In the Name of Fairness Marcum LLP | Accountants and Advisors | New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California and Florida Certified Public Accountants
In the Name of Fairness
The U.S. Supreme Court is once again in a position to make history. This week, the Justices took up the issue of whether the definition of marriage should extend to same-sex married couples. The essential question being considered by the Court is: should gay marriage be a right that is recognized by the federal government?
I, for one, think it's about time for the debate on this to come to an end. It's 2013. I am hoping the Supreme Court realizes that people should be able to legally marry the person of their choice, gay or straight, with all the rights, obligations and benefits that are attached. In nine states and the District of Columbia, this is already the case. The federal definition of marriage should be expanded to include all marriages in those states and in others that may permit same-sex marriage in the future. To continue the present double standard flies in the face of fairness and equitable treatment under the law.
A Rousing Routine Marcum LLP | Accountants and Advisors | New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California and Florida Certified Public Accountants
A Rousing Routine
I read a column every Sunday in the Metro NY section of The New York Times called "Sunday Routine." It chronicles the weekend habits of some interesting and prominent New Yorkers. Not being one, I haven't been covered, but I thought I'd share at least part of my Sunday routine with you.
In the fall of 1986, I moved into a condominium community on Long Island called Imperial Gardens. Shortly thereafter I met Bruce Bendell, who's been a client and close friend ever since. In the spring of 1987, Bruce organized a doubles tennis game at our community that included himself, Marc Cohen, Lloyd Grief and me. We'd meet at 8:00 every Sunday morning, play for a couple of hours, go out for breakfast, and be home by around 11:00.
Women on the Frontlines Marcum LLP | Accountants and Advisors | New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California and Florida Certified Public Accountants
Women on the Frontlines
The firestorm ignited by Sheryl Sandberg's new book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, follows on the heels of the other heated career debate earlier this year when the U.S. military dropped the rule banning women from serving in ground combat. Both provoked impassioned responses from women and men, and the camps on both sides of both issues were split.
As dissimilar as they may seem, the two have something essential in common. They are both about the role of women on the front lines. I will leave the military policy question to others to figure out, while I weigh in on the business leadership issue.
Ms. Sandberg's ostensible message is that women who want to climb to the top of the corporate "jungle gym" need to assert themselves single-mindedly to successfully navigate the direct and indirect pathways that lead to the prize. As Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, a former vice president at Google and the mother of two young children, she writes from a position of credibility, even if her experience and advice are not necessarily universal. It depends who you ask.
The Sequester Two-Step Marcum LLP | Accountants and Advisors | New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California and Florida Certified Public Accountants
The Sequester Two-Step
I'm happy to see that Washington took my advice. As I recommended in my post two weeks ago, our elected officials let our country fall over the financial cliff on March 1, and we are now fully under the budget-reducing powers of the sequester. Well, guess what? At least for now, the world hasn't come to an end, and the U.S. Treasury is $85 billion less in debt. It's a good start, but there's a lot more to do.
Now, as with everything, there is good and bad to sequestration. The good is that we have started cutting back on deficit spending. The bad is that spending cuts are across the board and arbitrary. We're cutting things we shouldn't be cutting and not cutting enough where we should. The President and Congress are going to spend the next couple of weeks posturing and grandstanding about whose fault it is and how to keep the political fall-out from snowballing, while the solutions are plain and simple. So I'm going to do what I feel is my civic obligation and lay out the road map for them. It's really not that difficult.
Boo for Yahoo Marcum LLP | Accountants and Advisors | New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California and Florida Certified Public Accountants
Boo for Yahoo
Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, made headlines this week by announcing that the search engine giant would do away with its long-time policy of allowing employees to work from home. Well, Marissa, I'm a big fan, but I think you may have missed the mark on this one.
We have spent a lot of time and money at Marcum to create the electronic capability for team members at all levels to be able to work remotely, outside the traditional office environment, in whole or in part. Whether at home, on an airplane, a client site or the beach, being able to be productive outside of the office has become essential to the way we do business today. I could not conceivably do my job if there weren't provisions for me to work away from my desk. And the same is true for many of our Firm's employees as well.
Now, I certainly agree that collaboration and teamwork foster greater creativity and in some cases greater productivity. But I also understand the value of having several hours of uninterrupted time with my own thoughts out of the office, when I really have to focus on something and get it done. There's a proper time and place for collaboration as well as for flying solo, and companies need to recognize the value of both. It really shouldn't have to be an either-or proposition.