Current Economic and Marketing Trends That Will Shape the Next Generation

The primary purpose of our publication is to provide useful and effective information while at the same time providing an understanding of current trends in the marketplace, and then subsequently joining together these concepts into a meaningful conclusion to provide companies with an effective result. An effective outcome, from my perspective, is to purely think about the trends shaping our economy, and having the insight to project these trends into your sales and marketing strategy.

We continually look for new and innovative ways for companies to look beyond the daily scope of their business. First and foremost, consider the purpose. The operative word is “trend”, so let’s begin by providing a definition:

Noun: a general direction in which something is developing or changing.

Verb: change or developing in a general direction.

The most effective way to construct your plan is to immerse yourself into a profound appreciation of the economic landscape in America, and the trends shaping this landscape. In past publications, despite my overwhelming desire, I have steered clear of the political composition, unfortunately, as business executives, we need to consider the path we are headed and how we can intellectually capitalize on this potentially negative trend and transform it into a positive development.

Consider the media environment and broad message America has been digesting each and every day. Russell Brand, the world’s greatest intellect is a prime example. In a recent interview; he proclaimed that a ‘socialist revolution and massive redistribution of wealth is necessary in America, he believes in heavy taxation of corporations and an increase in punitive responsibilities for energy companies exploiting the environment. ‘ This is the rhetoric our young people are hearing and the message being embraced by the Obama administration and the liberal media. How ridiculous. Who is Russell Brand, and since when does a British comedian become an expert on the capitalistic revolution?

We need to begin by exploring the failure of our current president and political system. No world leader in history has made so many errors and provided so few options. The last five and a half years will shape our economy and business trends for decades well into the future. One failure after another is well documented: the economy, Benghazi, Solyndra, the stimulus package, health care reform, foreign policy, the national energy policy, partisan politics, social reform, the campaign to divide America through class warfare. Not to mention the fact that his administration has been and will be documented as the worst selection of cabinet members in history.

Abstract:

  • The federal debt as a percentage to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has exceeded 100% in every year since 2007. See the graph below.
  • The number of people receiving benefits under the federal government has grown from 94 million people in 2000 to more than 128 million in 2011. This means that over 41% of the U. S. population receives at least one benefit.
  • A large portion of the American public have two kinds of income: (1) money they earn and (2) money transferred to them through a taxpayer service vehicle.

The Obama Policies are here to stay, for a long time to come, a very long time. The employment and industry growth trends are hard to pinpoint, however, if we take a detailed look at the industries shaping the American landscape, here is what our team of experts have ascertained.

First of all, we must look at the current economic and social trends shaping our lives. These trends will have a profound impact on our daily routine and will influence the prospect of the future:

