Join us as we discuss free market and economic progress.

In 2011, then to be Senator Elizabeth Warren made a speech that has since been made famous by President Obama, that said the help and infrastructure of most of this country was built by government.

Left to Right: W. Michael Cox, PhD, Peter Goettler

Warren said: “there is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. You move your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hire workers the rest of us pay to educate. You are safe in your factory, because of the police and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You don’t have to worry that your factory will be seized by marauders, because of the work the rest of us did. Part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and you pay it forward for the next person that comes along.”

Join us for a very spirited discussion between host, Dennis McCuistion, and our guests who question her premise:

Dr. Cox says this is erroneous in several ways: “7% of America’s infrastructure which is used on a daily basis is not supplied by government. It comes from private organizations that have a profit objective”.

“Warren left out all of the private sector capital that people use. She mentions school transportation, roads used at other people’s expense etc. She didn’t mention that you use electricity, utilities, internet around the globe, computers, software, apps, cell phones, oil pipelines that come  from private sector companies that mine and refine them, and all of the rest of the things that are built by private citizens. She just focused on the few public sector things”.

Peter Goettler argues, “We shouldn’t be subsidizing ANY business. If it’s doing well it doesn’t need subsidies, if not it fails. The whole thing is incestuous. Capital markets are supposed to be competitive. As government becomes more involved in having a role in markets people are waiting for the Feds to do something”.

Cato, a public policy research group and libertarian think tank, promotes the moral and philosophical case for liberty, the cornerstone values of free markets, limited government and individual liberty and peace. He adds, “The vast majority of the resources to build a factory are actually provided by the private sector. Some things, yes, are provided by government and that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily well run. Education for instance”.

Dr. Cox agrees, “No amount of water will fill up the drain when the stopper is out and that’s what government is doing with our money”.

All believe solutions must begin at the Constitutional level. Congress should not be bailing out or subsidizing business.

McCuistion stirs up the debate when he says, “you can’t blame people for taking the money if it’s there.” Cox says, “of course I can. You make the laws that prohibit it”.

McCuistion asks we consider that there are ideologies involved without a doubt, but it’s the facts that really matter. This rousing segment on free market and economic progress is one you definitely do not want to miss.

Join us as we talk about things that matter… with people who care.

Niki N. McCuistion:
Executive Producer/Producer
Transformational Change Agent
Organizational, Personal, Culture Change
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
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If you’ve ever wondered why it’s so  easy to talk to some people; why you have an instant rapport with some and not others the answer might be you’re  not communicating  with people on their wavelength. According to Tony Alessandra, PhD, CSP, CPAE and author of The Platinum Rule , we too often treat people according to the Golden Rule:  “do unto others the way you’d have them do unto you”. A solid maxim, yet one that often backfires. We are not all the same, nor do we want the same things. Thus, Tony’s Platinum Rule, “do unto others as they would like to be done unto,” reframes communication.\\

 

Join us to learn more about communication skills, how we are similar and different, and how we can use the Platinum Rule to build relationships, personally and professionally.

As always we are talking about things that matter with people who care.

Niki Nicastro McCuistion, CSP
Executive Producer/ Producer
Speaker, Consultant in Strategy, Leadership and Governance
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
214-750-5157
***
Re-Air
This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Education.  

Education is the focus of part three of this three part series on education. To date, the U.S. ranks 36th in the world in terms of overall education. Therefore it’s no surprise our experts conclude that the U.S. educational system needs restructuring. It is not educating our children to get the jobs that will help them be self-sufficient citizens.

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to discuss education are guests:

  • Linus Wright: Former Undersecretary of Education under President Reagan
  • Forrest E. Hoglund: Founder and President, The Hoglund Foundation and Co-Vice Chairman of Reasoning Minds
Left to Right: Linus Wright and Forrest E. Hoglund

Only 17% of those graduating from high school are qualified for a career in STEM related jobs. Only 7% of students reach an 8th grade math level. The just released Center for Education Reform (CER) 2014 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, History, Geography, and Civics scores, President, Kara Kerwin, states: “In U.S. history, just 18 percent of students are at or above proficient, with 27 percent at or above proficient in geography and 23 percent at or above proficient in civics.” She says, “It’s astounding that not even one third of our nation’s eighth graders are proficient in subjects that are vital to our nation’s founding and democracy.”

