I want you to know and for history to record that we all knew at this time: the selection of the next King of Saudi Arabia is a sinister matter.
Like Darwin, Dyson appreciates top-soil. Like Darwin he sure looks like the upper class Brit.
I am increasingly seeing signs that jurors are using their phones to google information relevant to the trial they are sitting in.
I expect the legal and judicial world to be turned upside down by this development. More than 400 years of jurisprudence and our own Bill of Rights are the product of efforts to make the judicial system fair. Technology is changing all the ground rules of evidence admissibility.
First, the legal Luddites aren't going to stop this trend with any new laws, punishments, rewards or opprobrium. I know they'll waste their time and ours but I also know in advance that they'll fail.
Second, deal with it. The two biggest problems are common sense and misinformation.
The problem of common sense is that nearly all material excluded from trials is of the nature that this trial is about this set of events. Did the burglar commit this burglary? Common sense says a person who committed many burglaries in the past, probably committed this one. The law says juries must ignore the past burglaries in the trial. Technology is the friend of common sense in this matter.
Common sense also says that a woman riding in a car with a man who gets out of the car and, unknowingly to the woman, commits armed robbery, is guilty as an accomplice. Under some laws the punishment is automatically 10 years in prison. No jury will find her guilty knowing the extreme punishment. Common sense will prevail again.
The problem of misinformation. Many people believe that lie detectors are reliable. They aren't but with google it is likely the results of a lie detector will get to jury members. Positive and negative lie detector tests results can be wrong, badly wrong.
Why should this be a unique phenomenon of San Francisco?
Catherine Campbell is due credit for the explanation of this one. Catherine, a brilliant analyst of San Francisco life, used to say: 'San Francisco is a crucible, people come here to find out who they are.' (Then they usually move to where they will most likely succeed.)
Sexuality is indeed one of the most prominent elements of the San Francisco crucible. San Francisco is certainly the center of sexual experimentation on the American continent.
I'm reading a manuscript of a new book by Joyce Appleby, my favorite historian of industrial commerce.
I encouraged Dr. Appleby to write this book because it is very lonely out in the pro commerce world without others to talk with.
Dr. Appleby and I have disagreed slightly on the sources of modern industrial commerce. I placed great emphasis on Holland as the point of origin. She is a true historian and is convincing me in her manuscript that England deserves the recognition as the source of industrial commerce.
All that aside, one of her interesting points is that the booms and busts of early commerce were a constructive development. The boom lead to rapid capital accumulation for manufacturers and new entrepreneurs. The busts lowered prices significantly and expanded markets.
I love the black 'Yo mama...' series so much that when a Chicago Tribune reporter wrote to ask about cussing contests (my grandfather, Henry, was a San Francisco champion in the 1920s) I did a google on 'Yo mama..' which probably grew out of the same cussing contest traditions.
The 95 year old Federal Reserve system failed to halt the most recent financial crisis.
The regulatory world needs to solve multiple financial problems at the same time with a) a single financial auditor's office (b) of the highest quality and c) make use of a competitive whistle blower reward system.
Most SEC, FDIC and other financial regulatory agencies turn over their auditing and investigative work to teams from joint agencies, most often under the Department of Justice which has the greatest enforcement and prosecutorial power. In lieu of the current system:
The NRA won a victory in the U.S. Supreme Court last year in the District of Columbia v Heller case on June 26th 2008. The Supreme Court said the Second Amendment to the Constitution specifically created the right of individuals to own and keep guns.
It is my humble view that the ability of ordinary people to read the Bill of Rights and see this interpretation which flew in the face of the entire Lefty gun control world is what gave the National Rifle Association so much power, vigor and coherence for so many years.
I further believe that now that the NRA's view of the Bill of Rights has been vindicated by the U.S. Supreme court that the NRA will lose members, vigor and political power.
When you are right it is hard to be self-righteous. Even for an organization.
The U.S. State Department has a perverted concept of a peace treaty. These arrogant self-righteous Ivy league people have been pushing Israel to sign a peace treaty with their neighbors (who call themselves Palestinians) for half a century. The reality is that the so called Palestinians are not a coherent people, they are a cluster of Arab tribes, who could never sign anything much less a treaty.