  1. The movement towards bigger government, higher taxes, and more entitlements. Obama and his administrative policies have opened the eyes to countless demographics that consider capitalism to be out of favor and socialism is acceptable. We must acknowledge that a vast percentage of people in the country are going to expect the government to create a long term vehicle to transfer wealth. Productive end entrepreneurial people are going to have to work harder with the expectations of higher taxes and fewer benefits. Because of this social and economic shift, expect corporations to redefine their purpose, to build legitimacy within their core customer base within the eyes of the demanding consumer. Companies must think way outside the box; they must find and establish new and creative ways to increase their organic growth and profit platform. The country will be firmly and problematically divided on the subject of increased taxes and bigger government and this will continue to create social class division in the U. S.
  2. Domestic oil production. Contrary to liberal viewpoints, in order to gain true fiscal financial freedom, we must first liberate our country from the dependence on foreign crude oil. Saudi Arabia is running out of natural resources on an exponential basis. The U. S. has the largest crude oil reserves in the world. Special interest groups have limited the production of these resources due to environmental concerns. Technology and neo-production methods have made the recovery of these resources implausible from a environmental standpoint. The government needs to relax the regulations and create more jobs in American and eliminate the funding of foreign natural resources. It is no secret that domestic energy production underpins virtually element of the domestic economy. Sixty years ago, it was not uncommon for domestic oil wells to produce 10,000 barrels of oil a day, today, many of these wells in the same fields (primarily West Texas, Alaska, and The Gulf) are producing 1,000 barrels per day and more. A single well producing this volume of oil creates $30 million in annual revenue, 1000’s of jobs along with untold federal and local tax revenue. Energy production is the foundation of the U. S. economy and contributes significantly to GDP productivity. Me MUST maintain a reasonable oil and gas exploration in the U. S. and rid ourselves of the dependence on foreign crude oil.
  3. Reasonably priced alternative energy sources. A movement to cheaper and more practical solar power, wind, alternative energy sources. Not a government funded programs designed to fund special interest and political action committees, but entrepreneurial endeavors that encourage the development of alternative technologies with real life solutions. Along these same lines is the reduction of CO2 emissions to a historic low. The government has wasted way too much taxpayer dollars chasing alternative energy ghosts because that is exactly what we have done in the past, look at Solyndra. You will see a very strong movement towards innovation driven by scientists, business visionaries, and investors. I personally know of a company who has invented the technology to convert animal waste into useable hydrocarbons. This is an incredible process because it alleviates three serious concerns: animal waste disposal, a useable highly refined product, along with job creation, all three of which make a more productive environment and a more productive economy.
  4. Traditional domestic industrial production. A movement to traditional and historic gross-producing industries. America was founded on the principle of growth and innovation. The primary industries that augment that principle is construction, domestic tangible innovation, domestic intangible innovation, information, and domestic production. The construction industry is expected to rise by 33% through 2020 due to an underdeveloped infrastructure. Domestic manufacturing, higher education, advancements in health care and medicine, the movement to alternative fuel sources, professional and scientific services, mathematics and engineering, oil and gas production.
  5. A local job creation economy. The boom to the open borders in America is coming to an end. Not because the melting pot has dried up, but because we need to create jobs within the existing outline within demographic profiles of American citizens. We need to “care for” and “provide for” the people within the borders, without inviting more competition for the infinitesimal employment prospects in America. Simply stated, we are going to see lackluster job growth because of higher taxes and unemployment numbers will not improve dramatically until we begin to cut taxes. At the end of the day, we will see a movement to supplement the job creation and job growth by people who have well established credentials as U. S. citizens.
  6. The changing cultural drive. The millenials have become the weak link in our economy. These are the trophy kids who have no work ethic and no competitive drive, they are not ready to commit, and they believe that big business is evil with a negative impact on society. From the standpoint of achievement, they want less than they were given. Fortunately, they believe education is more important than ever and will eventually snap out of this disturbing behavior because they have a keen sense of accomplishment and are late bloomers. I think you can even introduce the idea that the reason the millenials have acquired these traits in the first place is because they have been brought up as trophy kids, and I think they will lose this trait over time.
  7. Shift in the job market. Employers will find unsuitable talent pools to fill the expanding job roles. American, as well as the rest of the world has an aging population. In order for prosperity to persevere, the country must provide its youth with adequate educational opportunities. Although educational access is growing nationally, not enough students graduate with the skills desired by global employers and the market needs to persuade this expertise. Furthermore, woman, an increasingly well educated force in the market, with an incredible competitive drive, will become a factor in job fulfillment.
  8. The end of cheap China. As the economic engine evolves in China, it will become a lesser world faction. Why? Because they have tasted a new found wealth along with an emerging manufacturing popularity. The only substance of stability pertaining to the health of China’s economic engine is their cheap labor force, which is rapidly dwindling. The price of human capital (labor) has increased by as much as 20% annually for the last 4-5 years driven by a strong demand for goods and services and inexpensive production. China has literally priced themselves out of the world market by increasing their labor prices, and at the end of the day, NO ONE in the world, especially America, is going to buy Chinese goods and services at market rates. In short time, these jobs will be transferred to domestic counterparts who can produce the same product at the same price with much higher quality. The U. S. economy is still double the size of China (number 2), and triple the size of Japan (number 3). Sorry folks, but China is slowing, and it will continue to move in that direction.
  9. The movement to become a society of contra-form. This county must become the world leader once again. In terms of innovation, invention, scientific achievement, engineering, productivity, and the entrepreneurial productivity. This concept begins first and foremost with education, training and knowledge; we must once again embrace the belief that education drives innovation and invention is what made this country what it is today, and will make it what it desires in the future. No other country has the prosperity equal to the U. S. , not even close, you are going to see an enormous change in innovation like none other.

