What Do We Want from a Just Economy Round Table – July 2nd

As our country moves ever closer to the 2020 election, the issue of economic justice just keeps on holding center stage. In our Western tradition, discussion of what should be “just” goes back at least as far as Plato. Concerns for power, freedom, fairness, outcomes, inputs, entitlement, right, duty, responsibility, pulling one’s weight, free riding, rent extraction and more, hover in and around any consideration of justice.

Was Cain right that he need not be his brother’s keeper or does our Judeo-Christian heritage disown him for such selfishness?

Elizabeth Warren has 20 proposals to bring America closer to her vision of economic justice. According to the New York Times:

“Her proposals would tip power from executives and investors to workers and allow the federal government to more aggressively steer the development of industries. She has called for splintering technology companies, like Amazon, that millions of consumers rely on in their daily lives. She would reduce the rewards for entrepreneurs to build billionaire fortunes and for companies to create global supply chains, scrambling the incentives for work, investment and economic growth.

Ms. Warren would seek big tax increases on the wealthiest individuals and corporations, creating a new tax on household assets that exceed $50 million as well as a new tax on corporate profits. From those two steps alone, she says she would raise at least $3.8 trillion over a decade — money that would go toward her plans on student debt cancellation, free college, childcare, the opioid crisis and green manufacturing.”

Bernie Sanders sticks with his version of democratic socialism. Kamala Harris has her alternatives.

Trump and the Republicans have their vision too.

Anti-trust red lines not to be crossed are suddenly being proposed for Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook.

Can we find common ground on the criteria to use in measuring proposals for what is just?

Please join us for an open discussion at 9:00 am on Tuesday, July 2nd at the University Club of St. Paul.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members.

Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863.

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

Public Office as a Public Trust Workshop – July 11th

Last fall, we held an election in which the American people put what we are more and more calling “tribalism” on the front burner of our politics. While it is important to understand the passions and fears of our fellow citizens, our constitutional republic was not established to foster tribalism of any kind.

The Preamble to our Constitution holds that: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Beating at the heart of our constitutional democracy is the ethical proposition that “Public Office is a Public Trust.” But what does this mean? Where did the idea come from? Is it still true? How can we tell a good public servant from an unworthy one?

Those who were elected to office on November 6th were chosen to hold public office. Before assuming such offices, they will be asked to take an oath to be faithful in the execution of that trust responsibility, faithful not just to those who voted for them but to all of us, our state and our country.

How can they more fully understand the law and the tradition setting forth the duties of office that will soon be theirs in service of our citizens? Through study and discussion as always since our founding as a nation.

We’re delighted to invite you to participate in the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism’s (CRT) workshop on Public Office as a Public Trust scheduled for 8:30 am on Thursday, July 11th, at the State Office Building.

The workshop is a new initiative to encourage and professionalize elected and appointed public officials at all levels, as well as those who aspire to elective or appointive office, to live up to the highest standards of stewardship responsibility.

The mission of the workshop is to promote good stewardship in office, thoughtful trusteeship and enlightened fiduciary practices using the CRT’s Principles for Government as best practices. The commitment of the workshop is taken from George Washington’s remarks to the delegates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention that “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest may repair.”

For some time now and to the great detriment of our state and country, a narrowness in serving the common good has dominated our politics, resulting in a system of government that is polarized, fractured and unable to effectively address even its most basic challenges. The workshop will train you in the tried and tested ideals of public service.

The workshop will present historic, intellectual and moral foundations for the ethics of public stewardship, including the Bible, John Locke, Adam Smith, Max Weber and the Federalist Papers, among others.

The agenda will include:

1. Pew Research Center findings on political polarization

2. Movie High Noon: public trust and personal courage

3. The Moral Sense: human nature and natural justice

4. CRT Principles for Government

5. History of trust responsibilities

The two main presenters will be Stephen B. Young, Global Executive Director of the CRT and Doran Hunter, Emeritus Professor of political science at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Tuition is $50 per person (does not include cost of lunch). Space is limited.

For more information or to register, please click here.

The workshop will adjourn at 4:30 pm.

Financialism Round Table – May 24th

The 2020 presidential campaign is now underway.  The big issue shaping up for the American people seems to be “capitalism.”

Do we want to keep “it” or should we go for “socialism?”

What is our capitalism anyway?  Certainly not what it once was in the age of steam power now that we are in the age of the internet with Hydra-headed AI heading our way to revolutionize our lives yet again.

Heraclitus had a point: “Things always change.  You can’t step into the same stream twice.”

Yet, some things about capitalism seem to be the same: the rich have it better than the poor and those with assets get more assets.  Those with capital do better than those who only bring labor to the economy.  A few companies still dominate market segments.  The middle class does not have enough savings for retirement.  Those dissatisfied call on the state to make things right.

