Back In The Bunker. Another special announcement concerning more distribution of the The Bob Davis Podcasts. Plus, a discussion of what it’s like to be back in the studio after weeks on the road in the Mobile Podcast Command Unit. This weekend – in podcast time – is Earth Day, 2015. It is, essentially, a secular, if not pagan Easter; a celebration of mother earth and spring, with political overtones. In truth, environmentalism has become a religion for some. Some environmental policy is good, and some — most of it — has been not so good. We start with California’s water problem, which could be solved with desalinization, but the state is spending billions more on a bullet train to nowhere. Desalinization actually costs less than the bullet train. Meanwhile Californians are talking about billions of gallons of fresh water poured into San Francisco Bay to save the Smelt Fish. Federal and State Governments in the US offer thousands of dollars in subsidies and tax credits if consumers buy electric cars. When gas was more expensive some calculated it would take five years to make up the difference in costs for a gas versus electric car. Now that gas prices have plunged it will take even longer. What are consumers doing? They are trading their electric cars in on SUV’s at the highest rate in years. Despite the prediction of the President that there would be millions of electric cars on the road by the end of his presidency. Continuing along the lines of government engineering. We’ve been seeing a lot of policy devoted to subsidized growth in major cities to create ‘Hipster Havens’ where the ‘creative class’ will collaborate and create thousands of new jobs. Suddenly though, not only are millennials starting to move into first ring suburbs, but exurbs are starting to grow again as well. Pretty hard to raise your baby in Hipster Heaven. This podcast also includes a list of 13 predictions, on Earth Day, that sounded really ominous in 1970, but which ended up being hopelessly wrong, as a reminder that just because ‘scientists agree’ doesn’t always mean you can take it to the bank. Do you think buying food at the farmer’s market — another feature of every Hipster Heaven — helps the environment. A new study says maybe not. Find out why. Finally, the media has discovered that the economy just isn’t growing fast enough. Where is the consumer? If the media isn’t spreading disinformation in its quest to focus on personalities and not issues for the presidential cycle of 2016 (which hasn’t even started yet) it’s spreading disinformation about the ‘growing’, ‘booming’ and ‘recovering’ economy. It’s just that the rosy scenario story line isn’t materializing. What might people think about the economy as an issue, heading into 2016. Will there be an economic crisis, and how will that impact the presidential race? Sponsored by Baklund R&D.
Winter and The Donner Party. Updates on the big stories for your weekend. Yeah, it’s cold people, but can we at least use the real temperature rather than wind chills? Was it really -41 in Bemidji, Minnesota the other day, or did just feel like -41? What does -41 feel like? Now of course comes the cavalcade of idiotic financial media stories about the ‘deep cold’ of 2015, and the ‘economic effects’ of people not being able to get to their jobs. In New England? Vermont? Massachusetts? Minnesota? These people, of course, have no experience with such economy killing cold, right? Another economic fairy tale that has died a horrible death is the idea that cheap gas ‘acts like a tax cut’. In reality it appears that the cheaper price of oil isn’t just due to increasing production, but to slackening demand, which ought to cause some concern. A new economic fairy tale is the idea that increasing minimum wages at Wal-Mart (announced as a Public Relations gimmick) will somehow create ‘wage inflation’ which will be good for the economy. Doesn’t seem to be any decrease of wages at federal agencies like the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS currently boasts over eighty thousand employees, and wants to add ten thousand more, ostensibly to do work related to Obama Care taxation enforcement, except only some 400 new employees will be doing that work. What will the others do? Order out for lunch. Buy new chairs. Go to expensive conferences during the winter in Las Vegas. Whatever. Everyone agrees that green and yellow smoke spewing smokestacks, and rivers that explode into flame are bad; We used to call things like that ‘pollution’. These days apparently there is so little pollution that amateur astronomers are complaining that there’s too much ‘light pollution’, they can’t see the little dipper, even with a telescope. Go ahead, tell me to turn off my front porch light. Demand the IDS turn out the lights at night. Hell, go ahead and turn out the street lights. Just don’t call it ‘Light Pollution’. Because when you do that, we call it ‘Mouth Pollution’ as in, SHUT IT! All the talk is that the new iWatch isn’t enough, Apple is going to build a car. The story has been all over the financial media that last few days. Finally someone has debunked it. Find out why in this podcast. So, it’s cold. We know it’s cold. Just imagine you are a pioneer taking the road less traveled in 1847. You come to a wonderful spot high in the Sierra Nevada’s. You say, “This is good. It’s late fall. It’s nice here. Let’s stay and rest up before we head down into the place that will someday be known as the Golden State”. 4 months later half your party is dead, you’re eating Dad for dinner and you realize … You’re the Donner Party! It’s one of the enduring stories of conquering the west, and it should make all of us happy we have hot coffee, steaks in the freezer and ‘Game of Thrones’ to watch. Sponsored by Baklund R&D.
Wash Cycle. Updates for the new work week start with laundry in the Broadcast Bunker. You’ve probably been feeling pretty good lately, what with all the stories about how great Christmas Shopping was going and how cheap gas was like a tax cut, and how we’ve finally turned the corner on the economy, with the multitudes heading back to work, right? The toward the end of last week, someone punched the mute button on the celebration. Now, this won’t stop the President from taking credit for ‘booming’ economic growth in the United States in his State of The Union message, but new numbers temper the enthusiasm a little bit and may even explain why more than half of Americans aren’t so sure we’ve got the party started yet. As with almost every development related to President Obama and the economy, the compliant media continues to paper over mistakes, and grasp at green shoots in the economy. Unemployment is 5.6 percent! We’ve created over 250,000 jobs! What they don’t tell you is today’s 5.6 percent isn’t the same as when Bill Clinton was president, since there are 65 million some people who apparently are out of the work force permanently. Moreover wages, which have been rising slightly, are not rising fast enough, or high enough to sustain economic growth, say some analysts. At the end of last week, the compliant media was again surprised – stunned in fact – to see that retail sales actually contracted in December, a whopping .9 percent. Economists (astrologists) had predicted only a .1 percent drop. Remember when cheap gas was supposed to act like a tax cut? Gas stations got hit the hardest. Auto sales got hit. And, even though we ‘created’ two hundred fifty thousand plus jobs last month, there were 314,000 applications for unemployment, up 19,000 and the highest number in four months. Note to self; A tax cut is a permanent reduction in a tax rate, allowing people to plan for the long term future by investing, or purchasing big ticket items, or starting businesses. A reduction in a price is not a tax cut. Meanwhile the energy price and commodity price rout continues, and now banks in the oil patch, manufacturers like CAT, rail roads and energy states are taking the hit. Oh we’ll take the cheaper oil, but the media needs to stop crowing about how great a commodity price collapse is. It should be viewed as a danger sign, because the rest of the world economies apparently got the wrong flu shot. What’s wrong? No one is asking whether or not we should be stimulating supply, rather than demand. Are conservatives proposing dynamic, proven solutions? Finally, the IRS wants more money. They don’t have enough employees. Has anyone bothered to report how many employees the IRS actually has? You’d be surprised. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing.