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Bob's Boomer Blog Now that I've turned 60 I get to write whatever I want and you have to read it. ;)

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Old 08-15-2011, 01:26 AM
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Default History Lesson - Then and Now

I've been reading a lot of "gobbly gook" economics from both the Liberals and Conservatives - much of it is mis-information or information which artfully neglects to include facts, especially historical facts. Worst of all is the media who are doing a true dis-service to the public by very shoddy journalism. The TV network news and cable news outlets are simply horrendous sources for reliable and accurate information. Just keep in mind one key point when you are watching "the news," it's NOT the "news" that is important it's the RATINGS.

Today - this is August 2011, we are NOT "sailing in uncharted waters" or dealing with issues radically different from the past. Of course 2008 was very different from 1929 but as in the past the country did not "hit bottom" until 1932. Being 2011 one must ask, have we 'Hit Bottom' yet?

America in 2011 is very different from 1932, but the specter of 1937 may be looming in our future.

As I BEGIN this thread it is worth noting these miscellaneous yet significant points from the Great Depression which are sourced from Wikipedia.

Effects of Depression in the U.S.:
  • 13 million people became unemployed. In 1932, 34 million people belonged to families with no regular full-time wage earner.
  • Industrial production fell by nearly 45% between 1929 and 1932.
  • Home building dropped by 80% between the years 1929 and 1932.
  • In the 1920s, the banking system in the U.S. was about $50 billion, which was about 50% of GDP.
  • From 1929 to 1932, about 5,000 banks went out of business.
  • By 1933, 11,000 of the US' 25,000 banks had failed.
  • Between 1929 and 1933, U.S. fell around 30%, the stock market lost almost 90% of its value.
  • In 1929, the unemployment rate averaged 3%.
  • In 1933, 25% of all workers and 37% of all nonfarm workers were unemployed.
  • In Cleveland, the unemployment rate was 50%; in Toledo, Ohio, 80%.
  • Over one million families lost their farms between 1930 and 1934.
  • Corporate profits had dropped from $10 billion in 1929 to $1 billion in 1932.
  • Between 1929 and 1932, the income of the average American family was reduced by 40%.
  • Nine million savings accounts had been wiped out between 1930 and 1933.
  • 273,000 families had been evicted from their homes in 1932.
  • There were two million homeless people migrating around the country.
  • Over 60% of Americans were categorized as poor by the federal government in 1933.
  • In the last prosperous year (1929), there were 279,678 immigrants recorded, but in 1933 only 23,068 came to the U.S.
  • In the early 1930s, more people emigrated from the United States than immigrated to it.
  • With little economic activity there was scant demand for new coinage. No nickels or dimes were minted in 1932?33, no quarter dollars in 1931 or 1933, no half dollars from 1930?32, and no silver dollars in the years 1929?33.
  • The U.S. government sponsored a Mexican Repatriation program which was intended to encourage people to voluntarily move to Mexico, but thousands, including some U.S. citizens, were deported against their will. Altogether about 400,000 Mexicans were repatriated.
  • New York social workers reported that 25% of all schoolchildren were malnourished. In the mining counties of West Virginia, Illinois, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, the proportion of malnourished children was perhaps as high as 90%.
  • Many people became ill with diseases such as tuberculosis
  • The 1930 U.S. Census determined the U.S. population to be 122,775,046. About 40% of the population was under 20 years.





More to come....
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:12 AM
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Default Re: History Lesson - Then and Now

so 1937 was a sharp rise in unemployment while the overall trend was down?

facinating.

(digression)

I remember a little rascals episode where one of the kids found (or were given, I think, by their mom) a bunch of bonds or stocks that turned out to be valuable.
Alfalfa or one of the gang had used them to make a kite, and some dude was chasing after them to steal them

Growing up in the boom times of late 50's early 60s, I never understood many of the images / scenes depicted on the little rascals.

(end of digression)

"There were two million homeless people migrating around the country."

Freddie the Freeloader

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Old 08-29-2011, 09:19 PM
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Thumbs up Re: History Lesson - Then and Now

This article on Forbes.com is excellent. It details why we have lost so much manufacturing and frankly we're not in position to get it back unless there is major shift in business management, finance and government.

Why Amazon Can't Make A Kindle In the USA

http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveden...le-in-the-usa/

While the article is focused on very big corporations the issues are applicable to any size business, small ones and even sole proprietors. It's also not necessary for an entire business to accept the message, a small department in any company can implement the changes necessary to succeed.

Just stay clear of freaking cost accountants!
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: History Lesson - Then and Now

When I was at Lucent, they "bought" a company Excel Switching out of Hyannis, and I worked for that division for a while.

The top GM, Finance, and a few other managers stayed on with the division and managed to keep a side of their business separate from Lucent. With the revenue stream they managed alone, they managed to buy themselves back out of Lucent when the rest of the business tanked. Not sure if they are still in business but I saw some smart guys know how to steer clear of a sinking ship.

I read part 1 of the WACMAKITU article and is excellent, two key bullets that stuck out at me:
As someone who's never really been in a hard manufacturing business (only large scale back office computer systems) I don't know all that is involved, but when
I saw the US disassembling Bell Labs research through the shift in telecom policy and law, I thought "how are we ever going to regain this type of research in this country?" That's a slightly different problem then the more general manufacturing (and related process) problems.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: History Lesson - Then and Now

Another good forbes article on the imminent demise of a retail store.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrydow...s-gradually/5/

apologize in advance as this is not directly related to manufacturing....
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: History Lesson - Then and Now

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobS View Post
When I was at Lucent, they "bought" a company Excel Switching out of Hyannis, and I worked for that division for a while.

The top GM, Finance, and a few other managers stayed on with the division and managed to keep a side of their business separate from Lucent. With the revenue stream they managed alone, they managed to buy themselves back out of Lucent when the rest of the business tanked. Not sure if they are still in business but I saw some smart guys know how to steer clear of a sinking ship.

I read part 1 of the WACMAKITU article and is excellent, two key bullets that stuck out at me:
As someone who's never really been in a hard manufacturing business (only large scale back office computer systems) I don't know all that is involved, but when
I saw the US disassembling Bell Labs research through the shift in telecom policy and law, I thought "how are we ever going to regain this type of research in this country?" That's a slightly different problem then the more general manufacturing (and related process) problems.


There was a time when accountants and managers alike focused on other than cost cutting and rearranging deck chairs. I believe that management needs to be on top of costs at all times but their main thrust should be on increasing revenue and margins.

My simple management style does not go over well with the Wharton School crowd (as I found while lecturing a group of grad students there) but some agree with me that if sales are good many other things fall into place and enables focus on growth. The other basic biz philosophy that too few managers understand is "if revenues exceed expenses you are winning, if not you are losing." Quote -- me. As a very junior attendee to a bank board meeting many years ago I expounded upon that simple premise when in a credit line review of business. I added details of market sahre upside, growth plans, etc. After the board meeting the president of the board, who happened to be the president of a VERY large Pa university as well, took me aside and said that he wished more businessmen understood the simple principles that I espoused.

Little did he know that I was thrown out of that University and got my education on the street. They got rid of me 42 years before firing Joe Pa.
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