DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
NATIONAL CELL PHONE BAN IN CARS: BAD FOR THE ECONOMY?
WAYNE ROGERS: Oh my goodness. I happen to be in Los Angeles right now and people here they spend an average of over an hour and a half, two hours on the freeway coming and going to work. Imagine the amount of work you can get done; the amount of things that you can get done by talking on the telephone. Now I understand people who you are saying are texting It's crazy because they're taking their eyes off the road, and they'll tell you that, that's nuts. However, talking on the phone; listen you've got a radio in your car. What are you going to do? Ban radios? Does that make any sense? Of course not; people can listen and talk and do all those kinds of things. People talk to other people in the car. They do that all the time. That would be crazy. It would cut off a lot of productivity.
JONATHAN HOENIG: I'm sorry Cheryl hold on one second. I'm getting a call...cell phone deaths, Cheryl, you're right, you're right. Obviously a lot of people are distracted. Three thousand deaths Cheryl; it's terrible, but you know one thousand people die every year from boating accidents. So, to Wayne's point, are we going to ban that next? Driving and talking at the same time is tremendously productive. It's the third most important reason why people actually use a cell phone in a car is doing business, and you're literally cutting productivity off at its knees.
CHRISTIAN DORSEY: You know, it's actually not going to hurt the economy at all and I'll tell you why. If you pass a law and no one enforces it and no one follows it, does it make any difference at all? Absolutely not. The NTSB is not interested in seeing any kind of a nationwide ban on cell phones. They're trying to raise a point. They're trying to raise public consciousness to the fact that we're all too distracted when we're behind the wheel and we need to pay heed to that. She (NTSB Chairperson) knows it's never going to happen. You're never going to get 50 states to do it. You know, her opinion largely, actually doesn't matter when you're talking about whether this is going to do harm because you're never going to get the 50 states to enact a total ban on cell phones in the car. It's never going to happen and let's just suppose it did. No one would ever follow it.
TRACY BYRNES: But then you're talking about lower municipalities, local police officers, ticketing me left and right because I'm using it, because really that's what we're looking to do. Look, if you want to talk about distractions, you're talking to a mother that drove around with three infants. Try turning around to hand a kid a bottle. There's a distraction. Get rid of the infants before you get rid of the cell phones. This is crazy. This is silly and you know what? Every day on my ride home I get on the phone with a source and that is actually how I do my job. I personally need it to be a better reporter. I can't imagine what business would be like without it.
JOHN LAYFIELD: Yeah it is, and what we need to talk about here is the difference between texting and using the phone and hands-free. We do have a 50-state ban on drinking and driving. You can't smoke a joint and go drive a car, nor should you be able to. So the question is how far do you go? If you have a long haul trucker that's in a truck for six straight hours, should he be able to call ahead to tell them that he is late if his job's depending on that? Absolutely, but do you want a 16-year-old driving around the city of New York talking on a phone, whether it's hands-free or not? I certainly don't. So the question is; where do you draw the line, because the line is being drawn in other places as well and we can have a 50-state ban. We have one right now with drinking and driving.
OBAMA NOMINATING TWO NEW MEMBERS OF THE NLRB
TRACY BYRNES: Well Cheryl, we've seen what the unions have done to industries. At this point, we have not helped anything. We don't need more of that thinking going forward. We need corporations to create jobs and get this economy going again. Unions set us back.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Right I think that's the problem and I disagree with Tracy. It's not the unions that are the problem. It's the fact that we have a whole arm of government whose sole job is to protect the unions. You know it's so offensive and immoral on its face, Cheryl. The NLRB, of course you'll find it nowhere in the constitution, it was a product of Roosevelt's New Deal administration. I think it was called the National Industrial Recovery Act. Sounds kind of familiar. Unions have no special rights, nor do employers or consumers. Individuals have rights. Government needs to get out; close the board or go put different people on it.
