An approximate transcript of the show broadcast on November 4, 2012
GONGOL: I'm used to being the guy with the low voice on this show, but this weekend I've been bumped out of my seat.
DEAN: Wow, yeah. This is new. You know the beauty of this—of the control board is I can turn the channel way up you know, loud, so I'm whispering right now.
GONGOL: Got it. Which--But at the same time, you're actually lower voice than I am today. And I'm used to being that guy.
DEAN: I'm way low. You are "Mr. Deep Voice" and I am kind of a medium. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
GONGOL: I've lost it. I've lost it, my seat is gone. I'm Brian Gongol, he's Brian Dean and our voices inverted for today. That will maybe be a little more dynamic, I guess than usual.
DEAN: I sent Brian a text message at around what five o' clock telling you about my voice situation and...
GONGOL: Well, you know well we can pretend that this is public radio and we could both just talk like this the whole time.
DEAN: Well, yeah. Two days away from the election.
GONGOL: Yes and then we could talk about, you know recipes and things and hope that everybody stays awake.
DEAN: We could.
GONGOL: I don't want to do that.
DEAN: That's just not what we do.
GONGOL: I can't handle it. I can't even fake it for like thirty seconds. Well Brian Dean, I hope you're feeling better soon
DEAN: Well you know, I feel fine.
GONGOL: Well that's good.
DEAN: Yeah. I just sound kind of nasty. A little congestion and post nasal drip and leads to a little hoarse-ness, it's the way it goes. It's the time of year, I think was the trick or treating actually. This past week.
GONGOL: Oh, is that it?
DEAN: I think it really is the couple hours spent outside.
GONGOL: You had some cute pictures on Facebook from Hallow...
DEAN: Oh, thank you.
GONGOL: Not your... Not you
DEAN: Well, there was nothing of me.
GONGOL: But the family
DEAN: The implication was of the family, I have only two trick or treaters now.
GONGOL: Oh yeah.
DEAN: Well, you know my oldest is in college now. You know she probably went to college parties. Actually I saw some Facebook pictures that maybe I was not supposed to see...
DEAN: Of some college parties. And I know she's not tuned in right now, but I was aware of that. Parenting,
GONGOL: Supervising from afar right?
DEAN: Yeah and Olivia who is in seventh grade at Waukee South Middle School she, her duty in my family okay, once you get out of elementary school trick or treating is not an activity that gets done.
GONGOL: Yeah I got that. I understand that.
DEAN: It's a distribution activity from that point on. So Olivia is the distributor and of course Paige now this was her last year. So she will be starting middle school next year so I guess they can team up for the distribution.
GONGOL: They could be a little tag team thing with the candy distribution. Well and if I recall, she actually--she was trying to go out with a bang. She had a pretty elaborate costume.
DEAN: She... Oh my gosh, yeah. I don't know what the costume was, but it was fancy.
GONGOL: It looked like a princess kind of thing themed or whatever
DEAN: Princess, or you know it was something like that.
GONGOL: So that's good work.
DEAN: Yeah, she was nicely dressed for trick or treating maybe under dressed but as far as being warm.
GONGOL: Oh okay.
DEAN: Not... not... careful.
GONGOL: This is a father speaking.
DEAN: I thought you were talking about Jordan's pictures. Jordan's nineteen.
GONGOL: Got it. Oh, okay.
DEAN: So anyway, I wasn't gonna talk on the show tonight.
GONGOL: That's okay. That's all right, you've got the funnier stuff to say than I do.
DEAN: Oh, so anyway, after trick or treating you know in my neighborhood at one time our very first year in a newer neighborhood in Waukee which is a far western suburb here in Des Moines and our very first trick or treating in 2007 there were five houses, maybe seven, something like that in the neighborhood. And you know how developments start, the houses are spread way apart, so it took a long time to...
GONGOL: To get very little candy.
DEAN: Yeah for very very little and then a few more houses and after about '08, nothing was built for two years and then last year there was some upswing in the total numbers and then this year the neighborhood is for the most part filled in and lots of young folks.
GONGOL: So lots of families to be distributing and picking the candy.
DEAN: Yeah, lots of families
GONGOL: I didn't even get a chance to distribute any candy this year because I was... I actually ended up at a dinner that night that started at six o' clock and got done about eight o' clock which meant it was more avoiding all the heavily dressed and masked you know capers, everybody going out to get their candy. And not hitting them while driving and so then I made it back and going "well, I didn't really get to see anything or any of the neighbors".
