media coverage: you can see how voters are voting. How they evaluate the leaders you can link up changes in the nature of media coverage and changes in issue salience.
• They document a phenomenon that was first observed in the US. It looked at Ross Perot. The Rise and Fall of Candidates.
• They looked to see it a pattern was held in Canada. 1st: The media really take to this person: then that person becomes a serious contender: Ross Perot: the Kim Campbell suddenly realize that they haven’t been critical and then go to the ultimate extreme.
• A lot of Kim Campbell but by the time the Conservatives were level at zero: Mulroney’s popular 10% unpopular (as popular as his shoe-size).
• The election campaign media become much more critical than Kim Campbell. The media focused less on the personality of Kim Campbell, but more on the partisan figure. “Elections aren’t for policy discussion”: It was seen as a gaff. It wasn’t seen as out of touch with the people.
The media: focused on Kim Campbell the partisan figure all the negative baggage. “Kim Kim your just like Him”.
• They were reminded about the Conservatives; GST and Constitutional Wrangling Charllotteton and FTA.
• As the coverage becomes more negative: evaluation of Kim becomes more negative. Nadeau and Mendelsohn are able to note the changing tones for Kim Campbell than the changes in Conservative voting intension. The Conservative voting intentions and the relationship of Kim Campbell and the changing tone of coverage.
• There are negative shocks: Voters are ensured to negative coverage;
• People are used to it and they come up with a negative shock methods.
The Ideas of Shocks: media has to be really negative to be really effective.
• They define as shocks when Kim Campbell attacks were more negative shock. Coverage has to be really negative than average  very low thresholds. 1/3 of the days qualify as shocks. You need to have a lower thresh-hold higher threshold according to Gidengil.
• If a leader was shown to stumbled. Negative story. The medias was doing that in every party. Not everyday counts as negative and positive coverage.
• The other aspect is that they use the same days news coverage. They use the late night news but people are covered in the afternoon: hard to believe that people are being influenced by the news they haven’t yet seen. The content analysis covers the late evening news and evening news analysis BUT people interviewed won’t have seen it yet.
• The shock idea was a good one but there is cumulative coverage: positive tonight, negative again, negative neutral it won’t have much impact on people. Negative could have an impact on people but the steady dripp drip drip of several consequative negative stories may lose the effect. Having consecutive either positive/negative coverage would make a difference.

How do we conceptualize the impact of the media?
• The polls aren’t that important.
• The public private funding CTV gets a bit mushy. There is some limitation tot eh Mendoslon Nadea article. Stockwell Day was an example as the Rise and Fall coverage. Day is the new Trudeau. People love building someone and knocking them down. There is a conscious stepping back that occur
• NDP Leader Alexa McDonough: We tried to evaluate the leaders and valythe various leaders.
• The previous nights coverage. Both tracked evaluation on a zero to 100 scale. The mean of the media coverage We were trying to see when media become more positive. When coverage is negative evaluation are positve. And the then when the it’s positive coverage come more positive.
• There is a statisticatlly negative relationship. The more positive the coverage the more negative the ratings become.
• The tone of media coverage made the scale of coverage: evaluations were positive on average. His media coverage is almost always negative Maybe it was the coverage was Charest. Check WebCt graphs.
• Preston Manning Reform: he obliged: as statistically positive relationship and the tone of coverage. Here there is a strong relationship Canadian media coverage effecting medias evaluations. Something else could be driving this other than media coverage.
• The media simply reflected the people.
• Vote intentions moved before media coverage. Jean Charest: coverage of Charest become increasingly positive. After May 24, there was much more negative coverage, but evaluations continued to climb (rise and fall?) mixed evidence. There is a one or two day lag (between media and audience response). Positive coverage is driving up Charest. So much coverage: “But wait we give this guy an easy ride!”. The PC had lost their party status. The media was becoming much more negative in their coverage.
• Its mixed evidence. Jenkins article.
• Horror Stories: 1997 do we want another leader from Quebec. Bad ads desperation. Always get this: it didn’t make a difference.

• Limited Effects: Not-so-minimal Effects Models
• One last way that media can make a difference: helping voters learn. This is a way that campaign can matter in general. This helps voters locate parties.
• Campaigns are a time to catch-up for the average person: helps the voters learn where they stands.
Richard Jenkins: studies Reform in 1993 election. The campaign mattered because it allowed voters to locate Reform as a party that wanted to cutback to the Kensyian welfare state. Effect began to show in the 2nd week in the campaign.
• Change in Reform voting intentions as knowledge goes up (both up). Jenkins relates this to the amount of media coverage Reform receives, which spikes just before voting intentions do.
• A women thought that Reform was going to stand for a stronger social safety net. “Oh, yes…I support reform!”
• If you track people’s knowledge of reform you see people start to get it right. The effects showed up in the second week of the campaign.
• What the Reform is all about. You also see a change in voter intentions. Knowledge about Reform goes up. The key point in Jenkins is that he relates this to the media coverage and the coverage goes up before we see real changes. We seem more coverage and they understand. Vote intentions increase accordingly.
• Why study of media effects: why if we look at the electorate are we unlikely to see strong as a whole.
• No one spends the time to learn. No one has an incentive for politics. People just don’t pay attention.
• People contest to one party: people aren’t Blank Slates. Even when we see messages that strike us.
• Peoples social identities: People who were less disposed to accept the message: Fred Cutler: gender identity severed to innolate they may have very coherent ideas about politics.
• The two mediator model: the two mediators: 1) reception and 2) acceptance
• Harder to comprehend messages if you don’t have an existing knowledge. If we hear the NDP has a prescription drug plan. Reception is critical. Even if people received the messages they may not accept them.
• Resistance: people will resist analysis will resist by media messages. This is the model that Jenkins is trying to test. He needs to find someone’s likelihood of reform.
• People who think that deficit reduction. These are the sort of people who are most likely to support deficit cutting message.
• Some people who like the Reform message. People who are supposed to reject and you get predisposed not aware, neither pre-disposed or aware.
• It’s the people who are predisposed wand messages who are the most effected. The 25% increase for the people who are going to vote reform.
• People who pay enough attention and are predisposed are much more likely to change their vote.
• Among people who are aware it is only the people who are predisposed.
• Finally who are unaware; were not much effected.
• There is a second telling: that Jenkins. Reform is threat to national unity. People who support reform are ethnocentric. Immigration didn’t have an effect.
• When these Negative Views: who are the people most effected: the people who paid-attention. But did not like the fact that this would exacerbate the constitutional crisis. You see a trend away among the people who are aware.
• Interesting ly with low awareness they have began to catch-up on a lag. They aren’t paying attention. That’s the two mediator model.
• You have to pay enough attention to the news but you don’t have
• A co-linear relationship: people who are in the middle of attention and awareness but they aren’t so tuned into politics THEY WILL BE EFFECTED the most.
• Jenkins doesn’t mention that the intensity of media coverage,.
• There are other issues that don’t get attention at all.
• It’s not quite as simple as Jenkins model implies. People don’t pay attention people don’t have predispositions.
• Are these groups predispositioned equally or is there some other measure.
• He dichotomizies the various group. The Median for the sample establishing the dichotomy.

Knowledge Voting

• Knowledge how much people know about politics. A lot of people know a little and a few people know a lot. That conclusion is reached in the US.
• Information shortcuts for voting behaviour: The most basic think people could know: the names of key political plays. Who is the leader of the Liberal, NDP, Cons, Bloc.
• In 2006 people did much better than in 04.
Knowledge of Party leaders/Premiers 2004 and 2006
Lib 2006 84; 2004 83
Cons: 84, 60
Bloc 85; 79
NDP 75; 55
Provincial Premier 72;70
• You get 87/86 were able to name the leaders. 14% of people interviews didn’t know Stephan Harper’s name.
Knowledge of Political Figure: Federal Finance Minister: 2000
Federal Finance Minister (1997)
• 2004 General knowledge: Provincial premier 70%
• Primary responsibility for healthcare: 52%
2006 General Knowledge
Cut GST (Cons): 95%
Provincial Premier: 70%
Judge in sponsorship scandal: 70% (despite the election turning on the sponsorship scandal, and half the ppl getting multiple choice questions)
Gomery report cleared martin: 55%
British PM: 55%
Female Cabinet Minister: 32%
• Female cabinet minister who ran against Martin: 43%
• Prime Minister at time of CUFTA (Canada US Free Trade 55%).
• Cut GST (Conservative) 93%
• Provincial Premier 73%
• Judge in the sponsorship case 70%
• What didn’t the Gomery Report. Gomery Report cleared Martin 53%
• Female cabinet minister 33%
• Politics isn’t very salient in peoples lives. Does it matter? Feminist scholars are particularly critical of these questions because women score lower. If ask about things women need to know, then women will score better.
• People who are likely to vote, know more. People who know more are more likely to vote.
• We are likely to be understanding how little they know. The none-response issue: there is always drop off: it’s people who aren’t very interested.
• We over represent people who vote. People overestimate the number of voters. If people are not interested enough to stay on the phone 25. It’s a Canada wide sample. Interviewed for 25 minutes.
• We over represented young people:
• Do we have good spread? YES because it pairs with election statistics.
• Are the people who are voting do they know? Is this okay? What is the down side of the people vote. Is there is an educational process in voting?
• The distribution of knowledge is uneven. Certain groups of people have the most knowledge then you’ll have people who are less knowledgable.
• The enlightened choice will not occur with uneducated people their interests with the correct choice of party they have cast the wrong vote.
• Do people know what parties are saying. Can they link up party.
• People know GST very clearly.
The 1993 Federal Election: Support GST (Conservative) 63%
• Oppose GST (Liberal, NDP 52%
• Do away with NAFTA (Liberal and NDP) 53%
• Increase public works spending (Liberal) 47%
• Eliminate deficit in five years 45%
• Eliminate deficit in three years (reform) 42%
• Lucienne Bouchard grilled Kim Campbell about the deficit.
2000 Federal Election
• Bring in single tax rate under 100,000 (Alliance) 39%
• Bring in criminal biker law (Alliance and Bloc) 38%
• Bring in national prescription drug plan (NDP) 23%
• Bring in law to repay debt in 25 years (Conservative) 16%
2004 Election Knowledge of Party Position
• Drop gun registry (Conservative) 58%
• Increase military spending Conservatives) 56%
• Do away with the Federal Sales Tax on family essentialist (NDP 49%
• Spend 4 Billion dollars to reduce surgery wait-time 49%
• Spend 250 million AIDS in poor countries 41%
• Inheritance tax on estates over 1 million dollar (NDP (34%
Socio-Economic Status and General Political Knowledge (2006)
• Less than High School 2.1
• Completed High School 2.4
• Some post-secondary education.
• The single most important characteristics is the formal education; the more education people have the more they care about politics.
• There is a gender gap: it can’t be explained by education and income. There is a gender gap political knowledge. You can control for education.
• The ability to internalize the education.
• Disciplines; university education: those with an education in all fields not just Political science people. Everyone in University has an increased understanding of the politicians.
• There is a relationship between education and social networks. Social networks provide an opportunity will pick-up and education. So they will run into people with certain social politics. The people who talk about politics: you don’t want someone to have acquire a new education.
• Government becomes more salient over time. University government interaction.
• Basic literacy skills have an include. 25% of the pollution can’t read at a Grade 5 level. Education instills information and process.
• Another thing to do: it instills norms of civic duty. There is something about university education.
• The final Think: education is related to income. If you don’t have a lot of education you may not have a very high income you may lack the resources to participate. Taking a newspaper, having the daily newspaper fro some people the sheer cost of a newspaper may be too much.
• Also if your trying to make ends meet; you may not have the time and energy to pay attention politics: you don’t have time to learn.
• The other income effect: income gradient isn’t as steep.
• The other thing to do on income is how you preceive the system: then if the rich getting richer and the poorer getting poorer.
• So people who are affluent they have resources and cognitive skills.
• Income both have an effect.
• Formal schooling can help compensate for material disadvantage.
• It’s not just the people who are poorer.
• The Gender gap wasn’t big in 2006. It was a statistically significant gap. In western Europe. We keep see this difference.
• CEGEP women are no better informed than men who dropped highschool.
• Women with house hold incomes are not better than women in the
• Women with education and income don’t matter to women.
• Are you surprised for education gap.
• Women are more likely to graduate from university undergrad.
• Women are socialize to not like math but there is a claim.
• People are primed: political science communities. Psychological agency.
• It’s going to take more women elected in Canada. Women don’t’ care about female politician.
• Only 51% knew MacDonough. 14% knowledge gap about Sheila Copps gender.
• Stephan Harper is anti-feminist says Gidengil.

Knowledge Voting Analysis

-Cognitive misers, therefore people are rational in being poorly informed about politics.
-Aggregationist argument (Paige and Shapiro in the US). Core idea is the collective public opinion can accurately reflect the needs and wants of the citizenry even though many individual expressions of opinion are ill informed and inconsistent. Magic of aggregation.
-Low information rationality argument: gut reasoning. (poking in the US, Sniderman). People can make use of info shortcuts that enable them to reach the same choice that they would have made if they were fully informed. Therefore it is quite rational to be ignorant.

Aggregationist: when people don’t know the answer, they will tend to oblige interviewers with answers despite having non-attitudes. Answer more or less randomly, will express inconsistent opinions.
Shapiro finds a basis for optimism in this fact: randomness is a positive thing, because in the aggregate the random errors will cancel each other out. Draws on the condorcet jury theorem which shows that under certain conditions the quality of group conditions can be superior to the quality of the decisions of the individuals that comprise the group. Applied to questions of political choice, the theorem implies that every citizen has a better than 50/50 chance of getting right, thus probability that majority opinion will be right is virtually 100%. Right in this sense means “the decision they would have arrived at if they had been fully informed – enlightened choice.”
As long as probability of individual citizens getting it right is over 50%, the theory works.
-show that collective public opinion moves in predictable ways, thus is not random but meaningful. When intensions mount, support for military spending increases and reverse. Crime rate goes up, support for get –tough approach goes up. Etc.
-ensure that always better than 50/50 is by using info shortcuts. Truly random opinions will cancel themselves out, some people will be well-informed, and others will use info shortcuts.

what are some flaws in the aggregationist argument?

-easy to manipulate people by providing seemingly trustworthy shortcuts
-evidence is consistent with systematic biases in public opinion. Opinions of uninformed aren’t random, but products of systematic bias. Are conventional seeming answers actually the rational approach (like getting tough on terrorists when cars cause many more deaths)?
-even if people were well informed, they wouldn’t necessarily arrive at “progressive” conclusions. However, statistically, the impact of info is to move people to the left.
-problem: citizens aren’t just uninformed, they’re misinformed. People will overestimate the amount of crime, how much of the budget is used on welfare, etc. consequences are more serious than uninformed (random self canceling errors) because get systematic basies in collective public opinion.
-the only of the 4 items on which people seemed to be correctly informed was gap between rich and poor was growing. (crime, pollution, aboriginal, gap between rich and poor)
Misinformation and policy preferences
-misinformation doesn’t produce random policy preferences, errors don’t cancel. Many people would probably take diff positions on policy if they had the facts straight. Misinformed are more likely to want to cut welfare, cut aboriginal spending, do less to re-abilitate offenders etc.
-low income people are also misinformed about the gap between rich and poor
PROBLEM 1: can’t necessarily count on aggregate analysis to overcome shortfalls in information

Problem 2: assumes the information is evenly distributed across the population, don’t take into account uneven social distribution. Best informed are white, affluent, older males. This is important because collective expressions of public opinions are more likely to express the needs of this more informed group, and thus so will govt policy (to the extent that it relies on public opinion). Because people who are poorly informed have less than a 50/50 chance of getting it right.
-distribution of public opinion would look diff if people more informed. Study asking what if people who are uninformed were all well-informed as people who share the same social background characteristics. What if women in general were all well informed at the best of women sharing their characteristics?

Actual vs Informed Public Opinion

-some questions with only small differences between simulated & actual opinion. Better informed swing to the left. On some questions, it seems to work, but on others it is very different. 10 questions changed by more then 5pts. Av diff between actual & informed opinion was 10 pts.
-standard for informed opinion was rather low. (name 4 party leaders; correctly associate 4 policy positions with 4 parties)

(Social policy): average difference was 7.5 pts between actual and simulated. Informed opinion was not simply different, it was systematically different. More opposed to death penalty, less likely to be anti immigrant. Why does opinion move to be systematically more liberal? Don’t know. Most important result is for the death penalty because people change sides (actual opinion favours, informed opposes) shift from one side to the other is consequential. Last time parliament debate death penalty, the MPs collectively became less favourable to it as they debated. Maybe this is because education tends to make people more tolerant. (liberal moving opinion has also been observed in the US, UK, Australia).
-maybe more informed have a liberal bias because media has a liberal bias.

