My blog ideas folder is overflowing a bit, so here are some mini-rants to clear it out a bit.
First off, via the Carpe Diem blog, is an interesting analysis of CEO pay vs celebrity pay.
According to the AP, CEOs of 386 companies in the S&P500 that filed proxy information in the first half of this year received a combined $4.16 billion in 2006, which is an average compensation of $10.77 million per CEO. According to the Forbes Celebrity List, the top 100 celebrities earned a combined total of $3.286 billion, or an average of $32.86 million per celebrity.
Do a Google search for "excessive CEO pay" and you’ll get about 10,000 hits. Now try a search for "excessive celebrity pay," and you’ll get exactly 0 hits.
Which group, at least sometimes, is creating jobs and fundamental economic value? Which group keeps people glued to TV’s instead of working or nurturing their kids and contributes to Monday morning hangovers? Hmmm…
Via our friend Mark at the Lean Blog comes another story from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner assembly line. Apparently there’s a shortage of the special fastener needed to hold together composite components.
As of today, there are 634 orders for the plane. But if Boeing ordered the fasteners, where are they? Graham Warwick of the magazine Flight International says companies like Alcoa have a dilemma. They would have to add costly infrastructure to meet current demand — but they worry it won’t be needed in the future. They don’t want to put too much capacity in place, because when the downturn comes, they have to lay people off, they have to idle factories.
There are 634 orders to be delivered over more than a decade and a supplier like Alcoa is worried? What does this say about supplier confidence in Boeing’s forecasts? On a side note, stay tuned for an interview on the subject with yours truly in a major financial magazine (begins with "F"), coming out in a couple months. Hmmm…
The Lean Printing blog brings us a story of the up and coming Chinese printing industry. There is a surge of graphic arts education in China, which is coupled with a rapid increase in capacity. Quality is improving rapidly. What does this mean for U.S. printers?
U.S. printers really have no choice but to continually upgrade their technological skills, upgrade their equipment and systems, and find new markets. Perhaps that’s easier to say than do, but those who fail to do so will be faced with losing customers to more adept printers, many here, as well as in China.
Sounds very similar to other industries under foreign competitive pressure… some companies look internally to remove waste and become competitive, others simply complain and look for government help.
We’ve already slapped tariffs of up to 99% on unprinted material (If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Tax ‘Em). What’s next? Another tariff on printed product?
Hmmm… but on that note a post at Cafe Hayek says happy birthday to the Smoot-Hawley tariff bill, signed by Herbert Hoover seventy-seven years ago. The retaliatory effects after the bill went into effect should be a lesson.
Protectionism doesn’t achieve even its own nonsense goal of increasing exports. A revealing, specific example involves eggs. Smoot-Hawley raised the tariff on egg imports into the U.S. from eight cents to ten cents per dozen. This higher tariff caused eggs imports from Canada to fall by 40 percent. In response, Canadian authorities increased the tariff on U.S. eggs exported to Canada; this tariff went from three cents per dozen to ten cents per dozen. The result was that American eggs exports to Canada fell by 98 percent – from 11 million annually just before Smoot-Hawley to a mere 200,000.
The official line is that the German economy has turned the corner after years in the doldrums. But with the number of Germans emigrating rising to 155,290 last year – equal, to the levels seen in the aftermath of he Second World War during the late 1940s – the reality seems to be rather different.
What’s more, as a report in the Independent highlights, the large part of this brain-drain is made up of skilled professionals fed up with Germany’s sky-high taxes and stultifying bureaucracy. Leading economists and employers say the trend is alarming.
Sounds like another case of tax increases actually driving out the tax base, thereby actually reducing tax revenue. I’ve heard that somewhere before… hmmm…
Okay, that helped get the folder back under control. Perhaps I need to be a more efficient, or prolific, blogger. Hmmm…