Explaining Southern California's economy

Steve Jobs' bad career advice isn't as bad as it sounds

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Delivers Opening Keynote At Macworld

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In 2005, Steve Jobs told college grads to never settle. Was this good or bad advice?

Steve Jobs gave a now nearly legendary commencement speech at Stanford in 2005 that has become, for many, the Gettysburg Address of commencement speeches. It's generally regarded as inspiring and direct, if a bit lacking in deep insight. But that's before you read between the lines.

A lot of times, the conversation zeroes in on a core message. As Jobs put it:

You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.

Jobs' encouraging words have set off a debate in the blogosphere, summarized at Forbes by Timothy Lee:

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Reportings: Steve Jobs' turtleneck; banks attacked; no jobs for grads

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Delivers Opening Keynote At Macworld

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Steve Jobs and his signature turtleneck. You can't get one. Not in black, anyway.

Everybody wants a Steve Jobs turtleneck! Right now, you can get it in any color as long as it ISN'T black. (Business Insider)

 

Occupy Wall Street is taking action! If you're angry about debit-card fees, take your money out of the big banks: "Together we can ensure that these banking institutions will ALWAYS remember the 5th of November!! If the 99% removes our funds from the major banking institutions on or by this date, we will send a clear message and give the 1% a taste of the fear that we experience every day when we aren't able to pay for our rent, food, medication, utilities, student loans, etc." (CNBC) 

 

Megan McArdle on the chilling threat of no job after college: "No matter how inflated your expectations may have been, it is no joke to have your confidence that you can support yourself ripped away, and replaced with the horrifying realization that you don't really understand what the rules are." (The Atlantic)

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Public intellectuals adopt 'Occupy Wall Street' and 'Occupy LA'

In this three photo combo, Professor of

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

Paul Krugman supports Occupy Wall Street, but he has some ideas about its agenda.

The floodgates have officially opened. New York Times columnist and Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman has thrown his weight behind Occupy Wall Street (and I'm assuming Occupy LA and Occupy Everywhere Else), endorsing the inchoate anger of the 99%.

Krugman doesn't mince words. The enemy is in his sights, he takes aim, and fires: "What can we say about the protests? First things first: The protesters’ indictment of Wall Street as a destructive force, economically and politically, is completely right."

Krugman is just the latest intellectual personality to lend support to the protesters. Last week, Krugman's fellow Nobel laureate in economics, Joseph Stiglitz, visited Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan. Former Labor secretary Robert Reich also spoke up for the movement at a conference in Washington this week. 

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Bullet Points: I read Michael Lewis' big Vanity Fair article on California so you don't have to

Author Michael Lewis

Justin Hoch

"Moneyball" author Michael Lewis looks at California's finances and runs screaming.

Michael Lewis, author of "Moneyball" and "Liar's Poker," has a big article in the November Vanity Fair about how dire California's public finances are. His thesis is blunt: escalating pension costs are pushing California cities into bankruptcy — if they aren't already there.

It's a lengthy article, running many thousands of words. It covers a lot of territory. In it, we meet municipal-bond naysayer Meredith Whitney, bicycle hellion and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a beleaguered local California government official from the ruined town of Vallejo who's trying to invent a whole new way to fight fires. Boilerplate Michael Lewis, right?

It's a good read, but if you want just the summary — the extremely worrisome summary about where California's cities could be headed — then here you go:

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The Tiger Woods theory of the economy

Frys.com Open - Round One

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Tiger Woods' halting comeback mirrors the struggles of the U.S. economy.

There's a remarkable spectacle happening in Northern California right now: Tiger Woods is playing a regular PGA Tour event in the month of October.

But wait, you say, he's a golfer — isn't he supposed to play golf? Well, sure. But he failed to qualify for the season-ending FedEx Cup playoffs, and because he's been variously injured and working on changes to his golf swing, he hasn't played much in 2011. But he is on the Presidents Cup team, so he needs to get himself into competitive shape for the event in November.

Woods' is a member of a professional golf elite that has won so often that it doesn't need to grind out a schedule like the rank-and-file. That's why he's been absent from Tour events at this time of year for a decade.

He's not playing particularly well, but he's drawing plenty of scrutiny. His performance reminds me of the economy. Both have been mired in a ditch on the comeback trail for what seems like an eternity. 

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