The share of our economy which is finance has grown as never before in history.  Returns to liquidity outpace wage increases.  It was unbalanced financialism which brought on the collapse of credit markets in 2008.  Companies set their courses to influence stock markets which have attention deficit disorder.  Is this wise?

Please join us and John Taft, Vice Chairman of Baird, for a round table discussion on financialism at 9:00 am on Friday, May 24th at the Minneapolis Club.

John has been Chairman of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.  He’s also the author of two well-received books on finance, Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street and A Force for Good: How Enlightened Finance Can Restore Faith in Capitalism.  He is the great grandson of U.S. President William Howard Taft.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members.  Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please email Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or call (651) 223-2863.

The Minneapolis Club is located at 729 2nd Ave South in downtown Minneapolis.

Parking will be available in the Club’s parking ramp.  The entrance to the ramp is on 8th Street.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

Minnesota’s Contributions to Moral Capitalism Round Table – Tuesday, April 9th

Minnesota can take great credit for proposing the practice of moral capitalism for our global economy. The proposal is gaining traction not only in the U.S., which in the forthcoming presidential election campaign will debate capitalism vs. socialism, but seems to provide a political/economic/social formula of balance for well-being in societies around the world.

Please join us and Charles M. Denny and Bob MacGregor at 9:00 am on Tuesday, April 9th at the University Club of St. Paul as they recall the creation of the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism’s Principles for Business in the early 1990s.

They will discuss an important moment in Minnesota business history, one which reflects the Minnesota ethic of community and optimism about how we can always do better than we did yesterday.

Chuck was at that time CEO of ADC Telecommunications and Bob was Vice President of Dayton Hudson (now Target) and Executive Director of the Dayton Hudson Foundation.

Both are now retired, but still thoughtful and passionate about how business can best promote the well-being of societies around the world.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863.

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

Public Office as a Public Trust Workshop — Thursday, March 28th

We have just held an election in which the American people put what we are more and more calling “tribalism” on the front burner of our politics. While it is important to understand the passions and fears of our fellow citizens, our constitutional republic was not established to foster tribalism of any kind.

The Preamble to our Constitution holds that: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Beating at the heart of our constitutional democracy is the ethical proposition that “Public Office is a Public Trust.” But what does this mean? Where did the idea come from? Is it still true? How can we tell a good public servant from an unworthy one?

Those who were elected to office on November 6th were chosen to hold public office. Before assuming such offices, they will be asked to take an oath to be faithful in the execution of that trust responsibility, faithful not just to those who voted for them but to all of us, our state and our country.

How can they more fully understand the law and the tradition setting forth the duties of office that will soon be theirs in service of our citizens? Through study and discussion as always since our founding as a nation.

I’m delighted to invite you to participate in the Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism’s (CRT) workshop on Public Office as a Public Trust scheduled for 8:30 am on Thursday, March 28th at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

The workshop is a new initiative to encourage and professionalize elected and appointed public officials at all levels, as well as those who aspire to elective or appointive office, to live up to the highest standards of stewardship responsibility.

The mission of the workshop is to promote good stewardship in office, thoughtful trusteeship and enlightened fiduciary practices using the CRT’s Principles for Government as best practices. The commitment of the workshop is taken from George Washington’s remarks to the delegates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention that “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest may repair.”

For some time now and to the great detriment of our state and country, a narrowness in serving the common good has dominated our politics, resulting in a system of government that is polarized, fractured and unable to effectively address even its most basic challenges. The workshop will train you in the tried and tested ideals of public service.

The workshop will present historic, intellectual and moral foundations for the ethics of public stewardship, including the Bible, John Locke, Adam Smith, Max Weber and the Federalist Papers, among others.

The agenda will include:

1. Pew Research Center findings on political polarization

2. Movie High Noon: public trust and personal courage

3. The Moral Sense: human nature and natural justice

4. CRT Principles for Government

5. History of trust responsibilities

The two main presenters will be myself and Doran Hunter, Emeritus Professor of political science at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Tuition is $50 per person (does not include cost of lunch). Space is limited.

For more information or to register, please click here.

The session will adjourn at 4:30 pm.

The CRT is an international network of senior leaders from business, government, academia and non-profit institutions who work together to improve private enterprise and public governance around the world.

Hire for Character, Train for Competence Round Table – Tuesday, March 12th

Pope Francis yesterday closed the Vatican meeting of Catholic Bishops and Cardinals especially called to stop sexual abuse of minors by priests, an insidious failure of good character on the part of those chosen to be God’s ministers on earth.

On the one hand, the failures were ones of individual responsibility – by the priests who did wrong. But on the other hand, they were failures of the institution, in hiring, in supervising, in investigating and in punishing. Those institutional failures arose out of the long-established organizational culture of the priesthood.

The root cause of the malfeasance was in values, values not held by perpetrators and values held – which either provoked or aided and abetted the wrongdoing.

