February 28, 2011
We all get that advertising makes an impact, and it follows that our military recruiting benefits from marketing expenditures. Should voters tell our representatives in Congress to micro-manage ad campaigns for the Defense Department? In a word, no, but that’s what this hullabaloo is all about.
“There is no argument from Democrats or Republicans that we must reduce our massive debt. But there is fierce discussion and passionate debate concerning how to reduce our deficit.”The Pragmatic Progressive Forum
28 Feb 2011
If Congress chooses to set limits on what part of the Defense Department budget goes to advertising, including “none,” that’s possibly within their role in tackling the budget deficit. At what level do we want to spend time controlling the specific choices?
According to Wikipedia (see citations below) for the 2010 fiscal year, “the president’s base budget of the Department of Defense rose to $533.8 billion. Adding spending on “overseas contingency operations” brings the sum to $663.8 billion.” Now I know the Pentagon pays more than seems reasonable for hardware, and consulting, and other services, and that a penny saved is a penny earned, but when it comes to advertising it’s also a question of return on investment — and while the roughly $16 million that we’re talking about is a lot of cash, relative to that $600+ billion, folks, it’s chump change: less than 1/100 of 1%
So tell me, how much time is it worth arguing over, relative to the other 99.9975% of the Defense Department budget? All progressives will accomplish, other than distracting from other spending decisions, of course, is alienating NASCAR fans: ultimately that mind-set drives them to think their values are more in line with the Republican party.
With over 15 million viewers a week ago for NASCAR’s Daytona 500, the appeal is undeniable even to folks who can’t imagine why “just watching cars driving in a loop” is entertaining. The biggest companies in the U.S. wanted in; they know the value of having their logo seen by that many fan-eyeballs, associating their brands with the race and drivers tends to make influence purchasing. Would Target®, Burger King®, Sherwin-Williams®, and Budweiser® be there if advertising didn’t matter?
Progressive columnists and pundits need to learn two things, fast, if they want to take advantage of the attention that the struggle in Madison is finally generating in the media. First, diversity is good, even when it comes to what we do for entertainment. Second, avoid falling into traps that emphasize differences. It doesn’t help their causes to focus on stuff that makes middle-class Americans think liberal neighbors and/or Democrats in Congress are somehow less in touch with regular people than the elite GOP strategists and politicians.
Winning elections is about more than just getting people to vote. If the Democrats in Congress get drawn into this argument, and start arguing against an iconic pass-time, in a process where narrow margins determine who holds an office and makes budget choices they’ll be conceding electoral might to their opposition for years to come.
July 30, 2009
Honeywell International Inc. (HON) is a diversified technology and manufacturing company, serving customers globally with aerospace products and services, control, sensing and security technologies for buildings and aircraft, turbochargers, automotive products, electronic and advanced materials, specialty chemicals and process technology for refining, and “products and solutions” for homes, business and transportation. Hence, in addition to aerospace and defense, Honeywell also works with automation and control solutions, specialty materials, and transportation systems used in many industries.
In July 2008, B/E Aerospace, Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of Honeywell’s Consumables Solutions distribution business (HCS) within the Aerospace segment. During the year ended December 31, 2008, the Company completed the acquisition of Safety Products Holding, Inc. (Norcross) and Metrologic Instruments, Inc.
HON was trading just over $23/share when much of the market struggled in early March, less than half the over $52 price the stock commanded in late July of 2008 before the reality of the credit and mortgage crisis had sunk in. Investor sentiment is typically positive when the 50-day moving average is rising, especially if it’s also above the 200-day moving average. With that in mind, the 200-day numbers have just begun to ease upward, while the relatively flatter 50-day average had “crossed above” during June. Other technical indicators, such as the Chart pattern, complete a “mixed” outlook (arguably neutral) as you might expect for a company reliant in part on defense spending.
With $25.6 billion in market capitalization (a Mid-Cap stock) Honeywell valuation tumbled, tracking the broader markets as global reverberations of what started out as a problem in the U.S mortgage lending industry spread throughout the world stock markets. HON is used within the ERRI fund (along with Caterpillar) to track capital goods. The market recovery can’t be measured solely by tracking retail clothing, utilities, and the financial sector; mid-cap companies in the defense/aerospace arena will face a competitive landscape as their customers weather the credit crunch. While they do sell “portable” generators and FRAM® Tough Guard® Air Filters targeting the consumer market, the aerospace, automation and control solutions, specialty materials, and transportation segments of Honeywell’s business take off in reaction to a number of factors not by any means tied to consumer sentiment.
Disclaimer: Readers are advised that the ideas, materials, and opinions contained herein should be used solely for informational purposes. The author does not purport to tell or suggest investment securities that should be bought or sold. Investors should always conduct their own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Neither the author nor realitytax shall be be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader’s reliance on information obtained in any posts, newsletters, special reports, email correspondence, or comments on the web site. The author is not a registered investment advisor or broker/dealer. The information contained herein does not constitute a representation by the publisher or a solicitation for the purchase (or sale) of securities. Opinions and analyses are based on sources believed to be reliable and are written in good faith, but no representation or warranty is made as to their accuracy or completeness, and we are not liable for errors or omissions. All such information should be independently verified with the companies mentioned. The author(s) receives no compensation of any kind from any companies that may be mentioned on this web site. Any opinions expressed are subject to change without notice. Owners, employees and writers may hold positions in the securities that are discussed; the intent is neither to suggest investment choices/strategies nor to influence market conditions, but rather to divulge methodology for inclusion of equities and sectors in the Economic Recovery Reality Index [ERRI]