I would like to offer the State Department whiz kids a short course called: The list of wars that have lasted over 100 years long.
Frankly, the so-called Palestinians will be carrying on war against the Israelis for several centuries to come. That is their history, that is who they are. A low level battle is the most to work for.
We've had an epidemic of executive compensation absurdity for more than two decades driven mostly by good old boy networks on boards of directors. Most of the executives I know, paid astronomic amounts, are nothing but competent bureaucrats.
A client took the following material to the top people in the government but didn't present it. I leave it to you to get it to the appropriate people who will carry it out.
The current tax law allows rewards for executive comp when paid in return for performance. The key in the future is to specify performance publicly in advance.
The combination of the IRS and the SEC have the power to create a set of (maybe 5) performance based compensation reward systems. Since compensation over $1 million is only tax deductible if it is performance based:
The goal of this proposal is to take executive performance rewards out of the day-to-day hands of the corporate board members.
Remember, that within the performance measurement mechanisms all comparative corporate scales must be public and based on public data.
Will this fix the executive compensation epidemic? Yes, for several decades.
One of the great puzzles for me has been the stunning increase in the amount of hard work Americans generated in the 1990's.... it extends up to the current time. This is hard work ethic is palpable. It is also measurable and seen in the Dept. of Labor measurement of the number of hours Americans work.
But espresso doesn't explain why people want to work hard.
I have a guess based on looking at people in San Francisco.
After the public schools became integrated in the 1970s (I apologize for my role in that)they became too dangerous for white kids. The white kids' parents who wanted to stay in a city had to opt for private schools for their offspring. Between 1970 the proportion of private school kids to public school kids in San Francisco has gone from 1 in 4 to 1 in 2.
Private schools are very expensive. As expensive as private colleges. A private K-12 school in San Francisco is over $25,000 per year, per kid.
I think, earning money to send kids to private schools, is the reason the generation of workers from 1985 to 2009 have been working so hard....to pay private school tuition for their kids. This is a consequence of public school integration.
Rupert Murdoch recently gave a speech to the American Jewish Committee. The speech is noteworthy because it is so clear in its understanding of Israel, the rise of the 4th Reich and the global Islamicist movement to destroy the Enlightenment.
My question is "Why do pro commerce people (Murdoch is not only pro commerce he is one of the heroes of commerce) have such clear vision of the world?"
Answer, commerce is purely pragmatic. You survive, fail or thrive based on the accuracy of your perceptions of the world. Murdoch, the great hero of commerce, has thrived because of the clarity and accuracy of his vision.
PS: I'm trying out the words survive, fail or thrive in lieu of dog-eat-dog or survival of the fittest.
When I was young, my girlfriend and I took a train from Marseilles to Rome. I didn't like third class so I went to 1st class and hoped the two of us wouldn't be kicked out. We weren't.
A gentleman came into the cabin at the next stop. He must have thought we were interesting enough to share his cabin with him. The gentleman was working on a set of drawings. As we talked he explained how he was buying American Liberty ships and refitting them as passenger ships in Milan.
Once the ships were remodeled, they were taken to Sweden where they were furnished. The ships were then used to transport Brits to Australia. Australia was paying shipping companies $1,400 per person for every Brit who was brought to Australia. The issue the man was working on was calculation of the size of the air conditioning needed to get the ship successfully through the 115 degree heat in the Suez Canal.
The gentleman went on to talk about his next project, growing trees for paper in the Amazon. He was certain trees would grow fast in the tropics and immediately be processed into paper creating a profitable product.
As you can tell from the title the man was Aristotle Onassis, years later to become a household name when he married the stylish and expensive widow of President Jack Kennedy. The shipping project was a great success, the Amazon was a failure. The Amazon rain forest has virtually no top soil for trees or anything to grow as crops.
There is a good site about Israel and a stunning video on the pervasive libels about Israel in the world. This was sent to me by a good friend in Israel.
I only call this to your attention because I see the recent global spread of the 4th Reich to America. (1) The appointment of a strong 4th Reich supporter, Chas Freeman, to head the group that prepares the daily presidential intelligence report and the subsequent blast of Jew hate from the NYTimes, the MSMedia and Freeman himself is bone chilling. (2) The Obama administration's snub of Israel's top general.
