Gary Allen on Business: Sunday, May 15, 2016 – Podcast Now Available

Jim Cramer of Booyah Fame Mainly Delivers “Boo”

Jim CramerJim Cramer of Mad Money fame on CNBC has popularized fame with his fast paced show that has its roots in the production values of the Jerry Springer show. You may laugh, but Cramer’s Mad Money show is the brainchild of Susan Krakower, the former producer of the over the top Jerry Springer show. If you think about Springer, sports talk radio and a touch of a traditional financial show, you have the secret sauce that became Mad Money.

The show has seen a ratings decline in recent years but the frenetic energy remains. Adding some spice, this weekend a new movie titled Money Monster starring George Clooney has opened across America. But the focus of my story on the show this week is a research report that also was released on Friday. That report from researchers at the Wharton School of Business look into the track record of Cramer’s stock picks.

It may come as a surprise to some, but I was not caught off guard by the results of the research report. Bottom line, Cramer has not done well compared to the S&P 500 with his charitable fund. While Cramer is just one example, he is the poster child for “smart” active management. At this point the numbers are in and Cramer like most of his peers trail the returns of the stock market.

The Living Wage Movement For A Few

Protest

Everywhere you turn these days, people are protesting for a living wage. Currently, the living wage benchmark according to the protestors and their supports is $15 per hour. However, the part of the story that most protestors are missing is who will be left working once $15 per hour becomes reality.

Fast food workers are some of the primary protestors pressuring employers to raise the minimum wage to $15. Too often companies are vilified for underpaying their workers and having profits that are too large. Are there companies that take advantage of their workers, of course, but I never remember anyone until now talking about a fast food job being a place to work to support a family of four. 

Fast food jobs and most retail jobs have traditionally been entry level positions for young and or unskilled workers to enter the workforce. In my opinion, the majority of the workers currently protesting for $15 per hour will be worse off if they achieve their goal. The reason is simple, automation will replace most of the jobs and they will be unemployed. A fraction of the current workers will be left earning $15 per hour watching customers order and pay for their own meals at self-service kiosks, while a couple folks will be left in the back feeding machines that prepare most of the food. Wendy’s this week became the first major fast food chain that said it will install these kiosks this year at all of its locations.

The problem is not $15 per hour for entry level jobs. The problem is too many low or unskilled workers who do not have access to training or education opportunities to improve themselves.  

Gary Allen on Business – Sunday, May 15, 2016 – Podcast

The Cramer story and $15 for the few highlight the show this week. Hope you enjoy the podcast. – Gary 

CONTACT GARY:

If you would like to contact Gary, the best way is through email at gallen@prudentllc.com. Or you can try to reach him at his office at 916.436.8331.

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2 thoughts on “Gary Allen on Business: Sunday, May 15, 2016 – Podcast Now Available

  1. I think an assumption you make in your remark regarding $15 dollar minimum wage is there will be jobs for those with training in today’s economy. What is your evidence in support of that assumption Gary? I’ve heard reports of India having over supply of college graduates unable to obtain employment except in low paying service sector jobs. Isn’t the issue of how can the American economy be structured to provide a living wage for its workforce?

    • Jim, thank you for your email and your thoughts. My only concern about the $15 minimum wage has to do with unskilled and young workers being priced out of entry level jobs. Minimum wage jobs are traditionally entry level jobs requiring little training or skills. People making minimum wage (since it was created; 25 cents per hour in 1938 a little over $4 per hour in today’s dollars) have to the best of my knowledge never had “living wage” jobs. Entry level jobs are just that and no more.

      According to the Federal Government (BLS 2014) only 3.9% of the workforce makes the federal minimum wage. Of that group, just about half are young workers (under 25 years of age). This does support the idea that minimum wage jobs are entry level jobs mostly held by young people.

      My whole point is by artificially raising the Federal minimum wage to $15 per hour will kill entry level jobs for young folks and those without skills. Raising the minimum wage so high will immediately make automation more preferable. People will not be willing to pay significantly higher prices for fast or casual food so those entry level jobs will be replaced with automation. That according to all of the major fast food chains is exactly what is going to happen. Wendy’s being the first but not the last to replace many of its workers with self-serve kiosks.

      Jim, thanks again for your email and thank you for listening to my program. – Gary

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