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25 May 2012

Comments

Gregory

One of the great aviation quotes of all time was from Olive Ann Beech, the co-founder and President (after Walter died in 1950) of Beechcraft... from memory, so don't quote me:

"We're not in business to make airplanes. We're in business to make money."

She was on the Raytheon board after selling the company to them in 1980. They made great airplanes. Under Beech management, Beechcraft gave lie to the old claim that the only way to make a small fortune in aviation is to start with a large one.

Make enough money making airplanes, you might continue making airplanes. Make enough money in private equity firms, and you can attract the capital needed to make private equity deals. Make enough money making beer, you can continue making beer.

I am reminded that the IRS for a time operated the infamous Mustang Stag Ranch cathouse in Nevada, seriously in arrears for taxes, and lost money, proving once again the government couldn't make money even selling sex and booze.

Douglas Keachie

King George had a plan for making money via government:

Tax the colonists!

billy T

“channel additional funds into national treasuries.” Nice concept from a brain dead author. Geez, look at Greece. They invested in the public sector and now they are on life support. They can almost make it to the middle of June when another round of bailout money hits their national treasury. Then, that will last maybe 2 months before they promise to be nice and change their errant ways and beg for more money BECAUSE they are flat lined, having a machine pumping oxygen into their 100% prostrate decaying body. Greece is toast and we are just waiting for someone to pull the plug on a stinkin' corpse and stick a fork in it. Might taste like Feta cheese. Yep, if any business is running in the red month after month, year after year, why not borrow more from Mom and Dad and Mr. Visa and Miss MasterCard and say everything is hunky dory. What a bunch of hogwash. Borrow your way out of debt, spend your way into the black? As the Reverend Jeremiah Wright would say, "The chickens have come home to roost."

billy T

Profit vs Jobs? Simply turn your attention to the former USSR. 100% employment and no homeless. Subway stations looked like art museums with no litter. Jobs for everyone. Gov't owned everything. They had one manufacturing plant that made men's underwear. They had another plant that made only women's underwear. Each churned out an equal amount everyday. Problem is that women buy 5 times the amount of underwear as men do. One factory resulted in shortages, the other factory had stockpiles of surplus unsold men's underwear. Screw profit, everyone punch the time clock. Know a lady since the first day she came over her from Russia. She taught English and Art History at the University of Moscow. Made about $36.00/week (US) or about 63,000 rubles a month, lol. Lived in a one room flat (free rent) in Moscow with her parents, her son, and her brother. Her brother had a nice set of wooden teeth, courtesy of free health care. One room and a bathroom. Kids in Russia grow up listening to their parents and in-laws hump with people taking turns facing the window. Screw profit, everybody has a job, everybody has gov't housing, everybody has healthcare. That is why trucks drivers in Siberia make the same as doctors. When someone wants to take a drive, first they got to find some lucky person who actually owns a car and they all cram in like sardines. That's assuming you are not on the waiting list for car parts (6 months) or a car (two years)and the car is actually drivable. Ah, screw profits and have Russian wheat rotting on the docks. Those collectives are a rodent's paradise. Oh course there a some that make tons of money and drive Mercedes Benzs and have big spacious homes in the country. They are the ones that make decisions on how every else should live. Just like Cuba.

Douglas Keachie

BillyT: Fast forward 20 years and you've got the USA, simply because of increasing automation and no attention to who is going to buy the stuff (and what's to keep the Chinese an Indian engineers from making the same stuff, even cheaper and faster?), as the majority of Americans move to a zero income state. Socialism will have very little to nothing to do with it. It's just a convenient sandpile for the heads who don't want to see the problems and do anything about them. Low taxes and unbridled capitalism hasn't help in the past, it will not help in the future.

George Rebane

DougK 134pm - "Low taxes and unbridled capitalism hasn't help in the past, it will not help in the future." Pray, what epoch of low taxes and unbridled capitalism are you referring to?

Douglas Keachie

Enron , BP, GM's gas guzzlers, 10 years of Bush tax cuts, way lower than the 1950's.

George Rebane

Memo to the undecided and undeclared reader - note that the progressive (DougK's 603pm) understanding of "unbridled capitalism" is a list of well-regulated companies (Enron selling to California which separated the wholesale and retail energy markets) and consumer demanded products.