Jew hate in Europe is getting worse every day. If anyone thinks it won't get still worse every day and every year as Israel continues to defend her survival militarily....wakeup! The 4th Reich is alive and growing and, as before, there are very few good people who care....including most Jews.
One of the most surprising sights I see as I make my way around San Francisco is the astounding number of people who are reading in public. Reading books and working on laptops. Reading in bookstores that have chairs and in countless coffee shops.
I know of no evidence that book sales are growing. It may be true, but not based on major publisher's actual sales.
My hypothesis is that reading in public is simply a way for people who work at home, to get out of the house and feel sociable.
The same reason people have traditionally gone to pubs and bars.
Twitter: How did one man become a rock impresario?
I photographed this building because it played an important role in the history of American music.
It is the Longshoreman's Hall on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. What happened here is pretty stunning and the story has never been told.
It was early in 1966 and Ken Kesey and Stewart Brand had organized a series of Acid Tests that are well described in Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool Aid Acid Test. I went to the first one in Longshoreman's Hall with the original Grateful Dead playing. It was not called an Acid Test it was the first Trips Festival.
I was early and Stewart asked me, whom he knew as a banker, to take tickets at the door. I did it for a short while then couldn't ignore the lusty excitement of everything going on around me.
I picked one guy, whom I knew to be a greedy asshole, but not a thief, and told him to handle the door. He loved it, did a good job and made it his lifetime carrier. It was Bill Graham who became America's impresario of rock music..then every kind of music.
This is a good time to tell what a scoundrel Bill was. Bill was widely hated. Cecil Williams, a prominent black minister in San Francisco believed he was a friend of Grahams. In the mid 1970's Williams got Quincy Jones to agree to put on fund raising festival for William's church (Glide Memorial) at the giant Cow Palace. Graham promised Williams he would not put on a conflicting show the same night. About a month before the Jones show, Graham scheduled some really big act on the same night. That is what kind of friend Graham was.
Years later when one of Graham's warehouses was robbed, he, a man widely hated by many for many reasons, publicly blamed the robbery on anti-Semitism.
Graham was killed along with a girl friend, Melissa Gold (whom I had met) and his helicopter pilot, when he forced his pilot to fly him home from a concert in Contra Costa to Marin in a dense fog. The pilot refused, but Graham said he would be fired if he didn't fly. The pilot wasn't fired. He was fried... along with Graham and Melissa when the helicopter hit power-lines near Napa, flying as much below the fog as was possible.
There has always been such a sculpture garden house during my life in San Francisco.
Neighbors never succeed in getting rid of them, if they try.
I have coffee nearly every morning in a coffee shop. The crowd is large, dense, mostly gay and very noisy. Kids come in with their parents on occasion, often in strollers,...they could scream and never be heard.
This relates to a quieter coffee shop.
I just happen to love the humor in this sign in a Colorado coffee shop.
I love kids and have eight grand children but many kids have parents who are out of control. This sign, I'm told, works.
There are two American food styles and locales. One style where you can find a restaurant that serves good fruits and vegetables, particularly in the form of a salad, the other being 90% of America. The former is mostly urban, but it is growing (slowly).
Slowly, you bet. Actual vegetarians are an insignificant market. Only 1.5% of Americans ate vegetarian in the past three weeks.
This is a photo of a salad store in a mall on the outskirts of Boulder Colorado. The reliance on fresh fruits and vegetables is growing slowly but it is a positive sign for the weight of Americans.
The first rate study of weight loss and diet published in the recent New England Journal of Medicine put the final flourishes on the reality that I learned many years ago in Weight Watchers: there is only one way to lose weight and that is to count calories and write down the results. Nothing else is relevant.
My long time friend...very reliable and competent, wrote today:
"Over the last few days, the situation in Madagascar has deteriorated to such a degree that we have decided it is best to send my wife and daughter out of the country. So far, our lives have been more or less unaffected by the political crisis that has brought certain aspects of life here to a standstill.
