Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida, Europe and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Henry Blodgett's insightful take on the U.S. economy, unemployment and job creation: Sorry, high-tech isn't labor-intensive; the Apple example


The Blaze video: Amy Holmes Interviews Henry Blodget from Business Insider, October 13, 2011. http://youtu.be/N_l-gBTW1To

Below is an interesting and sobering take on the U.S. unemployment situation that was written a few days ago by Henry Blodgett, CEO and Editor-In Chief of Business Insider, before the contentious debate began in earnest on Friday about the validity of the official numbers being released, esp. about the "real" number of Americans unemployed, given how many Americans have now used up their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits.
They no longer count in the official govt. statistics, just like people who have given up looking for work.
More below the article.
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For years while I lived in the Washington, D.C. area -roughly 1988-2003- Henry Blodgett's alternately insightful, funny and tart-tongued essays, commentary and darts on the economic scene and the ups and downs of various U.S. businesses and the people who ran them, as well as his take on the regulators and Capitol Hill legislators who pretended to know what was going on -mostly written for Slate- was an almost daily source of amusement and email back-and-forth between myself and many of my more professionally financially-focused friends and former colleagues, some of whom wrote for well-known national media outlets.

Blodgett is CEO and Editor-In Chief of Business Insider

Here's an example of one email to someone in Washington, D.C. from just over three years ago, with the response to it first; names changed to protect the innocent and guilty.

Re: FYI: re Henry Blodgett on buying NYT Digital; Hillary as Cordell Hull?
Monday, November 24, 2008 2:11 AM

Love this e-mail! The Hillary analysis was dead on.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

From: (me)
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2008 22:55:44 -0800 (PST)
Subject: FYI: re Henry Blodgett on buying NYT Digital; Hillary as Cordell Hull?

Dear X:

Hola amigo!

Meant to send this interesting post below to ya on Friday.
Hope all is well with you and your real family -and the extended Timesian family in DC that I came to know- this coming Turkey Day.

You can't begin to know how much I miss being around the action!!!
You would not believe the number of reporters, print and TV, down here who wouldn't recognize a story if their lives depended on it. Really.
The banal quality and quantity of news reporting down here is SO much worse than I can adequately describe here, or ever remembered witnessing when I'd come down here from D.C. over the holidays or for Orioles spring training.
(Have you heard if Tom F. is renewing his O's season tickets???)

Suffice to say that in an area that has a million stories cooking, too many reporters in South Florida have a pronounced lack of curiosity and resourcefulness, and seem to think they are all on stand-by for Access Hollywood, ie, are literally led by hand to stories by publicists and corporate cousins and their flacks.

As you might recall me having previously mentioned, I subscribe to the Silicon Alley Insider via email, and when I saw the photo of Jane and Arthur, Jr. in Henry Blodgett's post below, it made me laugh uncontrollably when I first saw it, largely because -what are the odds- I'd just been reading something about the British monarchy and -wait for it- Lady Jane. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Jane_Grey

She, too, thought that she was in charge, but when push came to shove with the royal family, "Off with her head!"
(And they meant it!)

As your friend, I have to advise you that in the event she comes down to D.C. anytime soon, do NOT stand next to her, he said only semi-jokingly!

No doubt over the next few months, IF she walks the plank, we'll be reading revisionist essays from many quarters in the punditocracy saying that Grey Lady Jane wasn't really ever responsible for any of the bad decisions made by the Times, it was others.

Sadly and rather predictably, I suspect that'll esp. be the case with female writers, who will posit some heretofore unknown convenient alibi that this particular corporate suit, is, well, different than all the other business suits that have been recently tarred-and-feathered metaphorically for bad business performance and poor decisions that helped lead to that dead end.

I especially think that'll be the case for those female columnists outside the Times' outer defense perimeter, since, well, seriously, how many times can they pretend that they really care where the Obama girls go to school?
Like you didn't guess Sidwell Friends about 30 seconds after it was official he'd won just like I did?
Please!

Very disappointed to see recently that the Times sports magazine PLAY went buh-bye for good.
I could never tell when it was going to come out, which is frustrating and perhaps part of the bigger non ad-related problem, due to lack of topicality, but there was always something interesting in it, the same way there always was with the late great
Inside Sports magazine in the 1980's, which presaged so many of the past 25 years of sports writing, good and bad, though I prefer to recall the good.
That's where I first heard of John "Junior" Feinstein...

When I lived in Evanston, I lived next door to their editorial office my first year there. So, tell me again why I was so stupid that I never thought to go next door and talk my way into some sort of assignment to prove my worth, such as it was at the time?
Easily one of my worst decisions ever!