The 10 years of Bush2's tax cuts are compared to 1950s rates which every two-bit 'analyst' knows were not paid by anybody. It seems that we need to again lower the price of collectivist analysis. All of this continues to underline and reinforce the established tenet that the economics knowledge base cupboard of liberals is bare.
http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2009/12/liberal-beliefs-revealed-this-may-explain-a-lot.html
http://radioviceonline.com/liberals-fail-economics-101/
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703561604575282190930932412.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Gregory

George, I think you've not correctly pegged Keachie; even if he were a libertarian or a conservative, he'd get that wrong, too. Too many random firings of unrelated synapses for a productive classic argument...

George Rebane

Gregory 717pm - I do what I can.

billy T

Guess you all heard that the CBO warns we here on this side of the pond are on the financial cliff. Tax and spend our way out of the abyss? Like the old saying, "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die to get there." Time for us and our friends in Euroland to bite the bullet and cut off the dead limbs and reject the foolishness of writers like Hannes Swoboda. Put Swoboda on a leaky boata and kiss his sorry arse goodbye. Yes, it will never happen, but I can dream. http://news.yahoo.com/cbo-warns-us-falling-off-fiscal-cliff-201846597--finance.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

billy T

Breaking News: there is hope yet for the misguided unfortunates addicted to the Flying Pigs Mother's milk. http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/DDW/32947

Douglas Keachie

Instead of simply saying America was a productive powerhouse in the 1950's and the world was eager to buy, as being responsible for the age of 1 wage earner, 3 bedroom, two bath house prosperity, you have to go on with your mystical incantations about taxes and regulations. Is that really doing any thing at all? Could it, given the automated factories and humans where needed at 1/3rd USA wages elsewhere, of the world?

You tail draggers are a least one wheel short of a safe landing in the 21st century. T-Rex would be proud, and is saving a space for you in the swamp at the end of the runway.

Account Deleted

re: D Keachie at 11:13 - conservatives don't live in the past. We are merely students of history who read the past as a pointer to what worked and find cautions to what didn't work. And it's always good to be careful to separate cause and effect. To look just at surface features and never dig to find the underpinnings is a good way to study the past and never learn anything useful while moving forward. The more I read about the founders of this country, the more I find they had an excellent capacity to plan for a future that would bring changes they could barely dream of. They knew that technological and social changes would come, but the basic human condition does not. The left wing and socialist view of how we manage the volk has always and will be a nightmare to me. We are a social animal but we need to be free to control certain aspects of our life as best we can. It matters little if I am wealthy and have a confirmed life of ease free of want if I have no creative control over my living conditions and ability to plan, build, create and prosper in a way that suits my mind. At the same time, I am obliged to provide society with some sort of goods or service that free members of that society find useful. Govt serves best only as the traffic cop that keeps the vehicles moving amongst each other safely. If the govt starts mandating where that traffic should go, and why, the govt becomes oppressive and all of society will suffer. We can have automation and free markets and prosper, but we must create and produce to do so. The politics of envy and worrying about what others have will never work. The govt at both state and fed levels have become a monster that will destroy our country. The monster is fed by a populace that views the govt as a provider of goods instead of it's proper role as traffic cop.

Douglas Keachie

If having a society in which COPS and American Idol and America's Got Talent completely outdraw anything on the educational channels or factual stuff on the History Channel (a great deal of that is now junk, via supposed sensationalistic hints at "facts.") suits you, fine.

Trashing the teachers and turning the teachers unions into Commies is a great way to lower the average newbie citizens respect for learning. Instead of paying for and getting the super teachers, we palm off on the young the bottom quartile of our college graduates, by paying accordingly. You want respect, and the ability to change how things are, then hold a lottery, each year, in each district, affecting as many slots as possible. The winning teachers then owns the right to double their current salary, but must agree to undergo rigorous evaluation, but evaluation that takes into account the backgrounds of the kids in their classes. The teacher may sell or transfer this right to another, but more adventuresome teacher, if they so desire. The penalty for failing two evaluations in two years would be a return to previous salary, less 5% to pay back the doubled salary, which is otherwise forgiven if the teacher leaves or retires.

In short, put your incentives where your mouth is, or agree that you are just thrilled with whining and no action on your part. The day that a regular classroom teacher is making $200,000 in regular salary, at today's evaluation of the dollar, is the day America gets back on track.

And on failings of the ed system, keep inmind that since you went to school we've added in another 40 years of world hisory and science advancements, and are now producing probably 50% of the kids litereate in the use of word processors, and 25% literate in the use of spreadsheets. If you told Wang back in the 1970's that 8th graders could write papers on WP, he'd of laughed himself silly. They do now, with ease.