SO NOW WHAT?

Like any shift, we must examine these trends shaping our environment and transform them into real life and productive results. Never before has demographic change happened so abruptly and has divided the country so decisively. Companies operating in hope-a-land will be looking at others in their rear view mirror. Companies embracing these changes will adapt quite nicely.

Trends, by definition, are a general direction in which something is developing or changing. In almost all cases, current trends are short-lived, given time, they will be history. Understanding how these shape our lives is the difference between good leaders and great leaders. The political landscape in our country has been created by the citizens of a democracy, they have been elected. You can adapt, flee or die. It will take a long time to reverse these incredibly bad decisions of our president and for that matter, Washington in whole. Think about what you have just read and how you can incorporate this into your business to make it better.

We simply like to open your eyes towards looking into the next 6-10 years. Some of the material we present is a way for some insight and a desired solution by incorporating these trends into our business strategy is the smart move. Most of the information presented in our writings comes from conversations from everyday business people and a vast amount of resources.

Teaching The Truth – Giving Choice – Evolutionist Lack Motivation to Accept New & Exciting Knowledge

The Theory of Evolution has really became a religion for which has been established and worshiped within the halls of our greatest universities. Millions have been misled to believe in a theory for which would according to the latest evidence; take much more faith then to believe in a talented dynamic and all powerful Creator.

Although all living creatures evolve to survive; this religion of creation and nature or belief in a natural process of origin for which has never been proven, but has been mandated as truth and legally sanctioned as the only teaching within the public school system is outrageous. Evolution is a misunderstood or misdirected process, and the belief in such can clearly be understood as a religion in that it is institutionalized, interlocked, accepted, worshiped and utilized in every facet of our science and educational system; it is clearly permeably and influential throughout politics, education, sociology, psychology, etc., leaving very little progress, understanding, or pursuits for truth

Is it not interesting that many progressives today are always squawking “we need more progress, more technologies, more free and open ways of understanding processes, behaviors and values”; however, these identical persons are readily able and pursuing a conservative position in regards to believing in a theory for which is as out dated as the pre industrialized age. I have something to say to these persons that are stuck in the 18ths century…get with it, times have changed “as you say”; technology is now proving there is a God, a Designer, a great I AM, and that we are not an accident… so please get your head out of this Darwinian sand! In fact it remains clear that many Darwinian followers simply are ignoring the last 50 yrs. of conclusive research related to intelligent design and purposeful creation and there is a reason!

The identifiable reason in which many scientist and young minds do not want to acknowledge a Creator or Designer is simply this; to do so would require accountability of some type. It would require restrainment and an adjustment of their processes, world view and their own values for which they hold sacred and the values of the scientific profession. Values are a powerful thing; they assist with nearly every facet of our lives; directing and controlling our beliefs, thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

The larger question remains for many of those continuing to believe in such an outdated, unproven and socially as well as personally convenient theory… “Why change, when everyone simply finds it convenient and comfortable to believe in such a fact less story?”

This perception and understanding is destruction to man as a purposeful and designed creature. What does this message express to the young minds of our up and coming generations? “You are an accident; expect nothing.” What greater message of depression, destruction and self disregard could a society derive then to call their future leaders accidents?”

I claim we must resist this nonsense; we must acknowledge our purpose, our design, in order to be complete in who we are and for why we are here! Our genetics, talents and abilities are screaming to nature and the world; we are able, we are not accidents but living, breathing, amazing works of art waiting to think, feel and express!

