Podcast 592-New Era

Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 62

While the media ‘predicts’ the future of the new Donald Trump Era, I’ve been under a self imposed news blackout. I prefer to see what happens with the Trump before I comment. It seems to me an unpredictable personality as President is going to make it very difficult for pundits to tell you what kind of presidency it will be. Why not just wait and see? I think there are bigger trends at work.

Big Changes

We’re living through the dawn of a new industrial revolution. It seems to me, as everything around us changes government is changing too slowly. Technology is changing work and trade despite all this talk of returning America to 1950’s greatness. The biggest transportation company in the world owns no cars. The biggest hospitality company in the world owns no hotels. One of the biggest retailers in the world doesn’t own that many retail stores. It’s often difficult to determine the difference between a national export or an import.

Most of the jobs lost in manufacturing in the United States have been due to IT not outsourcing. Then there are the markets. One-size-fits-all mass markets are transitioning to mass specialization markets. Many new manufacturing plants will be automated and located close to markets they serve. It’s sad to me that in the midst of all this technology development we have a government designed for the 1950’s. Maybe this is something that will change.

In Podcast 592-New Era Day One-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 62 I discuss what we need in the future. It seems to me this is more important than what someone said about Trump’s big speech. As a so called conservative takes power, I want to know whether Big Government Republicans will reduce the pernicious power of government. It seems to me we should be asking ourselves what will be required of us. What do we know? How do we know what we know? How did we learn what we know? Why do we fear competition? Why do some of us we fear change?

Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and X Government Cars.

Podcast 474

Gonzo Talk. No prep. No notes. No editing. These are the rules of Gonzo Talk. I’ve done it before, under different names. I kind of like ‘Gonzo Talk’. This is the way I used to do podcasts, but after nearly 500 podcasts you evolve. It seems weird now, to do Gonzo Talk since I have become comfortable with a little more planning, or what I like to call a controlled burn. I know what I want to say, and rather than pussy foot around, I am able to get right to it because I have put some thought into it beforehand. Not so with Gonzo Talk. You start talking and you keep talking until the podcast is over. What comes up, is what comes up. What is said, is what is said. No editing. We start talking about different coffee makers, progressing to Minnesota’s establishment ‘republican’ effort to get rid of the state’s caucus system, and in view of Iowa’s Pride over their caucus system it seems a little statist. What a surprise. Progressing through the primary and caucus wins this weekend for Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Isn’t it funny how the two candidates winning are most decidedly not establishment candidates. The only candidate that has more potential than Trump to freak the fuddy duddies out in the republican establishment, is Senator Ted Cruz. Just this last week Mister Loser himself suggested breaking the rules he backed to defend himself against Ron Paul at the RNC in 2012. Now Romney is pulling the aw shucks I don’t know nuthin, mister routine. After creating a process that has resulted in unmitigated disaster for establishment republicans, now they want to flush the whole primary process and contest the convention, thus nominating old Milque Toast himself, Mitt Romney. What about sealing off Washington, and forming a new government in Council Bluffs, Iowa? We don’t tell Washington they’re not in charge anymore. We just let them think they’re running things! Wait! Isn’t that kind of the way it is? Or maybe the way it will be? The people are speaking and they are not speaking establishment, on either side of the supposed political spectrum. Of course the tone deaf establishment, democrat and republican, isn’t listening. Why should we listen to them? Hey! I kind of like Gonzo Talk! Sponsored by Brush Studio and Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate.

Podcast 435

How Tough Are You? How tough do you have to be? A new era is coming socially, economically, and politically. A selection of news stories about technology shows how quickly our world is giving way to something new. Socially our ideas about morality, fairness and even the nature of reality are evolving. Economically old systems are transitioning to new, even as industry and ideas minted at the turn of the twentieth century can still be dominant, new ideas in manufacturing, media, communications and the tools we use to do our work are beginning to take hold and to forge their own reality. Politically new issues, new ways to communicate and new kinds of candidates are emerging and wreaking havoc with ‘the process’. These are significant changes that make the world unfamiliar to people who became adults just twenty or so years ago. Our individual success, and our success as a country may depend on how tough we are and whether we adapt to these changes well enough not just to survive, but to thrive. It’s clear these days, that the new world will look nothing like the old. Even assumptions so called ‘experts’ make about the future are turning out to be not be so accurate. Rapid change can be disruptive and confusing to say the least. Especially when people have to live through it. With 64 percent of the working age population out of the work force in the United States, and the new jobs most vulnerable to new technology tough days might be ahead and we will have to be tough to deal with it. What is ‘tough’? What does it mean to be ‘tough’? We hear a lot about the difficulties individuals have these days, but we aren’t hearing enough examples of real toughness, and they’re out there. Maybe it’s time we started thinking that way as a nation? Sponsored by Pride of Homes and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 420

