George Packer at the New Yorker on Black Friday and the Race to the Bottom. Why did Black Friday, beginning on Thanksgiving Thursday this year, and continuing into Shopaholic Saturday and Sunday poop out so badly? And why, with the usual brawls over towels and TVs reported on YouTube, did retailers like Walmart and Target take a total hit of more than $1.7 billion less than last year? Packer answers the question and wonders why, with too many Americans now working low-paying jobs stocking inventory and ringing up merchandise, those same stores don't understand that their workers are too poor to buy the products in the big-box stores. You'd think those same firms would be leading the protests for higher wages. Why, when moderate Southern businessmen spoke up for higher wages during the civil rights era, do you not hear that rhetoric today? It may be that America is still waiting for the first retail C.E.O. to see what’s in front of his nose.
Morten Hansen at HBR.org on How John F. Kennedy Changed Decision Making for Us All. Many of us know that the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba was a fiasco, probably the worst decision he ever made in . . .