Some Thoughts On Job Creation

Presidents are always puffing up and beating their chests about all the jobs they’ve created by their general goodness, wisdom, and pluck.

Here’s the thing — we don’t need any more jobs in the short term. We have plenty of jobs.

We need folks to fill jobs. Let me show you why I think this:

 1. The US Bureau of Labor Statistic publishes a nifty monthly report called the JOLTs report — Job Openings and Labor Turnover. Catchy, eh?

It always seems to be a little behind the times, because the most recent one was published on 12 October and it had the August 2021 numbers.

 2. The report provides information on:

The number of open jobs;

The number of hires;

The number of folks who have quit their jobs; and,

The number of folks who have been involuntarily laid off, discharged, or “other” separations. Continue reading


Things I Don’t Care About 2

There are a couple of good college football games on today, so I have to write fast.

Here are a few other things I don’t care about.

 1. Facebook renaming itself Meta. I couldn’t possibly care less. I tried to, but, nope, I couldn’t do it.

I don’t even want to know why Zuck picked the word “meta” or what it means. Just don’t care.

“If I change the name, maybe everybody will forget all the bad stuff those FB folks did?”

Continue reading


Tech City Rent As A Measure Of Inflation

I am a little fixated on inflation these days. I look at modestly obscure sources of data to try to track the old bitch so when I read an article on average apartment rents in tech city markets, I had to bring it to your attention.

Let me cut to the chase.

 1. Rents went down a little during the pandemic. The general sense is that rents went down about 5% nationwide.

 2. With the advent of the vaccine, rents began to turn around and climb upward as folks began to return to offices and the migration to tech meccas resurged, and folks began to quit jobs to get better jobs (and better apartments).

Rents are up 25% in Austin By God Texas. Hello, America, can you say INFLATION?

Austin By God Texas

Continue reading



The US government, the Biden admin, has already passed one huge Pandemic-related bill earlier this year and is in the death throes of passing two more:

 1. The American Recovery Plan Act was passed by the Dems to the tune of $1,900,000,000,000.

 2. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is waiting passage to the tune of $1,200,000,000,000.

 3. The Build Back Better Bill (The Bernie Sanders, “Damn Right I’m A Socialist” Bill) is awaiting passage to the tune of $3,500,000,000,000, but has been sent to the gym and whittled down to $1,900,000,000,000.

This is a “nominal” total of $5,000,000,000,000 ($1.9T + $1.2T + $1.9T = $5,000,000,000,000), but it will actually be far more — at least 2X — than that nominal amount because of the bogus way Congress prices such bills.


The Black Magic of Congressional Arithmetic

for an explanation of how Congressional arithmetic really works. Continue reading


A Word About GDP, Please?

If you were up early this morning, you learned that quarterly US GDP growth was a miserly 2% in Q3 – 2021 which was a disappointment when compared to Q2 -2021 in which GDP grew by 6.7%. The pundit class was expecting about 3%.

This is NOT a fair comparison because Q2 – 2021 is what I call a “dead cat bounce” (imagine a cat thrown from the top of a high rise office building — that’s the dead cat bounce) in which stymied and frustrated economic forces were unleashed resulting in the afore mentioned dead cat bounce.

It is also fair to note that personal consumer consumption grew by 1.6% in Q3 -2021 versus 12% in Q2 -2021. Continue reading


The Common Touch And Other Real World Issues

Eight years ago, I wrote a blog post entitled: “Tone And The Common Touch (5-8-2013)” wherein I laid out case for ensuring that your — assuming you to be a CEO or C-suite denizen — tone and the way you dealt with your subordinates was a critical element in how they perceived you and, thus, how they followed your lead.

Tone And The Common Touch

Therein, I said: “Keep the common touch.  The grounded view of the world from which you launched your enterprise.  The humble, lean, agile, nimble startup and success story that you always intended to create.” Continue reading


Measuring Consumer Confidence

We are inundated with media, pundits, and bloggers telling America what its opinion should be.

We are similarly flooded with pollsters — who seem to get Presidential elections and politics in general abysmally wrong — telling us what we think.

There are three long term, reliable measures of consumer/business confidence upon which I have historically relied to provide an accurate picture of the state of affairs in the country:

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

I particularly like to be able to see the trend as I am a firm believer that the trend is your friend. It shows you things that a discrete number cannot.

Continue reading


CEO Shoptalk — Persuasion

If you are a CEO, a manager, a leader you will of necessity order persons who are your subordinates to do things that need to be done. It is the nature of a senior-subordinate relationship, an employer-employee relationship. It is an every day action in the workplace.

How can you ensure that these things you require to be done are, in fact, done?

There are essentially three ways:

 1. You can mandate that they be done under pain of punishment. Discipline in the work place is always lurking just below the surface.

Taken to an extreme, if you fail to follow the mandate, you will be fired.

In 33 years as a CEO and 5 years an Army officer, I never had anyone defy my orders or found it necessary to discipline anybody for willfully not following my direction.

I had plenty of times when someone did not do something I had ordered to be done well, but that is not what we are talking of today.

 2. You can reward persons for the accomplishment of the task.

Whatever behaviors you reward will be observed by others and duplicated.

Feed the good angels; starve the bad angels. Get more good angels. Money talks.

 3. You can persuade them of the necessity and wisdom that the thing be done.

Persuasion requires education, communication, salesmanship, a bit of cajolery, and the willingness to engage in calm debate wherein the titular power of the CEO is put aside for a second as he/she deploys the power of logic. Continue reading