Economic-Boom-Smoke-And-Mirrors?-Bob Davis Podcast 872

Everyone Gets An Award. So What?

These days we live in a world where everyone gets an award for participation. Every now and then reality intrudes on our blissful paradise. We’ll talk about the 3rd quarter GDP numbers and what they mean in Economic-Boom-Smoke-And-Mirrors?-Bob Davis Podcast 872.

Ballyhoo and BS

We’ve been the victims of economic ballyhoo at least since 2016. Even more for years since the recession of 2008 we’ve been sold all kinds of snake oil. Green Shoots. The Light At The End Of The Tunnel. Priming The Pump. Economic Boom!

GDP Is The Yardstick

Gross Domestic Product is the yardstick by which we measure the economic performance of the world’s countries. This is especially relevant in the United States, where we will choose a new president and congress in 2020.

How Are We Doing?

Economy is one of the yard sticks by which we determine how our leaders ‘are doing’ at their jobs.

Third Quarter

Therefore when the third quarter GDP numbers came out this week, we now have a third data point on which to judge US economic performance in 2019.

Smoke and Mirrors?

How are we doing? We’ll find out in Economic-Boom-Smoke-And-Mirrors?-Bob Davis Podcast 872.

What’s A Boom?

First of all exactly what does an economic ‘boom’ look like and are we really living through one?

What About All The Other Stats?

Second, what about other measurements like employment, government spending, consumer spending and productivity?

Concentrate On Outcomes

I have often described my mission with these podcasts as a quest to concentrate on outcomes and relatively objective analysis of those outcomes.

No Predictions

Above all I avoid predictions. I won’t use superlatives to describe how great or bad things are. I do not want tell listeners what they’re supposed to think or advocate for.

More Questions

In conclusion, these new numbers raise more questions than answers.

In addition, what about inflation, business investment and growth in the future.

Moreover what about intervention by central banks?

I wonder, if there’s an economic boom why do we need so much government spending and interventions to keep it going? What about the enormous spending deficits and public debt?

Meeting Challenges

Finally what are the biggest economic and therefore social challenges ahead. Are we on path to address those challenges?

I don’t hear too much talk about that on the campaign trail, in government and in the media.

Sponsored by John D. Scott Personal Injury Lawyer and Hoffman Hamer and Associates

Economic-Boom-Smoke-And-Mirrors?-Bob Davis Podcast 872

 

 

 

Podcast 358

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

Podcast 265

China Wins! Weekend updates start with the news that China has overtaken the US as the largest economy in the world. Except it’s not true. According to the IMF, using one measurement of economic magnitude, China has overtaken the US. Of course the US media jumps all over this story despite the fact that the measurement called PPP is controversial for many reasons. In fact China’s economy is considerably smaller and poorer than the US. However, it should be pointed out, when your neighbor is saying ‘things are better now’; if the US continues to have sub par growth (par in this case would be a normal dynamic growth of 4% or more for the same length of time as the recession), China will eventually overtake us. All the more reason to advocate growth policies focused on production, rather than trying to stimulate consumption. Protesters, variously reported as protesting the Ferguson Grand Jury decision and advocating for a higher minimum wage, blocked I35W just outside of the downtown Minneapolis. (Editor’s Note: The confusion in reporting got me talking about minimum wage, but the effect is the same. I don’t understand how making people angry because they sit in traffic for an hour makes them amenable to the cause, whatever that is.) The kinds of people who make more money are the people who develop time and productivity saving innovations, and figure out how to market them. Increasing wages by fiat won’t make anyone’s life better in the long run. Moreover, it’s possible in the short run, some fast food and service industries that employ human beings will automate most of these processes and actually improve service and the quality of their product. Low and middle skilled labor in the next twenty five years will face some grim employment challenges. Protesting this sea-change in the production and labor equation, is spitting into the wind. Black Friday sales are down, provoking all kinds of discussion about ‘what it means for the economy and retailers’. Probably nothing, either way. But, it does provoke a discussion about why some retailers are going out of business, and it isn’t because they’re not offering discounts. Its because they’re not retooling properly for the new consumers who don’t want to wait until the day after Thanksgiving for the best deals, and they want better service. Some stories from the consumer front prove this thesis. For example, a new study says people care more about the WIFI connection than they do the bed, when it comes to choosing a travel hotel. Did the North Koreans really hack Sony Pictures. Not so fast. Investigators now think it was a disgruntled employee. But the real story is how much these Hollywood types are making … but you won’t see any minimum wage protesters on the Sony studio complex. Meanwhile, more TV viewers are streaming their favorite shows, and its happening with radio too as people listen to podcasts and services like Pandora, over the internet. Finally, that all meat diet you’re on may actually be better for your heart than the gluten free bagel diet. New studies show its the carbs that kill your heart. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul, and by Depotstar