The teaching of only evolution to our young persons also conveys the message; there is no choice, you have no choice… this is the only way! Not allowing the teaching of Intelligent Design within the schools is not American, it is not Democratic; it is Atheistic and Communistic. Americans deserve choice; “so the progressives live by… right?” Choice. Where is my son’s choice to hear both sides in the educational system? Why will my son not hear of the latest technological findings of design? Why are our schools not teaching the latest research data regarding design, purpose and our science advancements? “Hey scientist,” why are you holding out on us?”

To my readers: Write your congressman and ask them!

My friends, the Theory of Evolution is actually limiting science, advancement, and the true understanding of who we are and our origins! If we want to find and understand the truth regarding today’s science we must be willing to examine the current evidence. There are boat loads of evidence currently that a super intelligence operates among the universe. Just think. Currently oppositionist claim, that they do not want Intelligent Design taught within the public school system because this is the so called “religious rights” advancement into schools. Hog Wash! This is a political struggle and political battle rather than a pursuit for real truth and real choice for which all of our kids deserve.

Let our children decide. If Intelligent Design is really the illogical hog wash oppositionist claim that it is… kids and others would reject such ideas anyway…right?

Let me conclude in saying that I support Florida Teachers and others who are fighting for the right to give choice – let the latest knowledge and research based data be discussed – let the facts fall where they may. Tell your leaders that you are tired of these cowards that seek to explain a clearly theoretical, purposeless, and un proven idea such as Darwinism and Evolutionistic ideas of creation. Tell your leaders, hold marches in the streets of Florida and else where and show them you are serious! What are you waiting for? I know myself as well as others are tired of the educational system seeking to restrict assess to all of the facts…. not just some of the facts. What’s even more amazing is that the public school system wonders why so many are home schooling! Get with it – if the educational system would teach all the facts, give many choices such as choosing Intelligent Design as a possible origin in creation.. parent’s would not have to take such actions.

Furthermore, let me just tell you – the reason some people are afraid to hear the truth about what’s out there regarding new information is because they are afraid of what the truth may say. Just imagine them having to accept or begin to believe that a Creator may exist or that the evidence points heavily in that direction. Just imaging what there kids would begin telling them, believing in… WOW. Now you know why they are so persistent about not knowing more about the universe, more about new research, more, more, more, regarding any information that may redirect their world view – “A Creator Based World View.” Imagine how much this would change their lives and the world. “That my friend’s is their greatest fear.” “This is for which we fight.” Finding Truth!
Take action today!

Future Visions of the Auto Industry and Automotive Advertising Based on What Was and What Is

Auto industry social networks all have different rules and protocols to create their unique identities in the auto industry and the inter-dependent automotive advertising industry. While there are differences in format, content and contributors they share the common goal to educate their community members by sharing best practices and insights with the concept that a rising tide floats all boats. To provide clarity and share my vision of the future of the retail auto industry and automotive advertising it must be framed it in the context of our changing geo-political and economic environment. Once the foundation of today is built on the broad picture of our world economy and politic, then the role of the Internet and related technologies can be applied to the one constant that we can all depend on — human nature — to help define tomorrow as I see it.

Any competitive business model must be built to accommodate tomorrow as well as today. Today is obvious. Sales volume, profit margins and inventory are down across all brands. Consumer confidence is falling as unemployment is rising even in the face of the expected temporary increase when the million plus census workers and various government employees — such as the sixteen thousand IRS agents to police our new health care system — are artificially added to the equation. Wholesale and retail credit lines are restricted by both natural business cycles and government intervention. Our economy is directly linked to the world economy along both monetary and political lines and the United States as well as our European trading partners are faced with excessive debt and unstable monetary systems. Our monetization of our debt — basically the fact that we loaned ourselves the money we needed to fund our growing debt by printing more money, since no one else would lend it to us — has insured the inevitable inflation of our dollar or some similar correction to our monetary system. This anticipated correction is already supported when observing the situation maturing in Greece, Portugal, Spain and other European Countries tied to the Euro and the International Monetary Fund, (IMF). No one has a crystal ball, so the only way to plan for tomorrow is to recap today’s critical issues that didn’t exist yesterday. It is these changes in — what was — vs. — what is — that will likely define — what will be and the actions that auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies must take to remain profitable and competitive in unchartered waters.

