Weekend Digest: The retirees, reviews, rants and revolts edition

by Larry Brannan ([email protected]) 135 views 

On this week’s TV edition of Talk Business & Politics with Roby Brock, which airs Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on KATV Channel 7.

U.S. Rep. French Hill, R-Little Rock, is fresh off a debate over new federal spending. The 2nd District Republican explains why he voted yes on the controversial package.

Plus, we’ll talk business – examining the Feds interest rate hike, the latest GDP numbers and a vote of business confidence in the latest Burgundy Book.

And another round of conversation this time on health care. Our politics roundtable includes John Brummett, John Burris and Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin.

Tune in to Talk Business & Politics with Roby Brock on KATV Ch. 7, Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

“OPEC sees demand for its crude oil falling for rest of decade,” reports Bloomberg Business.

OPEC said demand for its crude will slide to 2020, though less steeply than previously expected, as rival supplies continue to grow. The organization will need to pump 30.7 million barrels a day by the end of the decade, OPEC said Wednesday in its annual World Oil Outlook. That’s 1.7 million barrels more than projected a year ago, and 1 million less than the group pumped in November.

For a further look at the forecast, follow this link.

The New York Times says, “One of the great success stories of the 20th century was the decline in poverty among the elderly. That story, however, is starting to change.”

“A typical American worker in the middle rung of the earnings ladder – whose career pay averaged out at about $46,000 a year in today’s money – could retire this year at age 65 with a Social Security benefit worth 39 percent of the career average.”

But unless something is done to replenish Social Security’s shrinking trust funds, by 2035 the first pension check for such a worker might amount to as little as 27.5 percent of her career wage, according to calculations published last year by the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration.

Is this just an American trend or is it affecting other parts of the world and what are the differences between nations? The Times takes a look at all of this and more at this link.

A contributor to Forbes says, “As any startup founder will tell you, fundraising is a full-time job. It’s grueling, taxing, all-encompassing – the list goes on. Many would compare finding the right investor to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.”

I thought with the abundance of U.S.-based investors, and through my own personal network, I would find our ideal partner in the states, but I soon realized that I needed to start thinking more globally.

I’d like to say that I thought this way from the very beginning but the reality is that we were initially so focused on finding our core base of investors and real estate developers to build out our U.S. platform that it never occurred to me to look beyond our borders. After all, we were creating a U.S. crowdfunding tool for real estate investments. But the reality was (and is) that our mission and our future could and should have a global reach.

And to learn more about how this investor’s “global reach” paid off, connect here.

Fast Company posts, “There was no shortage of debate this past year over the ways we work today, and how we should work in the future.”

That adds up to a lot of decisions that companies and professionals alike need to make. Fortunately, there are always the examples of others to turn to. Here’s a look at 10 of the business lessons that defined some of the past year’s conversations about the state of the workplace and where it’s headed.

“The annual review may be on its way out, and getting fired might not be so terrible. These are the best things we learned in 2015.

Link here for the details.

The Hill says, “Donald Trump’s public mocking of Hillary Clinton has renewed criticisms of crass, sexist comments by the Republican presidential front-runner.”

“Clinton’s campaign on Tuesday decided against a frontal attack, with communications director Jennifer Palmieri offering inviting others on Twitter to repudiate Trump’s comments.” But behind the scenes, Team Clinton saw the remarks at a Monday rally as a new low, and some allies predicted they would lead to his demise.

“We are watching the Donald melt down,” predicted Ellen Tauscher, the former congresswoman who served as undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs under Clinton.

“His racist, sexist, xenophobic rants are now wearing on people generally,” she said.

More on this ongoing story at this link.

The Atlantic ponders, “Will the Republican Party survive the 2016 election?”

“The GOP planned a dynastic restoration in 2016. Instead, it triggered an internal class war. Can the party reconcile the demands of its donors with the interests of its rank and file?”

It’s that darned Donald Trump factor you know.

White Middle Americans express heavy mistrust of every institution in American society: not only government, but corporations, unions, even the political party they typically vote for—the Republican Party of Romney, Ryan, and McConnell, which they despise as a sad crew of weaklings and sellouts. They are pissed off. And when Donald Trump came along, they were the people who told the pollsters, “That’s my guy.”

They aren’t necessarily superconservative. They often don’t think in ideological terms at all. But they do strongly feel that life in this country used to be better for people like them—and they want that older country back.

Many want Trump, but can he give it to them and how is his “class war” campaign affecting main stream Republicans and its Tea Party faction?

Get an inside look at this link.

The Weekly Standard reports, “Lindsey Graham may have been approaching zero in the polls when he bowed out of the race for the Republican nomination Monday, but his exit, and the aftermath, are noteworthy for a few reasons.”

What are they? Find out at this link.

“The Republican Party is at risk of losing its members if lawmakers continue to make decisions that ignore their values, former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) said Wednesday,” reported The Hill.

“I do know that voters are very angry,” the presidential hopeful said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “You sense it on the campaign trail. One of the things you see is a seething rage.

“This budget vote last week … it put a lot of people over the top because they just feel like the whole purpose of working hard to get Republican majorities in the House and the Senate was to make some significant policy changes,” Huckabee said, citing last week’s $1.8 trillion government funding bill.

“The Republicans folded,” he added. “That’s why people in the Republican Party are just bolting for the door.”

More of what GOP presidential candidate Huckabee fired-out here.

A POLITICO headline posts, ” In a year-end frenzy, lawmakers try unusual venues and promotions to boost their campaign coffers.”

How does a member of Congress raise money in a hectic holiday month when must-pass bills are on the table and 17 presidential candidates are prowling D.C. for donations? It pays to be creative.

Maybe that includes asking Santa for help. Get the inside story by clicking here.

Even though two of the lads are gone, the Beatles have achieved something that all the major artists around the world now find common.

It’s been a long and winding road. What is it and when is it going to happen? Get the full story at this link.

Space.com says, “A long time ago in a studio far, far away, filmmaker George Lucas created one of the seminal works of science fiction: the “Star Wars” movie series.

Nearly 40 years later, the ideas introduced by the films are still staples of the genre, and with the theatrical premiere of the latest installment, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” fans will be pleased to see lightsabers, hyperdrives and speeders in abundance.”

While the science and technologies behind the franchise are firmly rooted in fantasy, their enduring appeal has served as inspiration for many real-life scientists and engineers. Here are some of the most notable attempts to turn “Star Wars'” science fiction into science fact.

Be amazed at this link.