However, last Friday, political partisans of the president's opponent essentially blockaded the school our daughter attends, trapping many hundreds of children inside and preventing them from leaving.
That very unstable situation pushed us to reconsider our remaining in Madagascar. Over the weekend, there was a rebellion within the military that remains unresolved. The result has been that lawlessness throughout the country is on the rise. It is unclear who is actually running the government. (Anyone who thinks that government is a bad thing should try getting along without one.)
As of today, the diplomatic community's effort to bring both sides of the dispute back to the negotiating table have not succeeded. Yesterday, I attended a "town hall meeting" of the American community in Tana. The mood was glum and pessimistic. Normally, I might chide the State Department for over-reacting. In this case, I think they have assessed the situation correctly."
What do other people think? She has a parrot, a pet rat and she is slowly nibbling on a dish of sushi.
God knows who would give her money, nor why she thinks she looks appealing to bleeding hearts (most people giving money to beggars are women).
I am endlessly asked about the current economic situation. So, despite the fact that I may well be on the record for being wrong, (it has happened several times before) I still make judgments, declarations and try to learn from being on the public record as wrong. Being publicly wrong hones the mind when one is willing to admit 'I'm wrong'. Most people keep their minds deliberately dull by never facing their own error or even worse, their own mortality.
I believe we reached the bottom of this recession sometime in mid-February. The recession will not be as severe as the 1980-82 recession.
What does that mean? First it says nothing about unemployment which will continue to grow for the rest of the year and may not start shrinking until 2010. Largely because we are doing nothing to get people to move to where the jobs are and we have a large backlog of productivity gains that mean fewer workers are needed in the high growth fields.
Second, the total economic output, GDP will start growing after the summer, third quarter.
Third, we will start seeing evidence of growth in many high tech parts of the country this month.
Lastly, my projection says nothing about the financial issues, which may evaporate very quickly as the pervasive underlying power of the U.S. economy becomes more evident.
All this despite the stimulus and despite the bank bailout.
The 'old gray lady', the New York Times, the "All the news that's fit to print" arrogant West-side matron, is so out of step with the times, so blind to the world around her that her impotence is evident today.
The NYTimes has tried desperately not to cover a story that has been raging in the blog world for more than two weeks: the selection of Chas Freeman to be the head of the agency that prepares the President's daily intelligence briefing (National Intelligence Council). He is a Saudi puppet with a bad history of statements on China and Darfur.
If you go to the NYTimes search page for Charles, Chas or C. Freeman you will find no mention of this raging issue.
Today, the real pressure from the blog world became so great that Freeman dropped out.
Old gray lady, you are toothless as well as blind. Turning your back on a news story makes you a joke.
Why? The Arab world is tribal, pre-industrial, generally uneducated and is living outside of the past 400 years of history. Consequently, the Arab world does little except incite useless hate of Israel, support technologically inept Arab Armies, reject every form of diplomatic concessions offered them and remain technically backward countries.
The oil emirates are a farce. Worse than a mirage on a shifting sand dune...the Arabs can't build, repair or maintain their mirage by themselves.
With this cluster of 100 million neighboring buffoons, Israel has had time to learn technology, learn to organize their society into an effective technological force and most importantly to field the world's best Army.
If Israel, god forbid, had started in Mongolia, Kansas or Australia, it would still be a backward socialist agricultural theocracy.
I've advised two governments on how to increase commercial growth; Japan and Sweden.
In the case of Japan I focused on the need for a society to draw from a global market of talent. A dynamic economy needs creative immigration. Japan could only do that by creating a base of operations in Hawaii. Japan, the long stretch of islands, has never been a comfortable place for immigrants. The Japanese government chose not to follow my recommendations, they were politically unfeasible, but several major companies did follow my advice and establish research facilities in Hawaii: Sony, Fujitsu, Mitsui, Matsushita, Epson and Uniden. Creative foreigners working for Japanese companies are now comfortable living in Hawaii.
In Sweden my work was stunningly successful and my work directly created the major source of Swedish small business exports over two decades starting in 1981. My approach was copied in France and Germany. Germany copied my Swedish model and actually exported it back to the United States as part of the German Marshall Fund.