The current administration was voted in on a platform of hope and change with the expectation that the promised transformation of America would take place within the confines of our constitution and in consideration of our established belief in a free marketplace. The redistribution of wealth was understood by most to reflect the giving nature of the American people as a moral and sharing society. Unfortunately, the transformation began in ways that could not have been imagined by the majority that voted for it with an agenda that is only now coming to light. The inherited financial burdens on our banking system that justified the need for change were matured across Republican and Democratic party lines — as evidenced by the contributions of Fannie May and Freddie Mac to our mortgage crisis and the preferred treatment enjoyed by the unions, Goldman Sachs, AIG and other entities on Wall Street supported by the progressive political movement that is represented within both parties.

By way of disclaimer, I recognize that approximately 30% of our population believes in the collective — We the people — and the associated movement for the — workers of the world to unite — vs. the framers of the constitution that defined it as the individual — We The People — and the rights of the individual as a contributing member of the whole. That said, as the President has clearly stated, elections have consequences and I will attempt to limit my comments and future visions to only those actions that have or will have a direct impact on the auto industry and the automotive advertising agencies that are engaged to serve it.

The empowerment of the unions in the formation of Government Motors is already impacting the marketplace even while it is being challenged in the courts. The mandated consolidation of the retail distribution channels for General Motors and Chrysler preserved the interest of the unions over the guaranteed bond holders and independent dealers contrary to established rules of law. This precedence diluted expectations of both investors and corporations to rely on binding contracts and individual rights in favor of the collective we that our evolving society is expected to serve. Recent adjustments to the language in a variety of Federal powers have impacted previously accepted State and individual rights which must also be considered when projecting the future of the auto industry and automotive advertising — if not our country as a whole.

For example, the change in the definition of eminent domain from taking personal property — for public use — to the new definition — for public good — has already resulted in private and commercial property being taken at distressed market values and given to other individuals that promised a higher tax base to the governing authority based on their position that the additional tax revenue was for the public good. Similarly, the ownership of water rights in the United States has been changed from the previous Federal ownership of all — navigable waterways — to include — all waterways — such as ponds, surface streams and basically any water that the government determines can be used for the public good. The potential impact on the farming industry and our food supplies evidence a shift in government control of society that must be considered when projecting the future of any industry — including our beloved auto industry.

Given the government takeover of the banking industry, General Motors, Chrysler, Health Care and Student Loans that are now part of our history, the point becomes self evident. These single word changes and government takeover of entire industries for the public good dilute individual and corporate rights in favor of the rights of the collective. This is a basic step in the process of redistributing the wealth in accordance with Socialistic and Marxist principles. I am not judging the validity of any of these differing political philosophies since it would risk my ability to remain unbiased in my evaluation of present and pending opportunities in the auto industry. My intent is not to defend our previous constitutional republic over the shift to a Socialistic or Marxist democratic society, but rather to apply them when preparing a business model moving forward for my auto dealer / vendor clients and affiliated automotive advertising agencies.

For example, the recess appointment of Craig Becker as member of the five seat body of the National Labor Relations Board, (NLRB), suggests the intent of the administration to resume its push for the Card Check Regulation that is designed to facilitate unionizing all businesses in the United States. Recess appointments are an accepted practice used by previous administrations to bypass the Congress and the Senate to fill cabinet positions with individuals that are often blocked by partisan agendas. However, Mr. Becker was challenged in a bi-partisan manner based on his role as a senior attorney for the Unions including the CIO and the Service Employees International Union, (S.E.I.U), just before his appointment. The NLRB decides cases involving workers’ rights which directly impacts larger issues between Democrats and their labor allies vs. stated Republican party interests and those of the corporate world When coupled with the intent of Card Check regulation to eliminate the right of workers to a private vote to determine if a business can be unionized, the likelihood that retail auto dealerships will be forced to become union shops becomes a real possibility. The regulation also allows the government to intervene in the event that an employer challenges a union take over with a Federal administrator enforcing the union proposals as to wage and other terms and conditions of employment pending a final determination. Based on reduced sales volume, profit margins and increased costs of doing business the inevitability of these privately held dealerships collapsing under the financial weight of union demands is painfully obvious to any auto dealer that understands his cost of sales line items and their impact on his shrinking bottom line.