In Math, the Sciences, History and Geography, scores have remained stagnant since 2010. Math coaches, math remediation, extra teachers, psychologists, more money, nothing seems to be helping. What does it take for the U.S. education system to become competitive?

According to Linus Wright, one answer is to  have to have the strongest curriculum in the world and we need to make learning fun. Our education system’s teachers are also very important as more than ever they need to be prepared to work with children of various backgrounds and socio-economic levels, values and proficiencies.

Forrest E. Hoglund talks about potential solutions, one of which is Reasoning Minds. Reasoning Minds help kids learn conceptually while having fun. The system remembers what has been accomplished and tracks progress; so the students using it cannot move forward if they have not learned the present lesson. Reasoning Mind presently has 90,000 kids enrolled in 9 states. Texas and California have approved it as part of their curriculum.

We view a Reasoning Mind project started at the Momentous school, which primarily consists of disadvantaged kids. Implementing a vigorous program has consistently brought grades up. Kids get rewarded for accuracy and time on task. They can establish their own pace which helps them learn more effectively. In standard classrooms, time on task is often at 50% so kids are bored and eagerly wait for the school bell to release them.

All students can learn, albeit not at the same level.  Solutions include re-engineering, all the way back to the poverty level. Perhaps learning needs to start at 3 years of age. At ages 0-8 our brains improve at 700 neurons a second. Nurturing in the home, exposure to reading and language, loving “parents” are all critical factors. Without this kids come into the school system already behind and don’t catch up.

Kids can learn and teachers can teach if they have the modern tools to do so. We need transformational solutions and to look at education as neuroscience, teaching the way the brain processes. The good news is when children learn in a way that helps them learn and retain knowledge; it builds in them a confidence to learn even more.

Join us as we talk about things that matter… with people who care.

Niki N. McCuistion:
Executive Producer/Producer
Transformational Change Agent
Organizational, Personal, Culture Change
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
Google+ ProfileBe sure to watch more McCuistion TV programs on our website www.McCuistionTV.com.
This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Education.  

Education in the United States is problematic. We keep throwing money at schools with no success. During this second episode in a three part series, we discuss whether education is progressing or declining.

Host, Dennis McCuistion, talks to guests:

  • Courtney Boswell: Executive Director, Texas Institute for Education Reform
  • The Honorable Kathleen Leos: CEO, the Global Institute for Language and Literacy Development, and
  • Quinn Vance: Executive Director, KIPP DFW
Left to Right: Courtney Boswell, Quinn Vance, Honorable Kathleen Leos

Panelists discuss the issues with education and whether our education system is progressing or declining.

They are joined through taped interviews by Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve. According to Murray, part of the challenge is that some children from poor socio-economic environments do not have the tools they need at home to help them learn. The challenge is to meet kids where they are coming from, to be innovative, and that means expanding the scope toward education.

Our thinking needs to shift to give them a head start. Ms. Leos addresses the neurology of learning and language and the vocabulary issues that children have if they don’t have access to learning and reading at home.

Examples of progress are exemplified by schools like KIPP. KIPP, which stands for, Knowledge is Power Program, was founded in 1994 to solve the concern that kids would not learn what they needed to in “regular” schools. KIPP wants their graduates to choose a successful life of their own choosing. To date they have 162 schools and 50,000 kids in the KIPP system. Quinn tells us that by 2015 KIPP aspires to 10,000 KIPP students who have graduated high school and are in college.

Progress may also mean Charter schools and having standards schools must adhere to. It’s about measurements and what we expect and to what we will hold students and teachers accountable.