DEAN: You know a lot of the folks in my neighborhood, moms and dads want to trick or treat with the son or daughter and so they'll just simply leave a basket of candy.
GONGOL: Oh really? Interesting.
DEAN: Yeah, we have a lot of baskets of candy in my neighborhood.
GONGOL: That takes out all the fun of hearing the jokes.
DEAN: Well, I guess so, yeah.
GONGOL: Which are typically awful jokes but...
DEAN: They're terrible.
GONGOL: At the same time I think there's a charm to that delivery you know and to kid having to tell a joke to get the candy. I like that tradition, I like that Des Moines...
DEAN: Which is a Des Moines tradition. We have two kind of odd things here in Des Moines tradition we trick or treat on the wrong night.
GONGOL: Oh yes!
DEAN: And then we have the joke.
GONGOL: Exactly. I think the joke is worthwhile though. And it helps to identify the kids who are let's say not around the neighborhood in order that they can get the better candy from you know other neighborhoods. Because you know, certain neighborhoods get a reputation for having better candy and I was not aware of this but apparently there are certain kids who you know that they're not really gonna trick or treat around their own neighborhood they're going to go to other ones. Again, you probably don't know all the kids in your neighborhood you know and so if just kids canvassing the area with a bag waiting for candy, I don't know if they belong here or not!
DEAN: Well if they came to my neighborhood they could part just walk up and down the street and for the most put a hand in the basket.
GONGOL: Hopefully the honor system was sufficient and people weren't taking more than a couple handfuls.
DEAN: It certainly was sufficient with my children. Take one.
GONGOL: Right, but you were also supervising.
GONGOL: And one was a dragon right?
DEAN: Reed was a dragon
GONGOL: Reed was a dragon. So you had a dragon with the princess.
DEAN: Yeah it was a dragon with a princess. It really was.
GONGOL: Which is a good combo.
DEAN: Yeah, it really was. And I did ask him if he was getting scared as it was getting dark and his comment was that "dragons don't get scared".
GONGOL: Oh yeah, I saw that.
DEAN: I thought "that's amazing", he's three "Dragons don't get scared Daddy", roar.
GONGOL: That's the cutest thing. I thought that was just the cutest most charming comment ever. It was good stuff so I'm glad you guys got to go around and enjoy it like that, I did not. But I guess my night of perhaps fear or not comes up on Tuesday night when we find out what the election is...
DEAN: Right. The election.
GONGOL: What the results are. It'll be interesting, it's coming up. And I've got some friends who have asked me what my opinions are and I have refrained from bombarding my Facebook friends with everything I think about this.
DEAN: Because other Facebook folks who certainly have not.
GONGOL: Oh my gosh, no. There are some people out there who are my friends but who are trying my patience like nobody's business.
DEAN: Now I was not a Facebooker in '08 and so this... and I think a lot of folks weren't you know adults, people that are my age, you know 30's and 40's, and so this is really the first major election, presidential election in the Facebook era.
GONGOL: I think so. I mean it was...
DEAN: I think it's different I'm sure from 2008 for you early adopters of Facebook.
GONGOL: Yeah for those of us who were already on it at the time yeah there were a lot of conversations, but I don't think they were as vigorous because in part the campaigns weren't... I mean the campaigns were aware of it, at least the Obama campaign of 2008 was certainly very well aware of social media and the strategies therein. But the McCain campaign was not at all. It was like it came as a surprise to them that thing existed. Which is fine because it was essentially a new thing at the time and it kind of did take political operatives to a different degree.
DEAN: Well it wasn't a close election like we have potentially here.
