Weekend Digest: Bad auto loans, great television, and the right and wrong of Hog football

by Larry Brannan ([email protected]) 117 views 

TV PREVIEW
On this week’s TV edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on KATV Channel 7 in Central Arkansas and in Northeast Arkansas on KAIT-NBC, Sundays at 10 a.m.:

D.C. Review

From Washington D.C., Cong. Steve Womack. The 3rd District Republican discusses the lame duck Congress, the incoming Congress, and the forthcoming Trump administration.

D.C. Preview

Next week, Hutchinson administration officials travel to D.C. to discuss health care policy with other states and federal transition leaders. DHS Director Cindy Gillespie shares thoughts on how Arkansas could be impacted. Plus, she’ll expound on the growing foster care crisis in state.

Inside the Numbers

Finally, we’ll go Inside the numbers for a look at three numbers that impacted business and politics this past week.

Tune in to Talk Business & Politics in Central Arkansas on KATV Channel 7, Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and in Northeast Arkansas on KAIT-NBC, Sundays at 10 a.m.

Coming in January 2017, Talk Business & Politics will air in Northwest Arkansas on KFSM Channel 5 at 10:30 a.m. following “Face the Nation.”

WHAT SMALL BRANDS DO THAT BIG NAMES CAN’T
“When customers want to stand out, small brands can cash in,” says Entrepreneur.

Benji Wagner knows a dirty little secret about the outdoor apparel industry: Big brands like Patagonia and The North Face may advertise their gear being put to the test in the highest mountains and at the ends of the Earth, but 83 percent of all camping trips in the United States actually take place within a few feet of a car or a house. So Wagner is going straight at those consumers — people who want to feel comfortable inside a tent perhaps just a few feet above sea level.

“The key is to tell seductive, inspiring (yet realistic!) stories that resonate and to give customers what the biggest companies can’t: a sense that Yeah, we get you.”

You can read the rest at this link.

THE PROBLEM WITH THE ECONOMY ISN’T SOMETHING POLITICIANS CAN FIX
Harvard Business Review posts, “In August 2016 the Pew Research Center asked more than 2,000 U.S. adults about the state of the nation. Nearly half agreed that “compared with 50 years ago, life for people like you in America today is worse.” Of those who said they supported Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, 81% thought life has gotten worse.”

Economists had a field day pointing out the error of the respondents’ ways. By almost every objective measure, an overwhelming majority of Americans are better off today than in the 1960s. Houses are bigger and come with air conditioning. Crime rates are lower. Air and water pollution have been much reduced. Medical conditions that constituted death sentences are now mere annoyances. Fifty years ago, the telephone service for one in four U.S. households was a party line shared with the neighbors; today a “phone” is a private, portable device that is tens of thousands times more powerful than the computers that guided Apollo 11.

So what’s wrong? Find out here.

McDONALD’S UNVEILS JOB-REPLACING SELF-SERVICE KIOSKS NATIONWIDE
Ed Rensi, former CEO of McDonald’s posts, “As the labor union-backed Fight for $15 begins yet another nationwide strike on November 29, I have a simple message for the protest organizers and the reporters covering them: I told you so.”

It brings me no joy to write these words. The push for a $15 starter wage has negatively impacted the career prospects of employees who were just getting started in the workforce while extinguishing the businesses that employed them. I wish it were not so. But it’s important to document these consequences, lest policymakers elsewhere decide that the $15 movement is worth embracing.

“Earlier this month, McDonald’s announced the nationwide roll-out of touchscreen self-service kiosks. In a video the company released to showcase the new customer experience, it’s striking to see employees who once would have managed a cash register now reduced to monitoring a customer’s choices at an iPad-style kiosk.”

For the complete read, click on this link.

6 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE STOPPED PAYING THEIR CAR LOANS
According to Business Insider, “There is a lot of talk out there about the auto-loan market right now.”

Hedge fund manager Jim Chanos has said the auto-lending market should “scare the heck out of everybody,” while the auto-lending practices of some used-car dealerships has been given the John Oliver treatment on TV.

“Now the New York Federal Reserve is taking a closer look at the market. In a blog published Wednesday on the New York Fed’s Liberty Street Economics site, researchers highlighted the deteriorating performance of subprime auto loans and set off the alarm.”

More on this alarming development at this link.

OBAMA RECKONS WITH A TRUMP PRESIDENCY
David Remnick with the New Yorker magazine explores how President Obama, who campaigned significantly for Hillary Clinton, will reckon with a Trump presidency. The analysis piece and interview recalls several pivotal points in the 2016 campaign and in the long-running Trump-Obama relationship.

For tens of millions of Americans, Trump was unthinkable as President. It came to be conceded that he had “tuned into something”: the frequencies of white rural life, the disaffection of people who felt overwhelmed by the forces of globalization, who felt unheard and condescended to by the coastal establishment. Yet Trump himself, by liberal consensus, was a huckster mogul of the social-media age, selling magic potions laced with poison. How could he possibly win?

Still, his triumph, or the idea of it, was not beyond prediction. The fissures and frustrations in the American electorate were nothing new, and some commentators were notably alert to them.

Read more at this link.

FORMER CNN ANCHOR: 4 THINGS MEDIA MUST DO WHEN COVERING TRUMP
“He summons network anchors and top execs to complain about unfair coverage and unflattering photos. He upbraids cable networks for their unrelenting coverage. He cancels a session with The New York Times, suggesting his media war is just beginning, and then reschedules the meeting. He’s on the record, then off the record. He posts a two-and-a-half-minute YouTube video that lays out the first executive actions he plans to take, shunning the journalists he distrusts so much,” says The Hill.

Last week’s acrimonious dance between President-elect Donald Trump and the media is just the warmup.

And it raises a critical question: How should reporters cover the my-way-or-the-highway president? Does it even matter?

First, yes, it matters. A lot. More, here.

TOM PRICE’S CONSERVATIVE VISION FOR AMERICAN HEALTH CARE
“Trump’s choice for HHS secretary sends the clearest signal yet that Medicaid and Medicare may also be on the table,” reports POLITICO.

Gutting Obamacare might be the least controversial part of Tom Price’s health care agenda.

“By tapping the tea party Republican as his top health care official, President-elect Donald Trump sends a strong signal he may look beyond repealing and replacing Obamacare to try to scale back Medicare and Medicaid, popular entitlements that cover roughly 130 million people, many of whom are sick, poor and vulnerable. And that’s a turnabout from Trump’s campaign pledge — still on his campaign website — that he would leave Medicare untouched.”

Connect to this link for the full story.

WANT SOME GREAT TELEVISION?
“It’s Navy vs. Air Force in a battle over air-conditioning units and food waste biodigestion.”

What the…? Find out … here.

WOMEN HIT THE STREETS
“Spain is changing the names of its streets, from autocratic men to notable women,” posts Fast Company.

Why name a street after someone who worked for an oppressive dictator when you could name a street for Rosa Parks instead?

Get the answer at this link.

RIGHT AND WRONGS FOR HOGS’ FOOTBALL
Saturday Down South says, “5 things that went right for Arkansas in 2016, and 3 that didn’t.”

Although the 2016 regular season brought some great wins, there were plenty of frustrating moments for Arkansas this year.

For more on this incredibly inconsistent team, Hog this link.