TIER, Texas Institute for Education Reform, tells us more about testing. Testing is a data base point and not the only metric used or needed; it is also controversial.

Lawrence Steinberg, author of Beyond the Classroom, joins us to talk about the political aspects of education. The issue is not just in the classroom, it’s also taking a look at what else do kids need to learn and know in order to be successful.

Overall, the biggest problems teachers face is not about money or having the books and the right tools. It’s kid’s attitudes and values, which today amongst some is antithetical to learning. The issue may be what children bring to the classroom to allow for the exchange of information. Kids who are not fully engaged are not receptive to learning. And the education challenge is growing.

Join us as we talk about things that matter… with people who care.

Niki N. McCuistion:
Executive Producer/Producer
Transformational Change Agent
Organizational, Personal, Culture Change
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
Google+ Profile
This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Education.  
Education is the subject of the first part in a three part series on 25 Years of Education. In the 1983 report A Nation At Risk, President Reagan said, “if an unfriendly foreign power had intended to impose on America the mediocre education system that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war”.

In the U.S. education today costs 2.5 times more per pupil than it did 50 years ago, yet Math and English grades have stayed the same, and Science grades are actually down. We are spending more on education than any other country in the world and getting less return on investment for it.

According to the Nation At Risk report, our educational system is not designed to set goals and objectives. From 1983 to today our efforts to correct this have met with little success.

Joining us to talk about our systems, where we were in 1990, and what were/are the issues are seasoned professional education experts:

  • Linus Wright: Undersecretary of Education under President Regan.
  • The Honorable Kathleen Leos: CEO of the Global Institute for Language and Literacy Development and
  • Lisa Hembry: Executive Director LIFT, Literacy Instruction for Texas.
  • (Dr. Walter Edwards Williams, economist and educator, states his opinion from a previously taped program).

Our experts tell us that while people talk about the “good old days” rgarding education, this is not accurate. Prior to WWII, only half of our youngsters attended school full time. This changed when in 1949 we passed a compulsory attendance act which compelled those, 6-17 years of age to attend school. This led to 98% of our youngsters enrolling in classes. Yet, we have never educated more than 25% of the population.

While today there may be more students enrolled in school we are still not adequately preparing them for the future. In some urban schools only 8-10% of all students are prepared for college or work. We have a dropout rate of 30-40%.

Poverty is one of the key issues. Poor kids often come to school without an adequate vocabulary, which may consist of 300-400 words vs. middle class students who start school with a vocabulary of 2000 words. If a child can’t read by the 4th grade, he or she may never catch up and starting with a more robust vocabulary is essential.

85% of juveniles who enter the court system are functionally illiterate. 70% of inmates in prison can’t read beyond the 4th grade. 19% of high school graduates can’t read beyond lower grade school level! In some states only 1 year of math and 2 years of English are required to graduate.

Are there solutions? Our experts say, we need standards, assessments and a way to measure progress. And more.

Join us to learn more about the “good old days” that never existed. And what still needs to be resolved with this 25 year retrospective on education.

Niki N. McCuistion:
Executive Producer/Producer
Transformational Change Agent
Organizational, Personal, Culture Change
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
Google+ Profile

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, are Guests:

Robert Hall, a Dallas businessman and best-selling author, of This Land of Strangers: The Relationship Crisis That Imperils Home, Work, Politics and Faith and several other business books, including, The STREETCORNER STRATEGY for Winning Local Markets, “which inspired the customer relationship management movement”, was recently interviewed by the Dallas Morning News.

He believes there is a growing crisis in relationships. Financial, social, psychological situations, exacerbated by the economy and disintegrating relationships are causing chaos. Broken relationships have a high cost on our social and economic welfare.

