Tuesday, July 05, 2011

American Bob: "Jobbed"

About jobs, economy, etc. As usual, after the jump for the non-politically-inclined.


Q said...

Goddamn it, Bob. Stop it.

TheDVDGrouch said...

I usually try to stay out of these political discussions mainly because I'm Canadian & these videos don't effect me as much. But I just wanted to say very informative a good watch all round.

Mads said...

Not hirering because of uncertainty. Huh. There may be something to that.

I don't see it as very likely that businesses would do something that didn't benefit the bottom line, tho.

If big businesses really are uncertain because obama is there instead of bush, tho, I'm not sure I can blame them. Not sure it's a conspiracy, or a long term plot, as you make it out to be.

Adam said...

It is kind of a kanard. A big problem with our job economy is that we simply don't make anything in the U.S. anymore. I know it; all my of my mostly liberal friends know it and will frequently say as much blaming "greedy corporations" and "right wingers" for shifting all those jobs over seas. When I ask if they or anyone they know actually wants to do those jobs no one has anything to say.

But I still find it a concern. America may be heading to a completely non-material economy and the world may be globalizing, but becoming a nation whose standard of living is dependent purely on foreign nations just makes me nervous.

Anonymous said...

Good points Bob, we can always count on you to say the elephant in the room.

CB said...

RE: Farming and subsidising, so ya, you guys (i'm a brit, from a rural area) have been onto a loser on that front for a while, true. But the idea of propping up the 'heartland' as a myopic myth seems a little neat.

Rather, its a convenient excuse to levy better margins for american farming conglomerates who can use massive economies of scale in combination with technology (the arable farming sector is one of the most efficiently mechanised sectors in the western world) to beat down local competitors (i.e. Mexico, cause lets face it, nobody else cares about corn), whilst still staying competitive at an international level.

So, whilst I agree with you for the most part that the American (and British) economies are going to have to let go of some of the industrial chaff thats been clogging the millstone for a while (gotta love 'em farming metaphors!), that isn't to say that the reasons for the problem are quite as black/white as your video seemed to suggest to me, nor that the solutions will be easy.

I guess what I hope is that by debating the issue a little we can appreciate the wider picture, but we shouldn't forget that these 'sectors' are made up of real people.

(also, I'm not entirely clued up on bland insipid Americana but wasn't Springsteen 'Born...' about how shit it was to be a blue collar worker...? Or did people ignore that and focus on the ridiculous false valour of physical labour?

Adam said...

@CB Actually "Born in the USA" is also a slam on the Vietnam war as well. People just think it's a patriotic song because it's upbeat and no one actually listens to the lyrics.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

I wouldn't have much of a problem with giving financial benefits to CEOs so that can go and create jobs only if those benefits come with the condition that they actually go and create jobs.

Beyond that, I pretty much agree. The US has for the most part moved on to a service/entertainment based economy with industry and agriculture being not only impractical, but all but impossible to maintain with out government assistance. And given my inclination toward free-market policy... if they can't survive on their own, they shouldn't.

It's about time they all stopped pretending they were doing anything other than holding off the inevitable.

On that note, however, can we also all stop pretending that the Democrats are any less in bed with corporate America then the Republicans are? Republicans want to cut the budget to give tax cuts to corporations... Democrats want to raise taxes so that can give more contracts to corporations. They're both just as dirty.

deathtopenguins said...

Good stuff. I've been rather liking these american bobs, probably because I like "David Mitchell's soapbox" too (if you haven't seen it then check on youtube).

One picky thing though, shouldn't be 'affecting' not 'effecting'? Or have I missed an in joke somewhere in Bob's content?

Sir Laguna said...

Well it's kinda interesting (really satisfactory I mean) that the Colombian government (yeah, I live in Colombia) is focusing in the economy with a much better and logical approach that the american (USAn) government.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

@ Sir Laguna

Subsidizing cocaine?

Seriously, though, could you elaborate on that a bit? I'm curios to hear what Columbia is doing.

The Karligarchy said...

"Great Leap Forward" I´m pretty sure this is unintentional name drop but, The Great Leap Forward was Chairman Mao´s initiative at industrializing China. Interesting because China is becoming the economy we used to be, back in the good old days and has become our yardstick in measuring the current inferiority complex that has metastasised due to the lost decade of double O´s.

O.T said...


Please elaborate, As I am only a few hours away from hollywood and all it has taught me about your country is that your people specialize in cocaine and more cocaine.


I sure it was unintentional, since Mao's Great leap forward was over the edge of a chasm.

It is interesting though to see developing nations like China go through the same process as we did. The industrialization, workers right's issues, pollution, shifting cultural values. Its a bit like a mirror of us decades ago.

Cam said...

gRoovy stuff, keep it up Bob

KevinCV said...

Hiya, MovieBob. I'm not a very politcal person, but you make some strong points all around. Oh, and I showed the vid to my girlfriend -who's not very political, either- and she said rather enthusiastically "This is civics class on steroids!". I think you made her day. Keep up the brilliant work, man.

antecedentless said...

I'll just leave this here

Sofie Liv Pedersen said...

One thing.

You don't get fat because you eat corn!

You gain weight every-time you consume more energy than you burn off, so what it really comes down to is the amount of food you stuff in.

You can go on a corn diet and loose weight, hell, if you only life of corn for a month you will loose weight because of the lack of protein and other neutricican, that will how-ever also make your bones weak, you're nails poor and make your hair fall, while make you vulnerable to a number of diseases because of lack of other neutricians. There is good stuff in corn as well, it's just in a good died you have a little of each world, and I emphasis the word "Little."