Similarly, the administration’s success in manipulating the processes in the Congress to pass its version of Health Care reform will increase expenses to auto dealers regarding insurance costs for their employees either in the form of forced coverage or penalties which must now be factored into projected operational expenses. These expenses may pale in comparison to other increases in the cost of doing business if the administrations’ next stated goal to enforce Cap and Trade regulations are passed. This legislation promises to raise the cost of electricity and other costs of goods in America on many energy related fronts.

For those not familiar with Cap and Trade regulations, think of it as a tax on carbon emissions that would be collected by yet another government controlled body to pay restitution to third world countries who have been breathing our pollution and suffering from its impact on global warming. Of course the same scientists that collected the evidence that global warming exists which supported this legislation have since reversed their position while confessing that they manipulated the data. However, that revelation has not slowed the administrations’ desire to move forward. In fact, they have empowered the Environment Protection Agency, (E.P.A.), to intercede and impose carbon taxes by claiming that carbon is a poisonous gas which they are authorized to restrict. Either way, the taxes will be imposed on American industry while other industrialized countries have already reversed their positions on imposing these same fees. This inequity in manufacturing costs will further reduce the ability for American manufacturers to compete in the world economy and will likely force the exit of many carbon producing industries to countries that do not impose these additional costs while taking their jobs with them.

Itemizing — what is — vs. — what was — has little value other than to cause panic when people realize that there is little that they can do to reverse the changes that they voted in. However, if properly framed in a problem solution format it can provide an opportunity for those that accept — what is, forget — what was, and work towards — what can be. Now comes the good news!

The solution to surviving the promised redistribution of wealth from the perspective of auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies lies in their use of technology to reduce and even eliminate certain fixed and semi-variable expenses. Brick and mortar facilities are often financed with mortgage terms and/or rent factors that were based on now dated real estate values and anticipated sales volume and profit margins to carry the debt service. The commercial real estate bubble of over one trillion dollars coming due over the next eighteen months with no current resource of funds to replace maturing commercial mortgages promise to exasperate already reduced equity positions for auto dealers. The related unsustainable debt service demands a change in the ways that vehicles are sold in the United States; can you say Internet!

Similarly, current staffing needs are often related to processes that are labor intensive. The associated human resource expense and exposure is based on a business model that is antiquated in the face of potential union intervention and government controls; can you say Technology!

Tax consequences resulting from LIFO credits that impacted auto dealerships who could not maintain inventory levels projected in their annual computations due to issues beyond their control are eliminating annual profits. As a direct result of all of these cumulative issues, even captive lenders are balking on maintaining floor plan credit lines or real estate mortgages. Minimum working capital requirements for auto dealers faced with reduced sales, profits and equity to present as collateral for much needed financing has severely limited dealer options to acquire funds to maintain operations.

As already hinted, the solution lies in shifting the focus form brick and mortar facilities to new online virtual showrooms and other Internet based applications that provide more efficient selling processes. Of course real world facilities for sales and service are still part of the projected solution as are the people that will be required to staff them. All processes start and end with people and human nature has and will survive on the Internet. However, the allocation of these resources and the associated expenses must be reduced in the face of the changes already in place as well as those being contemplated to accommodate our new role in a world economy.

Today’s car sales person must be educated to use new technologies and Internet based selling systems much like previous generations needed to be trained with the skills of a mechanized society versus an agricultural one. Computers are already an integral part of our culture so the transition shouldn’t be as hard as some may perceive. Similarly, large central distribution channels that used to provide efficiencies for manufacturing and retail outlets have been replaced by more cost effective online linked resources across the World Wide Web that reduce fixed and semi-variable expenses in a shared manner that didn’t exist before the Internet Super Highway.