Bob Davis Unplugged. I’ve always admired talk show hosts who can do a good show without notes, preparation or a plan. Certainly walk and talk podcasts fit that bill, but it helps to walk while you talk. In studio is a different story. There have been some interesting developments in the news this week. Commentators are back to following the proverbial bouncing ball and missing some points that I think need to be made. Regarding the Oregon shooting; When I asked people what was going on in the news they said, “There’s the Trump thing, the Pope thing and oh yeah, another mass shooting.” Of course the President didn’t skip a second rushing out to demand Americans surrender their guns. Why do we have a second amendment? Is there a final check on the dangerous power of government? While we don’t generally think of a government that seems to exist to extract money from our paychecks and mail checks to others, including billionaires like Warren Buffett, there’s immense power in spying and militarized police departments. Then there’s the Communist Pope. The left loves Francis, or at least they did until it was reported that the Pope – who would rather talk about the scourge of Capitalism rather than the scourge of pedophilia in the Catholic Church – met with Kim Davis, the Kentucky County Clerk who refused to marry gay couples. Suddenly the ‘amazing’ Pope Francis was tarred and feathered on social media, to the extent that the Vatican this week back pedaled ‘explaining’ the Pope’s meeting with Davis. Then there are the economic pundits and employment numbers. Almost all of them predicted a ‘great’ employment report this week, especially since low gas prices ‘act like a tax cut by stimulating the economy’, until they don’t. Now, if you have been listening to the Bob Davis Podcasts you have been warned about this shibboleth long ago. Lower gas prices don’t ‘act like a tax cut’. Our economy would have to create over 375,000 jobs a month for a long time in order to bring the millions of people who are out of the work force back in. Sadly 375,000 is a number this country’s economy has not been able to attain since the recession back in 2008, despite all the efforts to ‘stimulate’ and ‘prime the pump’ from a trillion dollar stimulus to ‘cars for clunkers’ and every other cockamamie scheme cooked up by President Obama. Moreover, none of the presidential candidates, on both sides of the political spectrum seem to have a clue about how to grow the US Economy other than more stimulus, or tax cuts but no spending cuts. Have we — as in everyone in the world — forgotten how to be capitalists? Could we feed ourselves without a job or government handout if we had to? Maybe this could be one of the positive effects of a future ‘gig economy’ … with everyone freelancing, we might actually learn to create, not take. Sponsored by Pride of Homes and X Government Trucks.

Podcast 367

UK Election Crushes Pundits. Most important story going into the new week is the British Election, and the chief casualties appear to be political pundits. The ‘experts’ predicted a victory for the left, and in fact the left in British Politics was handed its hat and shown the door. Political scientists and pollsters are becoming too famous, and becoming part of the story, rather than doing their job. Its one of the reasons we love it so much when they’re wrong. Next, the same bunch in the US will be telling us what’s going to happen in 2016, based on the experience of the British election. What they won’t tell you is how the two systems are different, and why. That’s where this podcast comes in. Dissimilarities aside, UK conservatives will move quickly to cut government costs and size and adjust the UK’s relationship in the EU. The most significant thing to come out of the British election is the fact that people told pollsters one thing, and voted an entirely different way. It’s become socially unacceptable to disagree with an overbearing and arrogant left, so people just keep their opinions to themselves and take their revenge at the polls. Could that happen in the US? As people bear up under a no growth economy, disorder at the breaking points, and constant denial from the left that their policies just aren’t working, the pundits ignore the fact that there is political rage just below the surface. Woe to the politician that ignores this, or doesn’t understand it. Will the polls pick it up? Not if the pollsters and political scientists keep thinking about politics in the old right/left paradigm. Things are changing. Fast. Meanwhile, candidates in the US keep doing the same things and expecting different results. At a cattle call for republicans in the Carolinas, Jeb Bush talks about Christianity (just to make you think he’s a conservative) and Scott Walker wants to send troops to Iraq to fight ISIS. A recent podcast included a discussion of the nature of work in Los Angeles, with freelancers working on projects ad hoc, as the model for work in the future for all of us. Some subscribers didn’t like it, suggesting ‘Hollywood’ is responsible for the decline of social morals in this country. In this podcast, a new article suggests an Uber style company that connects professionals and semi professionals with small businesses and individuals is already taking off, and will change the nature of work in this country. Finally, for people interested in political organization, or just being good neighbors and citizens, there are a plethora of local issues, from Common Core, the Tyranny of the Met Council, and out-of-control spending by city councils. While these are local Minnesota issues, every town  in every state and territory of the United States has similar issues. They allow people to work together to solve problems without having R’s or D’s carved into their foreheads. When people work together and solve problems together, they’re more likely to listen to each other, as opposed to sitting in their chair watching Fox News or MSNBC and railing against those (fill in the blank). Sponsored by X Government Cars. (Image from telegraph.co.uk