The Catholic Church is not alone in fostering malfeasance. I would argue that all corporate scandals, from the explosion of BP’s Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, through ENRON and Wall Street’s 2008 destruction of global credit markets, to today’s misuse of private data by Facebook or UBS’s helping wealthy French dodge their country’s tax laws, arise first from a failure of organizational culture. What is the remedy?

Our colleague, Matt Bostrom, former Sheriff of Ramsey County, has a good answer. He is working now on a Ph.D. at Oxford University gathering data to support his solution. Matt believes that every organization, in his case police departments, should hire for character and then train for competence.

In our modern, professionalized, elite culture of expertise, we do the reverse: we hire for credentials and hope for good character.

Matt has been organizing community focus groups to gather information on the criteria people want to see in their police officers. It turns out hiring for character is easy.

Please join us for a round table discussion at 9:00 am on Tuesday, March 12th, at the University Club of St. Paul to learn about Matt’s research and how we can reduce organizational failures across the board by hiring for character.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863 (email preferred).

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

 

Cybersecurity and Business Responsibility Round Table – Thursday, February 21st

Since our first ancestor thought of using a tool to strike, maim or kill a friend, neighbor or foe, the technology which can make our lives better and more fulfilling can also be used nefariously for destruction and evil.

Defense against technology is therefore a necessary part of living well.

The Democratic National Committee could not defend itself against a hack and that did its presidential candidate no good. Huawei allegedly uses technology to steal intellectual property for its own advancement. Our own home computers need security protection against malware. These days, who doesn’t have so many usernames and corresponding passwords that they can’t remember most of them and need technology to keep track of their security codes?

Just the other day, I read that $1 billion in cryptocurrency had been stolen.

Cybersecurity is a new buzzword and necessity for living well. Few of us know about it. It is more and more a part of business success. Protection against those with malicious intent is a new ethical obligation of business, especially in finance.

Please join us and two local experts, Chip Laingen, Executive Director of the Defense Alliance and Corporate Vice President, Midwest Region, for Logistic Specialties, Inc. and Jeremy Swenson, CEO of Abstract Forward Consulting LLC, for a round table discussion on cybersecurity and business responsibility at 9:00 am on Thursday, February 21st at the University Club of St. Paul.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863 (email preferred).

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

What Do You Believe Accounts for Wall Street’s Recent Volatility? Please Join Us on the 31st

What was Wall Street telling us in the closing months of 2018? How can we know? Should we care?

Who drives prices in financial markets anyway?

Financial markets happened just about from the birth of capitalism in Holland and England. The Tulip Mania, the South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Company Bubble demonstrated early on in the evolution of capitalism the incentive power of finance and the frequent irrationality of its pricing.

As we move into more and more advanced post-industrial capitalism, it seems prudent to reflect on the role of financial markets with the borrowings which keep them robust.

As the 2020 campaign begins, the issues around Wall Street will take center stage for the next two years.

Please join us for a round table discussion about Wall Street at 9:00 am on Thursday, January 31st at the University Club of St. Paul.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863 (email preferred).

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

“Market Failure: What is Wall Street Telling Us?” Please Join Us on the 31st


What was Wall Street telling us in the closing months of 2018? How can we know? Should we care?

Who drives prices in financial markets anyway?

Financial markets happened just about from the birth of capitalism in Holland and England. The Tulip Mania, the South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Company Bubble demonstrated early on in the evolution of capitalism the incentive power of finance and the frequent irrationality of its pricing.

As we move into more and more advanced post-industrial capitalism, it seems prudent to reflect on the role of financial markets with the borrowings which keep them robust.

As the 2020 campaign begins, the issues around Wall Street will take center stage for the next two years.

Please join us for a round table discussion about Wall Street at 9:00 am on Thursday, January 31st at the University Club of St. Paul.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863 (email preferred).

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.

“Market Failure: What is Wall Street Telling Us?” Please Join Us on the 31st

What was Wall Street telling us in the closing months of 2018? How can we know? Should we care?

Who drives prices in financial markets anyway?

Financial markets happened just about from the birth of capitalism in Holland and England. The Tulip Mania, the South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Company Bubble demonstrated early on in the evolution of capitalism the incentive power of finance and the frequent irrationality of its pricing.

As we move into more and more advanced post-industrial capitalism, it seems prudent to reflect on the role of financial markets with the borrowings which keep them robust.

As the 2020 campaign begins, the issues around Wall Street will take center stage for the next two years.

Please join us for a round table discussion about Wall Street at 9:00 am on Thursday, January 31st at the University Club of St. Paul.

Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.

Cost to attend is $15 for Business and Public Policy Round Table members and $35 for non-members. Payment will be accepted at the door.

Space is limited.

To register, please contact Jed at jed@cauxroundtable.net or (651) 223-2863 (email preferred).

The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.

Parking will be available along Summit Ave.

The event will conclude at 11:00 am.