Final Mad Men. On the night of the final episode of the AMC hit show Mad Men a review of the top stories for the week of May 18th. The economic news these days isn’t good, but you don’t hear too much talk about it because the magpies in the mainstream media are too busy grousing about funding for their precious personal train service in the North Eastern Corridor known as Amtrak, a service the rest of America does not ride very much but has to pay for anyway, or the 45 idiots running for President and what a few Iowans think of them. Meanwhile, the US economy just put in the worst numbers since 2008. Don’t worry, the sunny analysts say, it’s the result of the West Coast Port Strike resolution. Or, the weather. Or … something. There’s always an excuse. Meanwhile economists and analysts are telling us, no-growth is probably the new normal. Really? The future belongs to those who build it, and people who actually build things don’t pay any attention to those who measure, analyze and report what ‘will be’. Its time we had a conversation about what’s really wrong; pursuit of Keynesian economics — or whatever you call whatever it is the policy makers are doing — and its powerfully destructive effect on the world economy. Whether you’re talking about China, Europe, Latin America or Japan, things ain’t to rosy, even though they keep saying, “Don’t worry it’ll get better next month”. Manufacturing is way down. Why? Because of a slow down in the energy industry, after all the so called ‘experts’ said lower gas prices acted as a tax cut on the economy … since all they ever think about is stimulating the consumer. Meanwhile, consumers aren’t seeing any wage growth and are exhausted because the economy is not growing. Who’s fault is it? Who’s in charge? Too much spending, too much taxation and regulation, and not enough leaving people alone to solve their problems. It’s time we cut the government back to what is required to protect our rights, and nothing more. Cut spending, cut taxes and cut regulations, and watch the economy grow. And, people are already working in ways we couldn’t have imagined twenty years ago. There’s a new kind of worker, who employs services like AirBNB and work hubs to cut the strings completely, and wander the world, working when and where they choose. You might be surprised at how easy it is … right now. Finally, are a few hundred Iowa Republicans (Editor’s note: I mean political groupies) the reason people are already sick of a presidential campaign that hasn’t even started yet? Is it time to politely tell Iowa to stick a sock in it? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.
Rolling Stone’s Debacle. This weekend Rolling Stone Magazine admitted it did not properly fact-check a story about an alleged gang rape on the campus of the University of Virginia. So now we have a clear example of media bias in action and it goes way beyond fact checking. The editors liked the story, so they never pushed the reporter to interview the accused, or confirm the stories of the friends of the woman who claimed she was gang raped at a frat party. So, it took the Washington Post to go down to UVA and run down the particulars in the story. As this was going on, Rolling Stone defended its reporter, and anyone who questioned the woman’s story was pilloried. What did the Washington Post uncover? The discrepancies are so numerous, Rolling Stone had to issue an apology this weekend. ‘Narrative journalism’, combined with bias and shoddy editing is the order of the day in most of today’s news shops. Now the media, UVA, Fraternities, the alleged perpetrators, the victim, not to mention real cases of rape have all been thrown into question as the result of an editor and reporter, and magazine that did not do their job. And what can we say about the media? Charlatans, hustlers, think tank spokespersons, operatives are booked as guests on all the major news shows, round table shout fests, and empty suits abound. An informed populace/electorate is the one necessary ingredient for democracy, and we do not have it. America is being so poorly served by its so called media, its no wonder people cannot reason, don’t know the facts, scream and yell at each other, throw labels onto each other that are meaningless, and are deeply confused about how any process works, because they are uninformed. Who’s fault is it? What can be done about it? Have we reached the stage where the rule of the mob has become a reality? Unfortunately, it sure looks like it. Meanwhile, Mary Landrieu has lost her bid for a fourth term in the US Senate representing Louisiana, giving the GOP one more seat in the Senate, and an historic majority in the House. Wait until after January 7th for the fireworks to start when the 117th Congress is sworn in. The President has acid reflux, as does the rest of the country due to his policies. The media ballyhooed the latest unemployment numbers, but once you look under the hood, they don’t look so good. Surprise! We have yet to produce one month with over 375,000 new jobs, which is what the country needs to fully recover. It never ceases to amaze what the media thinks is ‘good’ versus what is factually needed. Sponsored by Baklund R&D. (Correction: I keep referring to the current congress as “the 116th Congress” in this podcast, and the next as the “117th Congress”. Getting a little ahead of myself; The current Congress is the 113th, and the incoming congress is the 114th.)