Consumers have already been empowered by the Internet to bypass the auto dealer in both the real and the virtual world as the source for the information that they need to purchase a vehicle. Seeking the path of least resistance to satisfy a need is an established element in human nature. An auto dealers ability to accommodate their customers preference to be in charge of their vehicle purchase will be the key to their survival now and in the future. Online customer interaction platforms already allow a dealer to accommodate a two way video communication with real time interaction with the online shopper/buyer sourced from data on the auto dealer’s DMS and linked to their CRM. The transparency of this negotiation process allows the dealer to crash through the glass wall of the Internet with the ability to push and pull the same material that they can at their dealership. The result is the opportunity to accommodate an online transaction with the inevitable ability to reduce staff and facility needs in the real world along with the associated expenses and increased profits.

Social networking is another technology based solution that capitalizes on human nature which promises to change the face of the auto industry and the resources available to automotive advertising agencies to help their auto dealers sell more for less in the future. Consumer centric inventory based marketing platforms fueled by social networking communities that provide word of mouth advertising to virally extend the auto dealer’s branding and marketing messages represent the next generation of applied social media. C2C marketing messaging to social networking communities from the inside out vs. the now dated attempts to market to online communities with B2C messages from the outside in builds on established protocols in social media. Next generation platforms promise to monetize social media for automotive advertising agencies with integrated Ask-A-Friend / Tell-A-Friend features that allow online shoppers to solicit opinions from friends and family. Customer driven posts on their Face Book page drags the dealership and their vehicle into the conversation with the obvious advantage of the increased exposure and the associated viral coefficient to extend their message and online footprint for potential customers linked to the initial online shopper. Google agrees as evidenced by their weighted consideration of real time social media which quantifies the R.O.I. for the dealer with improved S.E.O. for the sourcing dealer’s expanding virtual showroom.

Other technology based solutions that improve online marketing processes converts the pictures on an auto dealer’s web site to professional quality videos with human voice placed on the auto dealer’s site, all third party marketing sites and even the search engines through a dedicated API with You Tube — further evidence the ability of auto dealers to expand beyond the limitations of their brick and mortar facilities and in-house support staff. Extended social networking platforms which allow an auto dealer to empower their sales staff to develop their own websites to market to their spheres of influence with management controls to moderate content and monitor use to prevent employee abuse exist today with the promise to be more widely used tomorrow to build the vision of what will be in the face of a challenging economy.

To extend my vision for the auto industry beyond the technologies that exist today requires a similar understanding that expenses and staff need to be consolidated beyond current expectations. Limited resources for consumers to purchase, finance and/or lease their vehicles won’t eliminate their need for transportation. Future financial instruments that are a hybrid of a lease and a rental agreement could allow consumers access to a pool of vehicles in a convenient central location where their Drivers License could act as a key and a charge card to apply charges against pre-paid transportation credits deducted by their employers and controlled by the government to track personal activities and location along with socially accepted consumption of our limited resources. I recognize that the big brother flavor of that vision may seem foreign in the context of what was and is, but we are talking about what will be based on the new collective society that our country has moved towards.

As for the role of the OEM and the auto dealer in the future, it would be reasonable to accept that the government’s existing control of the auto and banking industry will extend into the energy industry which will set the stage for the government determining which vehicles could be manufactured and/or imported and placed into the transportation pools with the locations determined by public transportation hubs that link to local distribution centers. The government currently owns 51 % of all real estate in the country through their mortgage interests in Fannie May and Freddie Mack and the pending commercial real estate bubble promises to shift a great deal more to public control. In addition. the government has recently changed the funding available to both organizations to be considered unlimited with the full faith and backing of the United States Treasury. That action coupled with the previously stated changes in eminent domain and the fact that millions of acres of resource rich land was recently acquired by the government to build additional — national monuments — suggests that land will be made available as needed to accomplish this community transportation system for the public good. Of course government employees will be needed to manage and staff these transportation hubs which would likely represent the auto dealer of the future.

