Gongol.com Archives: March 2017

Brian Gongol

March 7, 2017

Business and Finance $150 million in new plant spending

Honda is spending about $50 million in Ohio and $100 million in Georgia on new equipment and assembly lines, so the company can produce next-generation transmissions for cars. But take note that with all of this spending, they aren't talking about hiring new workers. That's the crux of the story for American manufacturing today: Making more, better, and higher-value stuff than ever before, but doing it without adding new workers. On balance, that's a net gain to society -- but it doesn't satisfy people with a fetish for classic "smokestack" factory jobs. Advanced manufacturing is all about sophistication, training, and quality -- not lapsing into a 1950s-era caricature of an assembly line.

News Is China planning to start military patrols of the Atlantic?

It's probably too much for the country to spend right now for too little obvious return on investment. But don't bet against an Atlantic strategy for China in the long run -- especially if they have reason to believe that their shipping lanes might be challenged.

Business and Finance Don't mis-count GDP

The current obsession with reducing imports -- especially in pursuit of raising the country's GDP -- is a path down the wrong track. Imports are subtracted from GDP, yes, but only after being counted under consumption. So their net impact on the country's accounts is zero. And if we start clobbering imports for their own sake rather than realizing that they fit within a bigger economic picture, then we're going to get ourselves in trouble.

Broadcasting When cable news drives the day's agenda at the White House

Literally. The President spent hours tweeting about (and with/at) "Fox and Friends".

Weather and Disasters A summary of the March 6th tornadoes in Central Iowa

Very unusual to have damaging tornadoes this early in the year. Tornado warnings usually don't arrive in force until April.

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