The Swedish model was based on the 1,000 businesses I worked with when I created the Briarpatch Network in the San Francisco Bay Area. The model had new and small businesses learn together cooperatively in a network to overcome the main hurdles of the first two years in business. The survival rate was stunning: 90% survived over five years.
I doubt that Israel could accept the advice I gave to Japan. Tel Aviv is great fun, but could not handle a large 100k non-Jewish global immigrant population. At present Israeli's start major businesses in America to get the benefit of immigrant workers. These businesses (400 on the U.S. stock markets) could become sources of Israeli growth with the right Israeli tax policies...that may someday happen.
I don't know how Israel would respond to the advice and training I gave Sweden.
If you Google the following: 'federal reserve failed dead finished useless', you won't get any hits.
The Fed a failure. The Fed is a giant stinking dead t-rex in the room that nobody is willing to discuss.
The Federal Reserve was created 96 years ago, it didn't do anything to avoid the 1929-41 depression and bank failures. It was changed after WWII and worked fairly well for 57 years.
Now it has totally failed again. Our two largest banks are worth so little they can be bought for the price of a tall building or a medium sized hospital....I mean both of our previously largest banks (Citi and B of A) are kaput. Hundreds of other banks had to be bailed out. Not only that, but every retirement portfolio, public and private, is now worth half of its Summer 2007 value. Half.
The Federal Reserve System failed. I said it. Let's hear some more honest people say it.
Just in case there is someone out there who believes that a national health insurance policy would be good for commerce and reduce health care costs, we have the word of the Congressional Budget Office (Democratic controlled) to show us that none of that is true. Here is Greg Mankiw on the report.
My contribution to my readers is to point out the brilliant choice of the number of uninsured workers, 40 million. Forty is the perfect number, because half of those so-called uninsured earn over $40,000 a year and half of those are under 40 year old males. Most so-called uninsured can afford insurance but consider it too expensive for their true medical risks.
They certainly don't need a national healthcare plan.
I had occasion to recently meet a child psychologist and sit in her office. What a scam child psychology is. The main pretend clients are the children of parents who are getting divorced. But the kids are not the real clients. The real clients are the parents trying to assuage their guilt.
No one is around to test the effectiveness of child psychology treatments. If the sessions aren't working the kids have trouble getting out of the therapy. The parents start and stop the therapy at their own will, which has nothing to do with the kids.
In one case I know of, the kid, decades later, went for a social visit to his former child psychologist. The psychologist wouldn't even bother to talk to the former child client. Why should he? The kid was never the real client and whether the kid did well or not had nothing to do with the child psychologist's practice.
In 1984 Salli Rasberry and I published the first edition of Marketing Without Advertising, we are now working on the seventh edition. Chapter one says something that had never before been publicly stated and with fact that had never been said by anyone else since: Advertising doesn't work. The $150 billion spent annually on advertising in the U.S. is part of an hysterical bubble that is based on no reality.
A major part of the current collapse of many businesses is due to the slow understanding of what we said in 1984.
First I have to explain what advertising is and why it doesn't work. I make a distinction between advertising and listing. A listing is placing marketing information where a potential customer is looking for it. Examples are: Yellow Pages, click-throughs on Google, signs on stores, Wednesday newspaper ads for food and Macys' sales and giveaway maps. Almost everything else, placed where potential customers have to ignore the marketing material is advertising.
Advertising is somewhat effective (1) when directed at tourists who had few other good sources of information (before the Internet), (2) children who are fairly gullible and (3) employees of the advertiser who learn from the advertising message what their company is directing at the public.
Small businesses, 98% of the time, find advertising useless, which is what I learned early on and led me to first teach the course Marketing Without Advertising and then to write the book.
Back to the bursting advertising bubble. I think Google and click-through Internet listings have raised the question in the minds of all business people about the ineffectiveness of advertising. That has led to a rapid decline in advertising in magazines and newspapers and a decline in advertising overall.
On the other-hand click-through Internet listings work miracles for many businesses, so does good Google placement and effective websites. Craigslist works because it is broken down into tiny geographic neighborhoods where you know whether you can drive over and pick up the object for sale.
