From budding trends to mature industries, Novem Group works hard to stay abreast of developing news.

Here’s what caught our eyes this week:

New Rule: Progressophobia | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

This is now the second time this year that I’ve cited Bill Maher in a positive manner. Wow.

By definition, the extremes of both political parties are off the reservation. The past few years, these extremes on the left and right have gotten louder and seemingly more powerful.

– Are they now collapsing into their own radicalism? Do moderate voters stand a chance?! We’ve discussed this issue in previous quarterly outlooks. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

“this is one of the big problems with wokeness. That what you say doesn’t have to make sense or jive with the facts or ever be challenged lest the challenge itself be conflated with racism.”

“This Progressive allergy to acknowledging societal advances is self-defeating…. Having a warped view of reality leads to policies that are warped.”

Analysis: Push to end pandemic benefits may not be panacea for U.S. labor shortage

Inflation doves are claiming that the current inflation is just transitory. We only reopen the economy once. After that, inflation will fall back.

Inflation doves are having a day as lumber and commodity prices fall back to earth and the Fed had some hawkish messaging.

Another datapoint inflation doves point to is that the labor market is artificially tight. As support programs expire and people have to reenter the labor force, labor shortages will resolve themselves.

In states where unemployment benefits expired early, this isn’t necessarily happening. It isn’t clear why.

– “Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed Hiring Lab, said state-by-state data showed a “modest, brief” increase in job searches as states announced that benefits would end early, but it has tended to fade. “If overly generous federal (unemployment insurance) benefits were holding back job seekers, then we would expect search activity to increase, relative to the national trend, in states where those benefits are ending sooner,” he wrote. Instead, job searches in states ending benefits this week and next are below the national average, and “it is unclear why.””

If this is a sign of what’s to come, labor could be a serious friction point for companies over the next few years.

From another angle, politicians love to talk about immigration reform. Maybe a tight labor market helps move that along?

The Box: An Oral History of Television, 1920-1961 by Jeff Kisseloff

“For the most part, however, the old radio system ruled TV through the mid-fifties, which also meant a continuation of program practices so successful in radio: programming was aimed toward the lowest common denominator; sponsors combed through scripts to delete what they considered to be offending words or characterizations; controversy, either in deal¬ing with serious social issues or simply in using black actors, was frowned upon. The latter policy was conducted particularly with an eye toward appeasing Southern stations.”

“Sponsors paid particular attention to anything they thought would boost the competition.”

“This often went to ridiculous extremes. Westinghouse at first refused to allow ‘Studio One’ to broadcast an adaptation of Kipling’s ‘The Light That Failed,’ believing that the show would reflect badly on their bulbs. As Worthington Miner pointed out in his memoirs, West¬inghouse became so wound up over the light-bulb issue that it completely overlooked its sponsorship of a homosexual love story!”

“Chevrolet wouldn’t allow a pioneer on one of its shows to ‘ford’ a river, and Ford wouldn’t allow a shot of the New York skyline on a program it sponsored because the Chrys¬ler building was shown. Chrysler wouldn’t allow Abraham Lincoln’s name to be mentioned on a CBS show about the Civil War, while Mars Candy Company objected to a script in which a little girl was given a dollar to buy ice cream and cookies.”

“On the ‘Camel News Caravan,’ in an interview with ‘Lucky’ Luciano, only the mob¬ster’s first name, Charles, could be used, so viewers would not confuse it with an ad for Lucky Strikes. The word ‘lucky’ seemed to pose a particular problem for American Tobacco’s competitors. Scriptwriters regularly combed through thesaurus to dredge up synonyms like ‘fortunate’ or ‘providential’ whenever the forbidden ‘L word’ popped up. How bad could it get? This bad: even the word ‘American’ was proscribed on one show.”

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