Monday's LA Times has an interesting angle on the possible Hillary move to Foggy Bottom, and I've been thinking about it more than most, since it's actually quite original.
New York Times

A TIME OF TRANSITION
Clinton's potential pitfalls seen in FDR's secretary of State
Like Cordell Hull, she could find herself marginalized because she hasn't been close to the president she would serve. Her future ambitions could also complicate her job.
By Paul Richter
November 24, 2008

Reporting from Washington — Cordell Hull was a veteran lawmaker with a worldwide reputation when Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him secretary of State in 1933, in part to win needed support from Hull's army of Democratic admirers.

But the dignified Tennessean was never close to FDR. As time passed, he was "muscled out by others in the administration," said Michael Hunt, a diplomatic historian at the University of North Carolina.

Barack Obama's election as president has drawn other comparisons with Roosevelt's, especially for the economic crisis he inherits. But the example of Hull, a marginal figure despite the fact that he served into the 1940s and later won the Nobel Peace Prize, may point to potential pitfalls for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she takes the top diplomatic post, as seems increasingly likely.

Clinton would come to the role with global star power, a first-name relationship with world leaders, and a long familiarity with foreign policy.

But her relationship with the president and the new administration -- so key to success in the job -- is coarsely mixed. And her future ambitions could affect her pursuit of the administration's goals.
Hmm-m...
Now consider this, from a recent NYT quiz
NOODLE NUDGER #335 -- Steel Trap
Question #3 was:
He headed U.S. Steel before he was tapped by Franklin D. Roosevelt to run the Lend-Lease Program. Name this executive who went on to succeed Cordell Hull as the Secretary of State in 1944.

You said John W. Aiken. The correct answer is Edward Stettinius.
As Secretary of State, Stettinius helped establish the United Nations, and represented the U.S. at that institution from January to June 1946.

If Hillaryland goes to Foggy Bottom, I think she won't last past the first term.
Consider the following two pieces from NYT 'Christmas Past' as part of my reasoning.

THE MAN WHO SITS AT ROOSEVELT'S RIGHT; Cordell Hull Has Long Been a Student of International Economics
By BERTRAM D. HULEN,
Sunday Magazine
April 9, 1933
WASHINGTON
A student of economics, Cordell Hull comes to the office of Secretary of State at a time when, in his own words, "the world is in a state of bitter economic war" and when negotiations in the interests of world peace must, for some time to come, be based on economic questions...
------
DEWEY'S STRENGTH SHOWN IN SURVEY;
He Would Give Roosevelt or Hull a Close Race Now, Gallup Study Finds
THIRD 'TRIAL HEAT' HELD
It Pictures Possible Result if Election Were Conducted at This Time
Sunday May 12, 1940
Thomas E.. Dewey would run an extremely close race for the Presidency against either Cordell Hull, Secretary of State, or President Roosevelt, if the contest were staged now, a survey just completed by the American Institute of Public Opinion indicates, according to Dr. George Gallup, its director...
I forgot, while Hull was the father of the inheritance tax and the modern federal income tax, what exactly was Hillary's track record and expertise with economics in the Senate and the presidential race with Obama? Exactly.
Her numbers didn't add up!

If -as Tom always says in his columns and books - economics is more important than ever to U.S. foreign policy, isn't that likely to make Hillary even less important in an Obama-dominant administration?
In a word, yes.

Adios!
____

Silicon Alley Insider
Reducing Our Offer For The New York Times (NYT)
Henry Blodget
November 20, 2008 12:52 PM

As you recall, back in July, we happily made an offer for the digital operations of the New York Times Company (NYT).

We offered a massive price--$1 billion--and proposed an innovative deal structure that would avoid the need for annoying shareholder approvals, jillion-dollar legal fees, egregious tax hits, etc. (In short, the NYT would acquire us, and then spin us and NYT Digital out--see details below). We explained how we would run the standalone NYT Digital and how the proposed transaction would benefit New York Times shareholders, who have since been obliterated.

Well, we are pleased to say that, despite the global market carnage, our offer remains in effect! Alas, in light of the impending depression and recent developments at the New York Times Company, we must mark our offer to market.


Obviously, in retrospect, I wasn't right about everything three years ago.
Hillary Clinton has outperformed all of Obama's economic team!

-----
Another helpful article to me on Janet Robinson's handling of the New York Times and their financial condition at the time I wrote the email above was this great piece in the New York Observer, which I've been faithfully reading for 22 years:
The New York Times Company Severely Cuts Dividend, Pot of Wealth for Sulzbergers; Analyst: ‘It Was Inevitable’
By John Koblin 11/20/08 9:50pm





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