(Fiscal issues)
-doesn’t apply strongly to fiscal issues. Av diff is 4%
-vote choice doesn’t seem be be affected, though policy preference is. Maybe for vote choice there are so many possible reasons to vote that polic isn’t at the top (maybe uninformed simply vote for incumbent or party that might win. But this doesn’t work consistently).

Impact of social background on actual versus informed opinion

-if women were as well-informed as men, gender gaps would increase
-needs and wants of diff social groups are not the same, if consistently uninformed then they will be underrepresented.
-big change in pre-baby boomers because they were socialized in a more conservative time. This is a potential explanation. Older people probably disadvantaged on knowledge questions because they are more forgetful (answer on the tip of the tongue).

Aggregationist argument assumes impact of info is directionally neutral. More meaningful real opinion, but no connection between info and taking sides. Study of 1992 Charlottetown challenged idea that errors and random and self-cancelling. Found that info wasn’t directionally neutral. Well-informed voters voted diff and voted diff because they were well informed, controlling for education (more likely to vote yes). If people who are uninformed have diff rather than no opinions, there won’t be a self-cancelling effect.
-this is true of every relevant social group. Western Canadians most likely to vote yes, but informed divided 50/50 and uninformed were unlikely. Why? People who lack info fall back on stereotypes (stereotypes can be crude, but difficult to change).
-problem bc poorly informed responded differently because of the way they used shortcuts.

Low info rationality argument: people can make up for lack of info by using informational shortcuts.

Many sorts of info shortcuts have been suggested (best used sparingly):

  1. Party ID: if you identify with party, can take cues from party. Is this rational? No, because in brokerage policies parties change. Party ID serves as a running tally, and as long as party performingly acceptably they will keep their party ID, if not, they will defect. But this implies paying attention, so not a shortcut. If someone doesn’t know much about issue anyway, unlikely it will shift their vote choice. For Party ID to be a rational shortcut, need to have at least some info.
  2. Reward and Punish calculus: vote your pocketbook. Economic voting. Voter could simply be rewarding govt for good luck, or punishing for bad luck of being in power when economy doing badly. Can also create perverse incentives for govts to manipulate fiscal levers to get shortterm economic good times before elections.
  3. Feelings about salient groups: this is particularly relevant when forming an opinion about a particular policy. Target of this policy is people on welfare, how do I feel about ppl on welfare? The problem of relying on feelings is that they often rest on stereotypes, which are quite resistant to change.
  4. Take cues from agenda sectors or interveners: (ex: Brian Mulroney in CUFTA as an agenda setter) Intervener takes a position once policy is out on the agenda (ex: President of Women’s federation etc). Strategy in 1988 for Lib/NDP was “how do you feel about agenda setter?” to cue into negative feelings about Mulroney. Problem: if people don’t know enough about politics to vote, they won’t know enough to identify intervenor’s. (Trudeau speech saying not good for Quebec in 1992 caused overnight drop in support in ROC for the Charlottetown accord). Interveners only help people who know something, not people who know nothing. Blatant opposite of the theory  people who know nothing can’t use shortcuts. Must be aware to know something was said, who said it, what was said and use the cue.
    -visible cues aren’t really that available. Trudeau’s Maison Eggroll is an exception.
  5. Fred Cutler argument: Demographic similarity to party leader. Problem: can you assume on the basis of demographics that share same ideas. (this doesn’t mean that people don’t do it, even well-informed people do). People have more than one social identity, which pull us in diff directions. Other problem is that demographic characteristics assume some knowledge. Gender and region is usually known to people. Religion is unknown and unimportant.

-info shortcuts are about making the info you have go further. Popkin emphasized this: not panacea for people who know nothing, must have some info to understand & make use of cue.
-shortcuts were imported from cognitive psychologists (and they aren’t very optimistic about them. Using peripheral, not central processing in our brains, thus not paying much attention.) relying on rough rules of thumb that may let us down.
-using shortcuts is a matter of faith. How do you know if they worked? Not a conscious process, people don’t go validate their shortcuts.

-when people rely on shortcuts do they reach enlightened choices? Or, do feelings substitute for ideas? Feelings can only substitute for ideas if 2 people who are otherwise similar have diff levels of info & feel the same way.

-found that feelings matter when ppl make decisions, regardless of how well-informed people are. Effect of feelings about Quebec held across all info levels in 1992. In ROC, the more positively felt about Q, the more likely to vote yes. In Q, the more positive felt about Canada, the more likely to vote yes. How do you explain this? ROC more informed are aware that Q often treated as 2nd class in their own province, history. In Q, more informed recognize large changes in Canadian federal system.
-what differed according to info was how positively or negatively you felt.
-people who were well-informed factored in things other than feelings. Number of considerations.

Info shortcuts do not necessarily enable people lacking info to make the enlightened choice.

Who Abstains from Voting and Why? VOTER TURNOUT
Concern about declining voter turnout. 2004 hit historic low at 60.5% Between 1988 and 2004, turnout plummeted 14-15 pts. 1988 was average for postwar elections, not very high (75%). 2006 went up to 65%, but still 10 pts below the postwar average. (this is based on registered, not eligible, voters).

Does this matter? If people weren’t happy, they’d come vote, so it’s a vote of confidence. Other people see declining turnout as the proverbial canary.

Explanations for Voting Apathy

  1. Boring: the elections themselves are boring, not very competitive. People are more likely to vote when they think their vote will make a difference, ie, when the election is close. No big issues at stake.
    Positive: 1995 Referendum had 93% turnout, which is stunning, something was at stake and it was close.
    -data supports idea that less people don’t vote because they think it doesn’t matter when election is close.
    Maybe 2006 had more turnout than 2004 because Libs had an incumbent minority, so knew they could be beaten. In 2004 incumbent Lib majority, so didn’t seem like it was that close.
    -relationship between closeness of the race and turnout isn’t strong. 1988 landslide had higher turnout than later close elections
    -draws on rational choice argument: only worth voting when benefits outweigh expected costs. Probability that your vote will be decisive. It is irrational for most people to vote.
    -when leading parties are neck & neck, turnout on av is 3% higher. People think race is closer than it is because of party ID.
    Why isn’t relationship closer? Why vote? Pressure from within social networks. Duty. In 2006 49% of people said they voted because of duty, 30% to make a diff, 15% liked leader/candidate.
    Andre Blais study (to vote or not to vote): can divide electorate up, half will vote out of sense of duty. Others decide it ifs worth it.
    If it’s duty, why the decline? Decline of feeling of duty. Does this break down by age? In the past, haven’t been very big.
    -In 2006, maybe new electoral laws giving $1.75 were an incentive.
  2. Permanent Voter’s list: declining turnout is due to switching from enumeration to permanent voter’s list (until 1996 enumerators would come to the door, first used in 2000. List updated through info sharing between governments & elections Canada. Can add name up to and on the day of the election). Why would the switch make a difference? Having someone come to the door might encourage to vote, remind of duty. New system puts burden on individual, not government (gives message that state thinks voting is important enough to send people around to make sure that you’re on the list)
    -problem that voter decline preceded change in system.
    -young people more likely to be left off the list bc more mobile; low income move more often/less money-time
  3. Changing societies: Changing times, changing values, more access to info, less religious, more morally permissive, work lives have changes, egalitarian, open to diversity, less accepting of hierarchies.. greater expectation of being able to directly participate in decision making. Neil Nevitt says there’s been a decline of deference.
    -this matters to voting: how? People who attend church more often are more likely to vote, stronger sense of duty? Social networks? Greater sense of belonging to the community? Leaders of religious group may actively encourage to vote. This effect not strong recently.
    -more consequential is decline in party ID. Linked to changing values, stronger when people needed parties to make sense of politics. Now people are cognitively mobilized, educated, more access to info, no longer need parties. Secondly, these cognitively mobilized citizens are less deferential. Turn away from electoral politics towards more meaningful forms of engagement.
    -New forms of engagement do not substitute for voting, but complement it. Not clear why cognitive mobilization would discourage vote… just won’t rely on Party ID.
    -parties not longer as effective in getting voters out, relied on women.

• Voter turnout: voter turnout drops heavily 2004 reached the lowest point ever, 2006 is an upward growth in electoral growth.
• These elections:
• The switch from the permenant voters list: we were looking at the changing times changing values. Nevitt: Decline of Deference: declining religiousity: most religious people are the most likely to vote.
• You have Christian Democratic parties in Europe that mobilize these people.
The Decline of Partisanship> Russ Dalton cognitive mobilization: people are more intelligent: more access in education. The percentage of people who complete high-school the big change has been there.
• You have a populace that is better educated. There is so much more access. More and more people have access to information.
• People are no longer willing to differ to political parties. People are less partisan than they were and there not as interested in electoral politics.
• They want a more meaningful way of engaging in politics.
• It’s not clear why cognitive mobilization of voting. Boycotts: buying a good for ethical reasons.
• An increased education makes a huge difference: people who are more educated are going to sign a petition. They are the most likely to vote.
• There are more options for people to express themselves.
• Education has a positive effects on all projects. Why is it that education regardless of education faculty gets them interested in politics? People have the cognitive skills and politics is complicated. You need to have higher cognitive skills.
• Education makes people more tolerant of the messiness of democracy in action: majority can’t always have its’ way, it takes time, there is compromise.
• People who have formal schooling can understand democratic participation.
• People who are more educated: people are more likely to identify with a political parties: educated people do understand that there is a difference between political parties.
• Secondly, there is little evidence that party identification is declining. Strong partisans fluctuate but it has no consistent trend downwards.
The one thing that has changed is the percentage of people who are leaners. The leaners are none partisan. The percentage of people who are leaners has decreased: there are more people who no longer have strong leanings.
• The political disaffection: the democratic melaise. There is a new concern for engaging citizens in partisan politics.
• This is the most pessimistic interpretation. People are more cynical about politicians: politicians are self-interested, they are stupid, they loose confidence in their elected politicians. If you see politics as pointless and or corrupt: you are going to be less likely to go out and vote.
Trends in Perceive System Responsiveness % agreeing the government does not care what they think.
• Canadians had a lot to be disaffected about in politics. The sponsorship didn’t disaffect:
• The decline in voting they must be happy: they are happy and when they aren’t satisfied they will vote. When Canadians are satisfied they sit on their hands.
• For every person who sits out the election: the NDP protest vote and the Reform and Alliance vote.
• There is problem of timing: political disaffection is not related to turnout.
Perceptions of Dishonesty:
• Declining turnout is difficult to link with increased cynicism: socialization: in other words people have become less active BUT people who grow up become aware of politics in which politics was held at a low esteem: the inculcation of civic norms.
• The Turnout was down
• Trends in Turnout by Age Group: the oldest
• The 1960s Generation X, 1970 Generation Y.
• There was no decline for the probably boomers virtually no decline the decline is confined to post-generation x.
• Generation Y: there is a decrease in turnout. Education doesn’t make so much of a difference.
• 1970s dropout there has been no decline in turn out in university: The university students aren’t turning their back on politics
• There has been a drop in high-school.
• The gap between University and Dropouts was 50 points. Huge drops in the age groups of dropout, college, high-school.
• If it hadn’t been for University Students: education really mattered in turnout.
• Get people in school and get them adult ed course if they get the education.
• Unions have changed as well: healthcare workers, there unions.
• Younger people are less likely to vote: younger people are always less likely. People are drawn to American politics, television, video games, internet, the decline of social capital. There is a lifecycle effect:
• Social networks are stronger in rural Canada.
• People in rural areas are more likely to vote.
• None of this is uniquely Canadian.
• Young people are less likely to become partisan who is young. The more educated. There is a life cycle problem.
• The probability of voting increases in 20and 50. The sharpest increases 20 – 30 9 points 30-40 4 40-50 2 point. Plateau life cycle effect.
• We also found a period effect: can you identify as series of events: Yes since 1988 there is a period effect that accounts for about 3 point to 2000.
• The strongest effects are generational effects 20 points.
• Young people today were much less likely to vote then their parents were.
• Turnout in the youngest age group: ten points lower for those born in 1970 for those born in the 1960s.
• According tot our estimates if the probably boomers weren’t dying off and if the post genX would be 73% two points lower than the period between 1988 – 1945.
• Why has turn out been declining for those without a university education. Social background: people are getting married later (this doesn’t matter as much). All of these things delays the life cycle effect.
• Part of the lifecycle: people’s lives even allowing for that that only explains away 7 points of the 30 points gap. We have to look at orientations towards politics.
• Are these young people turned off. Or are they tunning out.
• Young people political disaffection: young people are less disaffected with politics than older people.
• It’s simply disengagement lack of interest: Youth are re-engaging people into politics: elections are little more interesting for people.
• Radio is becoming more important in politics.
• Young people are more likely to use the internet. This is 200 younger people are more likely to use the internet to get information.
• Very few people go online to get information about politics. Party website I very low. Internet would reengage it just haven’t reengage.
Lack of interest: lack of knowledge.
• The youngest age group: 2000 Chretien had led the Liberal party to three successive leaders.
• Joe Who6 percentage: Ralph Goodale: Martin Finance Minister.
• If it was a matter of general politics: younger people know less. That would not explain why the Stockwell Day was the leader for the Alliance.
• Paying down the debt didn’t resignate
• Some people see the wrong question: young people are informed about politics: ask about topics that engage younger Canadians.
• There isn’t much data: globalization: A survey in the summit in Quebec city only 50% of had heard of globalization. Only 53% had heard about the demonstrations against the world trade organization. Only 40% knew the summit was coming up.
• All three issues: awareness knowledge was lowest in the age group.
• Contact: people in the parties trying to appeal to the political parties; young people are the least likely to be contacted by the political parties.
• When you control for life cycle: the gap persists regardless. The mythical about a the family relationship. Young people are more mobile there is a payoff for a party that does go out.
• People who are contacted are more likely to vote. It
• If you take generationalize differences the gap in turn out the gap in the postgen and genX disappears the gap .
• There is a weaker sense of duty. It seems to be duty that people of the past vote.
• We don’t have a cross time data. Pre-baby boomers said they felt very guilty if they didn’t feel quality if they didn’t vote. What’s impaired their sense of duty. Women have a strong a stronger sense of duty.
• Younger women are always are more likely to vote than men.

Liberal Party Presentations:

• The third group: is non-partisan non-voters.
• Young Canadians are non-partisan.
• Local Candidates make the difference: we use YouTube, internet get a communication. There is amble room in constitutiency> by focusing on the local candidates we can reinvigorate the party.
• Liberal Partisans, Non-Partisans, and younger post-Genx have not bee involved in the political process.
Divided by the Issues: focus on the flexible partisans  and were going to focus on short-term issues.
• We have to realize that Canada is an expert on peacekeeping an employment.
• There are problems in Afghanistan: the poppy trade in Afghanistan: the poppy is the only substances that they are concerned about .
• The liberals were re-orient the liberal towards the 89% of Quebecers think that peacekeeping is the most important.
• Rona Ambrose was late for the opening conference: Harper cancelled eht EU Canada summit. The Harper government is not apply.
• Health Care: Canada will focus on it as a Canadian value: we are trying to make healthcare more accountable.
• The Conservative Elite there are older people
• Focus on Aboriginal: Kelowna, Women’s issues: is not an issue: Dion.
• If women are empower they will articulate the issue:
• Quebec is complicated: national unity issues: Quebec has been important to the Liberal Party.
• The Liberal’s have the hard federalisms. Harper is trying to get the soft nationalist position.
• Focusing on war, healthcare: and the identity of Canadian voters.
Bob Rae: Leadership
• The leader centric campaign: the party leader has major influence. It plays important: the leader is central to the party.
• There many other reasons.
• There are no major issues: Not Quebec sovereignty, the four other leaders: the leaders have always played a role in past elections.
• Leader “Biggest Short-cut of them all”: Kutler: the simplist short-cut of all: the people will take the short-cut of the party leader.
• Voting behaviour and the 1997 election. Canadian elections are shorterm: so that the leader will have a major impact.
• The issue is of priming.
• Through priming: the media can change the criteria of public issues:
• Having a leader centred campaign seems to be the most logical.
• His background Ottawa native: UofT
• Bob Rae is Anglican if he highlitghs thios will be a major challenge.
• A candidate must be from Quebec. NDP Bob Rae man!!! Flip Flop.
• He was an Ontario values: is threateneing.
• Based on Mendelsohn this popularity will drastically change.
Local Focus: Stratgery: local leaders are voice needed to reach non-voting electrate
• Priming him: need to utilize the media:
• Media: privately owne, rating concerned. Controversy, new issues, Mendelsohn/Nadeau rise and fall  myth building and destroying about new leader.
• There are a negative shocks: the focus is generally negative: the viewers get decensitives by the negativity. This is going to come into out .
• Economics doesn’t play a role so retrospective: checking the pocketbooks: leadership is a viable short cut. The short-cut lack of retrospective voting.
• There are several advantages: Liberals have partisans and ideologicial positioning.
• The Conservatives are centre right.
• Since we’ll be the primary opposition.
• We won’t make an effect to get news coverage; managing the negativety.
• The Web is user driven: Wikipedia
• YouTube could be used as a cost-effective tool for the local candidates.
• Door-to-door canvassing.
• NAFTA doesn’t effect people in a tangible way.
• Targetting the younger voters; the light success of the NDP in mobilizing the youth. Mobile democracy: liberals have a lot more supporters on the ground
• The grassroots: issues: how are we going to address things. In Atlantic Canada: leftist
• The French language debates: with be an advantage. Rae is going to crush Harper.
• In Quebec downplay his Anglican background.
• Ontario: NDP premiership: it wasn’t rae’s fault:
• Flip-Dlopping Income Trust: the rising oil prices: low inflation in Alberta:
• Alberta’s growth.
• Liberals environmental policy:
• You can’t have an environmental meeting to use the chair as an attack.
• Income Trust they promised they wouldn’t change rates.
• Fiscal issue: is going to be owned by Cons but we will have the income trsut to retort.
• We wait to attack them after they attack us first. There are too many other parties that will start that.
• Atlantic Canada is going to go Conservative;
• Economy isn’t going to the biggest issue.