GONGOL: Oh man, no kidding. And I think on top of that they weren't... they didn't dedicate as many resources as they have now to ensuring that there was always something to talk about on social media. Half the things I see are not generated by my friends themselves as their own original ideas, they are copied and pasted from somewhere. And that copy-pasting thing, I understand it, and there are certainly messages there that are you know I guess worth repeating and they do get a little bit exhausting. And so I have personally withheld my thoughts on it until yesterday when I decided to get all my thoughts on paper at once and I'm not even finished with this thing is 1600 words long which made me think of the days back in college when you go "Oh boy, I gotta write a two page paper and it's the worst thing anybody's ever asked me to do". I mean you know that was the thing that people would sort of just whine and complain... and this is two and a half pages single spaced and I'm not even done yet, you know getting my thoughts together and that's a rough draft! And I will then refine it somewhat before I post it. What I will not be posting it to Facebook, but post it to my own personal website which is where I think it belongs. I think it's reasonable to put out there what my thoughts are and why I have those thoughts and how I reached that conclusion. But I think bombarding everybody with it via Facebook and Twitter and every other method I can come up with would be a bit much. But it was interesting I have had a couple friends ask me specific details related to the election, particulars about it. Which I think are valid questions and interesting questions because they're part of what the overall message has been. And I want to address a couple of those because I think that maybe they're questions that other people have had as well and I would like to at least think that I could offer at least some thoughtful responses to some of those questions because I think it's important to be thoughtful about this. That's one of the problems that I have with the friends who have been repeating every message they've gotten and then relaying it to everyone is I don't think they've thought through everything they're copy and pasting and this is one both sides, I think there are people who are just echoing what they see and read and hear and this echo chamber effect doesn't really encourage thinking. And I think we ought to think about these things before we vote. Now I've actually already voted, I had to because there's just no way I'm going to be able to make the timing work for getting to the polls on election day itself. I would prefer to be more of a traditionalist and actually show up at the polls, but I have certain obligations.
DEAN: That's my plan.
GONGOL: Yeah it's more fun that way, it's a thing! It's an event! It's a community event, part of the fun is show up there with other folks. But I needed to get my ballot in early.
DEAN: See I need to plan this, let's see there's dance and then I have to pick up Reed. Which means I'll be voting with Reed.
GONGOL: I kind of wish I could be around to see that.
DEAN: Well the last time I voted for Reed which was at the primary election I lost him.
GONGOL: Oh dear, while you were... well he couldn't go very far.
DEAN: it was just me and the poll watchers and so the poll watchers you know pointed. The thing is we vote where we go to church and he loves church.
GONGOL: You've mentioned this. He's an angelic one.
DEAN: Yeah well, he loves church and we'll just let it be there. He thought because we were there he thought that maybe something was going on.
GONGOL: Oh so maybe something was going on...
DEAN: Well at our church we have one of those newer baptismal fonts, so it's an immersible one as well, so we're always afraid that he's gonna dive in.
GONGOL: Do a little swan dive. Keep him off the swim team for a little while. Let him not get the hang of it.
DEAN: So I voted then I ran him down. So probably a few more people there on Tuesday.
GONGOL: I'm guessing. Quite a few folks. So we'll have to see. And plus then of course what is going to happen with the voting with the people in places like New Jersey and New York City and all these places that have been hit so hard by Hurricane Sandy? I mean that's... that itself is going to be fascinating, it'll beg a lot of questions. I still stand by my view that we are better off with the electoral college than without. Because it does break it into 50 actually 51 I suppose, different votes, different elections, and as a result when you break it up into lots of pieces like that it's a little more robust. But on the other hand it could mean that we'll spend quite a bit of time after Tuesday night wondering who exactly won.
DEAN: Here's another question that we heard on the news, of course we had Mitt Romney here in Des Moines today, the president will be here tomorrow.
GONGOL: And Paul Ryan will be here tomorrow.
DEAN: And Paul Ryan, so we've have nonstop campaigning, we basically have for months and months. And that's a great thing for Iowa to get to see the candidates and be able to ask questions and so on. But with all the early voting and both sides encouraging early voting, why campaign now?
GONGOL: Well because many people are like you and haven't voted yet are really going to do it on Tuesday. And doing an early vote whether it's showing up at a polling place early, you know where they do have... you and I are both Dallas County residents I think there have been something like three or four early voting locations.
DEAN: Yeah, some satellite...
GONGOL: Some satellite spots. Or of course the auditor's office, or of course if you were to vote by absentee ballot. I mean those choices have been there but they do require a deliberate act of planning that you do request ahead the absentee ballot or specifically set aside a time to go to a place that usually not your regular polling place. Set aside the time to go there and do that early voting. I mean the numbers are big. I think I saw something like... something to the effect that 40% of Iowans have already early voted. You know among the early voted.
DEAN: By the way, there won't be that big of a line.
