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March 02, 2020

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Thanks JT for putting the turd in the pocket it belongs in. The 80's were an absolutely horrible time for working men and women. Welch was one of the guys who led the charge.

He was revered in business by stock holders and hated by the workers. Guess who won? Any sense he was a savior or savant of a successful business model is ludicrous.

Sadly, his legacy lives on. Almost all corporations reward the hierarchy with outlandish wage and benefit packages and those working in the trenches get the dregs. No tears here on my end...again thanks for the honest. Too many will applaud his leadership style and revel in all he left us.

His autobiography was required reading in the WP Carey MBA program when I attended in 2006-08 and I know it was at other b-schools as well.

Not exactly a "tribute" to the late Mr. Welch, but worth the time to read it. Well stated, my friend.

Bravo Rogue!

A capitalist system unmoored to basic ethics and simple morality midwifes a social catastrophe with obvious political consequences. It means cynicism, loss of social trust, and anger verging on rage. Our politics today reflects the ruptured contract between the bosses and the workers. In a better day, you would work hard, play by the rules, get ahead, and hold a helping hand out to those left behind. But instead, it's a war of all against all engineered by a Randian cabal of sociopaths.

The correct response to the Jack Welches of this world is contempt. Instead they make their own cruelty a kind of fable of success. And it's here that you will understand why someone like Donald Trump is president. No matter how sleazy and horrifying these killer clowns are, untold millions of Americans secretly love them for brazenly acting out their own greed and contempt for other human beings.

The social ecology of the boardroom could be compared to a meth-dealing biker gang. Ordinary standards of decency no longer apply. It's all about what you can get away with. And when the bills finally come due for a wrecked civil society, they will take their riches and fly far far away from the devastation they capriciously inflicted for no better reason that "winning".

Good column. Good comments. I agree to such and i think Step O'Rafferty would also.

I was working at AlliedSignal Engines when the GE merger was attempted. Most everyone dreaded it as his boy Larry Bossidy was there to grease the skids business wise and the politicians all faithfully wagging there tails for future bones. Even the US regulators were ready to green light a merger that was in effect a monopoly for auxiliary power units and engines (somewhat less) and other vital aerospace equipment. The airlines knew the jig was up for a voice of opposition would not be forgotten and be punished when the time came. But Europe conducted such business behind closed doors where they could speak their fears and hired one good Polish lawyer that twisted GE arrogance into a lump of shytte the EU could not swallow. A virtual saint. Also turns out GE's lucrative airplane leasing arm only benefited the executives, not the shareholders or company. When Bossidy passes I'll sing to his demise too. but these monsters seem to slip the Grim Reeper's grasp until they are old, feeble, and forgotten.

Didn’t think mgt.needed a union,but neutron Jack showed them that they did. When I was working on the line right out of high school I figured out right away why you needed a union for protection. It took 40 years for mgt. to figure it out. The strong always prey on the weak so when they broke the unions they naturally turned on mgt. And the beat goes on....

From childhood I loved American business the way a fanatic loves baseball or hockey. I spent the 80s, early 90s as a financial columnist/analyst. In the mid 80s with Milliken I experienced a change of heart. Of those who should know, it was common knowledge he was stripping assets from the securities entrusted to him to sell to institutions. Nothing was said, too much money involved.

Due to early retirements of the ‘Greatest Generation’ who had been thru two world wars and a depression, the reins of power were prematurely passed to the Boomers in the 80s and from now on it was Buyers Beware. Political compacts were rewritten. Gone were the days of the good faith agreement when an action could be ‘estopped’ from deceiving a client.

I had many vicious arguments with my more liberal friends who wanted to believe people could be held to a higher standard by reputation and responsibility alone: Not in this life. I was and still am a Hobbesian. There was nothing that could be done about the new ethics in business. It wasn’t the CEOs job to be mindful of the long term social consequences of their actions, it was to make money. CEOs were just parts of the machine now, not a guiding force. Great PR had them being more important, more skilled than ever just when CEOs had less on their plate.

The way to make business accountable is to make laws making it so, not taking it as a social obligation. Take it as a required fact of business practices, that way there will be no mistake about the proper course of action. I was amazed how many thought telling business how to behave was going too far. My thinking was that without a social compact recognized by custom in the courts there was no ‘moral force.’ That wonderful CEO only cared about the next quarter nothing else, get used to it. Most would obey the law, so pass laws.