Grassroots funding: local candidates
Local candidate
• Afghanistan: how the mission has changed. We are going to go back to our own policy.
• Political better to have a every area not real solution: opium iridaction.

Conservatives: Presentation.

• Religion is key.
• Catholics within the main stream are more likely to support the mainstream. Ridings that are determined to support the liberals. If more Catholics vote Conservative we will win more seats.
• We could try to focus media exposure on the mainstreaming effect.
• The Protestant Conservative connection was stronger. Need to try to prime party identification BUT this won’t happen on religion. Fundamentalist and Evangelical Christians. Churches refuse to be overtly politically active.
• To try to build a protestant conservatives party would alienate people.
• Ideology
• The applicability of partisanship in Canada. There is a very strong correlation between parties and vote choice. It effects
• Thirdly it filters the media for voters.
• Class voting isn’t directly related to voting behaviour in this country.
• Conservatives aren’t at a disadvantage in union. Labour workers and right leaning parties. Maybe your position doesn’t harm the vote for some reason.
• A traditional conservative policy is that we can legitimately look at welfare funding.
• You find this with unemployment insurance.
• The notion of removing big bureaucracies: taking thins back to the grassroots.
• Media effects:
• Coverage advantage: the most powerful effect in the media is primining. It will help to determined. Afghanistan is going to hurt us: so we want to beat them to the punch. We want to prime and focus on law and order issues on our terms.
• James mentions Ignatieff will learn about them. “Ignatieff being ridiculed: Hooray!!!” Party id is likely to deprimed. We learned from Jenkins.
• Issue voting is important.
Atlantic Canada
• Economic voting theory:
• Economy is more influence by economic factors in Atlantic Canada in other regions. The liberals promised to improve unemployment.

Paying the Price? Making Sense of the 2006 Canadian Election.

• Chretien was not kidding: that the Liberal Party is the most successfully in the western world.
• For the Liberals to lose in the 2000:  the Right would have to Re-Unite: short-term forces would have to be strongly against the Liberals.
• Both conditions were in Place: the Alliance and Reform had formed.
• A lot of Canadians were angry with the Liberal Party.
• What changed between 2004 and 2006.
• 1st, debunk conventional wisdom. The Liberals lost in 2004 because there was talk of change. If we look at seats there were lots of change 2006 99 to 126 in Conservatives.
• If we look at vote shares there was not wholesale change.
• Outside of Quebec the Liberals only dropped 4.4% points. 3.4% increae in the Conservatives.
• Focus on Canada outside of Quebec:
• Multi-Stage Explanatory Model:
Causal order  Social background,
underlying believers and values,
Party Identification,
Economic perspective,
Issue Opinions.
Leader evaluations, leads to vote choice.
• Fred Cutler: the Leader is from the West that’s all I need to know. I’m a catholic I’ll vote Liberal.
• Each of these factors has a direct effect. If you’re a moral traditionalist: you’re probably going to like Stephan Harper.
• To have this model catches total affects. We aren’t claming that everyone goes through these stages in this orders.
• The Media doesn’t fit into the model.
• We can have some counterfactuals: what if different variables. What if the sponsorship scandal didn’t matter for example.
• The model starts with social background characteristics. Social background characteristics aren’t very important in Canada.
• Conventional wisdom says that social background characteristics change too slowly to explain the index of predisposition.
• If people are rural residents they stay as rural.
• Gidengil doesn’t think that we can ignore social background: people may not change their religious but the salience of religion can change.
• Liberal dominance: hinged on the support of two groups: VM and Catholics: these groups helped to have a boast of 7 percentage points.
• The damage was done between 2000 and 2004. The visible minorities dropped Liberal votes by 14 points.
• Visible minority vote held in 2006. 56 percent in 2004 and 2006 and 70% in 2000.
• There is also a language issue too. In 2006, the support of the liberal minorities: people who were born outside of Canada continued to vote Liberal.
• The Catholic vote dropped between 2000 and 2004 6 percentage points and then 2004 and 2006 by 10 percentage points drop.
• Catholics were as likely to support Conservative as Liberal.
• In 2006, there was no difference between Catholics and Protestants.
• The big winner in the religion stakes was the Conservative votes: almost 2/3 of Christians voted Conservative. People who believe the bible in a literal sense.
• Don’t forget that Christian Fundamentalist in Canada are 19% of the population.
• Christian fundamentalist gave the Conservatives 5.5 percentage points. But only 2.2 percentage points lose for being to religion as the Conservative. Party.

Regional Divide

• Liberals lost 7 – 8 percentage points in all three regions.
• Can they be explained compositionally: Lack of appeal in the west cost them 7 points as Liberals.
• The Liberals were down 12 points.
• In 2000, Alliance rural voters voted conservative in 2006.
• Conservatives have much greater appeal in rural votes. Conservatives have growth at about 2.5 points.
• Tories also appeal to married voters. The votes of married Canadians boosted the vote share by Conservatives.
• Married voters weren’t such a huge factor.
• C – 38 Bill didn’t register on vote choice.
• Where is the new Conservative Party; Conservatives are much closer to the Alliance. The PC vote was very little effected by social background characteristics.
• Some Alliance voters went back to the NDP in 2004…
Two key differences
• Many more PC voters had the Liberals as their second choice. The two differences between the old Alliance support base appeals for northern european descent, no longer holds.
• The Alliance appealed much less to women than to men.
THE Alliance lack of appeal to women had worked.
• Gender had much less of an influence on Conservative vote choice. Gender was a bigger factor than in 2006. The conservatives really closed the gap.
• Just for the record; the gap cannot be explained by social characteristics Gap. Views about free enterprise and views of social conservatives explains the gap in NDP voting and the gap in Conservative voting.
• If the Conservatives had as much appeal to women as men their vote would have been higher.
• If the NDP hadn’t had such an appeal to women than men it would have had a 2.2 percentage points lower.
Union Vote: The Alliance: easily out polled the NDP in 2000
• The NDP was able to double the share of the 2004 union vote.
• In 2006 NDP and the Liberal were close.
• The big loser was the NDP, the NDP doesn’t have much appeal to private sector workers. It was the Liberals that were helped by public sector workers. The NDP lost votes in private sector voters and public sector votes went down.
Finally, a non-finding:
• READ THE 2004 Article: the biggest change was the Age Gradient. The younger people were the more likely to vote NDP.
• In 2004, the NDP did almost as well with the under 35 group
• It didn’t last in 2006. The NDP lagged behind the other two parties amongst young voters: this is because of the Green Voters: Green actracted 10 of the young vote.
• The Environment is beginning to matter in electoral outcomes.
Beliefs and Values
• Canadian Voters are not very ideologically motivated: Canadians views about free enterprise and views about traditional morality: starting with the left right dimension the probability of someone voting NDP and is skeptical of anti-enterprise is highly likely to vote NDP.
• Liberals do well with the ambivalent.
• In 2004, the views about free-enterprise
• It wasn’t a big boost: it gave the NDP about one and half boasts. Views about Canada US relations.
• In 2004, anti-Americanism. The most positive with US the more they think that the FTA was a good deal and
• On average Canadians views are positive. The Liberals shouldn’t play the Anti-Americanism card.
• The conservative vote share would be 4 points lower.
• The Liberals could have picked as much as three points.
• Gender roles and sexual orientation is important.
• The more conservative people’s views the more likely they will support the Conservatives.
• It cost them 4.5 points the gains on Canada US were lost by the perspective that the party is conservative.
• Cynicism: disaffection with politics had little impact on the Liberal vote share: despite the Sponsorship and the Culture of Entitlement. It certainly had an impact on people’s vote choice.
• People who were not going to vote Liberal were already disaffected. So they didn’t lose all that much.
• If you wanted to cast the protest vote: the NDP voting. The advent of the Reform and the Alliance became the party of protest.
• The Protest vote split between the Conservatives and the NDP.
• The protest vote went overwhelmingly to the NDP.
• Unfortunately for the NDP it didn’t make a difference to the vote share.
• The Reform and Alliance was populist. These two parties were always about returning decisions to people at the grassroots.
• The Conservatives attract voters that they are satisfied people who are frustrated in regional alienation will vote.
• The Conservative party has taken the mantel of regional alienation.
• Part of the problem with the Reform was that it was too extreme on the point of Quebec. Stockwell Day in 2000 was under-rated: he managed to distance the Alliance from the anti-Quebec sentiment.
• In 2004 and 2006, they did have an impact.
• People who didn’t want to take a tougher line: no impact on NDP voting.
• Views on accommodating Quebec didn’t have major impact on believes.
Party Identification: The Liberals Lose their ‘Head Start’
• The Liberals had four times as many partisans than the NDP in 2000.
• All the Liberals had to do is mobilize their partisans and do at least as well as the other parties among non-partisans. Get the Liberal vote out.
• Three things changed in 2004: The Liberal core was shrunken by 4 points.
• Second thin that changed” the new Conservative party had as many members as the Alliance and the old PC combined. There were as many conservative particasan as Liberal: the lost their head start in 2006.
• You can question whether people are really partisan>These people are identified by the party on the Right. We need to think about party families and not simply specific partisans.
• So you might think that the number of conservatives is correlated with the party vote not their actual loyalty: so it could change next election dramatically.
• 49 points higher that a Liberal would vote Liberal in 2006.
• The Third thing: non-partisan. The Conservatives managed to out poll the Liberals. On by just by 4 points. The Conservatives edged out the non-partisans by 15 points or percentage.
• Only 1 in 4 nonpartisans
Economic evaluations didn’t register.
• Hardly mattered in 2004: why didn’t economic considerations not matter: they matter much less when the incumbent party has a new leader. People didn’t know Paul Martin was the finance minister.
• In 2006 Canadians were ready to judge the Liberals performance. Close to half the people interviewed: judgements of people’s personal financial situation improved over the past year. The most important point; negative points to the extent of economic voting helped the Liberals in 2006. Socio-tropic evaluations trumped the egocentric evaluations. Retrospective evaluations were much more important than perspective evaluations.
• People are more likely to blame than to reward:
• Some people did reward the Liberals in 2006. The Liberals would have lost 3 points: the economy was doing well limited the defeat.
• The Sponsorship Scandal affected the Liberals by 6.5 in 2004. Despite all the revelations during the 2006 election the Sponsorship Scandal would not have mattered and they only paid a price of 3 points.
• Voters were just as angry. But their judgments of Martin were less harsh. They were less likely to think that Martin knew about the scandal. Fewer people thought he had done a very bad job. People had more confidence that he could prevent this from happening in the future.
• Did people think he was personally involved even if the Gomery cleared him of blame?
• 20% of people knew that the Gomery report had cleared him but thought he was involved anyway.
• The people who are really agree were Conservative partisans. They were partisans of the Liberal rivals.
• Another problem: who was involved in the sponsorship scandal. 70% thought it was just a few corrupt Liberals.
• People were angry but less harsh in their judgments. They blamed a few corrupt liberals.
• The final thing is non-partisans: non-partisans cared much more about healthcare than other issues. Healthcare is the first priority.
• More likely to say Health Care than corruption. The Liberals on healthcare then why did the Conservatives.
Issue Attitudes:
• Conservatives benefits from sponsorship scandal. Defense spending: only 12% favoured cuts: this helped the Conservatives.
• In 2004 the gun registry: helped the Conservatives; it didn’t have an impact on vote choice; the promise to cut the GST at 6% didn’t have influence. People weren’t impressed with the promised cut.
• Send parents one dollar per day per child.
• Close to 2/3 wanted public daycare.
• Corporate taxes few wanted to see the decrease taxes. The Reform, Alliance, Conservative promised tax cuts. It is not a winning election issue.
• In 2004, social spending helped the Liberals. The Conservatives were
• The Issue that helped the NDP was environmental spending. It does tap into the environmental issue seriously helped 2 point boost
• Gay Marriage: only 1% of people thought it was a big issue.
• Issues had little net effect.
The Conservatives and Liberals it turn out issues were into important.
• Liberals have an advantage on the issues if you remove the sponsorship scandal.
• Harper’s ratings were more negative.
• Dislike of Harper cost the Conservatives the more than dislike of Martin more.
• 60% Martin only cares about staying in power. Harper is just too extreme (52%)
• Just too Extreme? The Conservative Party and Leader have to counter the image that they are too extreme.
• 1 voter in 5 said that the Conservative party is just too extreme.
The Limits to Growth:
• The Conservatives fair very poorly in second choices.
• The electoral base us very similar to the Alliance base so if you appeal only rural, and western voters.
• The Gender Gap is widening. The Conservative partisans have a genuine party.
• Things don’t look too bad for the Liberals; they paid a lower price: The scandal will not be an aspect on vote choice in 2007 election.
• The Liberals are closer to the medium Canadian voters.
• Things look very good for the NDP but they have the problem of strategic voting. The NDP is also vulnerable to the Greens and NDP. The NDP is vulnerable.


American Express Case: The Story of AmEx Canada

American Express Case: the story of American Express Canada

Key Takeaways: Ivey MBA, Howard Grosfield CEO of Amex Canada Article

  • Total Service Experience: replace cards easily over night in the event of a lost card.

Recognize me: be valuable; engaged employees = engaged customers. Empower me: to pay the balance in full! Enable me: leverage technology integrate service provisions.

  • Luxury AMEX Card: differentiated from the Diner’s Club Card (Visa). AMEX has high fees, the rolling debt balance is very bad.
  • Amex is more expensive for merchants however Amex has better customers: wealthier customers. The merchant network is weaker (charge them a higher fee) but the customers are better.
  • Centurion Services: centurion members have access to professional assistance every minute of the day. It’s the Concierge: dedicated team of highly skilled professionals. Centurion webs: privileges platform.
  • Product Expansion
  • Branding / Positioning
  • Strategic Diversification
  • Distribution / Co – Branding
  • Product Innovation

1850 – Founded as express courier service

1891 – Launched travellers cheques

Don’t leave home without them

Early 1900’s – opened offices in Europe

1957 to 1978- green, gold, platinum card

1987 – launched Optima Card

1991 – Boston Fee Party

1999 – Exclusive arrangement with Costco

1999 – Launch of Centurion “Black Card”

Travellers Cheques Advertisements

1981 – acquired Shearson Rhodes

1984 – acquired Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb

1984 – acquired IDS

1988 – acquired EF Hutton

1991 – wrote off $300 million on Optima credit card launch

1992 – spun off First Data

1993 – spun off retail brokerage arm

1994 – spun off Lehman Brothers

2005 – spun off Ameriprise

Push to capitalize on brand / expand co branded cards beyond Costco – Starwood, Jet Blue, Delta

2008: GFC affected all credit card issuers, forced to tighten up credit – less impact on AMEX

2010: Paid $300 M for internet payments processor for consumers without bank accounts (Revolution Money became Serve)

2012: Launched BlueBird with Walmart – prepaid credit card as option as lower option to chequing accounts and debit cards

Cost pressures: Airline mergers forced Amex to open airport Amex lounges versus giving cardholder access to airline lounges

Attack on high end customers from Barclays and JP Morgan Chase – Chase now leads card penetration among $125K plus households

2015: Costco switched credit cards to VISA, 10% of Amex’s 112 million cards were Costco

Question about value of Amex brand – 23% of $1 trillion in spending from co branded cards

– “Partner” vs “Vendor”

  • 19 card options
  • Card Type: Personal vs Small Business
  • Card Benefits: Rewards, Concierge, Cash Back
  • Loyalty Programs: AeroplanPlus, Air Miles, SPG, Membership Rewards
  • Card Attractions: No Fee, First Year Waived, Welcome Bonus
  • Blue Sky Credit Cards
  • Response Time When Apply?

