Skip to comments.Rob Long: Jay Leno, container ships and other economic indicators
Posted on 12/24/2008 11:59:07 AM PST by george76
Fifteen years ago, I had a stupid idea. I was the co-executive producer on ..."Cheers." NBC...was faltering: Ratings were sliding, money was tight, management was nervous ...Johnny Carson...was retiring...
I was 28 then, and like all 28-year-olds, I had no idea exactly how stupid I was. So when I found myself standing next to the president of NBC ...I offered my solution to his network's crisis.
"You know what you should do?" ... "You should move the 'Tonight Show' with Jay Leno to 10 p.m. Think of all the money you'd save."
"That's a pretty stupid suggestion," he said to me.
Only, in those days, network presidents tended to be earthier types with show-business vocabularies, so he inserted a colorful Anglo-Saxon expletive between the words "pretty" and "stupid."
He then went on to explain the complicated ecosystem of broadcast television... The five hours of prime-time weeknight programming ... are immensely lucrative... Cutting them out would be suicide.
"The day we have to do that," he wound up, "is the day we have to shut the whole thing down."
Only he inserted a colorful Anglo-Saxon expletive between the words "whole" and "thing."
The Hanjin Miami is a giant, floating, diesel-powered economic indicator. In fat times, it carries 7,000 containers from China to the West Coast of the United States, each one stuffed with flat screens and polo shirts and iPods and toys and jeans and every kind of extruded plastic doodad imaginable.
Ideally, of course, we're supposed to send full containers back, filled with our stuff for them to buy, but we don't make much stuff anymore. We make complicated financial products and arcane debt instruments.
In fact, we don't even make the ships that carry the containers.
(Excerpt) Read more at mcall.com ...
Frightening and true. If our national credit falls out, we are screwed. We don't even have the capability of growing our own crops without the equipment, and we don't have the ability to make the equipment in our own country. I am starting to get more than concerned. This whole concept of building bridges and crap is fine and dandy, but back when FDR did it, we manufactured the stuff to do it in. That is what cranked the economy (even as it lagged down) up, the jobs created to make the equipment to build the roads... In this case, we don't have that anymore.
Add to this the fact that the people with the skills to make stuff are old, or if yunger, few and far between. We have discouraged our kids from becoming engineers and trained them for soft jobs behind a desk.
—interesting graph in post #26—
Good point. Most modern construction equipment is made overseas. In fact, building roads here will result in booming times in South Korea, Japan and Germany. There may be a few thousand road construction crews employed, but the economic impact will not be significant.
and you just have got to wonder how many millions are going to die while the boy wonder figures that out.
“We have discouraged our kids from becoming engineers and trained them for soft jobs behind a desk.”
Exactly! Why should anyone work as hard as an engineering degree requires?
In this country it is no longer a viable career: You WILL be replaced by a cheaper imported model when you are ten years into your career.
We reap what we sow.
Thanks for posting and thanks for the graph. Good article.
What Rob Long doesn’t say is that once socialists/criminals/collectivists/parasites have destroyed an economy/country...freedom’s excesses like Leno will be as useful as watching a test pattern on your idiot box.
You have touched on the MAJOR problem. Twenty to 40 years ago we had thousands of men that knew how to make steel in open hearth furnaces and in bessemer converters. Now if we had open hearths and bessemer converters we don’t have anyone that knows how to operate them, but some old geezers. And ditto for most other items. Where is a foundry that can cast complicated shapes. Of course the air is cleaner now...... . There are many pessimistic conclusions which can be formulated as to the deindustrialization of the US. Have our enemies won after all??
A couple of years ago I left a job. I just up and left. I had a skill that I could use to make a small business. I perform and function and create a product that is specialized. I’ve grown the business from a hobby to a six figure income.
My brother, also a senior production manager, lost his job about a year later. He looked for work like a fiend. I collected. Eight months later he finally found a job that paid him less.
Learn a skill. Even if it is for a hobby. You never know when you can lean on that skill to buy food for your family. No kidding. Make something. You wont be sorry.
Well now that we will no longer have sufficient broadcast TV anymore...The government and TV networks have inundated and pounded this fact into us that after February 2009, you will need a government couponed converter box or already have cable or satelite TV in your home...
The appearance of a “test pattern” will still compell most mush minds to watch that for hours on end if it comes to that...To me most of what is on TV these days is a test pattern anyway...
That’s the first thing I thought.
If they put us all building roads for the gov then where does the actual money come from??
Gov can’t be the economy. Gov is funded by the economy. This is the failed USSR model.
They don’t seem to understand basic economics or history. This is going to be a mess...
Hallelujah! Please let it be so.
Your fears are unfounded.
Deere and CO, one of the most successful agricultural equipment manufacturere in the history of the world is located right here in these god 'ole United States.
They have manufactured a full line of ag equipement for decades and decades. Their equipment is always the very best quality, and countless other manufacturers around the world have gone broke trying to compete with them.
Nothing runs like a Deere!