JOHN LAYFIELD: This is a much greater economic concern than it is a political concern. What Jonathan is talking about; in 1933 the NIRA created the NLRB. Remember that the Supreme Court in 1955 unanimously ruled that was a gross overreach of federal powers calling it unfettered access, was their words, they used to do that and it stifled the economy and stifled work. In 1947 the Taft Hartley Act came along and again tried to limit the NLRB. We're seeing an exact, carbon-copy. Just what Jonathan's been saying of the 1933 gross overreach of the administration and what that does is, as ruled in the Supreme Court in 1935, it's still relevant today, kills economic incentives to businesses.
CHRISTIAN DORSEY: Well I couldn't disagree more. Look, at the end of the day, if the President is able to get all of his picks appointed to the board it's going to be three people who've worked for Democrats, two who have worked for Republicans. Shocking! I mean come on. This is exactly the way the NLRB has operated from the beginning. The administration in power tries to see that its agenda is reflected in the makeup of the NLRB. So, to talk about this as some dramatic, new overreach is completely not true.
WAYNE ROGERS: Well, forget Boeing. It's a simple thing. I mean, right now we have a dichotomy within the administration. Here is the President saying I want to postpone the pipeline. By the way, every union in the United States says, build that pipeline from Canada, down to the Gulf. That's going to create 20 thousand jobs. All unions are in favor of that. So it's not about whether or not the National Labor Relations Board, if these guys are good, bad, or indifferent. It's whether it should exist at all. In other words, Jonathan and John raise the point. It shouldn't exist. It has no business. They're not doing anything.
FIRST SOLAR IN TROUBLE AFTER GETTING GOVERNMENT MONEY: PROOF WE ARE THROWING GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD?
JOHN LAYFIELD: Yes, there is a role of government. The role of government is to build long term, DC lines and then let free markets work. That's how you build infrastructure and have a level playing field. What the government is doing here is playing venture capitalists. Venture capitalist is the hardest form of investing in the world. The government has been remarkably unsuccessful at it because they're picking winners and losers based upon the fact that those winners and losers have political connections. That is what's wrong with this system. I'm not against government intervention. There's a role of government, but what they're doing is wrong.
WAYNE ROGERS: Well the government by guaranteeing this, John's right. It's the same thing as taking taxpayer money and putting it in this. That's crazy and we're competing in a world economy. If we can't compete, we can't be there. Listen, half the guts of this thing I'm holding in my hand, in a cell phone, are made somewhere else. Not in the United States. We've got to learn to compete right here and if we can't beat China at our own game, then we shouldn't be in it.
CHRISTIAN DORSEY: Yeah, it's regrettable, but why are we investing in solar in the first place? Because conservative estimates say that in 50 years a third of the world's energy is going to be produced by a solar power, and if the United States is not leading that charge, we are going to be left behind. Our economy's going to suffer for generations to come, and secondly, solar is not the only area we invest in folks. Oil and gas; nuclear; we invest in those many magnitudes greater than we do in renewable sources of energy. So come on.
TRACY BYRNES: The government shouldn't be investing a nickel of our money. You know, that's the entrepreneurs out there would do if they were just allowed to if they didn't have all these rules and regulations surrounding them all the time. The entrepreneurs would figure out whether or not solar's going to be the next big thing and they would dive in and make it happen. We do not need the White House to do this.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Right, I've seen that scenario before Cheryl. We talked about it years ago with Pacific Ethanol and VeraSun; all the ethanol companies under Bush. Once the subsidies go away, then the stocks get tanked. I mean, if it doesn't work economically end of story. It doesn't work and I've got to tell you, the green energy agenda is literally prescribing man's suicide. They want us to pay more to get less. Why? I just do not understand.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
TRACY BYRNES: Average household zapped with $1,419 electric bill last year. Record high electric bills will go even higher in 2012.
JOHN LAYFIELD: GOP Presidential candidates and congress supporting drilling. Buy RIG.
WAYNE ROGERS: Build your profits with dividends from CYS.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Get your financial fix with drug maker GSK.