Card options

Drop in new customers in 2014 from 150K to 80K – half via referrals, others via traditional methods

Tested pop-up in a shipping container in shopping mall parking lots / in malls (take up eight parking spots) – local area marketing to drive traffic

Signed up more customers in two months than best Scotia branch in a year

Key is credibility of Scotia and single minded focus on customer acquisition – salespeople only in the pop up branch, videoconference customer to an advisor if needed

Now have nine pop up branches that shift location every 60 to 90 days

Now back to 150K; if 8K per popup = 160 weekly / 25 daily

Retail Asset Management – FinTech History

Innovation in Retail Asset Management: 1960 to 1980

  • Launch of Index Funds (Vanguard – 1975)
  • Acceleration of mutual fund sales in the US first true “star manager” in Peter Lynch / Fidelity.
  • 1980 – $8 billion est
  • 1985 -$15 billion est.
Sold Not Bought: Role of Salesperson Compensation:

Historically: One time commission paid by investors (up to 9%)

1987 – Launch of deferred sales charge and trailers paid out of management fee of 2.5%

Front end commission: 4% upfront plus trailing commission of .5%

Backend compensation: Nothing upfront

but 1% trailing commission

Power of salesperson led to “buying business”. Sales people fueled major change in the way Retail Asset Management started.

Banks start to focus on fund sales via branches

  • Growth of independent advisors – shift away from captive sales organizations (closed to open)
  • Focus on stealing customers from banks
  • Emphasis on US and global funds outside Canada to overcome home market bias
  • First ETFs launched in Canada (TIPs)

Growth in Canadian Mutual Fund Industry (billions)

1980 – $   8  est                1995 – $144

1985 – $ 15 est                  1996 – $211

1990 – $ 25 est                  1997 – $287

1991 – $ 50 est                  1998 – $335

1992 – $ 67                        1999 – $397

1993 – $115                       2000 – $433

1994 – $125                       2001 – $441

  • Interest rates on GICs and bonds
  • Boomer demographic / saving years
  • Scepticism about CPP
  • Market performance
  • Media coverage
  • Banks starting to focus on mutual funds (beginning with money market funds)
  • Industry innovation
  • Strategic Asset Allocation – STAR (Mackenzie funds only) and Keystone (include outside funds)
  • Clone funds to get around the foreign content limit within RRSPs (originally 20%, later increased to 30%, then eliminated)
  • Corporate class funds to allow investors to switch between funds without triggering capital gains
  • Fee structures for HNW and fee based accounts

Growth of Canadian mutual  fund industry assets (billions)

2002        $404                 2010  – $   772

2003        $474                 2011  – $   769

2004        $524                 2012  – $   849

2005        $603                 2013  – $   996

2006        $696                 2014  – $ 1138

2007        $739                 2015  – $ 1232

2008        $585                 2016  –  $1339

2009         $694                2024  –  $2000 (Forecast)

Net sales of Canadian funds

2004      – $12 billion             2011 – $31 billion

2005      – $10 billion             2012 – $36 billion

2006      – $17 billion             2013 – $42 billion

2007      – $22 billion             2014 – $58 billion

2008       ($15 billion)            2015 – $57 billion

2009 – $  5 billion              2016 – $30 billion

2010 – $11 billion             2017 – $19 billion (to July)


1990                     1998                     2011                     2016

Banks                   36%                      29%                      46%                      53%

Independents      35%                      53%                      45%                      39%

Captive / Direct   29%                      18%                      9%                        9%

Loss in Share by Banks was due to:
  • Performance
  • Advice
  • Internal Barriers
  • Level of Focus and Priority
  • Internal Conflict / Cultural Issues
Banks Made Five Key Decisions
  1. Ensured competitive products – shifted to packaged solutions
  2. Approached high value customers with dedicated branch financial planners
  3. Aligned incentives – implemented variable compensation / pay for performance for planners
  4. Deployed sales management for planner salesforce
  5. Incentives to activate branch referrals from front end staff


Growth of Canadian ETF assets (billions)

2002        $   5                    2010      – $    38

2003        $   9                    2011  – $    43

2004        $   9                    2012  – $    56

2005        $ 12                    2013  – $    62

2006        $ 15                    2014  – $    75

2007        $  18                   2015  – $    88

2008        $  19                   2016  – $  114

2009   $  31                        2017 –  $  134 (August)

Threat from ETFs – Sales

ETFs       Mutual Funds  ETF Share of Funds

1999                     .07                 18              0.4%

2010                        3                  11                    27%

2011                        7                  20                   35%

2012                     11                  31                    36%

2013                        5                  42                    12%

2014                     10                  58                    18%

2015                    16                   57                    28%

2016                     16                  30                    53%

Three Types of Innovation

1 Breakthrough

  • Passive investing: Burton Malkiel, Princeton
  • Three factor research: Fama and French, Value, Small Caps and Momentum
  • Junk bonds: Michael Milken
  • Asset allocation: Gary Brinson
  • Stocks for the long run: Jeremy Siegel, Wharton

2 Incremental

  • Income Trusts
  • Income oriented offerings / return on capital
  • Dividend growers vs dividend sustainers
  • Low volatility funds
  • Fundamental indexing / Smart Beta
  • Active share
  • Geographic sectors – Emerging Markets, Frontier, Japan
  • Industry sectors – Technology, Energy, Pharma, Telecom, REITS
  • Tax driven
  • New instruments – Leveraged loans, Floating loans, Bank debt
  • Market sectors – small caps, mid caps
  • Market Responsive
  • Fee structures
  • Tax structures
  • New pricing and features targeted to different segments   

Startup Theories | Big Bang Disruptions and Marketing Myopia

Marketing Myopia: Levitt’s 1960 HBR article

The point of Levitt’s article was that businesses should focus on customer needs rather than business ideas. The illusion that a firm is in a growth industry is a common one. There are no growth industries! Presumptive growth is not guaranteed. They instead need focus on the vision of customer needs. You are not in the business of a particular industry, you’re in the business of customer value creation.

People cannot accurately predict the future and therefore there is no such thing as a growth industry. Management needs to see the broader market; you need to be single minded about what the customer wants.

Self-Deceiving of Management:

  • Growth through market segment expansion
  • Too much faith in manufacturing
  • Preoccupation of careful scientific experiments;
  • Too narrow understanding of the customer / narrow industry view.

Examples, Petroleum = Energy not oil!

Corner Store = Food distribution not retail groceries!

Buggy = Transportation not horse and carriage!

Retirement Homes  = Childhood for Seniors

If the management understood that they were in the transportation industry not in the horse and carriage industry; they might well have avoid the decline of GM in the 2000s.

Big Bang Disruptions:

The idea with Big Bang Disruption is it is an article that buildings on Christensen’s Crossing the Chasm.

Key takeaways:

  • Make your exit at the right time;
  • Jump before your garbage falls on you;
  • Wrong attitude or right attitude (is this Big Bang Disruption really for MBAs and academics?)
  • They aren’t trying to disrupt you, you’re banker job is just part of the debris.

Unencumbered development: hackathon culture.

Unconstrainted growth: there are the 5 segments by Everett Rogers Crossing the Chasm, now there are trial users.

Undisciplined strategy: start life with a better performance at a lower price.  Venmo; faster cheaper. Not trying to disrupt your business, you’re business is collateral damage. Be ready for the fast escape.

  • Consult your truth tellers: candor Jack Welch.
  • Pinpoint your market entry:
  • Launch seemingly random experiments: confuse people
  • Survive catastrophic success
  • Capture winner-take-all markets
  • Create bullet time
  • Anticipate saturation
  • Shed assets before they become liabilities
  • Quit while you’re ahead
  • Escape your own black hole
  • Become someone else’s components
  • Move to a new singularity.
  • Strategic Discipline: Compete on all three disciplines at once.
  • New-Product Marketing: Market to all segments of users immediately. Be ready to scale up and exist swiftly.
  • Innovation Method: rapid-fire, low-cost experimentation on popular platforms (Reddit, Facebook, Twitter)d onto the technology needed to deliver the Model-T.

Read the CFA Institute’s New Infographic on Trust

The CFA Institute produces an excellent curriculum that dovetails nicely with a top MBA program and/or undergraduate degrees in finance and accounting. Understanding how finance works to facilitate capital markets is a very useful and a worthwhile endeavor. It helps if you have an interest in how the economy and business works, but there are a lot of dispassionate people in finance as well, so no worries if you aren’t like me. This infographic is an excellent break down of the steps needed to increase credibility and professionalism in any investment firm: very challenging with downward pressure. The ethics portion of the CFA Level 1 exam is the most interesting part for me, having a penchant for the law. Click here of the original infographic on the CFA institute website.

Phil Knight | ShoeDog (Everything You Need to Know) 1968 – to the End of the Book

1968 – A synopsis

This chapter begins with the author deliberating about leaving his cushy job at Price Waterhouse to be able to devote more time to Blue Ribbon. However, financially, it wasn’t possible to just work at Blue Ribbon. So he decides to become an assistant professor at Portland State University, which will allow him to earn his sustenance as well as have more time for his company. His senior at Price Waterhouse and his father both are baffled at his decision to quit his job.

This is where the story of how he meets his future wife begins. She is a student who looks different than everyone else and diverts his attention by sitting in the first row. Penelope Parks never participates in class discussions (which the author makes lively by using the Socratic method), but ends up surprising the author by getting the topmost grades in her assignments.

He eventually asks her if she would be interested in doing accounting work for his company, and she acquiesces. She soon becomes indispensable, both from a professional as well as a human relations point of view. The author one day finds that she has kept all her salary cheques uncashed in her drawer, and this is what perhaps gives him the courage to ask her out on a date. They go to the zoo where he tells her more about himself, his travels around the world and his dream for his company. She is suitably impressed as she has only dated ‘boys’ who are interested in sports and cars.

They go on a couple more dates, and become more comfortable with each other. They end up meeting each other’s parents, and discover that their homes are as different as possible. The author’s parents are polite but insist on knowing more about her. Parks’ home, in contrast, is rowdy and in disorder. The author eventually connects with Penelope’s mother, who begins to like him.

With things going smoothly at the office and at home and Penelope spending increasingly more time with the author, he asks her mother permission to take her away for a weekend with him. She refuses the first time, but the author uses his negotiation skills to get her to agree the second time round.

The trip is successful and ends with the couple very matter-of-factly deciding about their upcoming marriage.

This chapter also deals with the author’s observations on Japan and its culture. He openly admires their way of doing things, their shyness and his growing camaraderie with Kitami, who invites him to his department’s annual picnic.

An important incident here that highlights the author’s character is his sending fifty dollars to a man in Japan who lost his home and bicycle in a typhoon. The author has just met and conversed with this man once, yet considered it important enough to help him out. The man replies saying he can’t accept the money as per the instructions of his superiors, but cleverly adds a postscript saying that if the author instead sends the money to his home address, he will be able to take it. The author does so.

1969 – A Synopsis

Now that the company is running in a stable manner with regards to steady sales, attention is drawn to other important factors like advertising, athletic endorsements etc. Knight recruits a broke art student for painting advertisements when he realizes how behind they are in that field.

Mention is also made to the historic moment when two athletes, John Carlos and Tommy Smith, raised a protest at the Olympics as a protest. Knight mentions that Bowerman naturally supported them, because he would support all runners. This adds to the facet of Bowerman’s personality revealed before – of putting running before everything. Not only is it above business (he never mentions his company in his book), but it is also above his beliefs, whether racial or otherwise, at the time. He supports his runners simply because they are that.

Knight’s naiveté is also shows in this chapter when he openly puts in a mail to all his employees saying he has his own spy working on Kitmami. He is also revealed to be a difficult person to live with, absentminded, a bad driver, not neat and spoiled in the sense that he is unable to take care of himself. His wife lovingly puts up with all of it. However, when she gets pregnant and they buy a house and Knight makes it clear that the house will be taken away if the company goes under, a major development in her character is reflected.

Knight also mistakenly takes a harder than necessary stance with an employee who is overburdened with work and wants a raise and is starting to detest Knight’s offhand management style. Woodell helps patch this trouble over by staying with the employee for a few days and effectively bonding with him.

She has always been shown as a diligent person who becomes indispensible to the office, but now, she works harder than ever before even when she is pregnant. Her fear of not having stability drives her more than anything else. She fills out uncertain and badly drawn orders, keeping up sales numbers through her days of morning sickness and bodily weight gain. She is a stellar character who rises up to the challenges of Knight’s life.

The relationship between Woodell and Knight also develops. This is the first time that Knight speaks of someone with such fond remembrance that one can detect a yearning of nostalgia for times spent with Woodell. Woodell is an inspiration and much more self-reliant than most fully-abled men. He abhors pity and is dedicated to his work. He quickly becomes a very important part of the Knights’ lives, both professionally and personally.

Knight also reaches another key point in his life – he becomes a father. He is both scared but mostly wondrous at the feeling of having created his own baby with his wife when he first holds the baby. He is ecstatic, and the first thought that comes into his mind is to find his father and tell him the news.

1970 – A Synopsis

This is the point when Knight faces many challenges, including one in his personal life. The gamut of challenges starts with a meeting for contract renewal in Japan that goes well but leaves him in doubt nevertheless. Simultaneously, orders start coming in an even worse manner – earlier, they used to be merely late, now they are the wrong models as well the wrong sizes. Customers start getting frustrated in large numbers. Of course, the company understands that they are first fulfilling their demand in Japan and then sending the leftovers to America.

Next, Knight gets told by his banker that there will be no money given to him any longer, and to return the money he already owes, he must fulfill strict sales quotas set by the bank. Here, for the first time, Japan offers to send the shipment on time – just when the bank has backed out. Knight comes up with the idea of a small public offering.

When this public offering disastrously fails, however, it leaves Knight’s confidence in his life’s work shattered. He is left questioning himself. Although he blames various things for it (Vietnam, the depression) he is ultimately racked with humiliation at having thought too much of something that clearly was not. Still struggling, Knight struggles to find money so badly that he accepts the last life savings of Woodell’s parents.

To continue the downward spiral, Knight also loses the physical agility which he was so proud of. Having gained weight, he could no longer run the way he used to. It all comes down to one humiliating moment when Knight cannot keep up with Grelle in a private run. But this serves as a springboard, and Knight begins to shed the extra kilos.

He trains hard, comes back and beats Grelle in a running bet. This is perhaps the beginning of better days, because Knight finds out about Japanese trading companies, who like to extend lines of credit to fledgling companies. This provides Knight an option after the bank debacle. But he is careful, and takes time to decide.

He discovers some disturbing news – his doubts in the meeting in Japan were correct, after all – Kitami is shopping for another US dealer. This is when he makes the strategic decision of inviting Kitami to his country and his home.

There is a subtle link between the physical fitness of Knight and his ability to keep his company running. This is perhaps because in the past chapters he has always used running as something to soothe him, or calm him down, or even blow off steam – he has gone on a run before big deals or before big decisions, often feeling better afterwards. His lack of physical fitness came as a realization to him at a particularly low point professionally. But once he overcomes that and goes back to his previous weight and is able to proudly run again, even bigger problems than before seem easier to resolve.

1971 – A Synopsis

This chapter is whirlwind of ups and down, and reveals the character of the mysterious Mr. Kitami at length. While the Knights make his and his assistant’s American visit as hospitable as possible, Kitmami blows over reactions at the bank by outright demanding them to give Blue Ribbon money.

Knight is shocked, but catches the smug expression of Kitami as they exit the bank, understanding that Kitami is trying to sabotage this deal in more ways than one. Kitami continues this irritable behaviour at the new offices, refusing to acknowledge the steady double growth as a good thing, demanding more.

Here is where a side of Knight previously unseen is discovered. On continuously hearing that their growth should be triple through reference to a folder, Knight becomes curious and pilfers the folder from Kitmani’s belongings. Shocked at himself, he confides in Woodell, who is shocked as well, but wants to analyze the contents nevertheless. Here it is evident that although both men have a good conscience, yet when it comes to their business, there are some lines that they wouldn’t mind crossing.

Kitami’s unforgivable behaviour continues when he leaves Jenny alone to fix a flat tyre on the highway, himself just sitting in the car. Things continue to go downhill at a get-together at the Bowermans’, where Mrs. Bowerman has allowed alcohol when she generally doesn’t. Tensions are already high due to the war, and Mr. Bowerman gets really tipsy and makes the environment uncomfortable. The weird night ends with Kitami playing songs on a guitar, making everyone fall into silence.

