- What exactly is the The Red Mass?
Here's what we have been able to track down:
- What was the 80-20 issue the President and Stackhouse were discussing in The Red Mass in the following exchange?
- "That was a wonderful talk, Mr. President."
"Thank you. I didn't write much of it."
"The 80-20 section."
"That part I wrote. I added it."
"When you first started, When you talked about how much politicians hunger after the 80-20 issue, I thought 'My God, I'm about to watch a train wreck. He's going to make a political speech to the Supreme Court while standing in the middle of a church.' But, of course, you didn't. . . . 'Who among the 80 will stand up for the 20?'"
"You did Howard. You did all the time."
- The 80-20 Issue usually refers to, Italian economist Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto
"who observed in 1906 that 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by 20
percent of the population. Later, he observed this noteworthy ratio
seemed to apply to other parts of life, such as gardening: 80 percent of his
peas were produced by 20 percent of the peapods. Over time, this
concept has come to be known as the 'Pareto Principle,' 'The 80/20
Rule,' and even 'The Vital Few and Trivial Many Rule.' Interestingly,
another of Pareto's most noteworthy and controversial theories is that
human beings are not, for the most part, motivated by logic and reason
but rather by sentiment." [The Pareto Principle: Applying the 80/20 Rule to Your Business]
- More Examples of the 80-20 Rule from [The Pareto's Principle: The 80-20 Rule]:
- 80% of a manager's interruptions come from the same 20% of the people
- 80% of a problem can be solved by identifying the correct 20% of the issues
- 80% of advertising results come from 20% of your campaign.
- 80% of an equipment budget comes from 20% of the items
- 80% of an instructor's time is taken up by 20% of the students
- 80% of benefit comes from the first 20% of effort
- 80% of customer complains are about the same 20% of your projects,
- 80% of network traffic stays within the LAN while 20% needs to cross the backbone.
- 80% of our personal telephone calls are to 20% of the people in our address
- 80% of our shipments utilize 20% of your inventory.
- 80% of sales time is spent on 20% of the customers, who may not be the profitable 20%
- 80% of the decisions made in meetings come from 20% of the meeting time
- 80% of the outfits we wear come from 20% of the clothes in our closets and drawers
- 80% of the traffic in town travels over 20% of the roads
- 80% of what we produce is generated during 20% of our working hours
- 80% of your annual sales come from 20% of your sales force
- 80% of your future business comes from 20% of your customers
- 80% of your growth comes from 20% of your products
- 80% of your innovation comes from 20% of your employees or customers
- 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers
- 80% of your staff headaches come from 20% of our employees
- 80% of your success comes from 20% of your efforts
- 80% of your website traffic comes from 20% of your pages
- From www.the8020Principle.com:
"The 80/20 Principle is the concept that in any given situation just a few of the
events (generally just 20%) give rise to the majority of the effects (generally 80%).
"80/20 is not meant to be an exact expression - rather it is convenient short-hand
that focus's on the concept of 'predictable imbalance'. 70/30 and 99/1 equally fall
under the umbrella of 80/20, although it is surprising how often 80/20 is the
answer. Whatever the ratio, and contrary to our intuition, 50/50 is generally the
exception rather than the rule.
"These events and effects cover the whole gambit of our environment. Typical
applications range from business (sales, purchases, inventory management, people
management, strategy development) to personal (time management, career
management, personal enjoyment) to societal (social welfare management, crime,
"The significance of the 80/20 Principle is that it provides the means to leverage
effectiveness by identifying the few things that really matter and then concentrating
resources and effort on those few."
- But this isn't the way the President used this in the speech. Instead of advising people to focus on the 20% that produces the 80% (which is how the rule is taught in economics and he is after all an economist), he seems to have somehow turned it on its head or is talking about something entirely different. All we know is what is above. If anyone knows a correlary that could connect the dialogue in the episode with the rule, please let us know.
- No sooner do we ask than our viewers come through with ideas.
- Justin Sneed email us the following analysis:
"As an economist Bartlett was taught to nurture the 20% of producers who are responsible for 80% of production.
"As President he understands that "Politicians hunger for the 80/20 issue" because 80% of politicians are put in power by 20% of the voting public, give or take.
But in the unheard speech in "Red Mass" I assume Bartlett suggested a new take on "Pareto's Principal". Instead of nurturing the financial support of 20% of the special interests and CEOs, those in power should nurture the needs of the 20% at the other end of the political spectrum, the disenfranchised.
"'Who of the 80 will stand up for the 20?' he asks in that speech.
"Bartlett implies that Senator Stackhouse is a member of the 80 and has supported the 20 throughout his career. It seems to me that Bartlett is telling the Supreme Court to be mindful of their stewardship over minorities. This is further evidenced when Bartlett agrees to take questions from the press on needle exchange and AIDS infection of heroine users."
- Were those the current Whiffenpoofs?
- Craig T. Fifer sent us this link to the official Whiffenpoof site: http://www.yale.edu/whiffenpoofs/
- What do we know about the Republic of Equatorial Kuhndu?
- This country, which only exists in the West Wing World, has been mentioned before. In episode 204 "In This White House", we met President Nimbala of the Republic of Equatorial Kuhndu who was overthrown in a coup while he was representing the African countries who need American drugs to fight their high AIDS infections. So since Bartlet has dealt with this country, why did he have to reach for an atlas to figure out where it was? Well, the only explanation we have is that he has admited that his memory is going?