There was, however, a Third Way. It happened when Democrats bought into the idea that markets intersected with morals, thereby buying into the anti govt ethos driven by ‘brilliant’ philosophers like Newt Gingrich. It was/is gut wrenching.

The patrician, paternalistic, patronizing, patriarchal social construct the US lived in the 50s and earlier served as the moral force guiding social practices. Political expediency pulled that apart to make way for identity politics, more social justice etc. Laws were passed protecting individual rights but there was no fight left for business practices. And businesses are people too Citizen’s United declared.

Perhaps now is the time to leave issues like inter sectionalism alone and fight as hard as previous generations to rein in the anti-government bias that’s so prevalent. Like what’s wrong with a little socialism; it’s good for business, why not for you too? It’s not England we’re fighting for world supremacy, it’s China. They must be doing something right.

Grandmother worked in HR for GE at Silicon Valley location. Assignment load became overbearing (cuts in their dept) so she retired far earlier than anticipated. Phrase always used was hostile environment.

The transformation of boards of directors being filled by pillars of the business community to now being filled by golf buddies of the CEO took place over several decades. Now the first order of business is where to set the meetings in relation to the best golf courses nearby.

Over a three day meeting, you can expect three hours of actual meetings and three full days of golf, eating and drinking. The meeting times and subject matter is doctored up to look like something was really accomplished.

Hey JT, it doesn't appear the collective body of followers here won't be chipping in on a spray of flowers for Jack's casket. Such a shame.

I hate being so forward for someone so new to your site, but with the democratic race down to just two (oops, maybe Tulsi is still in), i'd love your take. And, really, really interested in the feedback from the assortment of characters (said lovingly) you have here.

Bill,
Democratic Party exile's Bernie to Cuba.
Biden wins, only to be T.R. ed
Rocker a feller style allowing VP ?
to take over.

Forgot to mention.
VP? Hillary!

Bill, I’ll try to write about it next week.

Thanks Rogue. Seriously looking forward to your take and the comments from your exceptionally talented "followers." (I only used that term because the coffee clutch gang said you hated it).

Just saying in advance, i kept my Bloomberg sign in it's original mailing wrapper. Forty years from now it might be worth some real money...collectors item you know.

Bill. "Followers" and hated" is a misrepresentation of what was said.

Bill, if you are saving political ornaments.
I'll sell you my Bernie revolution
T-shirt.
And how about a Moshe Dyan or Che Guerva shirt? I'll throw in a Native American Homeland Security Shirt and a Albert Camus rebellion awarness button. And some of Jimmy Hoffa's ashes

I am delusional by accident Cal; others may have been partaking in the magic shrooms a bit too often. Hang on to Hoffa's ashes though, i'll put them next to Jimmy's autobiography and Frank Fitzsimmon's signed photo from the convention after he took over.

Ok, just don't tell Jack Goldsmith.
For your delusions i suggest Don Delillo.
Lots of "White Noise," about the "Underworld."
PS. Mushrooms are good for your cognitive skills per Doctor David Perlmutter MD.

Let's get this train back on the tracks.

It's not the Talton fight club. It's not a coffee clutch. It's the Rogue FAN club.

We're not followers. Lord have mercy, we are not followers. This group goes it's own way.

The group originally had five members. It has since ballooned up to six. Seven if you count an occasional guest.

I'm sorry that due to health and location reasons I am now an inaction member.

Like Bernie our club has reached out to the younger crowd, but like Bernie our club still averages about 78 years in age.

Peace

I meant inactive, but inaction applies as well. (:-(

OT, but I want to log this in. The Brookings Institution's latest Metro Monitor is out and tells a tale:

Phoenix jobs 2008-18 +12.7 (ranked 20th). Gross metro product +15.6 (33rd). Productivity +2.6% (46th). Average annual wage +5.6% (39th). Standard of living -2.3% (49th out of 53 very large metros). Change in median earnings -0.2 (45th).

By contrast: Seattle jobs +16% 2008-18 (ranks 15th nationally). GDP +42% (ranks 4th). Productivity +22.4% (2nd). Average annual wage +28% (3rd). Standard of living +21% (4th). Change in median earnings +10.4% (7th).

Track 192 metros on the report here:

https://www.brookings.edu/interactives/metro-monitor-2020/

No surprises.
And not likely to change.

