Ted Turner on the Economy

The latest issue of Time Magazine had an interview with Ted Turner, who’s been popping up all over the place thanks to his new book “Call Me Ted.” In it, Turner shared some interesting economic insights. Here are the most relevant parts:

On whether or not the US can maintain its position as a global economic leader…

Yes. There’ll probably be an evening out of the wealth somewhat. But I still think that the United States has so much momentum going for it. If we do the right things, there’s no reason we shoudln’t still be the global leader economically. You know, we had a great run on borrowed money for 30 or 40 years, but you can only go so long living beyond your means. And that’s what we’ve been doing.

On the $700 billion bailout plan…

When I was running CNN we never had any money and I never asked for a bailout. Where does it end? AIG, you know, they need $40 billion more and we only have them $100 billion last week, didn’t we? It’s just ridiculous. And now General Motors. They said we’re goin to give them $25 billion to retool. Retool what? They’ll run through that money so fast they’ll be back wanting more. We can’t keep every loser alive.

On whether or not “immense” wealth brings peace of mind…

When I did have it, I gave over half of it away. I lost 85%. And I’ve lost 12% of what was left in the last couple of months. But I never worshipped money. I started middle class. I didn’t finish college because I couldn’t afford to. I didn’t really have it for very long, because I made it real fast when CNN turned the corner, and that’s when I gave much of it away. Then right after that we did the AOL merger and it went down the toilet.

As far as our current economic woes go, I think he nailed it on the head. We’ve been living well beyond our means, and we’re just now starting pay the piper. As for the bailout, I likewise share his sentiment. It’s incredibly maddening to be put in the position off having to bailout bad businesses simply because their collapse would have catastrophic effects. What good will a bailout of GM do? While it would be nice if they turned the corner, it’s more likely that this will amount to little more than an expensive stay of execution.

In case you’re interested, Time.com has a full transcript of the interview, and AOL has the video.

9 Responses to “Ted Turner on the Economy”

  1. Anonymous

    to Dana:

    Do some research, don’t believe all the BS you see in mainstream media. Ted Turner wants to kill us and all we get is football games and mindless fluff on television. Some Turner quotes:

    If steps aren’t taken to stem global warming, “We’ll be eight degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow,” Turner said during a wide-ranging, hour-long interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose that aired Tuesday.

    “Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals,” said Turner, 69. “Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state — like Somalia or Sudan — and living conditions will be intolerable.”

    One way to combat global warming, Turner said, is to stabilize the population.

    “We’re too many people; that’s why we have global warming,” he said. “Too many people are using too much stuff.”

    Turner suggested that “on a voluntary basis, everybody in the world’s got to pledge to themselves that one or two children is it.”

  2. Anonymous

    #6: If Fred Phelps said the sky is typically blue on a cloudless day, I’d have to hand it to him that he managed to get something right for probably the first time in his entire life. Even a stopped clock can be right twice a day.

    Also, there’s a difference between bringing attention to overpopulation issues and “wanting 80 percent of humanity dead.” Studies have apparently shown that merely educating women and affording them the same opportunities as men slows down the birthrate. It doesn’t take slaughtering people to slow population growth down to a sustainable level.

  3. Anonymous

    I just really can’t get over bailing out the auto industry, or really any industry for that matter. It’s no ones fault but their own that they are failing, and they should pay for it. What’s the incentive to turn a profit if the government is just waiting to hand you a check if you’re in the red? This also halts any creative destruction that may have occurred.

  4. Anonymous

    As someone not at all involved in the auto industry it is hard for me to understand all that is flying around about the “big 3”.

    10% of the US population is supposedly going to lose their jobs if the big 3 fail.

    They want to use money that was supposed to go to designing more fuel efficient cars to “retool” and keep them afloat in 2008. The time for retooling is not right now, it was 5 years ago when everybody and their brother was buying an SUV.

    For some reason as I read other blogs and news articles about this subject I’m reminded of a stalemate in Monopoly (the board game). When you get certain personalities together, one that won’t give an inch on a deal that gives their partner an advantage and another that demands a lopsided bargain in their favor in order to make a deal.. maybe this deal should just not be made and the person sitting on their cash on the sidelines should swoop in and take over the market share.

    Give me a new car manufacturer, and MPG ratings more like 45 MPG, instead of bragging about 30 MPG!

  5. Anonymous

    At least he called GM a loser. They need to get out of the union game. If I’m not mistaken that was what sunk the Daimler-Chrysler merger, the astronomical pension debt.

    Heard a great “bailout” idea on NPR the other day. Instead of giving the money to the auto industry instead give it to the communities where the plants will shut down and at the communities around at least some of the supply chain. Use the money to fund training and relocation programs for displaced workers. Extend unemployment benefits similar to what they did after 9/11. Directly benefit those most affected by the job losses and let GM and the others collapse under the weight of their own weakness and stupidity.

    Personally the simple fact that we’re talking about the auto industry scares me. You think the auto industry is important? What about the truckers who move all of our freight? The airline industry? The aerospace industry that produces the aircraft used by the airlines — and oh yeah, all of our military aircraft as well? I’m waiting for them to line up. Now that’s a national security bailout.

  6. Anonymous

    TED has been in the process of handing out his wealth to the UN, but he is right about the $700 billion bail out, instead of the bankers, give it to the people, after all it is their money.

  7. Anonymous

    I really dislike the notion of “too big to fail,” because it leads to bad business plans and bad decisions.

    Survive or fail on their own merits, all of them – that’s what I say!

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