I've had over two thousand clients in my long consulting career...I haven't made any of this up. The advertising doesn't work and the advertising bubble has burst.
Added related note: 73 million people have and use TIVO...mostly to avoid the intrusive advertising that destroys most TV programs.
We all seem to have calendars and scheduling programs on our phones and computers, often sync'd up.
I just want to point out that no program is yet very good for complex scheduling.
Several of my friends are in the business of coordinating complex projects and leading even more complex business lives. They use computers and phone schedulers but they also use paper scheduling such as Time Managers. (see photo)
The reason is simple. Paper allows for notes, footnotes, symbols, cross-outs, writing on the backs of pages, micro notes and much more while always giving a sense of total time because the size of the page remains the same.
From the evidence I have, we are a long long way from having scheduling programs that can compete with paper.
San Francisco has announced that its largest industry is tourism which is estimated to generate $8 billion a year in gross revenues for San Francisco businesses. That includes $2 billion in convention revenues.
I would like to suggest San Francisco's second largest business and revenue producer. I am reluctant to mention this because the City political leaders, deeply influenced by 17th Century union thinking, are unable to understand that taxes can be self-defeating propositions in the commercial world.
It is a simple fact of physics and commerce that if two locations have equal advantages and one has greater disadvantages then objects and businesses will migrate, if they are free to migrate, to the location with fewer disadvantages. In the case of San Francisco, relative to its neighbors and other comparable cities, the disadvantage is local taxes. Nearly all the large corporations in San Francisco in 1965 have long since left San Francisco (some failed, the rest left).
San Francisco's second largest business is capable of migrating away from San Francisco (slowly over time) if the City political leaders read my blog and decide to tax the business. So don't mention this blog to anyone with political connections or aspirations in San Francisco.
San Francisco's second largest industry is education. My estimate puts the gross revenue to the education industry, excluding public schools K-12 and City College, at $2.6 billion a year.
(I exclude public schools because every locale has public schools, most have community colleges.)
That is larger than any other industry in San Francisco except tourism. This number does not include housing and food that students pay for, which would add another $.7 billion bringing the total to $3.3 billion. There is also a multiplier effect of this revenue but that is not included.
At any one moment, one out of three residents of San Francisco is taking a class at one of the three major universities, one of the law schools, art institutes, professional training schools or any of the myriad university extension classes, yoga classes, art, language, drama, dance and martial arts classes.One out of ten workers is teaching a class.
Again, please, this is for your eyes only if you live in San Francisco. If the City politicians had this data they would inadvertently set out to destroy this industry, with their ideological blindness. I did this research in preparation for advising one of my clients. It is not proprietary but it is sensitive.
Twitter: How can anyone get an honest assessment of themselves?
I mentioned a course I taught a few years back that gave people immense individual power. I only did it once when I realized it directly helped two women to find, catch and marry rich men. Others in the class used their power in more ways acceptable to me. I won't do it again.
I promised to describe the class.
The course ran over four months meeting once each month. I began by showing the members how to keep accurate financial records and explaining the importance of financial information in giving one honest feedback about one's behavior.
The second meeting I looked at the financial data the students brought and re-explained what keeping complete records was about since only bookkeepers get it right the first time. Self deception is the subject of the second meeting along with corrective directions.
The third meeting, the third month, most people get the data right and we begin analysis. Good financial data is, for a person, like being naked. We discuss spending that is out of control, spending that shows real emotional priorities and re-examine imaginary versus tangible life goals. Everyone then sets financial goals for their fourth month.
By the fourth meeting the class is empowered and beginning to make changes in their life. Self understanding has increased dramatically and personal power is evident.
While I will never do the course again, if I did, I would have a follow-up six months later to review the impact.
As I said in an earlier blog: I will not give people power again...too many people abuse it.
Something reminded me of William Agee and I began to wonder what happened to the glamor of being a CEO.
William Agee is the wunderkind who married his college girl friend in his freshman year and returned to life in Boise. After an MBA at Harvard he quickly made it to the top of the corporate ladder at Bendix by age 38. As CEO he had six successful years at Bendix leading an acquisitions splurge and doubling the stock price. Agee's public fame came from his attachment (and later marriage to) a newly hired fellow MBA who became Agee's main counselor and public companion, Mary Cunningham.
