The Relevance of Reason Book Awards

By April 16th, 2014

Book Awards; The First Reason for the Use of Context and the Necessity of Perspective; Correlation Between Housing Equity and Consumer Spending; Number of Credit Cards in the U.S.; Termination Rates of Federal Workers vs. Private Sector Workers

by Mack W. Borgen

The Relevance of Reason  –  Business and Politics (408 pp) (July, 2013)

Awards: First Runner-Up – Best Business Book of the Year, 2014 Los Angeles Book Festival

Current Finalist, ForeWord Review’s 2014 National Book Contest (Political Science Category)*

 The Relevance of Reason – Society and Culture (438 pp) (October, 2013)

 Current Finalist – ForeWord Review’s 2014 National Book Contest (Popular Culture Category)*

* Awards To Be Announced At the American Library Association Convention In Las Vegas in June, 2014. 


           The books were written by Santa Barbara, California and Bigfork, Montana author Mack W. Borgen because, in the opinion of the author, it is “one of the great paradoxes of American life, in our Age of Information, (that) facts themselves are hard to find.”

                 In response and drawing upon hundreds of disparate sources, Borgen presents fascinating facts and data about many aspects of American life. The first of these companion books, The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics, focuses upon information relating to American business, commerce, resources, taxation, media, politics, and elections. The second of these companion books, The Relevance of Reason – Society and Culture, focuses upon information relating crime and punishment, laws and litigation, housing, education, health, and Ameriocan life, entertainment, religion and culture.

                Copies of Borgen’s books may be obtained at,,, or at your local bookstore. Bookstores and public and academic libraries may order copies through Ingram Books, Baker & Taylor, Quality Books, or Follette Books. 

The First Reason for Use of Context and the Necessity of Perspective

Some Americans possess a certain cynicism about the use of context and the necessity of perspective. They believe that such matters are merely tools of convenience and cloud-cover obfuscation which are routinely used by politicians, commentators, the media, and others. They believe that context and perspective are also used to distract the attention of the reader, to bury the import of a story, or to conceal the full implications of facts which may be deemed uncomfortable, untimely, or inconvenient.

However, even though the potential for such cloud-cover abuses is acknowledged, the use of context and perspective remains critical for other reasons.

The first reason is that only context and perspective– honestly presented and consistently applied–can allow us to understand the full meaning of facts. They supply the best measure of our success and the backdrop to our failures. They allow us to appreciate how far we have come or how far we have to go.

In a more ideal world, possibly the more pristine, untarnished, crisp standard of perfection itself could be used, but ideal worlds don’t exist except in our dreams and in our movies. Furthermore, both the definition and the achievement of perfection with respect to almost any subject, would become, by itself, the subject of endless debate and probable folly. Thus, concepts of perfection must remain aspirational. Even if perfection could be defined, it would serve poorly as a basis for comparison or measure of achievement because almost without exception, perfection is unobtainable. Instead, the better measure (and for the reasons summarized above, the only real measure) of our successes and our failures as a society can only be found in and via the honest application and consistent use of meaningful context and perfection.

Facts of the Day

The Correlation Between Housing Equity and Consumer Spending

The correlation between housing equity and consumer spending may be as high as 10%. In other words, for every $10 increase in housing equity, there is a parallel$1 rise in consumer spending, and “(i)f that’s true, the $1 trillion rise in housing wealth (in 2012) boosted spending by $100 billion.” Foroohar, R., Time, March 18, 2013, p. 18 citing housing expert Robert Shiller.

Number of Credit Cards in the United States

There are appr. 382MM credit cards in use in the United States — or approximately 1.5 for every adult American. Ensign, R., “Wealth Management – Journal Report,” The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2013 citing Federal Reserve Bank of New York, “Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit,” November, 2012.

Termination/Separation Rates of Federal Workers vs. Private Sector Workers

In 2011 only 0.55% of federal workers were fired as compared with five-times-greater 2.75% in the private sector. One of the reasons for this variance is that a federal employee can be fired only as the result of egregious conduct and the termination process oftentimes “can take 18 months of tortured proceedings.” The Week, June 7, 20134, citing Foster,D.,


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