For the first time, Bowerman’s goofy side is shown. He is always the quiet, resilient and diligent person in the background, but at this get-together, he does not mind being the verbose centre of attention. Perhaps it was this effect of alcohol that made Mrs. Bowerman forbid any alcohol in the house.

After Kitami ends his visit by proposing buying out Blue Ribbon, Knight is forced to come up with a strategy to save his company and turns back to the Japanese trading company, which helps him meet a genius show creator’s student.

One of the most historic moments of the story also fall within this chapter – the naming of the brand as Nike. After thinking of various names that the employees could not agree on, the name Nike is decided in desperation, and so is a symbol resembling a swoosh of air.

After trying out various factories, Knight also finds a dream factory that manufactures shoes to his satisfaction. Although he finds a few faults, overall, the quality control and the manufacturing speed are above reproach. He ends up naming the rest of the models in a fit of exuberance, and feels victorious afterwards. That feeling of victory is similar to how he felt when his son was born – the words ‘we made this’ are common in both situations.

This chapter is important not only because of the beginning of the evolving of the company as it is popularly known, but also delving into aspects of personality of the characters previously unexplored.

1972 – A Synopsis

This chapter focuses on how the company starts shaping its own unique identity. Till now, Knight and his people have been working hard, yes, but they have always been controlled by someone else. Although Japan’s support was important in the initial stages, this chapter shows how the company has grown strong enough to throw away the shackles and follow their own path.

This happens when Kitami walks into one of the shoe stores and finds boxes upon boxes of Nike shoes stacked in the back. Thus follows a meeting where both sides threaten each other with lawsuits, and their business connection is terminated. Knight, in this chapter, shows the true qualities of a leader. Till now, although effective, there hasn’t been much evidence of Knight encouraging people, as he prefers not to be the hands-on type of leader. In the meeting after this incident, however, Knight single-handedly converts the defeat and pessimism in everyone’s body language to hope and an eagerness for success. The story after this almost feels destines for success.

The rest of the chapter deals with Nike and how it gets itself into the endorsement business. It begins with the National Sporting Goods Association Show, where despite having mediocre product the company manages to exceed all of their collective order expectations. In disbelief, when asked why they were ordering the product at all, the salesmen confess that they know that this company always tells the truth. Although bewildered that such a simple thing could be behind this success, the answer sticks with Knight.

The company also meets with good success at the Olympic field and track trials, where they get athletes to wear their apparel and their shoes. They eventually end up signing a deal for ten thousand dollars with Ilie ‘Nasty’ Nastase.

To top it all off, the University of Oregon Ducks unexpectedly win, and they do so wearing Nike waffles. Knight is ecstatic because it is a double whammy – his team is winning, and it is doing so wearing his product.

In this chapter, Knight also consciously or subconsciously reveals that this is the turning point from which there is no return. Till before this, Knight’s mindset has always been that if the business fails, it had better fail fast, because then he can get out young. But here, after witnessing the legendary win of Prefontaine and the emerging of the Ducks as winner, it is clear that Knight loves sports so much they are a part of who he is as a person, and he will never be truly able to turn back.

Finally, Bowerman reveals another facet of this character, which comes as a big surprise. After a shocking disaster where eleven Israeli athletes are kidnapped and killed, Bowerman is irrevocably shaken, and resigns from coaching a few days after. This is the first time Bowerman is shown in a defeatist stance.

Overall, the tone of the chapter is promising, and everything is going good for Knight. It seems there is nowhere to go but up.

1973 – A Synopsis

Problems have started cropping up – and not just for Knight. Pre, the star of the last chapter, finishes fourth in the Olympic finals. His financial condition also takes a turn for the worse because Olympic athletes weren’t allowed to collect endorsement money. Knight eventually decides to hire him and use him to spread the word about Nike.

Pre’s personality takes up a lot of the chapter. He is the sort of person people automatically become intimidated by when he walks into a room. The ice eventually breaks over a meal when everyone realizes how Pre is just like them.

Knight takes another important managerial decision – he gets Woodell and Johnson to switch cities. This is difficult because both of them have settled well in the cities they already are in, but Knight convinces them to do it.

One of the most painful moments yet is chronicled in this chapter. Knight meets with his debenture holders after posting a loss, and trying to answer their questions is very difficult for him. Staring up at him are working class faces who put their faith in him, and then and there, Knight decides that he will never take his company public – if facing a few debenture holders could make him feel so bad, what would thousand of shareholders do for him? He placates the debenture holders by telling them that he would keep the conversion rate the same for all the five years (when originally it was supposed to increase each year).

A suit is filed against the company in Japan, and they sue back with the help of Knight’s cousin, Houser. Houser is tenacious and competitive, and plays well in front of a judge or a jury. Knight feels drained because of the depositions he has to go through, where various questions are asked of him just to somehow get him to accept breaking the contract. His father provides him valuable support during this time, both familial and legal. Having such a focused thing to concentrate on gives his father a mission too.

A new law graduate, Rob Strasser, is added to the legal team, and he and Knight hit it off. They bond over work, over sports and over having similar fathers. Strasser also fully believes in the company’s cause.

Meanwhile, Penny is about to have another child. Knight is worried about supporting two children financially. However, after the child is safely delivered, Knight’s mind returns to his business, and Penny can feel it. Although Knight realizes that what he did wasn’t something he should have done, he doesn’t stop himself. Neither does Penny. It is amply clear that she understands him and his state of mind completely.

Knight starts a completely new system that picks up pace with the shoe suppliers for solving the problem of demand and supply. He asks for bulk non refundable orders six months in advance. Although he faces resistance in the beginning, by the end of it, the people who aren’t included beg to be let in.

1974 – A Synopsis

This chapter is a finger-biting account of the entire trial. It is described so well that the tension is palpable. Everything that could have gone splendidly right goes wrong in one way or another. Knight’s nerves are on edge after the countless question in the deposition, and he makes the mistake of not being well rested or well fed before coming to court. He breaks under pressure, often becoming incoherent.

Other witnesses don’t do too well too. Bowerman refuses to prepare for his testimony because of his deep disdain for the Japanese business and ends up getting intimidated on the stand, and Woodell gets so nervous he starts giggling while spelling his name for the judge. After the judge passes a gag order forbidding both of the sides to talk about the trial, the very next day, Johnson speaks to a salesperson who turns up in the court with the defense team. Overall, the case looks like a wreck. But amidst all of this chaos, Knight manages to convey the unstoppable belief that he has in his cousin – and it seems the cousin is the only one who does not in some way contribute to the worsening of the case.

The judge himself is a character whose different sides are revealed throughout the chapter. Increasingly dramatic and at first appearing very stern, it is later revealed that under all the dramatic announcements, he is a logical person who is simply making the most of a case that he doesn’t particularly like. His judgment finds in favor of Blue Ribbon simply because he finds that side most truthful – and it is shown how the judge is a very astute observer because he notices things like Kitami getting a translator but correcting him in perfect English when he makes a mistake translating.

This chapter is extremely well worded – throughout the proceedings, it seems that Knight and his company will lose, but when the point of ruling actually comes about, there isn’t incredulous surprise at them winning. The feeling of joy afterwards is very well captured, and Knight especially gets carried away with the feeling of victory. The other side however does not render the cheque immediately as per their settlement agreement. Another great victory is Jimmy Connors surprisingly winning the Wimbeldon and the US Open, both in Nikes.

Another important part of the chapter is Knight trying to recruit Strasser. Till now, Knight has never actually prepared a speech or arguments to try to hire someone. But he knows how valuable Strasser can be – and knows that Strasser too would love to work with Blue Ribbon. Eventually, Strasser’s only problem turns out to be getting his father’s permission – something Knight hasn’t prepared for. But that works out for the best and Strasser becomes the company’s first in-house counsel. It is clear that this is the bedrock of a relationship that is going to last for a long time. The number of similarities in their personal lives is already quite great, and now they are beginning a professional relationship too. As we see Bowerman becoming less and less focused, Strasser’s involvement simultaneously grows along side.

1975 – A Synopsis

This is where all the financial problems come to a head – there come a point when the company is unable to pay Nissho, the salary cheques of the employees bounce, the bank refuses to associate with them anymore, an FBI investigation is prompted by the bank, angry creditors fly down to demand their money, all the while when the person from Nissho who was dealing with Blue Ribbon – the friendly Sumeragi – is replaced by a higher-up, Ito, who is so cold that Knight starts referring to him as the Ice Man.

Through all the troubles that emerge, the characters of three people come out through and through – Ito, Knight and Giampietro, the man Knight had hired for managing the shoe factory.

Giampietro gets the company out of a huge fix in a very unconventional manner. When the cheques bounce and the angry employees swarm around Johnson, Giampietro drives around to the owner of a local box company, demanding a loan of five thousand dollars. It is a mark of Giampietro’s personality that he actually gets the loan. He then hands out crisp notes to the employees, staving off one disaster.

The entire bank situation gets out of hand with the FBI potentially getting involved. Knight informs Nissho of the situation, preferring to be truthful. He also asks for a further loan of a million dollars to hold everybody else off. Ito demands to see the books before he makes a decision. This is a warning sign because Knight used the money from Nissho to build the factory – and Nissho had no idea about it. Knight spends a sleepless night, only to see that Ito handles it way better than Knight could ever have imagined.

Ito comes out as a sterling character who believes in Knight. Singly handedly, after knowing the exact circumstances, he visits the bank and shuts up their threats forever. He pays off the remaining debt and tells the bank that they can stop hoping to get business with Nissho from now. Knight is delighted and relieved in equal measures.

The creditors are handles in an almost funny way – it would be hilarious if it weren’t so desperate – as Knight assigns a person to each creditor to make sure that they don’t bump into each other inside the building. A third person manages the movements and warns the handlers about the creditors. Knight jumps in and talks to the disgruntled creditors and manages to save the day for the time being.

The chapter ends on a positive note, a much more positive place than could have been expected with the way the financial state of things were. It is clear that Nissho is in with Blue Ribbon for the long haul. It becomes apparent again, that like at the time of the courtroom troubles, it is truth and straightforwardness that saved Knight and his company this time too.

Penny, once again, displays her faith in Blue Ribbon and gives Knight a positive assessment to rely on in times of intense stress.

Part two, 1975 – A Synopsis

This is a very short, very sad chapter. Everything upto this point has been a description of Knight’s struggles with his identity (at first), and then the troubles of getting his business set up. Much of the other parts of Knight’s life – like, death, which everyone deals with – has not come in a large enough form for it to have affected him majorly. This chapter shows how the major characters deal with such a crisis.

The chapter begins quite happily – Blue Ribbon has come out of all the trouble, but they still lack a bank. After trying a number of them, they end up finally getting a bank who is ready to take them on – the First State Bank of Oregon, in Milwaukie. Knight is finally relieved and gets a good night’s sleep after weeks.

The Memorial Day weekend is coming up, and Penny wants to get away, and so does Knight. But as has been shown before, Knight loves to mix business with pleasure – and so he proposes going to Pre’s weekend meet, where he has invited a mix of some of the best runners in the world. The weekend promises to be fun and exciting.

Seeing Pre running inspires Knight, as usual. There is something different this time – Pre is not at his best, and everyone can see it, yet he puts in all he has in the last two hundred yards and wins. Knight recalls Pre’s famous saying, ‘Somebody may beat me – but they’re going to have to bleed to do it’, and vows to apply it in his professional life.

After the Knights drive back home after a good day, Phil receives a call just before dawn Ed Campbell over at the Bank of California, telling him that Pre is dead. Phil is shocked and can’t believe it, and tries to confirm the story. It is indeed true – Pre died in a car accident last night.

Pre’s death is heartbreaking particularly because he was so young. Knight compares it to his age – when he was twenty four, he had hardly lived life. Pre was already world famous and had so much to do. Bowerman is particularly broken down about Pre’s death, having been his coach through tough times, and having also survived the attack on Israelis at the time of the Olympics. Bowerman gives a beautiful eulogy, but look completely spent thereafter. Having been an unstoppable force, it looks like Bowerman is finally slowing down, and this may be a hit from which he may never recover.

Pre was a beloved athlete, and people start leaving gifts at the place he died – flowers, letters, notes, even Nikes. Knight and the rest of Blue Ribbon decide that they will collect everything and build a shrine for Pre, because he deserves that. They have no idea how they will be able to collect the money for this sort of a thing, but Woodell and Knight agree that as long as they are in business, they will somehow find the money for things that matter the most.

1976 – A Synopsis

Going public is the question that is raised multiple times, and is rejected everytime. It is not just because Knight is afraid of becoming answerable to shareholders – it is because it will change the entire culture of the company.

Bowerman finally snaps. First, he refuses to give a personal guarantee on a loan for the company, and then asks Knight to buy his share at a reduced price. Knight pleads with him to stay on and retain a small percentage. Later, Bowerman calls a meeting and tries to pick up a fight where there is no basis for one. It is clear – he isn’t happy, and he doesn’t feel involved.

Nike, meanwhile, brings about a new revolution by changing the color of their most popular pair of shoes to blue, so that they go well with jeans. Till now, no shoes company had been able to massively breakthrough into the everyday wear market, and almost overnight Nike cracked the code.

For solving the factory problem, Knight selects Gorman and takes him to Taiwan with him to give him a refresher course of Asia. Here, Knight fulfills one of his earliest wishes – he goes and lives in a suite he could not afford at the time of his student world tour. This shows how far he has come from then. People also appreciate Nike at the trials, and Knight overhears a statement that says Nike is really beating Adidas.

Nike gets a huge victory when at the Olympic trials, most unexpectedly, the three men wearing Nikes all end up crossing the victory line first. Flushed with success, they hope for a Nike Olympic winner, knowing that this is the most legitimate way for a shoe company to show that it is truly in the game. However, as the competitor’s shoes are shows, it is revealed that Shorter is actually wearing Tigers. This is the defining moment when Knight realizes how invested he is in his Nikes – he is not making Nikes, the Nikes are making him.

This chapter very candidly shares the kind of work culture Nike had at the time. Their annual retreat is called Buttface – and even though they are posting millions in sales there is nothing formal or corporate about this retreat. Ideas are discussed and dismissed in raucous voices, peppered with appropriate insults. No one is out of reach of the insults, including Knight himself. Knight feels brotherly love and loyalty for his entire team and knows that they will face the world together.

Meanwhile, Knight’s family life is suffering as he is spending less and less time with his friends. He ruefully admits that this is not a problem he can solve with the help of his friends and his team. He questions his parenting style – which is also his leadership style, i.e. not being hands on – and wonders if it is wrong or right. As a parent, one of his boys is perpetually frustrated with him because he doesn’t have enough time for the family; while the other boy adores him no matter what.

1977 – A Synopsis

Nike is now moving forward in two aspects – innovation and advertising. Both of these are giving it the kind of momentum that has begun to scare the big players like Adidas and Converse. Knight meets Rudy and Bogert, who bring with them the crazy sounding idea of using air bubbles in shoes soles. While skeptical at first, Knight thinks the idea has potential when he tries it out. On the other hand, Bowerman comes up with an idea that ends up causing injuries to people. Though the people do not lash back, Bowerman becomes dejected. Knight tries to console him, but what actually works in the end is his competitive spirit – when he comes to know the new air sole idea.

Knight starts focusing on college teams and getting them to wear Nikes. Strasser proves more invaluable than ever, because he shows himself to be a great negotiator. For the third time in this story, honesty is what leads them to what they want.

Nike becomes popular not only because of sportsmen wearing their shoes, but because of the relentless efforts of one of the guys on the team handing out Nikes to anyone and everyone on Hollywood. Appearance in a couple of very famous shows ensures that those models sell out like hot cakes.

Knight still is skeptical of the reach of advertising, although he loves the new campaign.

The question of going public comes up again, and this time Knight cannot evade it. He realizes that it is inevitable, and so puts it to a vote. The answer is inconclusive. While still going through this mental upheaval, Knight gets a letter from the Customs Service saying his company owes them twenty five million dollars. This is the result of lobbying from competitor companies and the use of an archaic law. Knight decides he has no other option than to hit back with all he has got because it is financially impossible to pay such a sum, and then continue to pay at this rate.

Knight’s frustration and anger are highlighted like never before. Earlier, he has been in tough situations but he is never portrayed as particularly aggressive. In this situation, he ends up mashing his phone to a pulp thrice.

Meanwhile, with sales climbing, the Knights decide to buy a new home. Although emotional about leaving the one in which their kids grew up behind, they decide they need more space, and they can definitely afford it. Knight’s struggle with fatherhood continues. He begins to rectify his lack of presence by being available for all weekend games and sports that his kids participate in. He soon realizes that Matthew isn’t really interested in sports. Unfortunately, this effect rubs off on Travis as well, who is actually quite talented in this matter.