GONGOL: So it may break that up a little bit. On the other hand there are a lot of people who wait until election day and there are still undecided folks out there and there's nothing wrong with being undecided about an individual race or all of them at once. That's fine. You have until election day to decide, don't let anybody get on your case about that. But you are getting close, it is getting to crunch time. I personally wait quite a bit of time before I vote, even when I do have to do an absentee vote. I usually try to wait until no more than a week before, because things can change. There can be some... A candidate that you favored before comes out and say something incredibly stupid and you lose faith in them and someone you weren't seriously considering before comes out and say "Hey here's my brilliant idea and do you want on board with that?" I like to wait until the last reasonable hour even if I'm going to do an absentee ballot. But I also like to be able to go through and I checked the names of every single person that was on that ballot and I mean everybody, County Soil and Water Commissioner...
GONGOL: Yep, because I will vote on those and I don't want to accidentally vote for a Communist. Let's just say it, I don't want to make that mistake and have that on my head. So I did look and by the way nobody really on the ballot frightened me in that regard so we were okay there. But I did really and truly look up the names of everybody, which is part of why I do absentee balloting. Though of course you can go to your county auditor's website, download a sample ballot and look through all the names and make sure you're not missing anybody. Be sure to flip it over as well, vote on things like judicial retention as well. Because there are two sides to the ballot, it's not that long and you should be willing to take at least a couple moments to think it through in order to make your decision. So we're gonna chat about this here in just a second and I wanna get back to a couple of these questions that the friends have shared with me just see what we can think about them. As we're anticipating Election Day on Tuesday, a big day and we'll be covering it wall to wall here on WHO Radio so stay tuned, we'll be right back in a moment. I'm Brian Gongol with the much deeper voiced Brian Dean today at 9:24 on Newsradio 1040 WHO.
GONGOL: 9:27 on Newsradio 1040 WHO I'm Brian Gongol here along with Brian Dean and Brian Dean's the guy with the deeper voice tonight, out of character. But he's trying to work his way through so he can actually do his work all week which is going to require a lot of talking. So, I don't know it might be a lot of writing assignments coming your way after Waukee this week.
DEAN: Well you know, tomorrow I need go over the first two chapters of The Great Gatsby. So that's going to be a lot of conversing on my part.
GONGOL: The Great Gatsby, that's interesting.
DEAN: So that's gotta be an hour's worth of... we have 90 minute-long classes. So I have to do an hour of nonstop me. Three times, that's three straight hours of talking.
GONGOL: Is it safe to admit that I read that book, I really did and I don't remember a thing? I remember something about a dock and about a car.
DEAN: There was a car.
GONGOL: There was a car. It did not stick with me in the least. A lot of literature doesn't stick with me because I think that I'm just wired to go for nonfiction all the time. I just have a hard hard hard time...
DEAN: Well the sentences are very long, the paragraphing is long, the symbolism is deep.
GONGOL: And see from that same era I much prefer Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis, I think that was a much more interesting book from the same kind of time period. But that's just me
DEAN: I guess that's why there are Fords and Chevys. People have different things.
GONGOL: Different preferences. I suppose that's okay. By the way we receive lots of things from potential authors. That's one of the funny things that happens when you're a broadcaster, you get magazines full of people soliciting time so they can talk about their books on the air. When I look at through these I never take them seriously because frankly I have not yet really seen anything that's really gripped me by the throat and said "Hey we have to talk about this book". If that were the case I would get the book and read it and we'd talk about it with the author, but this one really struck me as a far out one: "What's it like to have multiple personalities? This guest has ten!" That's what they're pitching, that's what they want people to talk about on the radio right now is "This author has ten different personalities living in one body. Lady Belladonna is a licensed vocational nurse, a Wicca Witch and the author of Because I Raised You: A True Story". Wow. For some reason, I did not find that enlightened enough conversation to discuss with you here on WHO radio. So that one... that's gonna go. So instead, kind of on the theme of The Great Gatsby, I seem to remember that at least that it involved some sort of existential angst about a man's wealth and so forth at least being a portion of the book. Correct me if I'm wrong there Brian, even I seem to recall it being like a portion of it. Again, don't really remember the thing. I admit this and I didn't even read it that long ago.
DEAN: So again, maybe that says something about what we call the great literature.
GONGOL: Well, you know, I'm not saying it's bad, I'm saying I don't remember. That's the problem.
