- The Washington Times - Friday, November 18, 2005

Nobles: Peter F. Drucker, for a lifetime spent improving American business and predicting nearly everything else.

Born in 1909, Mr. Drucker, son of a well-educated Austrian father, spent his formative years in Germany, until the rise of Hitler’s Third Reich. It is said that Hitler’s ascent ultimately doomed the German war effort later on, because that was when so many of Germany’s best and brightest fled. Mr. Drucker, all American CEOs can be thankful for, was one who fled to the United States.

In 1939, he wrote his first of over thirty books, “The End of Economic Man,” though it wasn’t until he wrote “Concept of the Corporation” in 1946 that Mr. Drucker would forever be known as a management guru — sadly, a title that today denotes high-energy, quick-fix writers whose smiling faces grace the covers of their instant best-sellers. His 1966 “The Effective Executive” is still considered one of the best treatises ever written on management.

In the 1970s, he began writing a column for The Wall Street Journal, “Drucker on Management,” in which he branched into nearly every avenue of the world that interested him, which was a lot. He was also quite adept at predicting future trends, like the rise of the computer, the Japanese economy and the backlash against excessive executive salaries. In an appreciation editorial, the Journal said it would have been more accurate to title the column “Drucker on Everything.”

On Nov. 11, Mr. Drucker died at 96.

For seven decades of service to the American economy, Mr. Drucker is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: Winthrop University students, whose intolerance is sad reminder of the sorrowful state of the American university.

Last week, Winthrop student Christine Byington penned a politically-incorrect column for the university newspaper attacking racial quotas. Winthrop having your average student body, the column was deemed “controversial” and soon the administration held a “forum,” during which students could engage in a “dialogue” — as expressions of p.c.-intolerance are called on campus.

All of which is pretty much par for a university. But Miss Byington’s real crime was to say what she said as a black Republican. Just ask Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. Threats poured in on her and the newspaper’s editor, who has been asked to issue an apology or resign. On Tuesday, Miss Byington withdrew from Winthrop, though she says it wasn’t because of the reaction to her column. Let’s hope not, but let’s also hope that Winthrop students have learned a lesson in tolerance.

But even if they have, they’re still the Knaves of the week.

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