Im not numbers smart but given the above i thought one consideration would be old folks in the desert.
Average age in Phoenix 33.5
Average age in Seattle 35.2
Average age in Arizona 38
Average age in Washington 37.7
???

I am one of the aforementioned 78+ members of the group of members of the "fight - fan club or whatever it is called. My brain still works just fine. My real area of expertise is Phoenix and Arizona history since I have lived it for 82 years.
I have a decent understanding of politics and how it works or does not work.
I was involved in getting constitutional protection for ASRS so the LEG could no longer sweep funds from it to balance their budget.
The best free read on Arizona Politics is: Arizonamirror.com. They even have Benson.

Good article in Front pages on expanding Highways

What an amazing tool from the Brooking's Institute Rogue. The first thing that caught my eye on the bottom map was the number of dark blue (highest rankings) in Texas.

I've been mystified to see the political shift in that state and if i am reading the map right, job growth/potential there appears to be drawing people from across the country. Hence the changes from deep red to kind of purple.

The other fairly obvious relates back to your article on technology driven cities. Where they exist, they are pushed into the top eleven in many categories. Interesting.

I am partway through Woodward's book Fear and it is tragic to read of Gary Cohn's efforts to get trump to understand trade deficits and the impact on our economy.

Trumps solution; Peter Navarro. Ouch. Boiled down simply: Who needs data when you are born with great instincts.

Peterson-Trump calls them “hunches”. Which is how I ended up with a felony in the 70’s because I had a hunch I wanted to be like my brother He did hard time and I got probation So much for hunches.

Cal- Read article on roads on Front Page and agree with you. The ? Is how do we get people out of their chariots( I mean cars)

JT - Please submit this article to the Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA, once a GE town, now a PCB waste dump.

I'm in for the next coffee event. I still have a pile of Cal's books.

I struggle at times to admit my views on life haven't been impacted by living in the bubble/bauble of Sun City. It's an environment where it's easy to lose sight of reality.

For example, when trump was running i told my wife there was no way the people in this country would ever vote for him. I guess reality and the dumbing down of society escaped me.

The other day Cal sent out an article on the 3 presidential candidates being in their 70's. It went on further to say, they (old people and i am one) are becoming more the norm than the exception.

A part of my work life dealt with pension plans. All through the 80's and 90's the goal was to "get out" early. 55 or 60 was the new target for defined benefit funds. Early outs were a hot button.

We watched as unions were crushed and those kinds of plans became obsolete. 401K's and other less expensive gimmicks were the new world order; and that is if employers offered anything at all.

In JT's posted link above, we saw the stats on average age of AZ is older than many; not unusual for states that are retirement destinations. I understand when people have to work later in life and that will get worse as Gen X hit 55 (next year, or is it this?).

What i don't understand is why people in their late 60's, 70's and 80's who are financially able to walk away from work continue on till they drop over dead? Seems to me the article Cal sent said the average age of the senate was over 75. It went on to say that wasn't unusual in many professions.

Sun City AZ was built as a retirement community. It was the goal for seniors to escape work. What the hell has changed? Why is working later in life when you don't have to now in vogue?

Chris i lost your contact info.
Drop me an email at coper1658@gmail.com

Bill, i sent you an email about work. I still do and I'll be 80 in July if i dont drown in a Great Sonoran Desert Arroyo flash flood and my inner robot doesn't short out. My license is good until December and my old deceased mob lawyer pal told me to not let it expire except by death.
I have DNR tatted on my chest and have left instructions for administering my hidden hotshot if its learned i have signed up for shuffleboard or bingo.
I am confused? Whats wrong with working?

Nothing is wrong with working Cal; i just found it to be way overrated. I was a workaholic and when i retired at 55 friends all said i would be back working within 6 months.

Huh, showed then. That was beauty of Sun City, hundreds of ways to volunteer and i found lots of them. It's just way more satisfying than the getting paid thing.

Some people need to stay busy, others need to pay bills. The article you sent surprised me, so many our age just wanted to escape the rat race. Years later they are still going round on the wheel.

Keep volunteering but take time to read and maybe jog from lake Pleasant to Crown King. Its a rough but scenic trip up the Bradshaws. And its ok to do it in shorts.

If you havent read Jon's Front Pages dont miss the article on Erik Prince. A re election of Trump will make Erik a very powerful tool in Trumps revenge kit.

Biden/Hillary
McKinley/Teddy Roosevelt
????

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