CoasterBuzz Podcast #209 posted

Posted Monday, August 22, 2011 12:04 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Jeff, Mike and Gonch review this week's news in the amusement industry.

  • Jeff gives a trip report for Silverwood, and it isn't very favorable.
  • Iron Wolf being retired from Six Flags Great America.
  • Zippin Pippin starts doing night rides, city has a huge success on its hands.
  • Disney has a damn good quarter.
  • So is the economy really as bad as the headlines would lead you to believe? Our bubbles don't indicate that.
  • Legoland Florida is doing all of the right things prior to opening the park, now giving teachers annual passes. How did Hard Rock Park miss this boat?
  • Off topic: Don't hate the pretties. Take care of yourself. Don't wait until you can't fit in a roller coaster. Jeff tells a Coke story, with extra sugar.
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain's Deja Vu moving to Six Flags New England.
  • Canada's Wonderland announces Leviathan, a 300+ foot B&M roller coaster. Jeff approves. Enthusiasts whine a little.
  • Cedar Point announces fake dinosaur walk-through, retirement of Paddlewheel Excursions. Cedar Point fans are annoyed, especially if they have kids.
  • Lightning strike at Discovery Cove sends some people to the hospital.
  • Off-topic: Hot tennis players.
  • The Fall Affair at Holiday World will be September 17, 2011. The registration deadline is approaching! Also, BooBuzz is Friday, October 7. Get the details!
  • You can get the latest headlines on CoasterBuzz from the Twitter. Follow us @coasterbuzz. You can also like us on Facebook.
  • CoasterBuzz Club is $25 per year. You can join or renew today. Enjoy CoasterBuzz with no ads.

Link: CoasterBuzz Podcast

Monday, August 22, 2011 12:05 PM

In regards to the economy and unemployment, thought this would put things into better perspective:

"America's jobless crisis has been going on so long that the raw numbers have lost much of their power to convey the severity of the problem. The Wall Street Journal's David Wessel has found a clever new way to get at the issue.

Wessel notes that there are more officially unemployed people in the United States (13.9 million, though if you count those who have given up looking it's nearly twice that) than the total individual populations of 46 out of 50 U.S. states.

Or, if you prefer: There are more offically unemployed Americans than the combined population of Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Idaho and the District of Columbia.

Or finally: There are more unemployed Americans than the total population of Greece or Portugal, both of which have 10.8 million people. And more than twice as many as the total population of Norway, which has 4.7 million people."

So, as someone who is long-term unemployed, I tell anyone with a job and income to be thankful because you have no idea what it is like on the other side.

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Monday, August 22, 2011 12:33 PM

About the Midwest fat people comments...I can't believe how many people I see at Meijer using those electric carts who shouldn't been using them. I really want to say something to them. I've seen thin mom's walk into the store and hop on a scooter with their kids just for the thrill.

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Monday, August 22, 2011 12:39 PM

Those unemployment comparisons border on hyperbole. They don't mean anything without the context of total US population. Percentage is what ultimately matters.

And frankly, I wouldn't make assumptions about what ideas people have. I moved my family across the country for a job after being unemployed long-term, and I did not collect a cent of unemployment.

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Monday, August 22, 2011 1:22 PM

In my bubble, those of us who are employed things are great. There is a company that I'm familiar with that is on track for having the best sales year ever, but they are doing that with 80% of the employees compared to their record year in '07. I'm sure a lot of businesses out there are seeing the same thing and I think this is the biggest cause for the current unemployment numbers.

That or we can keep blaming the President. Or Maverick.

~Rob

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Monday, August 22, 2011 3:46 PM

Jeff said:
Those unemployment comparisons border on hyperbole. They don't mean anything without the context of total US population. Percentage is what ultimately matters.

And frankly, I wouldn't make assumptions about what ideas people have. I moved my family across the country for a job after being unemployed long-term, and I did not collect a cent of unemployment.

Well then I guess that makes you special.

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Monday, August 22, 2011 4:00 PM

No, it means he got off his ass an made an opportunity for himself instead of waiting around complaining that he's long-term unemployed.

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Monday, August 22, 2011 4:33 PM

Rob really keys into one of the core issues that people, and politicians specifically, keep ignoring. This notion that reducing taxes for the wealthy and big business will lead to job creation is a myth, for the reasons he indicates. If I'm a business owner, I'm being a lot more conservative about how I spend money, and want to keep as much as I can given the uncertainty. I would propose tax breaks only if you can demonstrate that you actually add jobs. That I might be able to get behind. Arbitrary tax breaks with the rainbows-and-puppies hope that jobs will magically appear, not so much.

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Monday, August 22, 2011 4:51 PM

Many of the 10 million plus unemployed are not unemployed because of a lack of effort...including mlnem4s who I know personally. Unfortunately, he isn't the only friend I know who has been unemployed for far too long and many share similar stories.

I would say Jeff's story is a good example and more power to him for having a very marketable skill set that, even with a down economy, affords him the opportunity to pull himself up by the bootstraps. But, I don't know that I'm comfortable making judgments on 10 million people and perhaps directly or indirectly calling them all lazy.