DEAN: No? Okay. There's nothing wrong with that.
GONGOL: You ask me about things I've read like annual reports, I can call those near verbatim.
DEAN: I've talked about that with many my colleagues, how important some things may really be or not really be.
GONGOL: Or how different things lodge in different peoples' brains. I know people who can recite poetry for hours on end and people who can tell you the 800th decimal place of pi. I can't remember that stuff. Factual things I can tell you, factual things I can work with and concepts I can sometimes work with. And on that theme of great wealth and stuff, a friend of mine asked "Look, I don't even get what's going on when the president and when the Democratic Party generally talks about Mitt Romney, they refer frequently to Bain Capital" and her question was very simply "What did it do exactly that everyone seems to have a problem with?" And that's a really good question, it's a sincere and very good question and she goes on to say "I've heard it described as totally legal and legal for the most part". Let's just sit back and figure out what exactly was going on. What was happening was that Mitt Romney was working as a management consultant and then the guy who owned the company that he was working for as a consultant said "Hey, you know we've got all these great ideas, instead of having other people paying us for our great ideas how about we go and apply these great ideas to running other companies?" it's a pretty simple concept realistically, but what's kind of interesting is it gets turned into something shadowy that isn't as shadowy as the name sort of implies. People, when they describe this call it private equity, it sounds very mysterious, it sounds very shadowy, it sounds very, "well wait a minute they're private equity, well wait shouldn't everything be public? What's going on here?" Frankly it's language I don't like because it kind of obscures what it is that it does. All it is when you have a private equity company is it's just like if anyone listening to this show today, anyone could come to me and said "Brian, it seems like you know what you're talking about when it comes to business and money stuff, you seem to have the nack for it. I'd like to give you x number of dollars out of my savings and have you and I become partners and you go run it, you go put this money somewhere we can make more money. I'm not into investing in the stock market, I'm not really sure what to do there, I'm not really sure what to do about things like bonds or mutual funds, that's just not my thing. But I trust you, you seem to know what you're doing. Here's some money, can we partners in a business?" That is all, that is really and truly all that private equity fundamentally is. Is a couple that get together and say that instead of investing in stocks or bonds, we're going to pool our money and we're going to put somebody in charge. We're going to say go find some businesses that you can run. And the thing about it is, anybody can do this, you literally could call up a person like me out of thin air or some friend of yours whom you know. I mean, really anybody can do this. The only reason we don't, that most people don't get into this is because they either don't know it exists or don't know what it is or they simply don't have the money to do it. You know we could all pool a hundred dollars at a time and it would take a very long time to get to the amount where buying any reasonable sized company would valuable. If you're looking at buying a business, for the most part you're looking at $50,000 just as a very bottom baseline lower limit and usually much, much more than that. And depending on the size of the business you can get up into the billions and the hundreds of billions really. You can get much, much larger than that, but realistically for most people if you're just talking about pooling a couple hundred dollars at a time you're going to get very far. But that's not to say that people don't do it. How many places could you go and look around and find a record shop or a comic book store, a couple people who get together to do web design or something like that who just they pool a bit of their money because to get into a business together doesn't necessarily require a lot of cash. They pool some of their money together and say okay we're going to work on this together, we're going to go after this, this business together. That's all fundamentally that private equity really turns out to be, it's just on a bigger scale. Instead of it being a couple hundred bucks it's a couple thousand from everybody who's involved and sometimes even into the millions of dollars. And so it gets a weird rep. because a lot of people don't know about it because of the size. That's what it comes down to is not knowing what it is or not having access to it because of the size that's involved. There's nothing illegal about this and in fact the thing that's kind of irritated me a lot is the amount of class warfare that I've heard going into the election. There's a lot of talk about businesses and about business and about finance and about the rich and that kind of thing and it's all been uncomfortably envious sounding. It's got this very uncomfortable level of envy I think that's been involved. And so instead of looking at these things and really examining them and examining whether or not they were either good or bad in their own right, we just kind of turn them into hocus pocus. And the people who are opposed to it do the very same thing that I hate when the practitioners of it do, they come up with gobbledygook to describe what it is that they're doing, they turn it into this hocus pocus stuff instead of just describing what it is. In a lot of ways private equity is basically just a mutual fund without the mutual fund, that's really all it is, it's not really that difficult to understand. It's just a couple people pooling their money, putting one person in charge, paying them a fee to do the management itself and then going for it. That's a very American thing to do, there is absolutely nothing un-American about this and in fact, there's a message about this that I really wish would get communicated, well to borrow a phrase from government activity of late that I think fast and furious ought to get described and spread among the masses so that we Americans can make some better decisions and I'll describe that in just a moment so stick around. It is 9:37 with the Brian Gongol Show on Newsradio 1040 WHO.
