Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - May 22, 2016

Brian Gongol


The Brian Gongol Show can be heard on WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa on 1040 AM or streaming online at WHORadio.com. The show airs from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Central Time on Saturday afternoons. Podcasts of show highlights are also available.


Please note: These show notes may be in various stages of completion -- ranging from brainstormed notes through to well-polished monologues. Please excuse anything that may seem rough around the edges, as it may only be a first draft of a thought and not be fully representative of what was said on the air.

This week

News Speaker Paul Ryan reinvents Kempism for the 21st Century

And there's no way to make up a tenable alliance between his vision of America and the unmitigated, inarticulate goulash of false promises that is Trumpism

But first...

An academic research paper came out recently saying that there was a very strong correlation between the earnings power of families in the 1400s -- and their descendants today. The paper studies families in Florence, Italy, so it's not appropriate to over-extend any conclusions drawn by the paper. The Italian economy has its own special characteristics and history.

But at the same time, it's not something to overlook or dismiss too casually.

"Intergenerational income mobility" is a mouthful, but it's an important one. It's easier to say "Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations", and it doesn't hurt that a bunch of examples come to mind quickly.

To what extent:

(a) knowledge and values transfer over generations

(b) special access/foot in the door/privilege begetting privilege

(c) general economic straitjacketing or freedom

Also, a HUGE argument for the importance of broad-based economic growth

Tin Foil Hat Award

Threats and Hazards Don't dismiss the nightmare scenario of Russia re-invading the Baltic states

A recently-retired British general has published a book saying he thinks Russia might go after Latvia as soon as next year. The book's online description says the nuclear deterrent won't work. When reviewers skewer the writing but then say, "for all the clumsy writing, it is of profound importance when a former Nato deputy commander is screaming at us that the alliance's high readiness task force is a sham", then attention must be paid.

Threats and Hazards "[W]e are forced to think how to neutralise the emerging threats to the Russian Federation"

& Those are the words of Vladimir Putin

Threats and Hazards Venezuela is collapsing

A matter of grave concern for the rest of the Western Hemisphere. Not only is the country economically important (as a major producer of oil), but it also has the potential to create a lot of disturbance. And, critically, there is an enormous human cost of suffering that has been building under the country's profound mismanagement by a corrupt and mindless government.

Yay Capitalism Prize

Business and Finance Chinese investment brings labor-union manufacturing jobs to south Chicago

A great deal about the story seems incongruous, doesn't it? It's certainly not an organic outcome (that is, it wouldn't have happened spontaneously), but the United States is too attractive a market for investors around the world to resist, and China has a lot of money to put to use. And if that manifests itself in a Chinese company pursuing and winning a bid to build cars for the CTA, and the contract includes a "Buy Chicago-made" provision, then what is organically or spontaneously unlikely becomes possible. Rival bidder Bombardier protests, saying "Buy American" is all that should have mattered, not "Buy Chicago".

Also worth reading this week

Computers and the Internet Observers wonder whether Google is even really trying to get business clients

And the more it cedes that line to Microsoft, the worse Google's future is going to look

Threats and Hazards Black renters pay meaningfully higher prices on AirBnB

So says a study from January, saying discrimination against African American renters shows up both in prices and in the agreement to even make a deal.

Computers and the Internet Breitbart goes anti-Semitic

The online media outlet, which has been an openly pro-Trump mouthpiece for much of the 2016 campaign, turns a foul attack on Bill Kristol. Shame on them.

Broadcasting Jake Tapper starts asking important critical questions

As one of CNN's premier political journalists, Tapper is in an important role -- one that most of his peer group has failed to execute with enough vigor. Too many of them have treated the rise of Donald Trump as "good television", but haven't acted like bulldog journalists. Good for Tapper for stepping up his questions.

Threats and Hazards A selfie shouldn't have to be an act of political defiance

Yet it is in Iran, where women are being harassed by the authorities for posting pictures of themselves without head coverings

Aviation News Sen. Bernie Sanders flies Eastern Airlines

The photographs aren't vintage -- just the livery. His campaign is using a plane bearing the markings of the once-defunct, now-revived heritage airline

Business and Finance Gannett tries to squeeze Tribune

One newspaper publisher tries to ensnare another with a higher bid for its stock

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