Left to Right: Mahmoud Sadri, Phd, Dennis McCuistion, Ami Moore, Phd, Robert E. Hall

Dr. Ami Moore, a Fulbright scholar, says she sees the problem as universal, not just a North American problem. In her extended research studies in West Africa, she experienced how changing relationships are causing new challenges as families drift further from their native roots. She says, “No-one teaches us to manage changes”. And the many changes she observed are increasingly negative, particularly affecting those with reduced incomes, “These changes in male and female relationships are increasingly causing breakdowns in family relationships and marriages”.

Robert Hall tells us that for the first time in history, in 2012, 50% of children born in the US are born to single moms; their children face a poverty level 5 times that of their peers in two “parent” households. In friend relationships, there have been decreases in the number of friend’s people now have- from an average of three to now two, and the number of people without any close friends has now tripled.

Yet, Dr. Mahmoud Sadri states that he does not see a relationship crisis. While we are in challenging times he also sees this as a time of dynamic equilibrium, that there is hope for the future and many new ways of relating are open to us.

The good news is that there is a 38% increase in the amount of time parents are spending with their kids. And our social media experts, Terry Brock and Gina Carr, who join us for a brief excerpt, say, we have to do things differently. They comment, “Social media is a wonderful way to connect, it leverages touch and interaction.”

Join us for a brisk dialogue on the challenges facing relationships today and let’s keep talking about things that matter with people who care…

Niki N. McCuistion
Transformational Change Agent
Organizational, Personal, Culture Change
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Executive Producer/Producer
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
Google+ Profile

***

2022

Why Are Our Relationships Breaking Down?

Robert E. Hall, Dallas business man, author of This Land of Strangers: The Relationship Crisis That Imperils Home, Work, Politics and Faith and several other business books, including, The STREETCORNER STRATEGY for Winning Local Markets, “which inspired the customer relationship management movement”, was recently interviewed by the Dallas Morning News’ Cheryl Hall on the breakdown of relationships (name similarity just coincidence).

Robert says he’s “never seen anything like the dysfunctional mess we are in now. The schism between power-brokering CEOs and distrusting workers is growing wider by the day”.

According to Robert, “too many bosses at the top of public companies have a me-first route to success”. Company leaders have traditionally been rewarded for achieving short-term financial goals, too often at the expense of employees’ overall wellbeing. However this short-term view and its results are causing more employees to become increasingly cynical and more disengaged.

He told the News, “One in 5 people trusts a business leader to tell the truth in a difficult or contentious issue; 86 percent trust corporations less today than they did five years ago, and 70 percent say, ‘I’m disengaged at work.”

Earlier this year, in a Huffington Post article, Hall said, “from 1978 to 2013, rates of return on assets and invested capital in U.S. firms declined 75 percent while CEO compensation increased 937 percent. Worker compensation grew one third of one percent per year for this timeframe. Between 2003 and 2012 54 percent of S&P 500 earnings have gone to stock buybacks and 37 percent to dividends – that totals 91 percent for the benefit of owners.

Leaders who feel entitled to lose touch with followers evoke a specific kind of costly broken relationship – the popular term is disengagement.

“Leaders used to be able to say one thing and do another because no one would ever know,” Hall says. “Not today. There’s virtually nothing you can do that’s not out there to be found. We want leaders who will authentically tell the truth. Instead, we get people who manipulate us. And we’re less willing to put up with that every day.”

untitled-0181

Left to Right: Robert E. Hall, Dennis McCuistion, Jim Underwood, PhD

When Robert joined us for a TV program on the crisis in relationships, he told our viewing audience, “There is a seismic shift in relationships which is rapidly trending toward the negative and imperils society”. He claims this “relationship cliff” is affecting every area of our lives. This decline is costly, causing a cycle of estrangement, less trust and loyalty towards business, government and individuals; customer defections are up by 30%, each 1% in employee’s turnover costs the company 5% in profits and trust in our Federal government is down to less than 25%.

On that program, host Dennis McCuistion was also joined by:

(The now late), Jim Underwood, PhD, former Professor of Management at Dallas Baptist University and a prolific author, including, the best seller, What’s Your Corporate I.Q?