Podcast 338

Change. Interrupting The Rockford Files to do podcast 338. The sameness of news coverage lately provokes discussion on change. How it occurs, when it occurs and how do we notice when things are changing? Think back to different times, and how you noticed things were changing. What caught your attention? A TV Show, Fashion, a song, or something in the news? What resonates with you to indicate things are changing. Usually major change requires some kind of catalyst. The stock market crash of 1929 ushered in the Great Depression, the assassination of President Kennedy was the beginning of the tumultuous 1960’s and early 70’s, and of course in our time frame, September 11th brought huge changes in our society and the world. Is there a point where you look up and say, “Things are different now”? Are we on the cusp of major changes in the world and in the United States? What are the cues, the waypoints, the clues of a major change in era? When we watch our favorite old TV shows we can see how things have changed. Its nostalgic but also instructive to watch shows with good writing. like ‘The Rockford Files’, or ‘Friends’, or ‘Miami Vice’; shows that aired for many seasons, starting in one era, and ending in another. Certainly this podcast does not suggest that we can tell what’s going on by watching old TV shows on Netflix. What it suggests is things are changing again, and this time maybe significantly. What things that are present now will be the building blocks of the future, and what things will be swept away. As Moore’s law continues its exponential impact on technology and society, suddenly there is more coverage of robotics and artificial intelligence, suddenly IT systems that were up to date seem old and ‘kludgy’, and we’re seeing signs of the future everywhere; Uber outnumbers yellow cab in New York, autonomous check out machines, new business models, an iPhone that was brand new a second ago seems suddenly obsolete. Media is changing too; MSNBC is dying, broadcast television viewing is plummeting, Netflix is getting competitors including the networks, HBO and Apple, and the new cars don’t even come with AM radio anymore. As things change one thing is for sure. People attuned to politics should hold on loosely, because it may be true that in the near future  many things we consider constants will change. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul. 

Podcast 308

Cars. A prominent British auto collector said recently the driverless car will have a catastrophic impact on the auto industry, sooner than you think. Recently a few stories about the twentieth century romance with the automobile may have caught your eye. The son of a collector in France, who’s vintage Ferrari’s, Spyder’s, and Maserati’s were forgotten for decades, and an auto dealer in Pierce, Nebraska who saved his unsold inventory, resulting in a stunning collection of hardly driven Chevy cars and trucks from the 1930’s onward. Nothing says twentieth century like the car. From the Model T and Al Capone’s 16 cylinder Cadillac to the muscle cars of the 1960’s and 1970’s. This is not a technical automotive discussion, more a talk about how automotive technology conveyed independence and freedom for the first Model T owners, all the way up to the baby boom generation. For many, the car IS the American Dream. With student loan debt averaging around 8 thousand dollars, credit card debt and rents increasing, today’s young adults struggle to afford a car, and many don’t want one anyway. What conveys freedom today? The smart phone and the technology and communication it brings. While many are nostalgic for an easier time – cruising the Dairy Queen or main street on a Friday night – disruptive changes technology brings can be frustrating and frightening … but they can also inspire. Today’s new technology actually does convey independence and freedom in ways Henry Ford couldn’t imagine. Today’s industrialists in Silicon Valley and Seattle, worry about artificial intelligence; smart machines some believe threaten humanity. Meanwhile, Bill Gates and those following in his footsteps are rushing to create autonomous software and machines that can do everything from pick fruit to work as medical orderlies. There is a new world coming, and its coming fast. Many of our social institutions were created for the twentieth century world, which will soon be left in the dust, and it doesn’t seem like we’re ready to accommodate new ideas like the Driverless Car, autonomous machines, robotics and many other innovations. What happened to the romance of the open road, and the Plymouth Road Runner? It got stepped on by an iPhone. Now what? (Editor’s Note: I like this podcast because it also includes a lot of memories from my childhood, and some great car songs.) Sponsored by My Complete Basement Systems, and Depotstar

