Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - November 12, 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

Make money: The Economy as We Know It

There's a saying among pilots: "Never run out of altitude, airspeed, and ideas at the same time".

We can take that saying and apply it to the economy, if altitude is the set of tools that policy-makers have at their disposal to try to ease the pain of downward cycles, and if airspeed is the growth rate of the economy itself. For the last part, economists need ideas just as much as pilots do.

What worries me about the current economy as we know it is that we don't have a lot of that "altitude" available to us: Interest rates are still basically as low as they've ever been. And interest rates are the key tool available to the Federal Reserve for trying to boost the economy when it gets into trouble.

As for our "airspeed"? Well, the economy may have grown in the last quarter, as it has done for a while. But recessions are inevitable, and it's starting to have been a while since the last one. Nobody seems to sense that this is an especially robust growth period for the country as a while, and there are definitely local recessions (or at least, economic downturns) already in place -- including in the Upper Midwest.

Which means that now is a time for ideas. And I'm not convinced that we're headed in the right direction on that track, either. The President-elect has made it plain that he's likely to favor dramatic moves (including moves that could do enormous damage to the economy, like his proposals for high import taxes and his hostility to immigrant labor), and he's also made it clear that he isn't sufficiently concerned about the value of the dollar.

Watch this space, as they say, in the days ahead. It's a fool's game to try to predict when the economy will have trouble. The timing and triggers that surround recessions are impossible to predict accurately. But we do know that time will bring us another recession, sooner or later, and if we haven't built up the necessary altitude, airspeed, or ideas...well, it could be a rough ride.

Contrary to popular opinion

21st Century conservatism

Republicans will have control over the White House and both houses of Congress. President Obama had that trifecta at the start of his time in office. President George W. Bush had it for a while, too.

While they have this kind of control, there are three long-term issues we should expect to see addressed:

If they don't do those things, they will have betrayed everything that has defined the Republican Party for generations. You don't get to call on the ghost of Ronald Reagan to get elected, then fail to do core Republican things.

Stop the deliberate ignorance

Clean up after yourself

Quote of the Week

"The tide flows away from failure. But it will not automatically float us to our desired destination." - Margaret Thatcher

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