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PRESIDENT OBAMA BLAMING TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION FOR UNEMPLOYMENT
JONATHAN HOENIG: Of course, technology creates jobs, it creates productivity. If this is the President's position, frankly, it worries me. It's the same Jeremy Rifkin, Ted Kaczynski, Luddite argument that basically likens barnyard animals to humans. In a capitalist economy jobs are destroyed and we invent new ones. We become more productive and wealthier. Unfortunately, government intervention has made this process quite difficult these days. But, the president is dead wrong, technology benefits us all; it creates jobs and wealth in this country.
TRACY BYRNES: This is a President that doesn't understand business in general and we've been seeing that day by day. Look, you're going to tell me Apple, Google, even IBM, they didn't create jobs and opportunities for people? If this is the way we're thinking we really should be back on horse and buggies, because the auto industry slammed that industry all together. It's a naïve statement to make.
DANI HUGHES: He used a really crummy example. Let's face it, ATMs were a technology how many years ago? 20, 25 years ago? But it is true that technology does take away jobs, look at the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, that's because technology has taken the place of humans. That doesn't mean that technology has not enhanced our lives, has enhanced the venture capital industry, has brought more jobs- it's just new jobs, different jobs. So I do think we need more investment in technology to make that happen, but we are going to see efficiencies happen. And, a lot of these efficiencies happen to mean getting away from human capital.
JOHN LAYFIELD: I think the president's motive behind this is correct, but look, you also have to realize that technology killed the entire ‘out-house cleaning industry'. So, he does have a point here. Companies are getting better, they're getting more efficient, they're getting more productive, they are laying off workers, and they don't have to hire workers. Telling these companies as your jobs plan- hire people you don't need- will never work. Manufacturing, we pay about $40 per hour, China pays $3, Africa pays $1, its not coming back in the traditional sense that we had it before. Technology and farming are the two ways we can increase jobs. We have no job creation on the horizon in this country unless we have something like an energy plan or some black swan technology that comes up, we don't have one in the future.
CHRISTOPHER HAHN: The numbers speak for themselves. Corporations have never been more profitable in this country and they're doing it with less workers. They're laying off people as their profits are going up because they don't need it because technology has replaced them. That said, as a nation we could use technology to expand jobs in this country, but we have a problem here; a fundamental flaw in our system, and that is immigration. We are educating people from third world countries, and the day they get their PhD from MIT, we put them on a plane back to their home, instead of setting them up with a condo in Silicon Valley where they could create the next generation of technology and build industries here.
DID GOOGLE JUST PROVE THE PRIVATE SECTOR CAN GET AMERICANS TO GO GREEN BETTER THAN THE GOVERNMENT?
JOHN LAYFIELD: We are the only developed country in the entire world that does not have an energy policy and this includes renewable energy. We're doing nothing to spur renewable energy growth. More importantly, what Google is doing with the Atlantic Wind Connector. This is the offshore wind farm that's going to make non-intermittent wind energy from off the east coast. There's about a 40 mile shelf there where you can put wind turbines. This is going to create about 150 thousand jobs and this is also going to power up to 10 to 15 percent of the nation's electricity. Google's building the infrastructure, private enterprise has built on top of it. Google charged them transmission fees. The government could be doing this without cost to the taxpayers at all.
JONATHAN HOENIG: You know, you're just like Wayne, John. You hate subsidies unless it's to... you're a bit of a hypocrite. You can't say you're for a free market. Why is Google doing this? Not because they care about making money, but for the tax subsidies. Read the articles. Read the research. They're making seven, eight percent, getting all the great headlines from the green community. They're doing this for the tax subsidies and it's the same transfer of wealth you decry.
CHRIS HAHN: We need to have some government involvement in green energy, and the simple reason is there is no military use for green energy. All of the innovations we had for other fields have come from our need to invent faster, quicker planes and jets and engines and bombs so we can go to war and there's been lots of subsidies on that side of the aisle. There is no military use for green energy so the government has to be involved. Now I applaud Google. They should take the subsidies.
