From Our Readers

Spring 2012

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Letters from our readers are edited for space, are representative of those we receive, and reference articles printed in Notre Dame Business Winter 2012

Continue the conversation. Share your thoughts via email or comment as you read online by clicking on the comments link at the bottom of each page. 

Comments may also be submitted via U.S. mail: Notre Dame Business magazine, 204 Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556

25 Ideas to Put America Back to Work

ND Business Online invited readers to vote for their favorite ideas among the “25 Ideas to Put America Back to Work,” our last cover story. As of April 1, the top vote-getters and the people who put the idea forward were:

1.  Retain Top Immigrants (especially foreign college students with entrepreneurial inclinations), Jeffrey Lampe (EMBA ’05)
2.  Boost Tourism (by streamlining the visa process, for instance), Matthew O’Dell (MBA ’09)
3.  Reduce Uncertainty (cease changing tax laws, regulations), Brendan Shaw (MBA ’08)

4.  Only Give Tax Breaks to Employers (not just any wealthy person), Jeff Szklarek (’02)
5.  Reduce Unemployment Benefits (so entry-level jobs are more attractive), Kevin Doherty (’88)


On page 18 of the Winter 2012 issue of Notre Dame Business, the article on “25 Jobs ideas” includes the idea, “Offer Million-Dollar Loans.” The final statement in this idea is incorrect in that it states, “If 5 percent of the companies succeeded and added 100 employees, you would have 500 million newly employed people.” Since 5 percent of 100,000 companies equals 5,000 successful companies, then the 100 employees each would add 500,000 newly employed people, not 500 million!

Bill Werner | College of Commerce ’61
Temperance, Mich.

(Editor’s note: Mr. Werner was among several readers who pointed out that our math skills aren’t what they should be. We apologize for the error.)

 The Winter Edition of Notre Dame Business that I received today is very excellent—more so than usual.

 “Farewell, Dean Woo” and other articles make this edition exceptional. The 25 suggestions made on how to put America back to work are noteworthy, but their quality is no less than would be expected of alumni of the Mendoza College.

 If possible (based on policies of the University of Notre Dame, etc.), I recommend the article, plus the other ideas from notable alums and guests described on page 20, be circulated to various key government personnel who I believe would benefit from the input. At the very least, I would recommend this information be forwarded to Ms. Hilda L. Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor, for consideration.

 My opinion is that the results of the hard work of your staff and of the three (3) judges who scored the ideas could be very instrumental in helping the current job crisis in the U.S.

 Joe Hale | BBA FIN ’68

Houston, Texas



As a member of the most Endangered Species in American business today—the owner of a single location, brick and mortar, specialty retail operation—I brought a certain perspective to the reading of your article on jobs creation. To say I was disappointed is an absolute understatement because I don’t wake up in a world where government provides solutions to my problems. I wake up in a world where government is my major problem and the major problem for a majority of my customer base.

 By my count, 18 of 25 suggestions picked by these academics—72 percent of the total—relied on the public sector, either in total or as a leading player, in creating solutions—solutions dependent on more bureaucrats picking more winners and losers, imposing their regulations even deeper into our lives, and using ever increasing amounts of tax dollars pulled out of an already overburdened economy to accomplish their goals.

 I find it absolutely amazing that academics in a major American BUSINESS school relied so heavily on the public sector. It makes me wonder what the economic belief structure of the entire Mendoza faculty is. Have those beliefs changed so much that not one mention of “free enterprise,” “free markets,” or “the private sector” appears anywhere in this article as the basis of a possible solution?

 Robert C. Johnson | College of Commerce ’65

Bonsall, Calif.



Life after Leadership

This article on retirement was highly insightful and provided a valuable personal perspective for anyone involved in the retirement process. Personally, it opened up a whole new dimension of thought and has caused me to think more deeply about my own situation and others who are transitioning to retirement. I have provided copies of the article to some executives in our organization who have recently retired.

Gary Wuslich
South Bend, Ind.



One thing I would have liked to see more of in this article is a discussion of higher purposes, seeing one’s life as more of a stewardship. With this paradigm, retirement can be one more step in an ongoing dedication of self to God. For instance, retirement is decades away for me, but I look forward to serving God by doing full-time mission and humanitarian work for a season in retirement. There was no mention of religious service in this article, however. As ND graduates, we are among those who have been given 10 talents, so to speak. I believe we have an obligation to use these to glorify God by making a difference in the world, whether working, in the community, as homemakers, or in retirement. Because we will one day have to give an accounting of our stewardship, as in the parable of the talents. May we each live our lives to hear the words, “Well done ... enter into the rest of thy Lord.”

Daniel Carr | MBA ’02
Spring, Texas



The author is right on the money. As our veterans and early baby boomers start to reach retirement, we have to do a better job as businesses and society of tapping their intellectual capital. These people have a tremendous amount to offer. Frankly, as a college professor, I request that these retirees become mentors to our Millennial generation (under age 30) who sorely need that sage guidance. Just because someone is retired does not mean they are washed up. This isn’t baseball. Their knowledge and experience is simply invaluable. Godspeed retirees!

Mike Previte | MBA ’80
Waukesha, Wis.