That is the core of the glamorous story.
Bendix lost a takeover battle and Agee was sent packing. Apparently 30 years later William and Mary are still married and have children living in Napa Valley. Boring ending.
My readers, who have blogs, should know that the professional media placement folks I deal with use Quantcast to measure website traffic. It is free to sign up for, has very good analytics and only requires a small, unnoticeable piece of code.
Quantcast matches the raw data I get from Six Apart (my blogsite administrators) but has much more; international, gender and most importantly monthly data that I find useful (and reassuring).
I think the name of our era and the name of a large category of businesses will be the same; when we get the right name.
To understand the issue look at your cellphone. You paid for the physical phone which is about 20% material, 20% patents and royalty, 50% software and 10% design. You pay monthly (plenty) for the data/voice service. The service is data transmission infrastructure capital costs and maintenance, a heavy component of software, patents, licenses and corporate administration.
Many of the companies who provide this telecom device and its services are among the top global corporations: AT&T, Microsoft, Siemens, Nokia, Sony, Samsung and Oracle. However, the device and its service has no category of its own. It is variously listed in: (1) networks and communications equipment, (2) telecommunications, (3) computers, (4) electronics, electrical equipment (5) retail and (6) entertainment.
When we finally get a name for this category, say 'metatech', this will also be the 'metatech-era when 'metatech' began to be a dominant form of business not six sub-categories.
If you know a human-caused-global warming believer, here is a test to propose (don't get hit or antagonize a friend): name one established scientist who has presented the human-caused-global warming evidence in a clear coherent argument.
I don't believe such a person exists.
Here is your rebuttal person: William Happer, Princeton Physicist who headed the U.S. climate change research agency at the time James Hansen was causing an uproar. Happer testified before the Senate last Wednesday. He is clear, logical and consequently convincing.
Twitter: Blame the price of oil 2007-08
This is the most stunning alternative view of what happened to our economy and finances I've seen. Reynolds says, and shows, that it was the price of oil that wreaked havoc. This is stolen from the current Claremont Review of Books.
"This recession is not just a U.S. problem, not just about housing, and not just financial. Consider each point, in turn:
France, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong fell into recession in
the second quarter (arguably before the United States and United
Kingdom) when the price of oil rose as high as $145 a barrel. This was
no coincidence. Soaring oil prices raise the cost of production and
distribution for many industries, and reduce real household incomes and
In 1983, economist James Hamilton of U.C. San Diego showed that "all but one of the U.S. recessions since World War Two have been preceded...by a dramatic increase in the price of crude petroleum." By the year 2000 we had been through nine dramatic spikes in the price of oil, every one of which was soon followed by recession. Writing in the Financial Times on January 2, 2008, I suggested that "the U.S. economy is likely to slip into recession because of higher energy costs alone, regardless of what the Fed does" (and regardless of housing too).
Ten months later (November 8), the Economist noted that, "All three previous recessions came after housing booms and oil shocks." They were talking about the U.K., but could have been talking about the U.S. Yet housing slumps can be a consequence of recession rather than a major cause. The housing bust in places like Detroit and Cleveland was not preceded by a boom.
Aside from hot spots in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida, the American housing boom was less exuberant than many others. On December 6, 2007, the Economist revealed that housing prices had increased 102% over the previous decade in the U.S., but 144% in France, 159% in Australia, 190% in Spain, 213% in Britain, and 240% in Ireland.
When the U.S. economy began to contract in 2008, the biggest drop in housing starts was behind us. Falling residential investment subtracted more than a percentage point from real GDP growth in 2006 and 2007, but only half a point in the second and third quarters of 2008. By the second quarter of 2008, home prices were lower than a year earlier in ten states, according to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), but higher in 26 states.
Unbearable increases in the world prices of oil and metals are a better explanation of the recession's geographical and industrial breadth, regardless of the added problems with housing and finance. And that, in turn, means falling prices of oil and metals are sowing the seeds for recovery in 2009—including a housing recovery.
