News Ben Stein: Cell Phones Hurt US Economic Growth

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by BethSucks, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. BethSucks

    BethSucks Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    Ben Stein: Cell phones are a drag on the economy
    Late last week the Commerce Department saidthe economy grew at an annual rate of just 2.3 percent during April, May and June. Why has the economy been growing so slowly for so long? Our Contributor Ben Stein thinks he knows part of the answer:

    One of the mysteries of modern economics is why there has been a stall in the rate of increase of worker productivity.

    Worker productivity is how much each worker produces per unit of time. It rose very rapidly for decades after 1941, and, recently, the rate of rise has been tepid.

    There have been many possible explanations for this slowdown: Changing composition of the labor force; Far Eastern competition; allegedly excessive regulation. None of these has been proved.

    I would like to suggest another one: The cell phone. Or the smartphone, if you like.

    Virtually unknown a couple of decades ago, the cell phone (or smartphone) is now a virtual body part.

    I did a bit of research (on my phone, of course), and apparently estimates vary wildly, but Americans spend a large part of the day on his or her cell phones.

    Reports say Americans check their phone -- just checking them -- 150 times per day. There are literally billions of texts sent per day in the U.S. The ordinary American sends roughly 40 texts per day by some estimates; others are much higher. The phone is the life blood for Americans now.

    To be sure, some of these calls are about business and are productive. But if half the calls are personal, that's an immense slice of the day gone!

    Don't get me wrong. These calls sometimes produce happiness. They are not just waste motion. But they don't produce anything you can count. They're an extremely expanded version of water cooler gossip -- but HUGELY expanded.

    If this many people (there are nearly 300 million cells in the USA) are on the line this much, some of it has to come out of production.

    If we're gossiping, we're not working, and the smartphone in many ways is just a gossip machine. Gossip is fun, but it ain't money, and again, you can't count it.
     
  2. Head Censor

    Head Censor Turgid Member VIP

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    I'd love to know how much just Clash of Clans alone costs us in economic production annually. :D
     
  3. SouthernListen

    SouthernListen I don't follow the crowd. Sorry about that. VIP

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    I don't check my phone like that. I use it to listen to music or Sirius (when it works). When I see an adult with their head down in one I think less of them, unless they're stuck waiting somewhere with nothing better to do. They are good time-killers for those situations.

    Internet access for office workers is by far a greater time-waster. Look at us.
     
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  4. newcastlefan

    newcastlefan גֵּרְשֹׁם VIP

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    on one hand i wand to argue with Ben, but on the other hand when my office was on Park Ave i used to see him show up at the office in a suit and white Converse. His ride was a limo driven by a hot brunette chauffeur. Anyone who swings a hot girl driver deserves respect.
     
  5. Bristol Chicken

    Bristol Chicken Free Range and Loving It Gold

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    Agree with Stein.
    Not just cell phones - anything online: social media, shopping, Dawg's, daydreaming, news, jacking off.
    I'm sure it's millions of hours per year in unproductive time.

    We have had people reprimanded at work for their amount of personal online time. We had a salesman who was racking up thousands of texts per month. Family and personal BS.
     
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  6. BeerCanThick

    BeerCanThick Well-Known Member

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    People really check their phones 150 times a day and send 40 texts?
     
  7. newcastlefan

    newcastlefan גֵּרְשֹׁם VIP

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    we just block the major social networking sites and all the email services. If you want to play on the net you have to use your own equipment and internet access. that cuts down the non-work activities dramatically.
     
  8. newcastlefan

    newcastlefan גֵּרְשֹׁם VIP

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    i receive approx 25 work related texts daily. we stopped issuing company supplied cellphones and make people use their own.
     
  9. Slow

    Slow All The Pieces Matter DawgShed News

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    the worst i see this is at the gym. fucking losers turn a 30 minute workout into 60+ minutes because they sit staring at their phone for 5 minutes between every set. everyone thinks they are a CEO with world changing opinions and decisions to be made every 30 seconds.
     
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  10. Lostronaut

    Lostronaut Well-Known Member

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    I know the kids at my work are on their phones all day and getting nothing done.
     
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  11. Mr Fantastic

    Mr Fantastic Found Nemo VIP

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    Two words. Fantasy Football.
     
  12. AmishGirl

    AmishGirl Well-Known Member VIP

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    It's football, but it's a fantasy! :yay:
     
  13. Mr Fantastic

    Mr Fantastic Found Nemo VIP

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    Exactly. :yes: Kinda like Jumbo Strimp. :lunch:
     
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  14. JameGumb

    JameGumb We're all out of toner!

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    Hes not wrong. But how do you handle this situation? Eventually you'll be able to do everything from a small device. Gaming, calling, texting, internet etc.
     
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  15. AmishGirl

    AmishGirl Well-Known Member VIP

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    Well, the company I work for apparently handles it by letting everyone stare at their cell phones continuously, slumped over in the cubicle, with no retribution .... :dontknow:
     
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  16. deevee

    deevee Active Member

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    Germany doesn't have smartphones? Stein is a creationist which makes him batshit crazy in my book.
     
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  17. Dreamking

    Dreamking The dogs of doom are howlin' low...

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    SL:

    Bravo, dude.

    Bravo.
     
  18. Dreamking

    Dreamking The dogs of doom are howlin' low...

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    I can easily believe it. The tech is getting out of control.

    People (kids) are getting dopamine squirts from anticipating texts, emails, Tweets, etc.

    Musician friends of mine are throwing fits at concerts because of cell-phone interruptions.

    I see idiots driving around w ear-buds stuck in their ears.

    It's out of control
     
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  19. scoobyla

    scoobyla Well-Known Member

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    yeah its the phones fault, not the ppls fault
     
  20. joyceface

    joyceface Queen of Everything VIP

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    Yeah, we are in this doldrums of virtual and real world all day long.