Knight feels let down by his kids, because sports are such an integral part of his life. It isn’t just that he mentions Nike as his third child, it is also that he has seen life through sports metaphors, and has climbed out of the most difficult times in his life by simply going for a run.

1978 – A Synopsis

Strasser is once again ready to defend Nike against injustice, but both Strasser and Knight are aware of the fact that he can’t on the US Government alone – they would need help. Enter Werschkul. Werschkul is an eccentric but extremely intelligent person whose job is to move to Washington DC and help sort the case out. Though starting out very well, Werschkul eventually loses his mental balance working over the project, and Knight decides he himself will have to head to Washington.

Nike suffers through a major failure. The Tailwind is released – the new shoe with twelve new innovations including air in the soles! It gets sold out faster than any other model, but soon there are serious complaints and the company has to issue a recall and refunds. This hits everyone hard, particularly Strasser. The overall mood at the company seems pessimistic, even as they try to console themselves. The only person who seems to have achieved something positive out of this entire episode is Bowerman – he seems to have come out of his slump at this news.

Knight also decides to start a line of apparel because that would give Nike more respectability and diversification. Till now, Knight has made sound choices about his staff and their positions. This is when he makes a major mistake for the first time – he hires Nelson as head of the apparel department, and realizes later how unfashionable Nelson is. It is too late to make a change, however.

Nike moves out into new offices, and Knight notices the fact that his team looks eccentric and underdressed at best and ridiculous at worst. He institutes a dress code, which is met by rebellion. Sticking to his guns, he starts religiously fining anyone who doesn’t follow the letter as well as the spirit of the dress code.

Eventually, as Nelson comes out with a disastrous result (as was expected), though horrific, the situation is so hilarious that it breaks the tension for everyone involved, including Knight. Knight then puts Woodell in charge of the apparel line, and competen as ever, Woodell churns out a brilliant result.

Knight also reflects on the fact that he is steadily approaching burnout at a time when he is facing one of the biggest problems facing his company. He sits in his office – in his new chair that his designer has fashioned like a baseball mitt – and instead of appreciating himself and his team for having come thus far, can only see the problems looming in the distance.

Knight’s faith in Woodell has always been a salient point of the story, but is outright stated in this chapter when Knight wonders if he should just make Woodell do every job including his own, since he does everything so well. Knight is not looking forward to going to Washington but realizes it is something important, and deserves the best he can do. He also thinks that maybe the only way out of a potential burnout situation is to work harder.

1979 – A Synopsis

Finally in Washington, Knight tries to logically argue with the Customs official, but there is nothing which seems to move him – flattery, appeals, the American spirit, the truth, nothing. Knight has support from the treasury department, but he simply waves it off saying the Treasury department’s memo isn’t binding on Customs.

Knight now realizes what a difficult time Wershckul was having. Knight keeps on commuting to Washington, meeting with important people and trying his best to get ahead of the situation. Finally, it seems a good opportunity is at hand when they secure a meeting with Senator Hatfield. They spend a considerable time going over every possible argument and every possible counter argument. Knight is extremely worried about the meeting, and is so nervous that he gets extremely sweat before the meeting. His chief worry is that if they are not able to convince him, they may not get another chance.

Finally, when they meet the senator, he needs no convincing – he directly tells them he knows of their situation, and what can he do to help? Both of them clash on this and can’t decide, because they aren’t ready with an answer – they didn’t expect the Senator to already be on their side. Knight says they will get back to him soon.

The efforts finally pay off and the bureaucrat is under increased pressure to stop pressurizing Nike to pay. Knight derives a certain satisfaction at getting back at the bureaucrat (whom he refers to as a bureau-kraken).

Nike does a tremendous job at the new retail space they open in Portland. There are long lines and people want to try out everything that is available. There is so much pressure that even Knight helps out. He realizes why it is so important to carry on, no matter what – this is what the company is, and he has to keep fighting to keep it this way. The Nike office also shifts again, this time to a huge forty six thousand square foot building, complete with a steam room, a library, a gym and endless conference rooms. Knight consciously leaves behind the baseball mitt chair. He, however, does not feel a sense of victory as he should, seeing his team shifting into bigger offices. He is still worried about all of it being taken away any day now, and with that worry over his head, is unable to enjoy what should have normally been a great win.

The problems that the company was facing in Japan begin to narrow down in Taiwan as well. Knight knows that it is inevitable that he will have to move to China. He reaches out to David Chang, who is supposedly the best expert on the country. Chang presses all the wrong buttons at the company. He makes a fat joke after meeting Hayes, Strasser and Jim Manns, the new CFO; and mistakenly assumes Woodell is temporarily in his wheelchair and asks him when he is getting out of it. Knight optimistically tells him that there is nowhere to go now but up.

1980 – A Synopsis

Two things happen in this chapter that changed the course of history – Nike entering China, and going public.

Knight and his company are told that things are done differently in China – they have to be issued an invitation to be able to go to the country and start talking about business. So they send a very lengthy formal request on Cheng’s advice, and hope for the best. Fortunately, they get a positive reply.

Knight is really keyed up about this and wants to do everything right. He makes himself and his entire team who is going to go with him read up on China, its traditions, customs etc. He also decides to stop in Japan before going to China, to give everyone else a chance to acclimatize themselves to Asia. The meetings go really well, although they find that the factories and the shoe market in China is pathetically underdeveloped.

They solve the Customs problem once and for all by playing by the same rule that is being forced on them – they manufacture a very cheap shoe, so customs calculations would have to be based on that. Secondly, they start a TV commercial sympathetically telling the story of a hardworking Oregon company who is forced to fight with the big bad government. This gains traction among the public.

As a masterstroke, they file a suit against the government. Finally, the bureaucrat gives in. However, Knight is in no mood for a quick settlement. He refuses to pay a single penny. Over time, he is convinced by everyone around his that this is the best course of action to take, and settles for nine million. There is a moment as he signs the cheque when he reflects how far he has come from times when he could not pay a million dollars in debt without fear of the cheque bouncing.

Knight’s primary problem with going public is the lack of control, and so when he is told that there is a way to go public without losing control, he is all for it. His team agrees. They work on the process – hiring a law firm, preparing a prospectus, meeting with various important people on Wall Street, debating about the price. It is the latter which causes much argument. The law firm is not ready to take the price above twenty one a share, and Knight is determined to have it at twenty two. He believes they are worth that much, and there is another company called Apple that is going public at the same time, at that price too.

After everything is settled, instead of feeling an overwhelming feeling of victory, Knight is surprised that he feels regret – he wishes he could do it all over again. Throughout the going public process, he has been thinking of defining moments that have led his company to where it is right now. There is a strong sense of nostalgia.

He wakes up and overnight he is worth $178 million, but he doesn’t feel any different.

Night – A Synopsis

The epilogue is set in 2007 and explains how far everyone involved in Nike has come till now. It shows the efforts Nike has made worldwide to make lives of people better, how the company has become even better when hit with problem like the sweatshop controversy, and how it is continuing to grow in the present. His hometown has honored him in a myriad ways, by naming buildings after him and Bowerman.

The epilogue deals with some very heartbreaking deaths. The first of these is the death of Knight’s son, Matthew, who dies in a diving accident after a life of running away trying to find himself. Knight still wonders if his being around more would have helped Matthew be a different person.

Bowerman dies after going back to the same place he was most nostalgic about. Knight recalls every memory with him, of running for him, that meeting that started the company, and how he was the creative genius behind so much of the company’s success.

Knight also reveals that he shares a very good rapport with all the athletes that endorse Nike, and how they have been there for each other in hard times.

Although Knight has since retired as CEO, his mind is still looking for new things to do. He feels restless, burrowing into his childhood memories and thinking of his family. The idea of writing a memoir pops up in his head because he believes that the story of Nike hasn’t been told properly. Additionally, it might inspire or help a new entrepreneur who may also learn from the mistakes Knight made. It is important to find a calling in life and never settle for a career or job. It is important to be persistent, but it is just as important to know when to quit and move on to the next thing.

He often wonders about doing it all over again – what he would change, what he wouldn’t do. Knight also candidly admits his failings. As they became rich after the public offer, the money affected both him and Penny in embarrassing ways. Penny took to going around with thousands of dollars in her purse and Phil started wearing sunglasses everywhere. However, when the initial silliness wore off, they return to normal. Now they make it a point to give away a lot to charity and want to leave most of their money after they die.

Knight contemplates on his favorite moments from the entire journey, and thinks of what all he would need to write his memoir. He remembers all those letters from Johnson that he could never keep up with, he thinks of the slides he had after he came back from travelling the world.

Seeing the movie The Bucket List also puts him in deep thought about his own bucket list. Having discovered nothing substantial that he could begin on immediately, he feels a little restless, but as soon as he chances upon the idea of writing a memoir and working towards it, he feels at peace again.


Pharmaceutical Industry – Understanding the Opportunities and Challenges from an MBA perspective

It is easy to dislike any entity that puts a price point on your health, seemingly taking advance of your “inelastic demand” ie. absolute need for their product or service. However, the economic reality (the dismal science) is more nuanced than most consumers can imagine………

We should be able recognize that the benefits brought through the value creation and the value capture in the pharmaceutical industry far outweigh the negatives.

What I Learned: Pharmaceutical Companies Have More Than One Solution to Patent Lapsing Crises:

Nexium is basically a rebranding and re-patenting exercise because Prilosec’s patent was elapsing. Nexium was twice the dosage, twice the fun. If you want to grow the PPI (proton pump inhibitor) category because GEEEEERRRRDDDD!!!! is where stomach acid is too effective and so makes the product look and act the same as the predecessor.

SO there are a few things you can do when your patent is elapsing. 1) re-patent: create a new version of the same product; 2) push the drug into the over the counter world.

You could also move your drug to Over the Counter as eventually was the case with Nexium. You should try to squeeze (i.e. maximize) as much value out of these products as possible, just like any other industry. I also learned that GERD is a real issue (if you have heart burn more than 2 times a week) but the obvious problem being that the real disease is mixed up with a bad sandwich or a bad diet. In your marketing, you may be mixing people who need it with people that don’t. With over the counter solutions, you are relying on the individual to make the choice. Now that the drug can be bought with a prescription, the pharmaceutical company is lacks about the possible dangers of the medication. This grey area generates surplus revenue for the firm but in this case; as with many drugs, you cannot blame the doctors for mis-prescribing. From a pharmaceutical standpoint, it is nice to have some plausible deniability when it comes to selling drugs that simply inhibits stomach acid from being produced properly. Basically, a side issue is whether messing with stomach acid production is medically sound in most cases…why not create a drug for other semi-real conditions? Some drugs are created to fulfill a condition that is relatively benign…shyness for example (Paxil, Prozac, Celexa, Zolft, Lexapro, Luvox).

What I Learned: Over The Counter Medicine = Trusting Patients, All of The Sudden:

Another topic of debate is around whether patients should have the ability to self diagnose. Here we are asking the question of whether Claritin is something that should be over the counter when prior to 10 years ago, it was a prescription drug. I guess the key point is the market needs to be educated and overtime some patients do educate themselves about products that are prescribed. In an organic sense, those patients then will transmit their experience to non-patients who are considering using what was once a prescription drug as well. Moving from prescription and over-the-counter is a strategic move that can pay off.

I guess what we learned here is that in a career in Pharma, you should attempt to push for over the counter when it makes strategic sense to do that (when the patent has elapsed) in order to continue to extract profit from that drug without being too precious about the consumer understanding. Here, we have to just basically except that consumers have the ability to make decisions. They definitely have that ability to have the cognitive capacity to make their own choices in most cases. Perhaps patients should have to take a test to validate their understanding? Imagine if there was an IQ test to own other items such as a gun!? Could be useful none-the-less…or maybe not.

What I Learned: Nexium – Recycling is Not Reinvention:

It might look very lame that a pharmaceutical would recycle a product. This speaks to the logic of marketing as the core function of a pharmaceutical company over the still important but less so development of the scientific breakthroughs. From an economic standpoint, there is no company without marketing and distribution, no centralized government can effectively manage this at present or historically. While breakthroughs create the patient value, it is the ability to ‘capture that value’ which allows the pharmaceutical company from continuing to operate. In essence, while a new drug was a better product only slightly, observers may find reason to dislike this recycling behavior. However, this is a function of the legal system and marketing tactics. Learn them and apply them to generate both patient and corporate value.

Going forward, I realize that as long as you delivering value and there is asymmetrical information amongst patients and doctors, you as a pharmaceutical company have an important role in generating value for shareholders AND patients. Being smart about recycling a product for patent reasons is critical. You need strategic vision at the top of the firm. I believe that my logic of giving a price break for Nexium (since it was a rebranding of Prilosec) was sensible and that’s what they ended up doing. So my instincts aren’t off.

What I Learned: Pharma is Lucrative in Aggregate / Variable for Individuals:

Pharmaceutical industry is rewarding on a personal level, professional level and community level, however expect to move around between companies in this industry. It is rare for a person to stay within one pharmaceutical company throughout their career. Why is that? Because trials in one of the phases does not go forward, i.e. Pfizer shutting down Alzheimer’s drug R&D or even more obviously, patents expire and depending on strategy, employees might be strung along thinking their career at PharmaX is still secure but then they get fired abruptly….

While I knew that Michael Porter’s Five Forces ‘dictates’ that the Pharmaceutical Industry is the best industry to work in on an industry level, consider the individual risks in pharma. Do my pre-MBA marketing skills make sense in this highly regulated industry? Actually, yes. Working in Pharma sounds remarkably like working in a giant media agency which is what I was doing in the UK prior to my MBA. You wouldn’t be sane if you stayed in an agency role for longer than 18 months. However, if you have say a PhD in Bio Chemistry from an Ivey league school who is “perfect” for pharma but is extremely risk averse and very particular about any mistakes or any imperfection, you might be in for a shock. Generally, scientists don’t mind invalidating hypotheses but secretly want to discover the next penicillin.

What I Learned: What Skills Do You Need to Excel (Other than Microsoft Excel)?:

Data Analytics, collaborative leadership, articulate impact and learning agility. Another skill is managing your reputation for accountability and having a passion for patients (kind of a skill). Therefore, I would say that Rotman and IBM alike all say data, data, data, data a bit too much. However, anyone with a tough real-world experience knows that data is easy to abuse, subject to skepticism and 91.5% percent of the time is a means of validating your 1 existing deductively derived hypothesis so that you don’t look like a fool and data that invalidates your hypothesis is then hidden or downplayed. Also data in some circumstances inhibits decision making…“We don’t have the data so we’re NOT going to go forward with your strategy.” Not withstanding the above, data is awesome. Collaborative leadership; I’ve seen the opposite also work. Example Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos etc. Very much vision driven, vicious people tend to win as well. So, the key is to do something amazing to build credibility so that you can really lead people over the top in order to create and capture insane value. And if you want to slick about it say “collaborative leadership is my thing” and “patients are my passion”. These statements can be true anyway, but priorities in practice mean that you might not always be collaborative or may not always be passionate about a patient (for example in an exceptional circumstance).

What I Learned: The Shareholders Will Dictate Internal Decision Making If They See Fit:

When GlaxoSmithKlein’s C-suite leadership said they were happy with having 20 drugs coming down the pipeline, CFAs and analysts with limited qualifications or knowledge of pharma fealt that there were not enough new drugs. The stock market responded aggressively to GSK’s claim of being happy with a more modest pipeline of new drugs. GSK then changed its strategy, finally they evolved their thinking do declare that there were no new blockbuster drugs in the future. The issue here is that analysts effected the company, partly because the C-suite was not able to win the case that 20 drugs is good enough.

Therefore, shareholders are very powerful with publicly traded companies. If shareholders decide that they know better than management, and that R&D should be netting X number of new drugs and not 20 new drugs, then you as a manager need to sell the idea that 20 drugs is very good: you need persuasive public relations or you will be side-swiped by shareholders who think the aggregate market demand knows the optimal allocation of resources. And if you don’t like it consider going private like Dell etc. Of course, stock options are a huge incentive for employees even in the pharmaceutical industry.

What I Learned: Variable Costs versus Fixed Costs:

If a cost is sunk it’s something you will never get back. So, do not calculate your price by including fixed costs. Do not calculate your marketing price to include fixed costs.

Pricing Should Not Include Fixed Costs, But Does Include Variable Costs

This quote causes cognitive dissonance in my brain. The fixed costs are basically sunk cost in their entirety. While patents are fixed costs, and patents obviously impact price indirectly, fixed costs does not impact price. Fixed costs used to create the products, i.e. the R&D for the products are sunk costs. While you might think that the price is impacted by the costs to develop the product, you would be mistaken, even if you think it is obvious that costs are fungible and Asthma medication prices have some fixed cost baked in….you’re wrong. I always assumed that the price of any commodity includes Fixed Costs, now I’m told that reference prices and variable costs are the things that effect price. Also, ability to pay and willingness to pay are variables in pricing. The question is why is this the first time you’re hearing that fixed costs is not relevant to price? 