Douglas Keachie

When there are no jobs available, thanks to our present economic and lobbying system, the government does become the provider, as otherwise people would starve and freeze. It is not the fault of government that the capitalists sent all their jobs to China and then extended credit beyond the means to the average citizen to repay. You can thank the boardrooms of America for those decisions. The boardrooms hired many more lobbyists than the unions did.

billy T

"The politics of envy and worrying about what others have will never work." Excellent comment Mr. Obermuller. The basic human condition/nature does not change. The 7 deadly sins if you prefer. All Im hear from the current administration is obsession with what others have. It is indeed a soul sickness. Envy and pride is all some have to offer, secretly wishing they could have more.

Douglas Keachie

"The politics of envy and worrying about what others have will never work."

Just where in the Constitution or other documents do we find evidence for this in the founding of our country?

George Rebane

DougK 1113pm, 754am - As a piece of administrivia, we should all remember that weblogs are a continuing and expanding set of ideas and arguments. There is no need - indeed, it is impossible - to start from the beginning with each post and rehash ideas that have a solid and long record of documentation in a weblog. We don't arrive at these debates as the just introduced. Being familiar with your counterpart's well-documented position avoids the tedium of your own arguments.

In RR I have posted and the discussants are well aware of the competitive advantage the US had in the post-WW2 world. But that was not the only factor involved. The laws and regulations of that age were sparse when compared to today's collection. This dearth also enabled multitudes of entrepreneurs to enjoy easy and cheap entries into the world of commerce. To ignore this abetting aspect of the age is to ignore history.

I have had the privilege and suffered the consternation of contact with high schoolers all my life - more so in recent years. I have no idea where you get the notion that today's students are in any measure 'better' than those before Great Society's destruction began in the late 1960s. No applied metric shows such improvement.

Also, where are all those students who know how to use the spreadsheet? Astonishingly, they simply don't exist, save in the rare exception. (Because of this, this fall I will be holding special seminars to teach students this skill in conjunction with solving the types of problems encountered on TechTest.)

And whatever skills today's students have in the use of word processors, they are rudimentary at best as witnessed by their submitted writings. The skill set required to produce an acceptable high school term paper in the typewriter days greatly exceeded anything required today with word processors. After all, that was the purpose of developing computer-aided writing.

Sadly, this is the real world today.

billy T

The liberal mind: Profit vs Jobs. I think we all internalize things here and thus come at the topic with joy or frustration. It is not profit vs jobs in the either/or sense. Jobs are the byproduct of profits. Simple. One does not go into business to create jobs as the main goal. One goes into business to make a living, make a profit. If the individual needs more workers to increase his/her business, then jobs are added. If someone wants to expand franchises or stores or factories in various regions, again the purpose is to make more money or sometimes have the business survive. A business or company is like someone's baby which must be fed and nurtured and watched carefully to grow. That is why the owners spend so many caring and fretting hours on the baby than renters do. The expansion creates jobs as a byproduct and jobs are lost when businesses fail or the profits dry up. Now, gov't is a horse of a different color. The primary purpose of the current administration is to create green jobs, not profits. "Green jobs initiatives will create jobs" and billions have been poured into green energy. Green energy has been put on the top on the list for priority, thus giving us the likes of Solyndra and millions more spent on training 18 workers who can't get a job installing solar stuff or chalking Grandma's house. With gov't, a good business model/plan is not a priority as evidenced by the Worm Farm. Either you believe jobs comes straight out of 1600 Pennsylvania or you believe jobs are the result of risk takers doing what they do best. Some actually believe that the workers own the factories, but those notions are rare, mostly found on college campuses in the faulty gabfest break room.

Douglas Keachie

Any student who could not create a running balance checkbook, sort on multiple columns, and create a unique resume using images and graphics and appropriate fonts in a testing environment, failed my comp lit class. They also learned to layout their imagined first apartment floor plan, and made Powerpoint presentations for use in other subjects. I did not say that today's students are overall better, but just indicated that they are learning somethings our generation didn't have to. Many of the help wanted ads in The Union specifically mention the need for at least some of these skills.

Douglas Keachie

When last teaching comp lit, I was under the impression that it was part of the UC system's A - G requirements. Now I see instead:

English 40 credits Visual & Performing Arts 10 credits Mathematics (must include Algebra I) 30 credits Physical Education 20 credits Health 5 credits Physical Science 10 credits Biological Science 10 credits World History 10 credits US History 10 credits American Government 5 credits Economics 5 credits Practical Art 5 credits Electives 70 credits
Total 230 credits

with no specific mention of comp lit. Maybe SFUSD was unique in trying to have every kid be at least slightly computer literate.