What about finance? The November 10, 2008 issue of Business Week said, "Despite the government's best efforts, it may be 2010 before U.S. banks are willing to lend freely again." But bank lending was flat or down only between April and July of 2008. After that, the Fed's weekly H.8 report showed bank loans rising steadily from $6.91 trillion in July to $7.27 trillion by late October. The sudden bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers caused money market funds to shun commercial paper for the few weeks ending October 1, but nonfinancial commercial paper outstanding rose 9% in the following five weeks. Interest rates on interbank loans (Libor) came down too. Even if more credit was a sensible solution to excessive debt, the "credit crisis" has been exaggerated.
By the time of the U.S. presidential election, the multi-causal global recession was half over. Because unemployment is a lagging indicator, unfortunately, we won't hear that the recession has ended in 2009 until at least another few months have passed."
Alan Reynolds is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of Income and Wealth (Greenwood Press).
See Reynolds' additional observation below in comments.
Twitter: Totally new heroes of our time.
It is time to create the Andy Roddick-Wallenberg prize.
In an era where the world has become the 4th Reich, when the United Nations is the fount of Hitler's hate-Jew ideology, it is incumbent upon all the remaining people on the planet who are not Nazis and Nazi sympathizers to support the rare non-Jews who stand up to the 4th Reich.
Andy Roddick was the first tennis player to publicly refuse to play in Hitler's tennis tournament in Dubai because the World Tennis Association wimped out and allowed Dubai to ban a Jewish Israeli player, Shahar Peer. Andy Roddick is a hero on the level of Raoul Wallenberg. He is the first non-Jewish person to stand up to the 4th Reich, just as Wallenberg stood up to the 3rd Reich.
The Roddick-Wallenberg Prize should be large, it should be annual and it should be held in many different locations to make the point that standing up to the 4th Reich is important, courageous and far more important than the countless other prizes that reward people with far less courage and little significance to the future of the world.
In the future, attendees at the Jew-hate fests on most American campuses, at hate fests in European union meetings and at the hate fests in nearly every Lefty-Green caucus outside the United States... there will be eyes looking for the brave successors of Andy Roddick. These eyes will be ready to rise up and publicly tell the world about the new heroes we desperately need.
We pilots love material like this. The key to this re-enactment is real time, exactly, with air traffic controllers' New York accents.
Remember that during this few minutes, the pilot and co-pilot tell the cabin crew to prepare to ditch, try to re-start the engines, and go through a long check list including the key: closing all openings to the outside. All while talking to the Air traffic controllers.
The piece ends with the controller saying 'say again' to a plane that is now in the Hudson. Listen to the cool voice of Sully:
A real business selling for profit work made this video reconstruction. They deserve credit. Scene Systems.
If you have noticed, William Kristol is no longer writing op-ed pieces at the NYTimes, he is now at the Washington Post. David Brooks is still at the NYTimes, their only current conservative writer.
I believe I know the reason why Brooks is still at the NYTimes and Kristol isn't. The two conservative intellectuals divided on the core issue most important to the NYTimes and the issue that has divided America for 150 years.
We are divided between the self defined elites and the rest of the people. Brooks is a conservative with, as he says, the elite views of Edmund Burke. Kristol is a conservative who believes that the power of America resides in the restless, boystrous, innovative, entrepreneurial power of the broad swath of people.
The final test of the difference came during the last presidential campaign when Kristol supported and extolled the genuine humanity and passions of Alaska Governor Palin and Brooks excoriated her. The NYTimes came down on Brooks side...emphatically.
Sarah Palin is the current and future litmus test of America's elite and elite wannabees versus the rest of the boystrous American people.
To know how right-on this analysis is think how the elite hated 'cowboy' G.W. Bush and said how stupid he was, how he sounded like Texas. There was the perpetual mainstream media Lefty elite claim that Bush never read any books. Pure elitism and elite wannabee-ism.
That is why William Kristol is no longer at the Times and Brooks is; my view anyway.
Postscript: Dr. Laura, the wildly popular highly moralistic radio talk show host, came out in Agust 2008, opposed to McCain because Gov. Palin's daughter was pregnant and unmarried. Since that time Dr. Laura has lost audience share. Maybe there is a connection. Americans are not so harshly judgemental.