What I Learned: Price is Not About Science (Really):

This is shocker that causes cognitive dissonance: but what it means that what the drug does is not as important as how the drug ends up in people’s bodies. The point is that science is roughly 25% of the value and marketing is 75% of the value? The claim is memorable because it seems incorrect. However, getting on the Formulary via sales and marketing efforts is far more important than the fundamental function the drug has on the patient’s body because the drug would never get into the patient’s body if it wasn’t distributed, sold, marketed.

The price is not impacted by the Fixed Costs nor by the Patent which has no value in its own as it is not a trade-able commodity. The end consumer has a limited influence on the price. The science and the patient are at the core in any public conversation but in order for this business to operate successfully, the marketing, sales and distribution are at the core of the private conversation. The general public is not attuned to the inner workings of business; and the philosophical debates about morality are out of scope when it comes to successful strategy in pharma. There IS no pharmaceutical company without a serious understanding of the economic, capital intensive realities needed to create pharmaceutical products.

What I Learned: One of the 6Cs is Conscience:

This is the major concern about working in the pharmaceutical industry: conscience is an important consideration but is one of many. If the perception is that your Pharmaceutical company is abusing patients (Shkreli) and your marketing message is “F’ You! Market Forces say the price is 1000X” then that will impact shareholder value positively but you might attract even the most spine-less of politicians to criticize you. So really conscience is connected to shareholder value. Shareholder value means getting the market right not just increasing prices when you have a patent on your product; conscience/ethics/morals are a complex set of normative values to wrestle.

I would say that criticism that pharma creates value and then captures value too aggressively is a perception issue. A family friend has MS and hates the pharmaceutical industry believing that the industry is incentived by profit to the extent that they could be repressing the cure for MS, and certainly not doing the R&D to find it and instead aim to medicate patients in order to grow a subscriber base that is dependent on these firm for the patients wellbeing. My family friend says pharma has a hand gun pressed against his head and could increase prices for medication if they liked. Taking this analogy, I would now respond that it may seem that pharma has a hand gun pointed at your head but you’re forgetting that they invented/created the hand gun/value in the first place. If you don’t take your medication then you know that you are worse off but if this 1920 (pre-invention of the drug), you wouldn’t be able to say that you are worse off without this drug so in order words, you should be happy to have a hand gun pressed against your head if it helps you lead a more productive life. In the end, the choice is yours to make as an MS sufferer. Pharmaceutical has great power because it creates amazing innovation that is extending people’s life and the quality of life (in most cases). So when they charge a high fee, it seems like “GAUGING” but with few exceptions, they are using they are creating this value and they are going to want to capture that value in order to create further value.

What I Learned: Conscience Shifting is An Admittance of A Competitive Market Reality:

The topic of Jack Kay (CEO of Apotex) came up; he gives away drugs! Drugs are sent to the country of South Sudan and/or given away for free, as something called a conscious shifting exercise. It’s interesting to me because we know certainly Bill Gates was ruthless against competitors such as Netscape and Apple. However after he retired from Microsoft, Bill Gates became one of the most prominent philanthropists around the world and in particular in Africa. This conscience shifting could very well be “time goodness” shifting. Conscience is one of the six C, and like an episode of Star Trek, your conscience could actually be temporal as well as in the medium term; rather than right now when you have to maximize shareholder value. In fact, you could say that successful entrepreneurs aggregate and collect as much value in the short run with the objective of giving back to the community in the long run; in some cases. Perhaps this is a method for justifying any controversial measures in business in the short term; because in the long-run you will more than compensate society.

I actually think this idea has a lot of legs, and lags. What good is being kind if you never grow to effect change at a greater scale? Because we do know that being conscience of your own actions in an industry where there is controversy is important. We need to recognize that the benefits brought through pharma far outweigh the negatives. In the long run we should however engage in conscience shifting as individuals; in order to create a society that we want to see around us. We should, for example, when we are near retirement, be willing to except a lower salary in order to cultivate future leaders within a particular field. I disagree with the idea that management at the senior level should be making the most money but rather they should be spending the most time mentoring future generations in the business. I believe that is one major challenge with the baby boomer management generation, they will not let go of power and yet they aren’t the smartest person in the room all too frequently. IQs may be degrading over time after all!!!!

What I Learned: The Intersection of Government and Pharma/Business:

I think the intersection between government and business is made very clear in Pharma: with the example of Apotext and their generic pricing being abnormally high in Canada relative to other developed countries. We can clearly see here that the government is supporting and advancing Trump/Macdonald/TommyDouglas-style economic nationalist interests and that we can clearly see here that the support of Pharma in the generic space has fascilitated a giant factory in Vaugh to be created. So, there are clearly benefits to getting close to government officials, convincing them that you are in fact a job creator that deserves special support from the government, and it’s potentially the case that funding and donating to political parties is definitely in play. This is donations activity is a problem because the political interests are mixed with the benefit to the self-interested political as well as the rationale for supporting local business in return for donations. And in fact, I’m sure Barry Sherman donated to both conservatives and liberals as they were both in attendance at his funeral.

Getting close to government officials convincing them that you are in fact a job creator that deserves special support from the government, and its potential he the case that funding and donations to political parties are definitely in play. The convergence between government and business: what we perceive to be corruption may not in fact the corruption, or at least it may be just a mixture of 20% corruption and 80% good public policy. It’s very difficult to delineate whether getting funding from a pharmaceutical company to back your candidacy is an ethical violation, I am no lawyer thankfully. Certainly, we know politicians are usually not looked at very positively, neither is Pharma so these two groups are actually happy bedfellows in the pursuit of the public interest or is it their own interests? I’ll be taking this insight too the bank.

What I Learned: Ministers will Jump Ship if They Think They Will Lose:

With politicians, again the connection is evident that working with politicians to advance your commercial interests is a strategic advantage to your pharmaceutical company. So working with Erik Hoskins and networking within the ranks of these government institutions, we can endeavor to manipulate public officials with fundraising offers and get the most out of them in order to benefit ourselves while also benefiting the wider community. Again, self-interest will overlap with community interest in that case.

In Ontario, Canada, Erik Hoskins was the provincial Minister of Health and he moved on to lead a national Pharma care strategy. Here you can clearly see that career shifting was related to an impending election where Hoskins was expected to lose. Erik Hoskins is positioning himself potentially down the road to be the leader of the Liberal party of Ontario. Even with Doug as leader, the Liberal party is unlikely to win this election (written in February, 2018). So, what we see is a mixture of the self-interest of the politician with the greater good of a national pharma care strategy. It’s very difficult to decouple the two because self-interest and public interest overlap.

What I Learned: Patent Law Is Very Cool:

I suppose this is where I realized I should’ve done that Law degree in the end. Although I’m not all that interested in becoming a clerical lawyer or patent troll, I just think that what’s interesting is that you could make a clerical error and have a patent thrown out on the basis of some kind of filing mistake. I guess the other idea is that you can hide relevant information about how the chemicals work in the pharmaceutical product: You can make it is very difficult for third parties to actually replicate your product which is a requirement of a patent that it be made public. Of course, people like Barry Sherman kept things honest by contesting patent applications that were misleading.

Patent law is a fascinating area for me: Apotex will sue very aggressively on a regular basis. The reason being is that there might be some filing clerical error made. Another reason that you might contest a patent is that you believe there is prior art so on the one side patents are balancing the interests of the patent holder by ensuring that they are can protect their investment but then also make it relatively easy to contest a patent although the risks in terms of costs are significant in order to ensure that we have an honest patent system.

What To Do About It: The market will penalize the company for trying to do a deal that they haven’t done before:

The tyranny of the stock market is a kind of check against poor CEO decision making. The classic example we had in class was around the deal that was made by Abbvie. It backfired because I know the deal that was done with Apotex where they granted them particular advantage and that was a bad move in this case. You can clearly see that that was a mistake after the fact and the CEO was fired but you could argue that Apotex was very effective and they basically destroyed the company.

The tyranny of the stock market is a kind of check against poor CEO decision making. The classic example we had in class was around the deal that was made by Abbvie. It backfired because the deal that was done with Apotex where they granted them particular advantage and that was a bad move in this case. You can clearly see that that was a mistake after the fact and the CEO was fired but you could argue that Apotex was very effective and they basically destroyed the company.

When you’re doing a deal, you need to be careful because the stock market will respond and try to re-calculate the net present value of all future cashflows looking at the information they have in the marketplace. The stock investors are actually supposed to just make judgments on the stock price based on the available public information which they do but what I find quite interesting is that in the pharmaceutical industry in particular you have a very asymmetrical set of information internally in the organization that will hinder stock investors from understanding what the strategic vision.

What I Learned: The Three ways to Affect the Timeline of a Pharmaceutical Company:

you can reduce costs, increase your revenue, or advance capabilities so these are the ways that you can grow your firm. The one thing I would like to draw attention to is the idea of building partnerships. Your firm is more valuable if you have partnerships and in fact the stock price will reflect that. So, if you are acquiring new companies and or creating networks with other companies. You can create the strategic position to lead in a particular subset of the pharmaceutical industry. That idea that your valuation is improved by building partnerships is one that I was not familiar with at all.

I think strategically I will try to work in areas of the company that our building partnerships and creating advantage through synergies with other players in the space. A key thing in the class has been the idea of capturing different parts of the value chain or having a holistic view of the value chain with in the pharmaceutical industry. So I think that your company is valuation will be significantly impacted by partnerships and that might be an area that I would focus and if I were to go after a pharmaceutical career.

What I Learned: Opioid Crisis:

The Oxytocin crisis is very much a real crisis however we know that the situation is very challenging from the distribution folks at the McKesson. It certainly is critical in deploying the oxycodone to communities. Famously over 13 million pills were shipped to a town of only 1000 people . It should’ve triggered red flags but it didn’t at McKesson. So, there are a bunch of actors on the value chain. What was really great in class was having government, doctors and the pharmaceutical companies all 3+ considering how to tackle the opioid addiction situation. And what we concluded was that no one had direct responsibility and by shifting blame to others, everyone could wipe their hands of the responsibility. But we didn’t mention was that the individuals as patients need to take ownership over their own decision making. And in some cases shockingly it’s true that some patients actually intentionally want to have a great time and then leave this mortal world behind. As uncomfortable as that is to admit should we institute the death penalty for drug dealers? Perhaps it’s worth considering. The Philippines certainly has had a successful round of deterrence through death penalties. On second thought, the most affluent drug dealers will have the best lawyers in order to avoid the death penalty and the poorest drug dealers will have the worst lawyers and will get the death penalty. So that’s not a great solution….

The value chain….

Pharmaceutical Companies

Distribution Companies



The opioid addiction crisis actually highlights the intellectual struggle that we have in academia. The thinking in terms of all actors is useful however the solutions aren’t happening because each actor in the system doesn’t (and cannot) take responsibility for the whole system. They only take responsibility for themselves and perhaps this is the reason why well-meaning government could actually benefit this situation. And that is why I will advocate in the future if I work in pharmaceuticals to advance the patients perhaps put some bonuses around proper patient success rates (avoiding perverse incentives) so that pharmaceutical companies can successfully generate revenue from doing what they are to be doing anyway.

Group Buying In Stores – Experiential Shopping Idea

Micro-Blue Hours – This is just a retail footfall driving concept I thought I’d share: If your retail store is having difficulty driving footfall (which drive revenue), it’s worth exploring the K-Marts Blue Light special concept. This marketing gimmick was intended to keep shoppers engaged. Basically, the way the Blue Light special worked is that suddenly of the intercom the store manager would say “attention K-Mart shppers” and a blue light would point to a product that was then massively discounted in the K-Mart store at random times of day; making the shopping experience fun and an activity all its own is novel. Everyone loves a bargain.

I think that group buying in stores is an interesting way to draw customers to your store. The twist I would add is to imagine customers coming to the store at a specified time: 6pm let’s say. Customers are offered a free orange juice and then those customers vote on the items they strongly want discounted today, be it diapers or groceries whatever. The store manager has a iPhone app where customers vote, and then there is a 1 hour window in which all customers in the store or arriving at the store can get a 50% discount on upvoted items. Crazy right?

Step 1: Customer Votes Are Aggregated So That Those With The App Can Get A Discount


Step 2: Voting Has Ended, Count-Down for Most Voted Item Starts





Step 3: Countdown Clock for the Next Hour, Using the App, Customers Scan for A Discount (Making Shopping Unpredictable & Fun)

Possible Draw Backs to This Idea

  • A) What if customers routinely vote up an item but are overruled by other shoppers? This “never getting your way” problem explains exasperated political disenfranchisement…But my answer is, it’s better than the store dictating based on inventory or internal drivers. Let the market democratically determine what items people want discounted.
  • B) if everything in the store is discountable, then the frequency of discounts in high value items will drive the economic value of the given items down over time. The Groupon effect is where the discounts actually lead the company to discount their own efforts relating to delivering the service, and also prevent product discounts that are believe the average variable cost for housing the items because they want the customers without the “marketing spend” which is in effect a discounting spend. The danger is that the price point will reach a new equilibrium where customers consistently co-ordinate for diaper discounts for example.
  • C) Finance and accounting considerations are not central to this marketing campaign but are the most important considerations in terms of profitability. I haven’t run the math for how this group discounting would be operationalized but the most powerful department in any organization nonetheless. These folks would need to be compelled with the “Micro-Black Friday” logic of enhance short-term earnings; a new tool in the earnings management toolkit.
  • D) Customer engagement risk is considerable.  Customers might not dig this concept. If they knew that they and their friends could artificially drive down the price of goods in exchange for their footfall, they may well try to game the system. Coupon and other models like the original Blue Light specials at K-Mart might be easier to operationalize but why not test this idea, if customers go to the store when they want.
  • E) Competition is between retailers and online options, the market is consolidating into giants like Amazon and Wal-Mart. That battle is being waged online, the management of Wal-Mart is unlikely to want to innovate on their home turf.

General Thoughts

My general thought is, first, is this sustainable? Just because they stopped doing it doesn’t mean it didn’t drive additional footfall. Of course, it’s hard to determine causation without A/B testing. It might make sense to have a Blue Light special on low volume days; perhaps Mondays or Tuesdays. Can you imagine your mother going to K-Mart to participate in a specific timed special? Presently,

Where Blue Light sales a bad idea? So, one criticism of business schools is their emphasis on winners. Everyone loves to study brands that succeed. Unfortunately, 20 years ago, many of the companies that were studied just aren’t around anymore. Hilariously, we look at Wal-Mart and love to speculate on their future. K-Mart is disappearing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that their failures and successes should be disregarded.


Thoughts on Elizabeth Warren’s This Fight is Our Fight

Great Book, Inspiring Author

Elizabeth Warren highlights some incredibly important points relating to economic inequality, poverty and beyond. I really love Elizabeth Warren’s passion against poverty and this book centres around that topic extensively. Better than “Nickled and Dimed” which is a 90s classic, This Fight is Our Fight is kind of an invitation to swim against mighty economic currents. Or at least, think about the downsides of capitalism. And perhaps the immutable reality that success begets success and failure (without learning) = more failure. The core problem that I see is that poverty is in its extremest form life limiting. While this topic is wildly more complicated than language can convey, it is near impossible to disagree with the idea that when equality of opportunity is reduced, the GDP of the entire planet is reduced. Everyone should get a fighting chance at success, however they personally define it. Certainly, the story of Elizabeth Warren‘s upbringing should have readers draw the conclusion that poverty restricts opportunity. At the same time, she’s a direct example of herself succeeding despite and perhaps motivated by that poverty. Anger, for lack of a better term, is good. And her voice is a powerful and credible one in a network of ideas that she hopes to coordinate for her run in 2020. Poverty after all, sucks.

A Background in Financial Poverty, Fighting Spirit Is Inspiring For Everyone

Elizabeth grew up wearing plastic bags for shoes, living in a house where the carpeting was broken apart and worn out. Her experience of poverty is shocking and tough to read. And she discusses it in depth. Some readers will be able to recognize that level of poverty, however most people probably did not wear plastic bags for shoes growing up. No matter what you’re own background, it’s a pretty remarkable level of poverty that Elizabeth endured. Born Elizabeth Herring, Warren’s mother worked at Walmart, which Warren – is quick to point out – is now a huge conglomerate worth billions of dollars. Her mother was paid a really low amount there. Elizabeth Warren made the mistake, in her own summation, of marrying early instead of going to school. However, she was able to get the education (through night school) to validate natural or environmentally induced intelligence and by not turning to drugs, being curious, moving to where the actions at, she was able to kick ass. So in effect, Elizabeth was actually very wealthy in spirit and through economic justice, that error of birth was corrected (maybe an interesting way to think about it)? Poverty made Elizabeth a fighter. Who knew? The government needs to be there for the right person, at the right time, at the right place, and also it’s still the individual that has to get up in the morning; no one will do that for you. It would be cool if she addressed how important she, herself was to herself…in coordination with the support of others.

