Friday, August 27, 2010

Business Weenies – We’re Doomed

OK. Today I read about the slumping economy in a couple of places. One place was a blog I occasionally read and the other was the Chicago Tribune. The basic problem seems to be that businesses won’t hire because consumers won’t buy. What we have is a lack of demand.

What I think we have is a lack of cojones on the part of the free market capitalists. Consumers won’t spend because they are 1) paying down debt, 2) worried about becoming unemployed, or 3) unemployed. Government is tapped out – no more stimulus money. Both the blog and the article said that corporations are sitting on $2 Trillion (yes, with a “T”) of cash due to record profits the last three years. And they are the ones that are afraid? They’re the only ones with the money to make a difference and they are too shortsighted and timid to do anything about it.

I’m reading a biography of Henry Ford. He was smart enough to understand that for mass production to be practical, you need mass consumers. So, he paid workers far above the prevailing wage at the time (though ironically, he despised unions). He could think long-term. If the industrialists that made this country great were as timid and shortsighted as the current crop of business leaders we would still be using covered wagons and plowing fields with oxen. Pathetic.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More Evidence We’re Getting Dumber – We’re Doomed

This was on Yahoo today, from the Associated Press:

“Average scores on the ACT college entrance exam inched downward this year, yet slightly more students who took the test proved to be prepared for college, according to a report released Wednesday.

The findings sound contradictory. But the exam's authors point to a growing and more diverse group of test-takers — many are likely scoring lower overall, but more are also meeting benchmarks used to measure college readiness.
Three in four test-takers will likely need remedial help in at least one subject to succeed in college, ACT officials are encouraged to see improvement as ever-larger numbers of students take the exam.”

Students are doing worse, getting dumber, but the powers that be are putting a positive spin on it by declaring more students are “ready” nonetheless. The article does not explain at all how readiness is measured, but people are so dumb that no one will think to ask and just accept everything is OK even though we’re doomed.