See my tagline. It is so true today, December 24, 2008. Farmers I know are very worried about the surplus 2008 crop which has driven prices through the floor, and the 2009 crop being waaaaay too big.
You and the rest of my fellow citizens are slow on the uptake. I've been very worried over this for twenty years. Ya'll just told me I was old fashioned and not keeping current with the times.
All of those geniuses at the Wall Street Journal never carried their computations out to include the terms that expressed the need for paying customers, and their need for jobs. Of course, when the equations are meant to increase short term gains, the rest of the math is superfluous. I have been one of the very few concerned about the future.
Now, go rearrange the deck chairs.
You and my husband. One guy said my husband was the guy on the street corner with the Apocolypse sign, but so far he has been right about alot of things.
I mean I have always been worried in the back of my mind, but this is the ‘just hit the iceberg’ moment and I feel like we had better hold on tight.
Thanks, I was worried about that and I feel better.
John Deere Green is my favorite color!
That’s what my husband said. Even if I do a job that is a good paycheck, learn a skill that requires no electricity, no internet, just a valuable trade for trade skill.
I chose cooking. You would be surprised how many people cannot cook from scratch. I mean bake bread, cook dried beans, etc.. from scratch. And I have made myself practice over a fire in our pit just to see how to if we ever got in a bad predicament. I know it isn’t a very good skill, but someone will need to know how to do more than open a can or microwave a Lean Cuisine if we ever DO actually get back into a real Depression. Granted, the older folks know how, but people even my age (late thirties) don’t know how to cook other than a few box recipes. I was kind of surprised.
I even had a friend ask me what I was doing when I was cutting up a chicken. Not some butchering, just taking a whole chicken and cutting it into fryer pieces like they used to do before you could buy them pre-cut. It’s cheaper to buy it that way and cut it yourself. She was shocked I knew how to do it. That seemed weird to me.
“And I have made myself practice over a fire in our pit just to see how to if we ever got in a bad predicament. I know it isnt a very good skill...
You are wrong, it’s a very good skill. You would be welcome in my fighting position anytime.
“Not all bright kids are college material.”
You said it!!
We have this attitude of academia for everyone makes a successful country and I don’t think so! Not every person is an office dweller and thrives in that environment. But they want to make it out that a person is a failure if they don’t come out like carbon copies of each other.
Thank you! People have to eat, and raw food isn’t always healthy. Canning, pickling and jellying food to preserve it is valuable I think! I have learned that too. As I said, my husband asked me to (not told me, but asked for our family sake, to make him feel better with me knowing how and I obliged him) and also he took up learning how to garden, fish and hunt. As I said, we are modern people, but he always felt the need to make sure his family just KNEW how. Just in case. I think his grandfather got that into his head and that’s not a bad thing.
Because of a few natural disasters, and weather related problems (we live out in the country), we started to address the problems of storing nonperishable foods. We looked at the shelf life of various foods, and stocked up on dried beans, peas, pasta products, meat and other products. It's no by any means a large cache, but if the need arises, we can feed ourselves and possibly help out others.
Water might always be a problem, so we invested in a portable water filter system. I gave up hunting some years ago, but if the need was there, I can do that also. I have always fished and have fairly good gardening skills.
Your comments about canning are interesting, and I think we may need to look into that. My Grandmother was a great “canner”, and we spent many hours helping her.
Good luck, you sound like you are doing fine.
Thanks for the graph.
With oil in backwardization, refineries losing money on the gasoline crack spread, and the storage tanks on land full...super tankers are floating around with no port to land the crude.
Good luck to you too, and as I said, just knowing is the important thing.
You should try canning, it’s not as hard as you would think. Pickling is harder to me than anything because of the acid content, but others say that is easier than just plain canning. Jellies are still the easiest.
That’s what happened wholesale when 95% of formation capital went into an e-commerce bubble that popped and then was double whammied by “community organized” housing markets.
Innovation in all fundamental areas took a hike.
It will be very difficult to bring it back. And Dr. Chu claiming that he’ll create an alternative “green” economy is a dream for the politburo in Peking.
This guy nails it. In part we did this to ourselves, in part our goods have been denied markets overseas.
Make close alliances with people you would trust with your life. I fear it will be a very rough ride. There doesn't seem to be an abundance of honorable people these days. Worse yet, our leaders are idiots.
To be sure, engineering has always been a career that, after about ten years, most were compelled to become managers in order to climb the ladder.
“Truer words”, as they say.I have made a life out of being able to adapt by honing my skills.I’m working right now, when many of my friends with educations and no skills are in the unemployment line.
Fewer and fewer boys are going to college which sugests that high school and college studies have been “feminized” in subtle ways that give an advantage to girls and make classes less appealing to boys. Hopefully, these guys will find alternatives paths.
I think a majority of college students are now girls, and because a majority of public school teachers are women, it is always the case that boys are expected to behave like girls. Since they are not....
College takes in an enormous number of freshmen just to help pay the bills. They know the kids are not ready. The sad fact is that even good high schools do not measure up to good high schools of the ‘50s. One reason being that women especially who once were content to teach school now are working in other professions.