Gongol.com Archives: March 2017

Brian Gongol

March 4, 2017

Business and Finance How quickly will the economy grow?

The 4% figure hailed by the White House is utterly desirable -- but almost certainly unachievable. A plan to get 4% real GDP growth requires more than "And then I click my heels three times..."

Threats and Hazards Someone call an adult

(Video) Former Senator Alan Simpson is angry with the way American voters and elected officials are avoiding the mounting fiscal crisis. People like fiscal discipline and free trade in much the same way they like vegetables: They're often less fun than the alternatives, but without them, we could die.

Iowa Every program has a constituency

A subcommittee of the Iowa House recommended approval of a plan that would repeal the state's 5-cent deposit on can and bottle return. Eliminating the return, though, could disrupt community events and programs that count on people donating their cans and bottles. Once a government program develops a constituency, it almost never goes away -- no matter how benign or mundane the program. The people who depend on the program have very strong incentives to keep it around, while everybody else has only weak incentives to eliminate it.

News Sweden revives the draft

Russian aggression against Ukraine and its drills in the Baltic region have the Swedes understandably nervous. The implicit costs of mandatory conscription are huge and should not be overlooked: A less-secure, less-stable world is not cost-free when compared to the incumbent liberal Western order. And with America unnervingly likely to pull back from soft power, it's time to pay attention.

The United States of America A moment of decency and sincerity

(Video) Senator Lindsey Graham has real words of honor for Senator John McCain

News From the Microsoft Library

A place like the White House boiler room or the broom closet at the Vatican: You ought to assume it exists, but why would you ever think about it?

Business and Finance Beware the hot stock market

"American pension funds are optimistic. Businesses are cautious. Shares are trading on very high valuations." It's that last part that gives extra reason for heartburn. High valuations propped up by lousy alternatives (who wants a fixed-income instrument right now?) and real apprehension about inflation are not good things.

Threats and Hazards Famine in South Sudan

It's vital to understand that most famine in the world today is man-made. That fact also means that we can fix it, but have to muster the will to do so. The situation in South Sudan is one shocking example: 100,000 people are already victims, and 5.5 million people are at risk. It's all due to violent conflict.

Broadcasting Show notes - Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - March 4, 2017

On bacon and cybersecurity, among other topics