Imported from Detroit

Best Superbowl ad since 1984. I alternated between shouting ‘Hell Yeah!’ and crying.

This is the message Chrysler needed to give, Detroit needed to give, and America needed to hear. Assisted by Eminem just underscores the point.

Paulson Real Estate Recovery Fund

Brilliant strategy. Just brilliant.

“One of the fund’s main strategies is to buy undeveloped tracts of land that already have environmental and building permits. Roads, sewers and electricity may also be in place, but not homes, according to one of the people familiar with the fund. If the real-estate market recovers enough for developers to start building more new houses, this may be the type of land they buy first. That’s because a lot of the costly, time-consuming preparation work already has been done, the person explained.” – Alistair Barr, MarketWatch

Unanimous Support for Unlicensed White Spaces

“The Federal Communications Commission voted 5-0 today to adopt rules for using the airwaves, known as white spaces.”

Some ridiculous NPR story yesterday complained that the crowded nature of metropolitan airwaves prevent this from being useful to the vast majority of Americans.

The point isn’t urban America – the benefit is to rural America.

My earlier posts on the topic of opening up white spaces:

Bringing Me-dia to Rural America

In Bigger News: FCC Opens White Space & Frees iPhone

Out of context, the specific significance of this post’s title is entertainingly vague.

Take California

If there’s a state in the union synonymous with the modern American Dream – it’s California 1.

For the past twenty years, every vocation or avocation I’ve been interested in has had a significant pull from California.

There’s now some evidence California is becoming less attractive to do business in.

“The top states gaining our businesses since January 2009 show Texas in the top spot, followed by Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia and Utah.” – Joseph Vranich in California Business Exodus Now Triple Last Year’s Rate

California’s loss is the rest of the country’s gain.

Attention: Minnesota policy makers – there’s some opportunity here. I’d like to see Minnesota on this list as well. The same business conditions that make it attractive to move here make it attractive to stay here. 😉


1. For cities, I’m sure NYC still holds the #1 position.

2010: The Great Restart

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I could stare at this image all day. Continually riding its roller coaster in my head – watching geo-political events, holidays, elections, and family gatherings, all unfold.

Whether we call it the Great Recession or the Great Nominal Spending Crash1 – I don’t think we’ve seen the interesting part yet. I predict a dramatic recovery & acceleration. The Restart.

A couple recent graphs I’m using as the basis for this prediction:

Dow Jones Industrial Average Nov. 2008 – Nov. 2009
DJIA Nov 2008 - 2009

10 Year Nominal-Real Treasury Spread Now at 2%
ISM Index: Strong V-Shaped Recovery Underway

My interest in economics was sparked by Black Monday, 1987. Back when the Dow shed 800 points in 2 days – falling below 1800.

The 20 years since have brought some of the most significant advances in technology, communications, and overall quality of life (yes, pat yourself on the back). I fully expect the same looking forward.

1. Thanks to Alex Tabarrok @ Marginal Revolution for the tip.

March Forth

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I’m proposing today as new American holiday.

A day of deliberate action.
A day of buckled-down confidence.
A day of bootstrap-up-pulling.
A day of To-Done-ed-ness.
A day of recovery.

The opposite of Labor Day – more along the lines of Independence Day.

Let’s go, there’s work to do.

March Forth.

“This country will be rescued by each of us doing what we can do in our own individual sphere of action as government works in its sphere of action. There are roughly 142 million men and women in the labor force. Their ingenuity, flexibility, energy, and confidence will make more difference than anything government does on an individual basis…In the free society, we rescue ourselves.” – Ben Stein

A popular Democrat becomes President during one of the worst economic downturns

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I’m reading The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression. While parallels with pre-1950s America are always tenuious, here’s a synopsis

A popular Democrat becomes President during one of the worst economic downturns in our nation’s history. He drives through some of the most dramatic legislation ever seen and creating departments compensating farmers to not bring food to market. US economy sputters throughout his term, waiting until the end of a yet to be fought war to recover.

Let’s hope tomorrows inauguration marks the beginning of America 3.0, not New Deal 2.0.

In Bigger News: FCC Opens White Space & Frees iPhone

I was always baffled by Apple exclusively giving the iPhone to AT&T. It’s not in Apple’s DNA to tie the customer experience of their products to someone else. Exclusively or otherwise. Multi-year or otherwise. Apple’s built their reputation on owning and controlling the entire stack; OS, applications, hardware. Hell, Apple’s never been crazy about having a development community either.

With the FCC’s move to open up the unused television spectrum for unlicensed use (think WiFi on a nationwide scale), the Apple + AT&T partnership feels more like a hedge on Apple’s part. A way to get the product out ahead of the curve.

In a couple years, the technology to use this new spectrum will be on the market and stable.

By that time, Apple’s agreement with AT&T will be expiring. Think Apple will be selling the iPhone with any carrier when nationwide spectrum is available ‘for free’?

No.

Think they’re be any difference between the iPhone and the iPod Touch at that point?

Again, no.

Also, I see this as another point confirming my prediction that the move to digital broadcast in Feb 09 will wipe out the broadcast television viewing audience.

This is as historic a moment for our country as electing the first African-American POTUS.

Not because of how it impacts something as luxurious as Apple products, but because it wipes out the need for telco carriers, opens up the municipal broadband market, and with a ‘flip of a switch’ internet-ifies rural America.

America 3.0

1776. America is born.

1945. America claims the leadership of the developed world.

2008. America reclaims its position.

(more tomorrow.)