According to Dr. Underwood, a spirit of transiency is everywhere. Two hundred of the Fortune 500 companies have relationship issues in management or in their culture, with many companies experiencing a 70% turnover rate amongst their CEO’s. Research indicates innovation suffers when teams don’t function effectively and as organizations become larger the relationship atmosphere becomes toxic if management does not align its leadership with a relationship culture.

Left to Right: Terry Brock, Gina Carr, Niki Nicastro McCuistion & Dennis McCuistion

Those who focus on relationships enjoy a higher return in productivity and profitability. Studies show that customers who have an emotional connection with a company “buy” 46% more from that company than those who do not have an emotional tie. So is part of the challenge the growth of technology, which has supplanted daily conversations?

According to social media experts, Terry Brock and Gina Carr, co-authors of Klout Matters, who join in via a taped interview, technology can enable someone to connect with people all over the world at any time. Terry, a former chief blogger for Skype and AT&T, maintains technology grows relationships more effectively. Gina, known as the Tribe Builder agrees that you can speak to and connect with people you might not otherwise “speak” to.

Yet with technology comes more efficiency, which takes its toll on relationships. Hall says, “We wind up being alone – together”, and cites that today young people 8-18 years old average 7.38 hours a day on electronic devices.

Is there hope? The jury’s out – still our guest’s state we’re starting to recognize the need for positive emotion and a return to our core values…

Join us once again for a thought provoking conversation about what really matters.

Niki N. McCuistion:
Transformational Change Agent
Organizational, Personal, Culture Change
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Executive Producer/Producer
214-750-5157
www.nikimccuistion.com
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
Google+ Profile

***

2021

In part three of this series on immigration the subject is immigration policy for the future. Host, Dennis McCuistion, is joined by:

  • Rick Gump: Lawyer/ Owner, Richard A. Gump, Jr. PC
  • Professor Neil Foley, PhD: Southern Methodist University, Robert H. and Nancy Dedman Chair in History, Author: Mexicans and the Making of America
  • Pia Orrenius, PhD: V.P and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Adjunct Professor, Hankamer School of Business, Baylor University, Author of Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization

Left to Right: Pia Orrenius, Neil Foley and Rick Gump

Joining us via a prior taped interview to weigh in on immigration policy is Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico; who tells us, we need to pay more attention to immigration, “It is what makes a stronger more successful nation”.

This program addresses a huge question regarding immigration policy: what is the one thing we should do today to solve the immigration issue? As you might expect there is no one or simple answer and each of our panelists have diverse solutions.

Immigration in America has long been problematic. Laws and border enforcement have not resolved the challenges we face; the human, societal and economic. Our guests believe we must get beyond the ideology and the political conversation and take a look at what is in the best economic interests of the United States.

While solutions regarding immigration policy ranged from updating our visa system and having a fair and consistent enforcement program; immigration may not in fact be a huge crisis but what is actually going to “save” the U.S. It will give us the means to support an increasingly graying population and with birth rates down- this is a growing concern.

From an economic perspective our present system does not let supply meet demand. The U.S is falling behind and does not successfully attract and keep the more skilled employment based labor the U.S job market needs to move forward. Low skilled immigration has a negative economic impact. With 12 million undocumented aliens in the U.S today immigration policy reform is critical.

You may agree or not with our guests and the solutions offered but the lively discussion invites introspection. What is the solution? Join us and let us know what you think.

And as always thanks for joining us in our 25th year as we continue talking about things that matter with people who care.

Niki N. McCuistion: Trailblazer
Executive Producer/Producer
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver
214-750-5157
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
Google+ Profile

2212 – 02.22.15

Immigration policy is the subject of this McCuistion Program episode. Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to continue the Immigration question on part two of our three part series are guests:

Left to Right: Rick Gump, Pia Orrenius and Hipolito Acosta

Immigration is part of the founding myth of the United States which has gone through several immigration waves in its short history. Its first; the founding colonial wave, which was largely English. Since, we’ve had the primarily German/Irish wave of 1820-1870 with German immigration the largest to date, comprising 15% of all our immigration. The third wave took place from the 19th century to World War I. Today we’re in our fourth wave.