Simply put, my future visions of the auto industry and automotive advertising is built on the past and the present with a recognition of what will be if we continue on the path that we have already chosen. I assume the constant of human nature and the role of technology in our evolution to date with the expectation that neither will change. Of course, there are consequences to elections so I suppose that I should update my projections after November, 2010 and the presidential election in 2012. In any case, the movement from the real to the virtual world has already started and will surely continue so that part of the vision should remain clear.

Reasons for the Current Teacher Shortage

America has a teacher shortage problem, and there’s plenty of blame to go around, especially since the Obama administration took over and the federal government doubled-down on its education policies. Just think how things stand right now with such glaring issues as tight budgets, relentless standardized testing, performance-based teacher evaluations, hastily designed and implemented Common Core Standards, exploding poverty numbers, turn-around school mandates, charter school growth, and tenure in the short hairs, right there along with teachers’ pay.

Even current Secretary of Education John B. King waxed somewhat apologetically by suggesting that, “Despite the best of intentions, teachers and principals have felt attacked and unfairly blamed for challenges our nation faces as we strive to improve outcomes for all students.”

Indeed…

Stockton University’s dean of education put it more bluntly by contending that it’s the result of “terribly horrible, negative rhetoric we’re hearing from public officials.”

Similarly, Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, recently declared that, along with everything else that’s going against them, “Teachers have also been subjected to demonization.”

The result: A MetLife survey finds that teacher satisfaction is at its lowest level in 25 years, which comes as no surprise to Dulce-Marie Flecha who is quitting after five years in the classroom.

When asked why, she said, “I’m trying to think of a good summarizing reason, but, honestly, there are more reasons to leave than there are to stay in education right now. At a certain point, you kind of have to pay for your own sanity, you know?” She then added, “There’s this sort of unsaid expectation that teachers should be happy to give up so much time and money out of love for children… I don’t think anybody told me I was going to cry under my desk.”

And so it goes…

Another effect is that fewer college students are opting for careers in education. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, their numbers slipped from 106,300 in 2004 to just 98,900 in 2014.

In Pennsylvania alone, Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Kathy Boccella reports that in 2009 the commonwealth’s fourteen universities boasted 18,287 undergraduates majoring in education; by 2015, however, that figure stood at a mere 11,583. Moreover, while they awarded 18,590 teaching certificates in 2013; in 2015, only 7,180 were handed out-a 61% decrease!

As Temple University’s Gregory Anderson, dean of the College of Education, points out, “If I’m an undergraduate student, teaching as a profession is not necessarily one shining with possibilities.”

Piling on, there’s also the sticky issue of salaries, albeit a secondary one in light of concerning working conditions, lack of administrative support, too little policy input, and loosening discipline policies.

As the Economic Policy Institute has udiscovered, the gap between U.S. teachers’ pay and other professionals is “greater than ever.” In fact, for all public school teachers–irrespective of age, gender, or experience–the relative wage gap hit a record 17% last year, with teachers in just five states coming within 10% of what other college grads earn.

That’s because, according to a 2014 Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis, median pay for high school teachers came in at just $53,515, while their elementary colleagues made $54,120. Contrast those figures with the median salaries of such professionals as:

  • Financial managers: $126,700
  • Pharmacists: $116,500
  • Human Resources Manager: $$111,200
  • Mathematician: $103.3
  • Political Scientist: $100.9
  • Art Director: $96,700
  • Civil Engineer: $85,600
  • Real Estate Broker: $82,400
  • Physical Therapist:$82.2
  • Computer Programmer: $80,900
  • Sociologist: $78,100
  • Accountants & Auditors: $72,500:

Consequently, a number of states are resorting to rather desperate measures to attract and/or hold on to teachers. For instance, in light of Utah’s low teacher pay, the state board of education recently removed all requirements for new hires other than a college degree and a passing subject matter test score. That’s it.

Then there are states like Virginia which is offering bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to lure new teachers. At the same time, California now says that teachers holding certification with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards can receive a $20,000 bonus if they’ll agree to work in a high priority (meaning hard to staff) school for four years.

Stay tuned.