GONGOL: And at 9:40 here is your Newsradio 1040 WHO three day weather forecast from TV 13 for tonight, rain an overnight low of 42 degrees, tomorrow, mostly cloudy skies a high of 49 and then on election day mostly sunny the high 53. But then again tonight we're looking at some rain an overnight low of 42 degrees in Des Moines. Right now it's actually sprinkling very, very lightly, just some very light rain out there. It appears 46 degrees southeasterly winds at 8 miles an hour barometer steady at 30.09 so it'll be humidified a little bit, relative humidity is at 79% even though it's raining. Which if you happened to catch my tech tip this morning I actually mentioned on the morning show this morning that you want to make sure as we are getting into the winter season that you are taking care to humidify your air properly.
DEAN: Oh that's right.
GONGOL: Not just for your own health.
DEAN: So you don't sound like me.
GONGOL: So you don't sound like Brian Dean. But also so that you don't shock yourself or your electronics and break things. Because it's really, really easy as things get dry in the winter time for you to let that humidity get really low. And I mean if you don't humidify the air properly, it's easy in the winter time it's easy to let it drop to like 10% humidity inside the house. Because all your furnace is doing is pulling in cold, dry air from the outside and heating it up but not adding any moisture to it and that's really bad news. You can shock yourself, you can wreck your computers and your other valuable electronics, don't do that. So check the humidity levels inside your house. And if you gotta cheat...
DEAN: And you know your wood floor may drop a quarter of an inch.
GONGOL: Oh man. I never understood and this is the thing I know about this in part because I was ignorant of it, I was just dumb myself as a new homeowner. I didn't realize this and I didn't realize that my furnace didn't have a humidifier built in.
DEAN: Some do, but most don't. Right yeah.
GONGOL: Which could have been completely obvious had I been smart enough to, I don't know look at the darn thing which is right in front of me in the basement. But you know, I grew up in a house where my parents' furnace always had one, I never thought about this, I was never aware of this concept. And then one year after the fourth or fifth year of living in this house wondering why I'm always electrocuting myself every time I walk around in the winter and why there were little wood pegs that were inside the wood railing, you know the wooden railing, the decorative wooden railing going up the stairs to cover up where the screws are, I never understood why those things always popped out all the time in winter. I never figured out why that was happening. And you know I didn't have good wood furniture at the time, thank goodness because if I had left nice wood furniture in the house then it would have...
DEAN: It would have been cracked.
GONGOL: Yeah it would have cracked everywhere, it would have been awful. So then I realized upon it being explained to me, you know part of the reason that everything is shocking you everywhere you go in this house and the reason you're skin is so dry that you're breaking out all winter (and I did, I looked like I was a thirteen year old, it was ridiculous) it was all very obvious and very simple, I wasn't humidifying the house. Oh okay, now that I understand this very basic principle I can actually do something for myself and I can actually take care of the problem by adding a couple humidifiers to the house and running them, it's not that hard, I just needed it explained to me.
GONGOL: So once I understood that I was being dumb, that I was just ignoring some very basic things that I probably should have thought through myself, but I didn't. But once I understood them I could do something about it for myself. It was a good change, a very good change. I no longer have the thirteen year old skin and the nicer kitchen table I finally got around to buying hasn't split in two because it's been so dry, the little screw covers in the railing don't pop out anymore, it's nice. I don't electrocute myself when I walk around the house anymore. I just needed some basic information. I feel like I know a lot of folks and I think we all do who need similarly some of this just basic information about how money works and about how the economy works, so that they don't go on making bad decisions for themselves and then when they vote making bad decisions for the rest of us too. See this is the thing that really gets to me is on one hand I resent the fact they haven't been told, but on the other hand I can't blame them for being ignorant if nobody's come out and said it and explained how some of these things work. So for instance when I have a friend who, and you know she wasn't coming out with this as an opponent of anything Mitt Romney had done in his business experience, she just simply didn't know and I appreciate the fact that she just asked openly and honestly "I don't understand what this private equity thing is and why do people complain about it". It's very reasonable for her to ask and I'm glad that she did. Because she was undoubtedly hearing from people who don't know anything about it and characterize it as just this evil awful thing. Well, the bottom line here is and this is the thing that I am I think perhaps most uncomfortable about with President Obama is that he is either totally ignorant of the value of or just out right hostile to capital in the equation of the economy. Because in the economy overall we need two things, we need labor and we need capital. And by capital I mean...