TRACY BYRNES: Look, whatever the reason, there is a profit motive. It's a company, they have a profit motive. Of course they're going to do whatever they need to do to make money. That's what they do at the end of the day, but the notion that the government has to be involved in green energy, look, on behalf of Wayne who's not here right now, we need a full-blown energy plan for national security overall. That's it. End of story. The government does not need to be involved.
DANI HUGHES: Actually, you are both right because the fact is the government is involved. Who's providing the tax incentive? They're incentivizing Google to do this. So you are absolutely all right. Congratulations. I need the government involved in that end of it like I need a hole in the head. Private industry is much more efficient in executing any kind of roll out and certainly incentivizing that as well. And don't forget, it's like the phone companies. They give you this tiny, little cell phone for fifty bucks. Why? Because they are going to get your monthly vig for every single thing that you put over your phone forever because you're going to become beholden to it.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN TO LEAD OBAMA'S 6th ATTEMPT TO CRACK DOWN ON GOVERNMENT WASTE: ARE WE FIGHTING WASTE WITH WASTE?
TRACY BYRNES: Cheryl we didn't need the first panel. These separate administrations should be handling this themselves. Where's social security? Social Security should be ferreting out the fraud. Food stamps should be ferreting out the fraud. You don't need taxpayer money to do this. Look, there was fraud in the stimulus plan. There's been fraud everywhere. We need to come down on it, but the taxpayers don't need to be paying it. We don't need individual commissions for it. This is up to the individual groups; the individual little administrations to ferret it out themselves.
DANI HUGHES: I think the idea of exposing this is fantastic. I think we need to see the transparency in the system, but to see another commission is outrageous. Get a national identification system. It's a long-term plan, and if you thought that you need your privacy, the first time you got your credit card or signed onto facebook you lost your privacy, so I don't think that should be an issue anymore. I really think that would solve our problems.
CHRIS HAHN: Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither, so I disagree with the national ID card, but that said there's always been fraud and abuse in government. There probably always will be, and if the President did nothing, we'd all be yelling that the President's not doing enough to stop it. So, at least he's working towards it. He's putting together people who are going to ferret this out. It's not a cost to the taxpayers. People are already working in government. Let's give that a break, and let's get out there and try to fix the problem.
JOHN LAYFIELD: Yeah it's gone up, but look this is smoke and mirrors. We need to get rid of the waste. Tracy has a good idea. Let these different organizations deal with it. The problem we have bigger is theft. Look, if you're in a private enterprise and you write a little line into your contract and you build a pool house at your house, you get fired or you go to jail. In Congress, they call it earmarks. It is theft. It is billions of dollars every single year. That's stealing with the lights on. Forget about the fraud, these guys are the frauds.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Cocaine for monkeys. Now you're talking. I've seen this movie before; Waste, Fraud and Abuse. I mean, roll the b-roll of Al Gore on the David Letterman show smashing an ashtray back in 1993. What's needed is not a new committee to investigate the fraud from the old committee, but it's to scale back the scope of government. You know, opportunities for fraud exist now because we have government involved in all these areas. It's not constitutionally supposed to be. Change that; change the philosophy and fraud goes away.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
TRACY BYRNES: Postal union is using the War on Terror to save their jobs. They're suggesting that we use sensors on mail trucks to find terrorists. Really? Holy desperate.
JOHN LAYFIELD: The first golf U.S. Open was won by Horace Rawlins, an Englishman 115 years ago. This year I think it's going to be won by an Irishman, but if you want to root for a good American story, IBM turns 100 this week congratulations. Still a great company and a great stock.
DANI HUGHES: Power One, it's a power management company, PWER. The stock actually hasn't fallen off like the rest of the market. We're expecting the stock to be $12.82 target, and they should do very well this year.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Well, a lot of the Latin American names, Cheryl, we talked about four or five years ago that seemed crazy, became very popular in my mind are starting to break down. Looking at BZQ, this is an ETF that actually goes short Brazil if LATAM continues to fall this is going to take the biggest hit.