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.
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