DEAN: One can't function without the other.
GONGOL: No! Absolutely not! That's exactly right. The best example I can think of is I work as a manufacturer's representative, now that's what I do Monday through Friday, is I am out there as a representative of almost exclusively American manufacturers of heavy equipment. So we're talking about an area that gets talked about a whole lot in the news and a whole lot in opinion commentary and online and everywhere else. One of the companies that I work for it really is a great company, it is not family owned anymore, but the founding family still owns about a third of the company so they still have a big, big say on how things are done and in the last few years, when things really turned south right around 08, like many companies they had to lay some people off. It was painful and they... I don't think anybody there liked doing it, but they had to because things slowed down that much. Since then, they have invested tens of millions of dollars in new equipment and they've expanded their plant and they've hired a whole ton of new people over that time and the thing about it is they had to have money, capital, same thing here to buy equipment. And the equipment now is... there's so much automated stuff there that literally the factory is pretty much automated for an entire third shift. Overnight there are machines working and making things all day, I mean all night. I mean, it's like the worker elves in the old fairytale. You walk in in the morning and hey look a whole bunch of new stuff's been made, this is great! But at the same time they have to have people there in order to do the design, and in order to do the sales, in order to do the administration, people to do quality control, there are people involved in every step of the process. They've needed money in order to buy the equipment, to make more stuff, which in turn expands their business and as a separate component of that, people have gotten hired. That's how businesses work. I really resent the notion that you can have one without the other. I mean we can talk all we want until no end about how well we want good manufacturing jobs and people talk about that to no end especially in political seasons. But you don't get things like a huge new factory that'll employ a whole lot of people up in Sioux City that's just been announced the other day, that's a huge new fertilizer plant, lots and lots of new jobs, but guess what? It's going to cost them like 1.2 billion dollars to build the thing. It's going to require labor, it's going to require workers and it's going to require a lot of capital, a lot of money, okay? There is nothing evil or wrong with the people who bring the money to the table. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, there is nothing evil about that, it's absolutely necessary for them to be involved in the process and for both of these things to show up. And so it kind of aggravates me when I hear people just get openly hostile about the notion of people having money or of using that money or of investing that money or saving that money. Because guess what, for instance, I like to give away money, I have a list of charities that I give money to every single year. And I'm kind of a chart maniac, people who know me personally are probably laughing on the floors right now. I love and adore making charts, because they help me understand things. One of my favorite things to do every year is complete the chart that I've been keeping now since I got out of college of every year I note which charities I made a donation to and the only thing I want to see is an unbroken streak, I want to see nothing but nonstop contributions. Once I start contributing to one... you know if I started in 2005 I want to see it say 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and on in the future. Nothing is more fulfilling than seeing that chart get filled out that I can see that I'm consistently supporting programs, activities, charities, good will that I like seeing done. I mean that is really fulfilling to see that I can continue to contribute to these things and be an ongoing deliberate supporter of these things. But I couldn't do it if I didn't have any money with which to do it and I don't think I'm evil for wanting to make some money, I mean I really don't think that that should be vilified. And whether you're doing it like I'm doing it as a small business person in a family business where we've never been aggressive about growing. We've been consistent, we've been deliberate, we've been very cautious, but we've done I think pretty well over time and I think we are going to keep doing pretty well I hope into the future. Whether you do it like that or whether you're a little more aggressive like some other folks, whether you do it as a publically traded business or whether you're a privately held firm, whether you're doing it with mutual fund money or you're like private equity money. Having some cash, having some money available in order to invest in a business doesn't make you evil. It doesn't make you a bad person, only your actions make you good or bad. And businesses don't exist by the way just to hire people, that's not the purpose, the whole point of a business is to make money for the owners. It's a really nice side effect that businesses that are making money typically then need people and hire people and bring in new people and employ people, that's a good thing. But the employment isn't the solitary objective of the existence of the business. The existence of the business is there to make money for the owners and it's a very very nice side effect that people get employed as a result. That's a really good thing. And we like that and we should see that and we should encourage that. We shouldn't be out there making fun of people for having some money that's absurd, unless they did it literally by robbing banks. Bernie Madoff is the one who basically robbed banks in essence. Okay people like that we should certainly discourage them and throw them in jail and take away their money, that's fine. But for people who did it legitimately and honestly and openly, hey there's nothing wrong with that and that shouldn't be vilified, and that's wrong to do that. We've got just one more segment here, we'll be right back 9:52 with the Brian Gongol Show on Newsradio 1040 WHO.
