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Listen to this week's podcast.
At some point or another, some reporter is going to be seriously injured or killed while reporting from the middle of a hurricane. There's no reason for the absurd live shots we get from those storms, as the reporter tries desperately to stay standing while shingles and glass fly past. In fact, I can name twelve things that would make for better coverage than a soaking-wet reporter in the middle of a storm.
As the damage left behind by Hurricane Ike is assessed, let's hope that people here and elsewhere don't forget how much help our neighbors still need in Eastern Iowa. Corridor Recovery is still collecting donations for people hit hard by flooding in the Cedar Rapids area earlier this year.
The problem Italian airline Alitalia is having now even getting enough fuel to keep its planes flying is perhaps an eerie look into a crystal ball for a future in which Russia decides to use control over its oil and natural gas to force European countries to bend to its will.
We're seeing an unnerving degree of inflation in the US economy -- and it needs to stop. Inflation makes tomorrow's dollars worth less than today's. When it's only a percentage point or two, it's no big deal. But when the number climbs higher than that (which it appears to be doing), that creates a big disincentive to save. And given the troubles we've had lately with consumer borrowing -- and the problems government is having with our collective bills (for instance, we're running out of highway funds) -- disincentives for savings are about the last things we need.
When you look at buildings from the mid-20th Century, do you ever wonder how today's buildings will look in 50 years? The good judgment and mistakes that go into the design of a building are often obvious for many years after the date of construction. But the good judgment and mistakes that are made in the process of running a business can often remain hidden for years after. What's too bad is that few businesses appear to have 100-year business plans. We could use more.
Disaster-preparaedness tip of the week: Have enough water stored around the house that you could get by without the tap for three days. Start with at least one gallon per person per day. The people going without water in Houston today probably wish they'd done this.
More people lose their jobs because of technology than because of trade. That doesn't mean we should give up on technology -- it just means we have to get smarter about training and educating people to get by when technology creates those changes. And it means politicians who blame trade for job losses -- and argue that we should trade less just to protect jobs -- should know better.
Keywords in this show: airlines • Alitalia • architecture • buildings • business plans • Cedar Rapids • debt • Europe • flooding • free trade • gas prices • highway trust funds • housing • hurricanes • Hurricane Ike (2008) • inflation • job losses • news reporting • Russia • savings • technology • trade • water