CoasterBuzz Podcast #211 posted

Posted Monday, November 14, 2011 12:09 AM | Contributed by Jeff

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

  • New Orleans can't sell the former Six Flags site. Is it even viable? How is the city doing?
  • Cedar Fair going to spend $90 million in its amusement parks. Leviathan is the big one at Canada's Wonderland.
  • US travel goes a long way, some people don't feel like they need to leave the country.
  • Not a lot of 300-foot roller coasters open, so any new one is an event.
  • Universal Orlando continues to score big time, mostly because of the Harry Potter attractions. Jeff is playing Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7.
  • Dollywood's Wild Eagle is track complete. Jeff has high hopes for this B&M flavor, particularly with Dollywood's terrain and tree retention.
  • Remember what a big deal it was when the first floorless roller coaster opened in 1999?
  • Speed won't be a part of the new Sahara, which is a bummer.
  • Dippin' Dots files for bankruptcy.
  • Jeff is skipping IAAPA this year, but is regretting it, missing people. Hopes to go next year.
  • Coney Island has a record year, which has to be good for Zamperla. Will the numbers stay up after a year of newness?
  • Occupy is all about the free camping. Occupy Sillynonsense!.
  • Welfare dollars appear in Orlando from Missouri. Moral and political debate ensues.
  • Disney hitting much higher margins as room rates jump. Jeff researches some packages. The magic of Disney is mostly paying for as much as possible ahead of time.
  • When you work from home, every day is pants optional day.
  • CoasterBuzz Club is ten years old!
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Link: CoasterBuzz Podcast

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 3:03 PM
Jeff's avatar

Working for The Man is not an issue if you're getting what you want in exchange for the work you provide. What I don't like is that sometimes you feel like you need to rely on The Man to have that job, which is something I've worked hard to mitigate over the years.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 3:27 PM

I don't see working for the man as "making the rich guy richer" so much as I see it as "making me richer."

Ideally, both get richer. That's why trade can make everyone better off.

(I've posted this before, but the Stand-Up Economist explains this better than I can.
http://www.standupeconomist.com/videos-public/)


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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 4:35 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Re: The Man

It kind of goes hand in hand with what I said at some point in the welfare thread, but rather than blame the man, be the man.

It's kind of an extention of the self-sufficiency thing. Don't expect the man to give you an opportunity to make money and complain if he doesn't, make your own opportunities.

And yes, this is greatly oversimplifying it and it doesn't apply to everything and there's so many variable factor that play into it, but...

If you're qualified to do something and the man can pay you to do it and still make money himself for you doing it, then why aren't you just doing it yourself in the first place?

I believe people who think that way get to be the man at best and are free of worrying about the man at worst - it's a win/win.


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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 4:44 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Jeff said:
What I don't like is that sometimes you feel like you need to rely on The Man to have that job...

Even worse, is an employee that uses that feeling to their advantage. They put all kinds of pressure on their employees, almost to their breaking point, and when someone speaks up - "just be glad we all have jobs" is thrown around.

That kind of stuff, in a marriage/dating scenario, is considered emotional abuse.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 4:47 PM
Jerry's avatar

Josh - I'm relying on you to be my friend... don't forget that!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 5:49 PM

That phrase is uttered in my wife's place of employment every day

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 6:10 PM
Jeff's avatar

I wouldn't put up with it, but then, my experience positions me well enough to take or leave work on my terms. I suspect most industries and their worker pools don't offer that flexibility.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 9:20 PM

then why aren't you just doing it yourself in the first place?

Because you do not own the means of production?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Means_of_production


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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 10:16 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Jeff said:
I wouldn't put up with it, but then, my experience positions me well enough to take or leave work on my terms. I suspect most industries and their worker pools don't offer that flexibility.

Yeah, it really is easier said than done - especially in my industry, where a lot of people have been around since before this kind of thing became common, and moved up the ladder enough to avoid it so now they won't leave their cushy spots.

Hell, I've been passed up for numerous opportunities in the last 5 years, simply because I'm not on the director's Thursday softball team or whatever - but it's hard to get involved with that kind of stuff when you're the "worker bee".


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 10:19 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah. That's why I prequalified it with:

"And yes, this is greatly oversimplifying it and it doesn't apply to everything and there's so many variable factors that play into it, but..."

Besides, you know what I mean.

The only reason the man is the man is because he has those means.

There are tons of vocations, skills, abilites and such (jobs if you will) in which the means of production is attainable by the individual.


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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 10:43 PM

But here is the trick: To make a living that way you have to work a lot harder. It's not enough to do the production, you also have to do the promotion and the collection.