Podcast 268

Not 1995! Lots of stories in the news about real estate and consumer culture, and the state of retail. Its starting to feel like the business models that have propelled us from the 90’s aren’t working so well anymore. Now analysts wonder why millennials aren’t buying homes. Zillow theorizes that people are trapped in a high rent situation that prevents them from saving for a home down payment. There’s a greater question though. While we have been subjected to one rosy scenario after another about housing’s comeback — which really hasn’t materialized —  when repairs, taxes, assessments, interest and other costs of home loans over thirty years are considered, do you think owning really that much economical? With millennials burdened by student loans, the specter of higher lifetime social security costs and poor quality employment, is anyone really that surprised they’re not in the home buying mood? Then, when you consider higher spending and debt levels, and the pension commitments for state and local governments, would you say you think taxes will be going down, or up? Potential buyers are also factoring this in, and the cost of the urban utopia created by subsidies, federal spending and higher taxation. Finally, have you priced homes in these urban utopias millennials supposedly want to live in? By the way, a new survey says the one thing people ‘blow’ their budget on these days is eating out, all the more expensive in the ‘urban utopia’, ruled by broke hipsters. When millennials finally do start families, they’ll be looking in the suburbs for housing because its more affordable. Then there’s the retail question. This week congress decided not to tax purchases made on the Internet, much to the chagrin of retailers that have been manhandling their legislators to push for a tax to ‘even the playing field’. More and more there are examples of how retailers want to use law and licensing to fence off competition. Meanwhile their business models suck. Poor service, high prices, snooty attitudes; It’s no wonder people want to buy things on line. Uber’s fight to get into Portland and New York City are just two examples; There taxi drivers try to fence off competition by selling ‘licenses’ rather than providing a service people want. We’re on the cusp of big changes when it comes to consumer culture in America, and it’s a good thing. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and by Depotstar

Podcast 257

Weekend Update. Extreme weather in Buffalo, New York drops at least 6 feet of snow; more in one day than they get all year, and that’s extreme, even for a place like Buffalo. This weekend the Bills have to play in Detroit due to the snow. Speaking of Football Stadiums. Minnesota has one of the worst professional sports stadium deals in the country. That is, Minnesota taxpayers will pay a larger share of the new Vikings Stadium than taxpayers in other states pay for theirs. Imagine Vikings fans surprise when they learned from The Minneapolis Tribune, the Vikings will pay a larger share for ‘their’ stadium. How much? A little more than half a million dollars. Yeah. Kudos to the Star-Tribune for providing the people of Minneapolis-Saint Paul and the state of Minnesota with a free ad for the Minnesota Vikings. We’d like to see them pay a lot more, like about 600 MILLION more, but that will never happen thanks to so called fiscally responsible republicans in the state legislature who did the stadium deal back in the day. Minnesota Senator Al Franken is all up in Uber’s grill because of comments made by an executive of the company ‘threatening’ a ‘journalist’ — and revealing the company keeps electronic records of all their clients’ travels. The Senator wrote an angry letter to the company demanding to know whether it is keeping data, confidential. Isn’t it nice, with all the other issues; immigration, Keystone, and War, the Senator found time to stand up for a journalist. By the way, that little ‘I Agree’ button is something he might want to take a look at. And speaking of parasitic capitalists: When Tesla’s Elon Musk isn’t profiting from energy subsidies or selling carbon credits to his direct competitors, he’s braying about artificial intelligence and how it will destroy humanity. Always good for positive media coverage from reporters who don’t know what AI is anyway. But the Japanese are forging ahead with FEMBOTS! Soon they will be receptionists, TV presenters, even companions! And Japan doesn’t care if they take over, since everyone is too old to work there. Then there is Bill Cosby. While the media acts as judge, and jury it is important to remember Cosby has never been charged, or convicted of anything. Is it ok that the media gets to decide whether someone is a rapist, murderer or thief? What about spy? Just sayin’. Finally some thoughts about work. More people these days are leaving corporate america to start their own small businesses. Never before have the tools been better for amplifying the individual.  With as much as 13 percent of the work force is checking out of the cubicle, into their own businesses who can blame them? Working for most of today’s corporations is nothing but drudgery and people are getting sick of it. What will the future company look like, and how will people work for them? Sponsored by Depotstar