<Good podcast by the way.>

Last edited by wahoo skipper, Monday, August 22, 2011 4:52 PM
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Monday, August 22, 2011 5:07 PM

I wouldn't make that generalization either, but I prefer to hear, "I'm not working and trying to do this." I've been laid-off four times in the last decade, so I know what it's like. The problem doesn't fix itself.

My concern is stories like the one Gonch referred to, about the factory that can't fill its jobs. That's exceptionally weird, and implies that there's something else going on with the workforce.

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Monday, August 22, 2011 5:17 PM

Here's that story, by the way.

It's a messed-up read.

“It’s the soft skills that are in shortage,” said Eric Burkland, president of the Ohio Manufacturing Association. “It’s things like passing a drug test. It’s coming to work on time.”

“To find young folks interested in the manufacturing and machine tool trade, with skills and a good work ethic, is getting difficult,” said Michael van Haaren, president and chief operating officer of Troy’s Stillwater Technologies Inc. “For some, we even have to give a reward just for showing up for work, it seems.”

Ellyn Chaney, the Behr plant’s human resources manager, recalled that earlier this year, a worker asked to be fired because it would be easier for him to get unemployment benefits than work.

and

At Behr’s Dayton plant, 1600 Webster St., the jobs available are unskilled labor positions at starting hourly wages of $11.65, including benefits such as tuition assistance. After the first 90 days, there are raises, and bonuses, such as an additional $1.76 an hour for coordinator positions. Four skilled trade positions, two electricians and two maintenance positions also are open.

Of the 259 candidates who have been offered jobs at the plant since January, 132 have made it through a hiring process that included an interview, an aptitude test, a 90-day hair follicle drug screen and other steps. Of those, 76 workers have stayed on the job to date, leading to a crunch for Behr just as the auto industry has experienced new strength (compared to the past two years). Workers are putting in seven-day weeks because there aren’t enough employees to do the work without extensive overtime, Baker and Chaney said.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Monday, August 22, 2011 5:17 PM
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Monday, August 22, 2011 5:33 PM

I can't really say that if I found myself unemployed tomorrow that I would jump at the chance to replace my current employment situation with a manual labor-based scenario simply because it's available to me.

Now, sure, as time went on and the situation became more dire, I would consider it before going hungry. But I don't think it's fair to suggest that anyone who is unemployed in a specific field should be enthusiastic about any opportunity that presents itself.

Jeff, you landed on your feet in an awesome opportunity after long-term unemployment and that's completely awesome. But before you did, I seem to recall you turning your nose at situations where a suit would be required...even for the interview. You weren't jumping at anything. You had an idea about what you wanted and you waited until you got it. Perhaps that's what others are doing, too. I don't know.

But regardless of all of that, I think it's interesting that if we are suggesting that pockets of unemployment exist in pockets of work fields...why would anyone want for higher education to become even more vocationally-centered than it already is? Seems like a great model so long as the demand continues in the fields producing the most degrees. But when that demand ends, then what? Only those with transferable skills might survive. Just another perspective on a previous dead-horse discussion. :)

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Monday, August 22, 2011 5:39 PM

Carrie J. said:
I can't really say that if I found myself unemployed tomorrow that I would jump at the chance to replace my current employment situation with a manual labor-based scenario simply because it's available to me.

Now, sure, as time went on and the situation became more dire, I would consider it before going hungry. But I don't think it's fair to suggest that anyone who is unemployed in a specific field should be enthusiastic about any opportunity that presents itself.

So basically the 'unemployment crisis' boils down to, "it's not work that I want to do?"

This is why other countries hate us. :)

Jeff, you landed on your feet in an awesome opportunity after long-term unemployment and that's completely awesome. But before you did, I seem to recall you turning your nose at situations where a suit would be required...even for the interview. You weren't jumping at anything. You had an idea about what you wanted and you waited until you got it. Perhaps that's what others are doing, too. I don't know.

And anyone who can do that...more power to them. But you can't be like that and then turn around and claim victim status.

(friendly disclaimer - I'm not implying Jeff did - quite the opposite, he never fell onto unemployment benefits)

But regardless of all of that, I think it's interesting that if we are suggesting that pockets of unemployment exist in pockets of work fields...why would anyone want for higher education to become even more vocationally-centered than it already is? Seems like a great model so long as the demand continues in the fields producing the most degrees. But when that demand ends, then what? Only those with transferable skills might survive.

Seems like that's pretty much what's happening anyway.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Monday, August 22, 2011 5:41 PM
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Monday, August 22, 2011 5:42 PM

Wow.

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Monday, August 22, 2011 5:47 PM

Ooooh. Did I just get the 'wow'?

For all of it? Or just one part?

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Monday, August 22, 2011 5:47 PM
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Monday, August 22, 2011 6:44 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
Ooooh. Did I just get the 'wow'?

Yeah. Pretty ****ty without context. You should totally shun me for one month.

Lord Gonchar said:
So basically the 'unemployment crisis' boils down to, "it's not work that I want to do?"