GONGOL: And we'll give filler or two to get in on that here on that open line. 9:55 on Newsradio 1040 WHO, I'm Brian Gongol here along with Brian Dean. We got just a moment or two here so let's talk very quickly here to Ralph. Ralph thanks for calling WHO.
RALPH: Yes, what you're describing is part of a heart bigger problem. We're in a post moral era, we have turned our backs on the values that made this country great. You know, I was having a conversation with a self-prescribed socialist yesterday. I invited him to go live in a city that was a product of his philosophy, where there was compassion for the poor and minorities, when labor unions had a lot of influence and where there were democrat politicians. I said "Why don't you go live in Detroit?"
GONGOL: Okay. Well...
RALPH: And he told me that Detroit was caused by conservatives, I said not only are you a coward, but you're a fool, democrats have been running it for generations along with labor unions.
GONGOL: You know, I'm not going to disagree with you on that one iota Ralph, that it's a city that's a good example of what can happen when certain things get out of control. And one them is... is kind of the machine approach to politics. I mean, you know, you see that in Chicago too where it was kind of ironic to see one of the hardest left mayors of all time Rahm Emanuel then going up against a labor union and a teacher's union that was going to shut down his entire city, it was kind of ironic.
RALPH: But you see, we've got to go to the next step as a society that I've gone to as an individual. We've got to actually know what we're talking about and be more than willing to confront those fools and those evildoers.
GONGOL: I think that's a reasonable thing Ralph, I appreciate your call, thanks so much. It's 9:56 on WHO. I'm going to disagree with Ralph on one thing though, when he says being concerned about compassion for the poor or minorities or any group, any marginalized group of any sort, frankly I don't think there's anything wrong with having compassion for those groups, in fact I think it's specifically a good thing to have compassion for the poor, and for the down trodden and for those who have been marginalized. I mean, I think that's a good thing. If you want to take a look at the list of charities I give money to, quite a few of them are specifically dedicated towards resolving things like endemic poverty in places and within groups that have been challenged by whatever set of circumstances that are out there. But I'll tell you what, here's the thing, this is the thing that I think there is a big failure on the part of people kind of speak on behalf of capitalism and for free markets. I think we fail to explain how those kinds of things free markets, capitalism, the development of... just people having liberty, I think we fail to explain how those things are best for the poor, that is best for the people who don't have opportunities, because other systems don't do that. That if you don't think that there is a power elite within a socialist or within a communist system or with a totalitarian regime, you're crazy. There's an elite, there's a power elite within every power system that's out there. There was that under whatever it was that Muammar Gaddafi was running in Libya, there is that under the system under the very strange kind of quasi-religious totalitarian state that is Iran. There is a power elite in China, there's a power elite in North Korea, there are power elites everywhere. But it's only under a free market type of system, a liberty driven kind of system like ours, when we're running it right that the poor have an opportunity to get out of poverty and that the poor have an opportunity to get into their station in life or the they desire to in life. That's the thing I think unfortunately people who are, I would say like myself pro-capitalism fail to explain, that's the system that gets people to where they really want to go. I really resent that unfortunately too I see my friends, and I have friends on the left, sneering at the concept of ownership of anything. And the problem is, it makes the problems they complain about even worse when you take away the option for people to have ownership. When you take away the ownership mentality, the ownership concept, the ownership society, that's when the problems they face get worse. But unfortunately I think those of us who are on the pro-capitalism side of the argument often fail to explain how actually our system is the best overall for getting the most people out of poverty and the most people the greatest number of benefits and personal liberties and the kinds of things we like to talk about Sunday nights here on Newsradio 1040 WHO.