Items of interest that might have been missed in the press of events:

  • Labor Day is a good time to note that recent comments in the WSJ have indicated that current use of a formulation of the Consumer Price Index, and its variants, is outdated and doesn’t adequately state Americans’ wealth – the authors, Phil Gramm and John Early, state unequivocally that, “We are having major debates based on measures that are demonstrably wrong.  We are artificially inflating government benefits and cutting taxes based on bad measures of inflation.  As a nation, we need to get our facts straight . . .Americans are richer than we think”
  • And, speaking of perceptions, American workers under 35 (in other words, millennials) report being happier with their paychecks than people over 55, for the first time since 2011 (ref WSJ). And, overall, the percentage of workers satisfied with their paychecks rose to 46.4% in 2018, from 43% in 2017.  Very nice.
  • Papa John’s International pizza company has made the move to hire a permanent CEO, replacing founder and former CEO John Schnatter with Arby President Rob Lynch.  The change is effective immediately and is expected to set Papa John’s on the road to recovery.
  • The film and television industry hasn’t done well, to date, in creating shows for the internet era’s “short attention spans” but that’s about to change.  A variety of companies are now pouring resources into “short-format” and claim that conditions are finally right – for example, the ubiquity of mobile screens, leaps in streaming-video technology, shifting business models and, most importantly, a generational embrace of content in quick bursts.  On Snapchat, for example, a menu of made-for-mobile shows is intended to spur binge viewing and top-dollar advertising, (ref. WSJ).  If short-form proponents are accurate, they may be opening the next set of “floodgates” after streaming television.  However, they’re vying for screens that are already dominated by a different form of short items, such as YouTube, Instagram, etc.  It will be interesting to see if users want to adopt yet another viewing method.

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