Immigration policy has become ever more complex; as a human rights issue, jobs and economic issue, welfare issue, a cultural and a national security issue. Despite the succession of laws it still remains problematic. A 1986 law gave 3 million undocumented aliens some legalized status and had provisions to fine employers who abused the system by employing undocumented aliens.

A 1990 law expanded the number of family based visas that were being issued and resulted in the highest rate of immigrants in decades- 10-11 million people. Another law in 1996 added reinforcement provisions, more benefits were granted; even more enforcement to authorities and considerably more resources along our borders. Still illegal immigration continues; the complexity increases and our policies are still deficient.

When speaking of immigration policy, our experts challenge us to  remember why so many people immigrate to the United States, in spite of the obstacles put in their way. The answer is partly opportunity – and economic and other freedoms.  Research shows that it’s high skilled immigration which has the highest payoff for our economy. Still, as always there’s demand and supply so programs that work need to be in place to bring both the highly skilled and not so skilled into the United States, albeit  legally.

Is there one solution to our immigration policy dilemma? Secure borders, enforce the law, strong interior enforcement? The U.S. needs more comprehensive laws and  better enforcement. President Obama’s executive order helps families and offers employer reforms but is that enough to resolve the growing issue?

It’s a lively discussion on immigration policy and we go back several years with excerpts from previous programs on immigration, which include comments from: Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, James F. Hollifield, PhD, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Tower Center of Political Studies at SMU and “Tom” Tancredo, former congressman, Colorado, (R).

Thanks for joining us in our 25th year of talking about things that matter with people who really care.

Niki N. McCuistion: Trailblazer
Executive Producer/Producer
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver
214-750-5157
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
Google+ Profile

***

2211 – 02.15.15

The history of immigration in the United States is the topic of today’s discussion. Ironically even though the United States is a nation of immigrants, immigration has been a controversial issue from its very beginnings.

The immigration debate is again heating up as a result of President Obama’s executive actions as they relate to immigration. Recent news headlines report that 26 states filed a lawsuit to stop President Obama’s executive actions that would allow approximately 4.9 million eligible, undocumented immigrants to temporarily avoid deportation by applying for deferred action programs, namely the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). The suit was initiated by then Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has since become the state’s governor.

On the first of our 25th anniversary programs, host, Dennis McCuistion, is joined in part one of a three part series titled A Brief History of Immigration,  by experts:

While discussing the history of immigration in the United States, our guests take us back in time to the making of our present policies and their colorful evolution. At the start of this country U.S. migration went from East to West. Westward migration expanded into Kentucky and the 1803 Louisiana Purchase pitted us directly against the Spanish Empire. There was a south to north Spanish immigration into Texas, which began  causing conflict as early as the 1820’s . The U.S. intended to own America from east coast to west coast.

We’re  reminded  of the various immigration acts,  their outcomes and challenges. At one time Mexicans were not considered immigrants, with families living on both sides of the border. The 1917 Immigration Act called for a head tax and a literacy test, partly to keep Asians, primarily Chinese from immigrating. The 1924 National Origins put quotas on SE Europeans, Irish and Italians, Poles and Slavs. Many of these acts have failed.

It’s no surprise that our guests tell us we keep repeating the same old story. We have border enforcement, which is still not secure, and the same fears of immigrants taking jobs away from citizens.

Join us this week as we talk about our country’s origins and the peoples who have made this country a great one in a Brief History of Immigration.

Thanks for joining us in our 25th year of talking about things that matter with people who really care.

Niki N. McCuistion: Trailblazer
Executive Producer/Producer
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver
214-750-5157
nikin@nikimccuistion.com
Google+ Profile

***

2210 – 02.08.2015