You consume what you consume, you can't gain weight from the burger you didn't eat.
People are not fat bastards because there is a lot of corn in their diets, peoples are obese because they eat way to much and move around way to little, and it's as simple as that!

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

Oh man, this shit is comedy gold.

Mads said...

@ Sofie

I'm not sure whether you're aware of this intricacy or not, so forgive me if I'm assuming too much.

The corn bob is refering to actually Maize

Corn syrup, which is a kind industrially processed sap, is incredibly cheap in the US because the government pays plantation owners a lot of money when they grow it.

It's similar to european monetary aid for farmers, but whereas europe is good for producing a wide variety of grains, the american great plains are incredibly fruitful when maize plantations are raised.

Maize have some unfortunate properties, but the price means most american processed food has switched to relying on corn syrup in favor of flour, wholegrains and processed vedgetables (like sugarturnips).

If you ever look at american soda or candies, you're likely to spot corn syrup as a prime ingredient - it's also used instead of sugar. Of course, since corn syrup is so immensely cheap, those savings get passed on to the consumers - it's not uncommon for soda to be cheaper than bottled water.

So, well, you're right. Eat correctly, and you won't get fat. But if you're poor, unemployed, or have difficulty paying your mortgage, using pre-processed foods and soda as a part of your diet will very likely save you good deal of money. It's not a problem in the short term, but long term, there's a myrriad of health issues that follow.

On an individual level, yeah, sure, people are responsible for gaining weight, but compare and contrast with countries where you've got incentives to avoid sugar in favor of other carbs, like Denmark. Denmark doesn't have an obesity epidemic; the US does.

David (The Pants) said...

Excellent food for thought, Bob! Hopefully someone takes it and does something with it.

biomechanical923 said...

No offense but I really don't think Bob should be criticising other people for being fat. It seems kind of hypocritical.

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

@ Bio
To be fair, Bob DOES try...I assume. I know he went on a small vegitarian bent for a month and said to hell with that, but I would imagine given Bob has a job that largley requires him to be sitting through most of the day, combined with his favorite pass time besides games being baking pastries, that yeah, Bob is a little hefty.

I myself won't criticize the man, for I'm hefty too, and in my case its the combination of working at nights, nursing school during the days and inability to exercise at all that gets me.

a.k.a.A.M.V.P said...

Any chance I could find this video on a different player? For some reason my computer isn't letting me view Youtube videos right now.

biomechanical923 said...

I'm not criticizing Bob's weight, as I'm probably in worse shape than he is.

I'm just pointing out that it seems hypocritical for him to be basically saying "you guys are fat; stop eating so much fucking corn because you're making us look bad"

Anonymous said...

The U.S. is still the world's largest Manufacturer. You can also see what tax rates, regulations, and unions do to where businesses move. A lot of businesses move from state to state within the united states to try to take advantage of this. Boeing is getting beaten up over this. You don't think the executives at Boeing aren't simply thinking of trying to move to a different country next time? They're facing billions of dollars lost because of the union lawsuit over their new factory in South Carolina. If Boeing does loose, how will that make anything better? You can bet that kind of loss will require layoffs.

a.k.a.A.M.V.P said...

Crisis averted. Youtube's back in line, and I'm to relieved frankly to start questioning it.

But yeah, when you come at it from a purely economic perspective, this issue is just one of those cold hard truths.

Mads said...

Chris Evans.

The US may well produce more per capita. Half the american populace aren't rice farmers, after all.

But if you are to make anyone believe that the manufactured goods produced in the US weigh more, or are sold for more, than that out of china, I shall be very surprised.

The american economy is already smaller than the chinese one, if you include the metropols of greater china, and you can bet your ass that's how they think of it...and considering there are no import or export tarrifs, and no language barriers, why not?

JAS0000000 said...

I never knew Bob had a show where he only talks about politics.... Bob stay away from this stuff, PLEASE!!!

Matt said...

There's one big thing that bugs me about contemporary popular economics is that "jobs created" is an altogether meaningless metric. Bob's right, America (and the Western 1st world as a whole) is moving away from agriculture and industry and towards... well jobs that are in an office or a lab. The issue is that "job creation" now no longer has the benefits it used to given this change.

Consider this hypothetical: it's 1960 and Ford opens a new manufacturing plant and hires 1000 people. The obvious effect of this is that now 1000 people have more disposable income than they did before, and thus can stimulate the economy. But there's also another effect, suddenly there are 40,000 manhours/week of labour worth of cars on the market, which lowers the price of cars, and gives those 1000 people's disposable income more buying power. Yeah yeah, basic kiddie economics I know, but the net effect of job creation impacts both the supply side and the demand side. But the big thing is that the majority of the labour market is capable of doing these jobs, so this kind of job creation more or less benefits almost everyone.

But now in the move from the factory to the desk, two things happen. The first is that the correlation between new jobs and new "products" (or services) is less obvious, if not entirely gone. If a mid-level manager makes some money for his department and has some more operating cash to hire an assistant, the net effect on the product (the supply side) is more or less negligible. Instead of the manager making his own copies, his assistant does and he has more time to... manage his employees? Instead of reading his own e-mails, his assistant screens them and he has more time to... take for lunch? The new job created does not stimulate the supply side as much as it does the demand side, prices remain the same and the difference is much smaller than a new person working in a factory.

The second is that for a created job to stimulate the supply side, the barrier to entry in these labour markets is a lot harder to crack. You need lots of education to actually make a difference in large financial corporation, and the 40 year olds who are getting laid off from their warehouse jobs simply do not have the resources to get this education. So they move to a menial office job that doesn't stimulate the supply side nearly as much as their job making car parts did.