Sunday Morning News Chatter – Sports, EVs, and Unions

An older salesman (Lou Haer) used to call on me at Oscar Mayer when I was buying all of OM’s packaging and labels. We would talk and have lunch. Visited him at his home in the suburbs of Chicago with my three and my wife. He took my two younger boys and I trout fishing at a manmade large aerated pond. They enjoined it immensely at 10 and eight years old.

He had a philosophy though for college football and other sports, which the students gave greater emphasis too than studies.

Give them a Degree in Football!” Read on . . .

Deion Sanders rips into team after email from professor, exposes player’s NFL Draft grades, Athlon Sports | News, Expert Predictions, and Betting Previews, Kevin Borba

“This semester has been extremely challenging for me as a professor,” said Sanders, who was reading a Professor’s email aloud to the team.

“I have never felt so disrespected in my ten years of teaching. Students do not follow even minimally and it slows down my class so much. They make it clear that they don’t want to be here and have very little personal responsibility . . . “

The email went on to express to Sanders that the athletes in that class in particular “do not bring anything to the table”, ruin the class for other students, and even suggested that they take in-person classes as opposed to online classes.

Sanders went on to show emails about specific individuals and would then ask a staffer if that player had an NFL Draft grade, to which the staffer replied that they didn’t each and every one. Sanders’ message to the team after he was done reading the emails.

“You gonna get something out of this,” Sanders told the team. “You gonna be a man or you’re going to be a great football player. Since you choose not to be a great football player, we gotta make you a man.”

Later in the video, Sanders spoke candidly about his feelings regarding the situation.  

“I’m a little frustrated, I’m a little angry right now because we in this new collective in NIL state of mind . . . We got youngsters that’s all in on one side of the game. 90% or 95% of your roster ain’t going pro. So, as coaches we got to emphasize education, we got to emphasize life, we got to emphasize the next step the next elevation if it don’t work in the game.”


Gee “whata” surprise! Kids tire of playing with their Christmas gifts. The shine wore off. Down in Arizona, everyone drives big, loud and sometimes smokey (they play with the emissions so they can make smoke) vehicles. EV’s don’t make noise so the drivers of those Lightings may go unnoticed. Yes, even with the massive tires and the size.

I will stick with my VW Passat for now.

EV Shoppers Don’t Want Detroit’s Pickup Trucks.,, Nora Naughton

When the automotive industry started looking toward an electrified future, Detroit automakers decided to throw their hat in the ring with what they do best: pickup trucks.

The first entrants to the electric-pickup market enjoyed some early success, particularly in the Ford F-150 Lightning. But sudden changes to the electric-car-shopper demographic meant . . . for the second time in the past 20 years, Detroit finds itself selling big, expensive cars nobody really wants.

Behemoths like the GMC Hummer EV and Lightning, with price tags that can reach six figures, aren’t resonating with EV shoppers who prioritize value and practicality.

Where the Lightning is concerned, the truck’s early success doesn’t appear to be carrying over past the first round of reservations from when the truck went on sale in 2022.

Ford dealers have started highlighting that the trucks are piling up on their lots. Starting Monday, Ford plans to dramatically reduce the workforce at the factory building the Lightning, The Associated Press reported, in a sign that demand for the truck may be slowing.

Expensive pickup trucks aren’t just a Detroit problem. Rivian, a pioneer of the electric pickup truck, has also warned of slowing growth, and Elon Musk’s Tesla appears to be already offering purchase incentives for the Cybertruck.

A recent study from the car-shopping website Edmunds found that interest in electric pickup trucks accounted for only 10% of EV demand, while demand for electric cars (including wagons) accounted for 43% and demand for SUVs and crossovers came in second at 42%.


An Economist wakes up to the impact of Global free trade . . .

Nobel Prize Economist Angus Deaton Rethinks Unions, Free Trade, Immigration, businessinsider, Juliana Kaplan

However, as Deaton saw private union power decline in the US over the last few decades — especially with the rise of union-weakening laws. This in relation to lobbying power held by the corporate and wealthy world. Working people were left without a lever. He also sees a mismatch between government representatives and the workers they’re for which they are meant to speak in support. Deaton points to how, while most Americans don’t have a bachelor’s degree, the problem is not reflected in the halls of Congress.

“There’s not much room for power in economics,” Deaton said. “We don’t talk about it very much, but historians talk about it all the time. And I think we ought to be thinking about it more. And I think one of the problems with being a working-class person in America today is just not having very much political power.”

Unions were also an important social force in the past, Deaton points out. As the share of workers in a union has declined, the loss of camaraderie has contributed to thecurrent loneliness crisis in the US, especially for men.

Deaton also noted unions’ ability to secure wage increases for not just the workers in unionized roles but for others in the same type of job.

He points to the recent United Auto Workers’ strike. Economists might say the logical move in the face of demands for higher worker wages would be for manufacturers to make cars in China where it’s cheaper. But that’s not what happened. Deaton . . .

“It turns out that the manufacturers actually had quite a bit of profit margin, which this strike forced them to share with the workers. That’s an old idea in economics, too, but not one that’s much currently practiced — that there’s actually a gap which is available for either profits or wages. And there’s a sort of class struggle over who gets that.

 I am much more skeptical of the benefits of free trade to American workers and am even skeptical of the claim, which I and others have made in the past, that globalization was responsible for the vast reduction in global poverty over the past 30 years.”

Deaton told me he’d been very influenced by economist Dani Rodrik, who wrote “Has Globalization Gone Too Far?” The book is about how globalization might exacerbate inequities and social fissures.

For example, Deaton points to what’s called the “China shock,” when China first emerged as a global trade and industrialization hub in the 1980s. The argument there was that, on average, that new flow of low-cost products was good for America. The is comes even though many lost their domestic manufacturing jobs. Deaton adds . . .

“The point is the people who lost their jobs lose money to the China shock, but the rest of us get cheap goods at Walmart and Target or whatever, and the theorem says the value of what we gain is more than the value of what they lose. The trouble is it’s different people.”