The fa is, there are some parts of running a business that each of us is good at, and there are parts we are not so good at. That's why we band together and form corporations, so we can leverage our individual strengths...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 10:54 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

RideMan said:
But here is the trick: To make a living that way you have to work a lot harder.

And that's pretty much the trade off against working for the man.


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Thursday, November 17, 2011 1:33 AM
LostKause's avatar

The replies to my simple comment interest me a lot.

"The man" thrives on putting employees in a rut that they can not climb out of. They pay just enough to live on, and not enough to allow their employees to do it themselves. If every employee had the money to become self-sufficient, the employer wouldn't have employees to make them money.

That's my experience anyways. YMMV.


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Thursday, November 17, 2011 10:30 AM
Jeff's avatar

Now your imagination is getting the best of you. The Man isn't interested in putting anyone in a rut, he's interested in keeping costs down enough that he can make a profit. It's not more complicated than that.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, November 17, 2011 12:02 PM
rollergator's avatar

^Have to disagree on the "can make *a* profit" idea. I certainly wouldn't begrudge the owner of the means of production from realizing a reasonable ROI - somewhere around 10%, maybe 12% annually, wouldn't be out of the question. I think that's where we were, back when there actually WERE small businesses...now, the deal is to maximize shareholder wealth at every turn - that does leave employees and consumers out in the cold far too often.

edit: Let's see if that works without screwing up everyone else with italics... ;)

Last edited by rollergator, Thursday, November 17, 2011 12:03 PM
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Thursday, November 17, 2011 12:55 PM
LostKause's avatar

My imagination has been getting the best of me for years now, Jeff. I'll disagree with you, respectfully.

This whole maximizing share-holder wealth, big corporation, any way we can, crap has gotten way out of hand. It is greed, even if you don't subscribe to the idea that corperations can't be greedy. People run those corporations, or have invested into those corporations, and those people can be greedy. Some will do anything, anything, anything to make more money, even if they are already making more than plenty to begin with.

Disagree with me if you want, and I will respect that. But it is a fact that the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer.

Here is a very interesting website that might help you understand where I am coming from.


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Thursday, November 17, 2011 1:51 PM
Jeff's avatar

You know, I might be a Prius-driving tree-hugger free love hippie, but this notion that there's something immoral about maximizing profit annoys me to no end. Take my former employer, with billions in the bank, employing 90k people, I suspect most above $100k with the best benefits in the world. It also gives away more than most companies ever make, every year. It has spawned by extension of its employees great schools, supported the arts and arguably had positive effect on an entire region. And oddly enough, shareholders aren't getting much out of it with a share price that won't move. I don't find anything immoral about any of that.

According to the link someone posted in the welfare thread, the poor are not getting poorer. Their income just isn't growing as fast as those at the top.

I see the trends apparently very differently from most people. What I see going on is a massive adjustment in how corporations and individuals spend money. Companies have grown conservative in how they spend money because they don't want to assume risk. Individuals, having lived through a couple of scary years, are doing the same. From 2008 to 2009, the US savings rate went from 0.1% to 5%... it increased 50 times. Late last year I recall seeing a news report putting it over 6%.

The long and short of it is that less money is in motion at both ends. I think the motivation is simple, too. There's a massive realization on the part of individuals and companies that financial freedom and flexibility doesn't come just from making a lot of money, it also comes from keeping expenses down and having cash on hand. It took me 35 years to figure that one out, so it's not surprising that culturally we're having a hard time looking at this as normal.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, November 17, 2011 1:59 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:
...but this notion that there's something immoral about maximizing profit annoys me to no end.

What gets me the most is that it's seen as totally evil and horrible for some (read: whomever is considered of means) to maximize profits and wealth, but supposedly when the common man does it, it's a noble pursuit.


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Thursday, November 17, 2011 2:12 PM
Jeff's avatar

Not only noble, but what everyone should be doing by birth. If there's any danger to our future, I think it's the one where people believe they're going to live entirely off of Social Security when they retire.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, November 17, 2011 2:56 PM

I think your fears are *slightly* mixed up, Jeff. In practice, Social Security is going to go bust right about the year I retire. That's been constant through the last four or five times they've re-jiggered Social Security: it fails in 2037. Guess who was born in 1970. But in theory, people *should* be able to live entirely off Social Security when they retire. Maybe not live well, but they should be able to live...why else were we all paying into that wretched pyramid scheme for almost 50 years? Ideally, Social Security should be run as a retirement savings program. The fact that they messed that up clear back at the beginning is a technical point. In theory, Social Security is *obligated* to give us non-government employees something to live on when we retire*.

The real danger to our future is the belief that it is the responsibility of our government to provide people with a good paying job and a steady income *before* they retire.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

* Government employees do not pay into Social Security, and therefore don't collect from it when they retire. They get pensions instead.

--DCAjr


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

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