Economic Injustice Or The Way Things Are Right Now, This View Needs Clarifying

Warren’s mother working at Wal-Mart story is an interesting story; everyone knows someone who has been impacted by Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is an excellent scapegoat for folks who are negatively effected by its success. And it is indeed a pretty fascinating story in American business and Sam Walton’s Made in America literally inspired Trumps Make America Great Again hats. Success for Wal-Mart has meant driving lower prices, greater economies of scale and consolidating mom & pop operations throughout the US. That’s a mixed outcome for sure.

On the one hand, you have to admit that $4.97 kitchen utensils is kind of amazing for customers; who get the most value out of Wal-Mart not even the CEO gets as much value as customers (in aggregate). CEOs typically only get about 1% of the total revenue that they orchestrated. And also, consider how executive compensation works, you’d be insane to work at Wal-Mart if a similar role paid more for the same amount of work. On the other hand, the actual low function roles of stocking shelves, directing customers to the checkout etc etc, are paid not so well…it’s a frustrating reality! Salary capping would likely led to creative ways of rewarding C-suite executives so the reality is success rewards the successful over time. Would customers like to pay $6.97 for utensils or $4.97? Salaries are expensive and the value that Wal-Mart brings is mostly in low prices, democratizing the utensils! Everyone can afford them.

While reality is more complex, the fact that Warren’s mother was poorly paid is a kind of injustice; being paid to work while others sit planning operations, increasing shareholder value over employee value, it does (on the surface) make for a very compelling story. Why should someone, who’s parents paid for school no doubt, get paid more than someone who didn’t get the education needed to progress? I guess being intellectually free means releasing your mind for ideology, which means you can consider the reality of scarcity in economic terms. Thinking freely, you have to then ask what are the available/future solutions against low wage employment? Did Elizabeth Warren’s mom consider moving to another town to get a better job? Yes, but she made other choices. Schooling? Not something she pursued. So, if the solution Warren proposes is to hinder innovation and economic development, then those solutions have hidden costs. Why should bureaucrats decide which businesses thrive and which die? Does it have to be that businesses are bad, and workers are good? Sometimes, this book reads that way. A thriving middle-class creates the customers that Wal-Mart needs, the job creators aren’t just the entrepreneurs but the middle class people themselves so it’s important that Sam Walton and others not forget who is the real job creator (alongside the enrepreneur). Honestly, I was a bit surprise that Elizabeth’s solutions are lacking in depth perhaps because lawyers aren’t in the creative problem solving business OR more probably because she needs to stay strategically vague on policy so that she can campaign in 2020 without giving away her negotiation positions upfront, too early.

Side Note: I can still enjoy her message without agreeing with everything right? And I should be allowed to point out that it’s lacking in certain areas? Well, political parties do not allow you to criticize the boss. I however am intellectually free.

Emotional Power, Maybe a Bit Much, Though?

If you don’t at least tear up reading this book, you have no soul. But if you don’t start getting concerned about the repetitiveness on stories of poverty no matter how gripping, you have no clue. I mean, if you want to run for president, where is your foreign policy, your policy on NAFTA? etc. And so we have to ask a critical question which is whether Elizabeth Warren being political in her storytelling? Of course, she’s running in 2020. Does this book detail policy objectives? Heck no! Watching Warren grilling a Wells Fargo CEO or a captain of industry, is cathartic and entertaining but perhaps a little bit over dramatic. Just a bit. This book is an extension of those Senate hearing that show-case Warren’s demonization of the big bad corporate bureaucracy, and the complacency of the upper middle class when it comes to how (some) companies* create value.

*Credit card companies, banks etc….provide a service and some executives do not handle that relationship well, according to Warren but it definitely takes two to tango. Complicating.

Bill Gates Joke and How Averages Are Deceiving

Warren has a very hilarious quote: What happens when Bill Gates walks into Moe’s tavern? Congrats, on average, the patrons of that bar just got 51 billion dollars richer! The truth about averages is they are misleading and can potentially mislead in negative ways that aren’t anticipated. You can say that on average American standard of living is getting better but real wages have been static. The truth is that many people aren’t getting the benefits according to the data Warren is looking at from 2015 backwards. Warren’s point is that people are hurting a lot more then is measurable in anecdotal stories. It does sometimes sound like envy actually but it’s cool. What Warren is missing is the perspective of business and value creation. Like the guy who invented the latest product, she would likely say why can’t he share most of his wealth with his employees…the truth is that most of the wealth of a new widget go to the customer through it’s usage. Founders usually only get 1 or 2% of the wealth created from the idea they create. You could say, yes, well that was not created in a bubble, yes, but that entrepreneur did create and then capture that value….without him or her, there is no value…See…it’s complicated.

Warren on (FDR) i.e. Roosevelt, She Should Spend More Energy talking about the Benefits of Business (Small and Corporate)

Elizabeth Warren looks at Franklin Delano Roosevelt and sees an amazing 3 term president. He was a great guy who thought about things in terms of benefiting both finance and the broader society and he is the model for Elizabeth Warren. I think that makes a lot of sense. However, it was an exceptional time in American history. In talking about FDR, she strongly implies that the economic prosperity that followed the new deal can be attributed largely to government Keynesian economics which is hard to know for sure. Why? Because there were many variables at play in the 1940s and 50s that led to American economic leadership on the global stage. In reality, it is more complicated than words can describe. There were entrepreneurs and American industry involved during the FDR era which Warren appears to massively downplay. The Ford motor company was a huge, literal, engine of growth, for example. Also, think about war and industrial build up.

Entrepreneurship Happens When Motivated (both through Poverty or/and Opportunity), Warren Needs to Fix That Claim

Warren is partisan in the sense that she assumes that, for example when the economy is good that’s when entrepreneurship happens. I think that is partly true but also entrepreneurship is increased when someone is unemployed and more people are unemployed when the economy is in a downward portion of the business cycle. New businesses occur more frequently when there aren’t easy jobs with great pay to be had. When the going get tough, the tough create businesses because they can’t find an employer. The opposite is also possible, when there is money to be made, people switch to their own businesses ideas. But on balance, it is more likely that entrepreneurship happens when a person can’t find a job, an immigrant that can’t get job for example, is a budding entrepreneur because desperation (within reason) is a great motivator. Warren is an academic and the challenge with academics is they aren’t directly in touch with the world around them; they are more susceptible to confirmation bias, they are the most analytical people. And believe me, there’s a big difference between intelligence and analysis. Complicating this further is the fact that Warren is building her 2020 campaign with this book. So she can’t honestly be more balanced because she is trying to build a campaign around scapegoating the economic winners in America.

Deprioritizing Economics in Warren’s Political Preferences, It Should Be Addressed More Seriously

Warren seems to channel these compelling emotional stories of poverty in order to support a politically based argumentation. She doesn’t necessarily have solid solutions other than to increase regulation, it’s a tight rope because she wants to be president so what she spends more of the book on is about how abusive some businesses have been. Focusing on the abuses is cathartic and convenient as she doesn’t want to say what she would do as president just yet. Politics is about pulling people behind your bandwagon; it’s persuasion and finding enemies that we can all smack down together. If you de-prioritize how economics works (or doesn’t work) then you will find Elizabeth Warren’s arguments a breath of fresh air, unmitigated by economic reality. And of course, reality can change over time. However, finance and accounting are honest reflections of reality for the most part. Artificially manipulating industry usually makes the economy less efficient unfortunately, increasing the cost of goods and services. At least that’s what’s happened in the past. The data can be manipulated to show the opposite but generally, we know that people are motivated by incentives that benefit them as individuals; sad but true. The problem is Warren is not an economist, she’s a commercial law professor, so that’s reflected here a little bit when she extensively highlights the story of poverty and almost no mention of the fact that most people have to make a living without government support in the business world (private sector). There are excesses, transgressions but most businesses are at war with their competition, it’s about the bottom line. While I have witnessed financial poverty as well as poverty of mindset, poverty has to be fought with precision not inexact redistribution of wealth. When and where the government should show up to help people in need is probably the biggest challenge of people who will live through the 21st century; Warren is pretty simplistic or unsophisticated in the solutions needed to get the right services to the right people are the right time or at least intentionally vague because she’s running in 2020, she’s negotiating with voters.

Warren Strongly Suggests Economic Inequality is a Zero-Sum Game, She Needs to Revise That View

In order for business succeed, the poor have to fail, according to Warren’s more aggressive passages. In reality, the disagreement is to the degree to which banks should be restricted in terms of their practices of predatory lending. They still have a critical duty of resource allocation in the economy. It is a very nuanced and a complex issue, which really requires policy tests, A/B testing regulation for banks; think like a scientist. You’re kind of disagreeing with what I think is an empirical reality around the fact that the “proper allocation of banking resources and accountability towards those who are mathematical inclined to advance their own interests but then also advance the communities interests, is not a zero sum game.” Unfortunately Elizabeth Warren seems to think it is a zero sum game or have indications that that plays well to her support base. If Apple creates another iPhone, does that wealth get distributed to customer’s who use that product as well as employees? I think so. Even if production is overseas? Yes.

Credit Card Companies, An Easy Scapegoat for Elizabeth Warren, This View Needs More Nuance

Credit card companies are providing a service but are misleading customer according to Warren. Warren points out this because there was so much profit being generated from credit card policies, credit card policies that were particularly not focused on making customers aware. She points out that it was almost impossible not to join that chorus of business people making so much money off of customers. You could not feasibly be an executive in a credit card company and argue against misleading customers in terms of interest rates (annual price rate) because you were undermining your own ability to accrue revenue from customers. I would say, it’s hard to say that customers aren’t completely oblivious to debt.

Warren Misses A Better Solution for Credit Card Problems, FacePalm!

But what’s an obvious solution that Warren completely misses is that students in high schools throughout the US DO have to learn about the time value of money. Individuals should be better informed as part of the solution, not simply increasing restrictions on what credit card companies say and do. The fact that students aren’t learning about how finance and accounting work and then are allowed to hold credit cards, start businesses or work in government is a bit baffling. I mean, it’s obvious that teachers themselves might have difficulty teaching these concepts since they are focus on calculus for the 35% of students who pursue science, technology, engineering and math. However, much more important is finance and accounting than calculus? Way more. Warren knows this, but this book is not about solutions I suspect as I’ve mentioned above…

British Petroleum, Another Easy Scapegoat for Elizabeth Warren, This View Is A Bit Biased

Elizabeth Warren makes an excellent point when it comes to the British Petroleum catastrophe in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. In this case, they had a bunch of fines from the federal government. What’s interesting about those fines ($7 billion in total) is that they were able to expense those fines. In other words those fines were tax-deductible from their total profit for the year. Remember that a tax deduction reduces the total amount of money in your pool of money that the government can then tax so if I have $1000 profit and then bought a $200 car for my business, I can expense that so that I only have $800 of profit from which the government can tax me at the 25% rate. That means I pay $800 x 25% = $200 rather than $1000 x 25% = $250. So in essence, BP had a huge tax deductible amount in 2010. And BP is very powerful, they have connections in Washington and London.

Money in Politics, Always A Bad Thing for Elizabeth Warren, That View Needs More Nuance

The solution should be for the best ideas to win regardless of where they come from. However, Warren is saying that the lobbyists in the House of Representatives and the Senate are gaining undue traction and affecting public policy with their commercial interests at the centre of decision making. Seems likely but she basically thinks that all lobbyists are a bad thing. Or at least her persuasion tactic is to convince her voting base to believe that all lobbyists are evil. However, she is downplaying the benefits of having lobbyists explain the details and nuances of technical policy to decision-makers in order to get the optimal decision for the best outcome for the economy. Of course, Warren might say the economy is rigged so that’s a complication. Lobbyist restrict the number of doctors in the market, thus increasing their salaries for example. We have to ask if it’s the actual structure of the lobbying that is the problem and that she is incorrectly attributing all lobbying as being bad or if she believes that the self interest of a single organization is a problem even though the self interest of an organization will obviously benefit the broader economy as well as the organization itself. The problem is that the lobbyists have run amok in her view and that might very well be the case however we can’t generalize all obvious as bad and all consumers is good. Also, what’s the solution?

This book is a fundraising solution for Elizabeth Warren for sure!

Unions At the Negotiation Table, Sounds Good, Might Have Complications

Warren was arguing with that union leadership should be at the table (Board of Directors level) as well as the corporate executives. Add a 25% corporate representation versus some 75% union and community leadership representation. The reason she argues this is that you can be sure that the interests of American workers can be protected so that even while the cost of production goes up with wages that corporations can’t do anything about it. For example, the corporation will not be able to do foreign manufacturing in places like Mexico at $0.75 USD per hour. Trump’s position on manufacturing is certainly overlapping Warren here; so that might be a nullified issued if she is the Democrat nominee.

Other Interesting Ideas from This Fight Is Our Fight

  • Walmart is being subsidized by tax payers because employees collect food stamps.
  • Warren advocated boycotting companies like Nabisco that move their production to Mexico? (My thoughts: consumer coordination is pretty difficult in practice, i.e. the prisoner’s dilemma)
  • Astro turf campaigns versus grass roots campaigns….an Astro turf campaign is when a politician is backed by big donors to basically do whatever they want versus grass roots campaigns that raise funds from many small donors; (My thoughts: clearly financing campaigns is pretty daunting in the US…should be a way to fund the best ideas, not the best politicians).
  • Brookings Institution is a bad actor / think tank.
  • “Corporate, corporations”; these are almost dirty words for Warren. Lady Justice can be bought by big business. (My thoughts: She’s too perfect an academic to make the mistakes that sometimes happen in business, sometimes irresponsibly, but more often because mistakes are part of innovation. It is indeed heart wrenching, and easy to point fingers from the side lines, when things go terribly wrong for example: GlaxoSmithKline heart attack deaths due to Avandia)

Warren’s Priority List (Probably):

  • Poverty should be avoidable through government support (my thoughts: hard to disagree, but how, to what degree, how precise? Do businesses help reduce poverty at all?);
  • Prices are something that should be artificially adjusted by governments to help the poorest people (my thoughts: there are really bad hidden costs to restricting businesses like fewer jobs, less dynamic economy, less creativity / innovation, human nature is not as malleable as Warren wants it to be, how do you curb the excesses of capitalism without punishing good businesses as well?);
  • Education is good but there also has to be stable jobs for people who are risk averse (my thoughts: yes, some people cannot survive in a competitive business world, so giving them easy jobs and good pay is a kind of social service, who pays for that though? Through tax revenue, there must be a better way, test out solutions!);
  • Businesses are self-interested and do not care much about their customers (my thoughts: I don’t think that’s really true, it only looks like that when a customer gets a raw deal, it’s easy to point out horror stories because they are memorable and heart wrenching; it doesn’t mean they are the reality for most people);
  • Hidden costs of higher taxes aren’t as important as helping the poor directly (my thoughts: it’s the job of the children of babyboomers to solve this problem, it’s complicated and involves a more scientific way to deliver public services);
  • Great economic growth should be sacrificed because the benefits to the poorest are more important than those who struggled and then successfully created new business and new economic activity (my thoughts: hard to agree, if we focused all resources on the poorest people, then we would be under-serving the people who can create more tax revenue who then contribute to the tax revenue needed. It’s complicated!).


Final Grade


Warren Buffet’s Life Advice Revised

Making Decisions On Things You Understand:

Think very hard about the decisions you make, you only need to swing at the pitches that you know you understand.

Build A Model For Understanding the World:

What is it about your model of the world that is wrong? Understand how you understand the world.

Reading is the Gateway to Better Insights:

Read all the time. Learn all the time. You can take courses online. The information is out there. Exercise your brain by reading before bed. Ideally, spend at least 4 to 5 hours per day reading.

Salacious Stories Sell More, Unfortunately for the Reasonable:

Some of the sentiments about viruses are more salacious and therefore the press runs with those stories because of $ad revenue and traffic benefits to their websites.

Don’t Fear Failure:

You can still go forward.

Look for a Job You Would Take if You Didn’t Need a Job:

Life’s too short to take a job that you won’t be passionate about. We will solve cancer, obesity and climate change: Science is a big problem solver, these are the areas that we are going to solve.

Keynes Essays on Persuasion:

Keynes theorized that output would be 4x what it was in the 1930s. The distribution is a problem. But you free up people with the possibility to do other things when new technology distributes old processes. The people that fall behind on the weigh-side do need help for sure. There is a macro picture that is a total opportunity.