George Rebane

DougK 254pm - I fully agree with you that such skills are needed in today's job markets. My point is that those skills, if learned at all, are learned way too late in the educational process.

billy T

Dr. Rebane has been pointing out the skills needed for the new economy for quite a spell. Also, I agree with Mr. Keachie there it is no use bemoaning the fact that Ozzie and Harriet times are distant memories. Left, Right, Unions and Public Service Employees and in betwwen should all take note. We are in a global economy and have fierce competition duh. When I applied for a job in the paper 11 years ago and got hired (they were looking for a clean slate with no prior experience to mold me as they wished), the then manager told me that there is a national shortage for my position (semi-skilled techno grunt). The boss man said "if you move up the ladder and have the word "regional" on your title, then watch out. He was fired within a year. Since then every single regional HR person, regional tech this, regional tech that, regional safety dude, manager, etc are all gone. One night I fondly call Black Friday 19 regional managers got the ax and were escorted by security out of from whatever big wig office they were occupying. In my case, I keep getting titles but do the same job and avoid rubbing elbows with the big wigs like the plague. Technology has made HR, which I fondly call "Personnel Department" to their chagrin, much more efficient to be a faceless person on-line and no need for all these region HR types. Payroll on-line, changes on-line, help on-line, real techies on line. Besides, why waste my time to have the walking dead drive up to Nevada County and tell me how nice it is here and they will come up again next month. I know I will probably never see them again and I ain't into little framed pieces of paper you put on the wall. The younger employees need a lot of stroking and atta-boys I reckon, but those HR and new manager intro meetings are one big waste of time. Don't need to go to some office for the daily marching orders. Its all on the laptops they keep giving me. Hours entered on-line. Ain't the office type anyway. That is just me. Here is a no brainer link to what everyone knows and what Dr. Rebane and Mr. Keachie have been discussing for months: http://www.boisestatepublicradio.org/post/help-wanted-not-mid-level-jobs

Russ Steele

With 36.2 percent of its teens unable to find employment, California leads all other states in teen unemployment — only the District of Columbia, with its 51.7 percent teen unemployment rate, surpasses the Golden State.

Overall, teen unemployment rose in 17 states and Washington, D.C., between April 2011 and April 2012, and fell in 32 states.

Nationally, the teen unemployment rate stands at 24.9 percent, and has averaged above 20 percent for over 40 months. The number of employed teens fell by 14,000 from March to April 2012.

State Unemployment Numbers:
1) California 36.2%
2) South Carolina 31.2%
3) Rhode Island 29.8%
4) Washington 29.0%
5) Arizona 29.0%
6) Nevada 28.8%
7) Idaho 28.4%
8) North Carolina 28.2%
9) Missouri 27.7%
10) Louisiana 27.6%

As I recall the Democrats are holding their Presidential Convention in North Carolina.

I am sure these numbers will help reduce the number of rioters outside the convention center. /sarc.

George Rebane

billyT 813pm - The jobs that are disappearing, as you are pointing out, are the middle level positions; those layers of management that were of doubtful worth even before the PC and internet. Job openings are appearing at the lower end like hospitality industry service personnel and people helping the aged and infirm; and also on the upper end, of course. There technical people of all kinds are still being hired, and top managers (especially with marketing skills) are in demand.

The economists call this a "polarized" job market with demands at both ends and very little in the middle. Everyone agrees that this is sea change and the new order of things will become systemic.

Douglas Keachie

George, if you teach spreadsheets before 8th grade, the drill and practice homework will be done in a flash, but no learning will occur.

Job polarization, yup, that fits.

George Rebane

DougK 1028pm - Agreed. The plan calls for teaching spreadsheets to high school juniors and seniors.

Douglas Keachie

I was teaching 9th through 12th, mixed classes, no problems, other than the usual at schools other than Lowell.

billy T

Doug, I am not without empathy to the current situation. Acquiring skills is the key. I know. It takes time and things won't magically turn around in a 3 months. My high school track coach told me that "miracles don't happen, you have to make them happen." With no skill set, I could be singing this song any day, except my back ain't as strong as it used to be. Written by a guy who mows grass all summer and loads freight cars all winter. Ironically, when he wrote this in 2008, gas was 2 buck and change, so the lyrics had to be changed. You and Dr. Rebane are on the same page, but how do you drill that into a 18 year old who think he/she has time to deal with it later? http://www.cmt.com/videos/ronnie-dunn/675832/cost-of-livin.jhtml

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