Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - February 9, 2014

Brian Gongol

Podcast: Updated weekly in the wee hours of Sunday night/Monday morning. Subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or iHeartRadio

This week:

Broadcasting Jay Leno moves out, and Jimmy Fallon gets ready to move in
Leno may have been hard-working and successful in attracting (and keeping) an audience, but he never really used his five hours a week in the world spotlight to do much of anything to elevate the human condition. He had a tremendous soapbox on which to stand, and never really said anything really sincere or deeply thoughtful. It doesn't have to be a Charlie Rose kind of show every night, but you don't have to look any farther than Craig Ferguson to see occasional examples of moments that are both entertaining and thoughtful. Instead, Leno's usual routine was bland and lowest-common-denominator, based largely upon pointing and laughing at someone else for being stupid (see "Jaywalking").

News Former "McGruff the Crime Dog" actor is going to prison for 16 years

Business and Finance GDP is just one among many useful measurements
It's roughly like the measurement of airspeed in an airplane: Absolutely essential, but not the only thing that matters. So, those who would jettison GDP as a measurement of well-being are just being blinded by some ulterior distaste for economic growth (or an unhealthy obsession with equalizing outcomes), but anyone who cartoonishly ignores every other measure for sake of GDP alone is also missing the point. It's an imperfect measurement, but it's also one of the most important, by far.

Iowa Envy isn't an economic policy
Richard Doak used to edit the opinion pages of the Des Moines Register. Now he's just opining on his own, saying that Iowa needs a Minnesota-style economic policy (which he characterizes as being part of their "more progressive politics"). Not everything he suggests is wrong -- we'd be better off finding an escape route from the free-for-all of economic-development incentives. But suggesting that we need a "more progressive state income tax" is boneheaded. The state's tax system is already too complex and riddled with special deductions. Flatten the rate and simplify the system. And don't think Iowa needs to become more "progressive" (code language for "more inclined to spend") in order to succeed.

Business and Finance BLS claims a 3.2% annualized increase in US labor productivity
If true and accurate, it's great news. Economic growth (per capita) is necessarily the result of increased productivity. More productivity means faster growth.

Science and Technology Inventor James Dyson says there's a shortage of engineering skill in the West

Computers and the Internet Google sells Motorola Mobility to Lenovo
Not a great investment on Google's part, it turns out. And the company needs to avoid big mistakes in order to survive into the future.

Business and Finance US personal income rose 2.8% in 2013
But we saved a lot less (in total) in 2013 than in 2012. By $126 billion.