Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/921558

Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 19, 2014

Growing but not aging

By David Hotle | Nov 06, 2012

Geoarbitrage.

That is a big word for a relatively simple concept. I believe business guru and author Tim Ferriss coined the word to describe the relationship between economies when spending and selling. In other words, if you are able to purchase something in a weaker economy for less and sell it in a stronger one for more, you will make money.

An example of this is if someone earns money in the United States and lives in Bulgaria, their money will go further. Why do I bring this up? Because it seems as if this is an area that we as Americans need to work on.

Sunday night I rented a movie titled “Wrong Turn 5.” It was OK, but nothing to write home about. I’d give it a 6 out of 10. Upon watching the special features, I was shocked to learn the movie was made in Sofia, Bulgaria, with mostly Bulgarian actors. They really had me fooled. Their American accents were perfect.

What was really strange about this is that the movie was set in a small, rural town in West Virginia. This, of course, begs the question why, when the film company making the movie is a wing of Lion’s Gate Entertainment, wasn’t the movie shot in a small town in West Virginia? I’m sure there are plenty of small towns that wouldn’t mind the economic influx that comes with making a film as well as the notoriety to come to their town.

At first I was mad. I have met enough aspiring American actors and filmmakers who would do anything to land any part in a movie, that seeing an American company spend its money and give its opportunities overseas leaves me cold. Especially when it is pretty easy to tell the movie is designed for American audiences.

I guess I’m wondering if the film company actually saved enough on the cost of production to make it worth traveling halfway around the world, building a set that looks like a rural American town (when there are so many pre-made in America), and teaching their actors to speak with American accents?

One of my beliefs is that no one ever does anything because they think that it is stupid. My guess is that the film crew must have saved enough money to make it worth traveling to Bulgaria.

Sofia actually has a long history of filmmaking. Sofia’s film industry – mostly Boyana Films — suffered during the 1990s. A revival of the industry picked up after 2001 when an American company purchased Boyana, with many American films being shot in Sofia. There are some scenes from “Expendables 2” that were shot in Sofia.

It has often left me cold when businesspeople simply complain about how their market is not “purchasing locally,” or some other catch phrase. However, I am willing to purchase things – even at a higher cost that I can get it elsewhere – when a businessperson actively engages me and gives me a reason to purchase the goods or services. As an aside, Sofia’s motto is “grows but does not age.”

In Iowa we formerly had a fund that allowed economic incentives to make films. That was, however, marred with scandal. Whether the scandal was real or a political invention is open to debate, but the result is that Iowa is no longer giving filmmakers a reason to shoot their movies in Iowa.

My concern is that too much of this attitude and soon all movies we see will be shot overseas. Filmmakers will go to countries that aren’t squabbling among themselves and work together to give economic and social incentives to film in their locations. If I were a filmmaker, I wouldn’t want to go somewhere that cost more and there is social strife to my even being there.

The bottom line is that I am always hearing how the best thing to do to solve the evils of rising taxes and inflation is to grow the economy. My question is what are we really doing to accomplish that?

This is something we as a society need to work on. If we don’t, I’m sure the Bulgarians will be more than happy to steal any economic growth right out from under us.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Nov 08, 2012 13:22

America Lost
Liberals don’t really believe America is all that exceptional. But they apparently are convinced that Barack Obama is.

How else to explain his victory? How could any politician win with such a dismal record?

During his entire term unemployment has been chronically high. Economic growth has been chronically low.

A majority of Americans think the country is on the wrong track.

President Obama went on a four year spending binge, racking up more than $5 trillion dollars in new debt.

Instead of trying to fix the economy he spent the first two years of his presidency trying to get his mug on Mt. Rushmore by shoving ObamaCare down our throats at a time when we can’t afford great big entitlements.

By any rational political standard, Barack Obama’s first term was anything but a success.

And still he won – not by bringing the country together as he promised, but by dividing us, by stoking envy, by concocting a phony war on women, a phony war on seniors, by running a campaign that tried to convince voters that Mitt Romney was a greedy plutocrat who didn’t give a damn about anybody who doesn’t own a yacht. It probably worked.

He did it with a coalition of liberals who had no problem ignoring the nation’s economic reality; with Americans who don’t believe they can make it on their own so they embrace the nanny state; and he won because his faithful followers don’t even see him as a politician. To them, he is, as Brent Stephens put it in the Wall Street Journal, “our first cult-of-personality president.”

Liberals really do see him as a kind of messiah, as conservatives are fond of pointing out. They see him as someone different from all the others who came before him. And there were enough of them who voted to give him a second term.

Romney helped too. After he handily won the first debate he tried to run out the clock. He didn’t bring up Benghazi in the foreign affairs debate. He should have. Playing it safe was not safe, as things turned out. Then there was Chris Christie’s embrace of President Obama after Sandy hit New Jersey. No, the Republican governor (and keynote speaker at the GOP convention) didn’t endorse the president. But it’s a safe bet that it came off that way to independents and undecided voters.

But if Barack Obama won, he also lost. If he thinks he inherited a mess when he took office four years ago, wait till he gets a load of the mess he inherited this time around.

Barack Obama’s future is in his past. There’s a good chance we’ll get more economic stagnation, a continuation of the weakest recovery at least since World War II.

And the president – with the aid of his friends in the so-called mainstream media – may have dodged a bullet on Benghazi, but the issue will not go away. It will haunt the president in his second term. He got away with covering up whatever happened until after the election, but now it’s after the election.

As for the GOP, the Civil War for the soul of the party is about to break out. I’ll write about this in my next column.



Posted by: Glen Peiffer | Nov 07, 2012 01:03

I agree that we are driving business, especially manufacturing, out of this country. Mitt Romney offered real solutions to our economic problems. That opportunity has been lost.

Steve Wynn Takes On Washington

 



If you wish to comment, please login.