Not exactly. This is the danger of drawing so many generalizations. But I think it's kind of ridiculous to suggest that the loss of a 6-figure salary position should be easily replaced with a minimum wage or slightly higher manual labor position. If the loss of that 6-figure salary is indicative of many external factors that shouldn't be happening, I think people have a right to pause, reflect, and even complain before deciding in which direction to go next. That's all I'm saying.

Lord Gonchar said:
And anyone who can do that...more power to them. But you can't be like that and then turn around and claim victim status.

(friendly disclaimer - I'm not implying Jeff did - quite the opposite, he never fell onto unemployment benefits)

That just sounded dangerously close to suggesting that folks who fall onto unemployment benefits are claiming victim status.

But again, I think it depends on the reason for the unemployment whether they have the right to claim "victim" status. If it's for reasons beyond their control and even more so if for reasons that could have been prevented and were beyond their control, I don't see anything wrong with doing some lamenting. Of course, it's wiser to lament while creating an action plan indeed.

I believe as passionately as the next person that we are responsible for creating our destinies. Life requires action. But I'm not comfortable with drawing any conclusions or even hinting really at the idea that those who are still finding themselves on hard times are doing so because of a lack of action. I think that's too black and white for this issue.

There seems to be a large gap today between "the haves" and "the have nots." And I fear that gap is widening.

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Monday, August 22, 2011 7:23 PM

Carrie J. said:
Yeah. Pretty ****ty without context. You should totally shun me for one month.

Nah. Just playing. I like to think if there's one person I'm ok coming at me with the gloves off and no hard feelings, it's you. :)

But I think it's kind of ridiculous to suggest that the loss of a 6-figure salary position should be easily replaced with a minimum wage or slightly higher manual labor position.

You're right.

But imagine how silly it looks to complain or lament to someone who has been working the manual labor position the whole time.

That just sounded dangerously close to suggesting that folks who fall onto unemployment benefits are claiming victim status.

Not what I intended. But...

Of course, it's wiser to lament while creating an action plan indeed.

I believe as passionately as the next person that we are responsible for creating our destinies. Life requires action.

Precisely. And sometimes those actions aren't the right ones and even though you did everything you were 'supposed' to do with your life, it still doesn't work out.

I think we - as a whole - get lulled into that false sense of security way too easily and begin to have unrealistic expectations.

(those two sentences sum up pretty much my entire oversimplified take on things)

But I'm not comfortable with drawing any conclusions or even hinting really at the idea that those who are still finding themselves on hard times are doing so because of a lack of action.

Agreed.

There seems to be a large gap today between "the haves" and "the have nots." And I fear that gap is widening.

Also agreed. I think I hit on that in a roundabout way on the Podcast with the idea that those who were fine before seem to generally still be ok and those that weren't are feeling it worse then ever.

But it also goes back to touch on the article I linked to. There's decent jobs out there for those on the wrong side of the gap. Behr is ready to hire 55 people at $12 an hour with addition benefits and incentives to better yourself...and they can't fill them. Something is f'd up somewhere in that scenario.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Monday, August 22, 2011 7:37 PM
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Monday, August 22, 2011 7:35 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
Nah. Just playing. I like to think if there's one person I'm ok coming at me with the gloves off and no hard feelings, it's you. :)

Well, duh, you're Chris Hansen...of course you can take it! But for the record, if you come at me that way, I will cry like a little girl. ;) :)

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Monday, August 22, 2011 7:43 PM

I think regardless of "feelings" (and you all know I can't play it that way) - it is CRITICAL for the government to provide incentive for people to get off of welfare/unemployment. When my hours got cut due to budget problems (way back, even before Buzz.1), I was working 8 hours a week. I filed..I had paid into unemployment my whole working life up to that point so I felt...entitled. ;).

But my point is that when I went in, I was told that "dollar for dollar", every cent that I earned would come out of my unemployment benefits (all of about $200/wk before deducting my earnings). That provides a disincentive to find SOME work...something to make one "productive" in at least some sense, earn some money and contribute to society, and perhaps get an "in" as far as finding a full-time gig. The economic disincentives to work are riddled throughout the system. If you want those who "would rather not work" to go get a job....then at least go ahead and LEAD the horse to water.

As far as all those who would honestly prefer to work...private enterprise is fantastic aad definitely all that...but right now, people need jobs. Badly. Public or private, any opening generates ridiculous numbers of resumes and applications. Which is driving down wages in general (or at the very least having a stagnating effect). All these unemployed and underemployed aren't only *consuming* tax dollars - they're not working and paying in to FUND the programs in the first place.

Last edited by rollergator, Monday, August 22, 2011 7:45 PM
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Monday, August 22, 2011 8:26 PM

rollergator said:
I think regardless of "feelings" (and you all know I can't play it that way) - it is CRITICAL for the government to provide incentive for people to get off of welfare/unemployment.

Welfare/Unemployment as help is awesome.

Welfare/Unemployment as a career is not.

The problem is that in order to provide the former, you enable others to take advantage of the latter.

This is where my frustration lies.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Monday, August 22, 2011 8:34 PM
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