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Commentary & Analysis

Printing Industries of America Decries Obama Administration Characterization of Print

On June 24th, Printing Industries of America President & CEO Michael Makin sent an email touting his letter to President Obama that objected to the President's characterization of the printed version of the Federal Register (and by association, the entire printing industry), saying people might think "printed material is a dying and irrelevant relic." WhatTheyThink research reveals a different picture.

By Cary Sherburne
Published: July 7, 2011

On Friday, June 24, 2011, Michael Makin, President & CEO of the Printing Industries of America distributed by email a "Special Announcement." In it, Makin says, "In Obama's announcement, he equates the printing and mailing of the Federal Register as a stack of 'expensive doorstops' and 'stupid spending' that 'doesn't benefit anybody.' By dismissing pint as 'pointless waste' that 'no one reads,' one may infer a negative perception of a stalwart industry or mistakenly assume that printed material is a dying and irrelevant relic."

WhatTheyThink did extensive research to uncover the full story, and as a result feel that this letter to the President was an overreaction and that the President's comments were taken out of context.  We have included references in the article that you can check for yourself to make your own decisions.

We also spoke with Makin prior to publishing this article, and his comments are included below.

What Is the Federal Register?

Let's start with the basics.  What is the Federal Register? There is a wealth of information at the web site for the Office of the Federal Register. There, it states that the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) provides access to the official text of Federal regulatory material, Federal laws, Presidential documents and Federal organizations, programs and activities. The Federal Register has just celebrated its 75th year.  Upon the celebration of its 70th year, the organization published its history, according to Ray Mosley, Director of the Federal Register.

The Federal Register is the official record of governmental regulatory changes.  It is printed and distributed by the Government Printing Office, and also placed online for free access in the GPO's digital system, FDsys, which was established during the tenure of Bruce James, the 24th U.S. Public Printer, and was the brainchild of Robert C. Tapella, who ultimately became the 25th U.S. Public Printer. Dr. Joe Webb, Director of WhatTheyThink's Economics & Research Center, commented that the printed version of the Federal Register has, over the last several decades, been a measure of the amount of government regulation-more pages, more regulation; less pages, less regulation. Although Mosley stated that he had not heard that before, he did point out that the Federal Register, whether it is printed, in PDF form or in HTML, is recognized as the official record of Federal government regulations and all versions carry the same page number citations, adding, "Recognition by law and regulation of the electronic version of the Federal Register as having the same legal standing as the printed version is not a new thing.  A lawyer could go into court with an official authenticated print from the GPO web site and it would have the same legal standing as the officially printed version."

The Federal Register is the official record of governmental regulatory changes

The Federal register can be accessed online at www.FDsys.gov, as well as by visiting www.federalregister.gov. The latter site is relatively new and work on it is ongoing. President Obama's Campaign to Cut Waste video can also be found on the home page of this site (as of this writing). Mosley says, "At FederalRegister.gov, we have used XML technology and open source coding, with the documents being produced from the same file that produces the official version on FDsys. The content on our site is not yet recognized as an 'official' version but should be within the next few months. Because of the way the site is structured, anyone can download data and conduct searches, do analysis over the past ten years or more, or anything else they may need to do with the information."

Who Receives the Federal Register and How Is It Funded?

Both governmental and non-governmental organizations may subscribe to the printed version of the Federal Register. Online access is free. As of the end of Fiscal Year 2010, there were 4,700 subscriptions to the printed Federal Register by governmental agencies, and Mosley indicates that thousands of additional printed copies are distributed through the Federal Depository Library System, a program that was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its government's information.

When a Federal agency is required to publish a new or revised regulation in the Federal Register, it is charged a page rate for that publication. That fee is a funding mechanism for the Federal Register and entitles the agency to a certain number of free printed copies of that issue. Mosley also reports that there are about 400 subscriptions to the printed version for organizations outside the Federal Government.

What Exactly Did President Obama Order and Why?

As part of an effort to eliminate government waste, the White House initiated a competition called SAVE (Securing Americans' Value and Efficiency). This initiative asks Federal employees to submit cost-cutting recommendations that will make government more effective and efficient while ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.  The 2010 SAVE Award winner suggested ending distribution of printed copies of the Federal Register to Federal Government offices. As stated above by the end of Fiscal Year 2010, Government offices held over 4,700 subscriptions to the printed edition. Government-wide cancellations of these subscriptions would save approximately $4 million annually. Not a lot in comparison to the deficit we face, but not trivial, either.

As a result, in April 2011, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directed Federal agencies to cancel their Federal Register subscriptions by May 13, 2011.  (NOTE: This was not an Executive Order directly from the President as stated by Makin; the Executive Order he cites doesn't reference the Federal Register). As with many things governmental, the wheels grind slowly. As of July 1, 2011, subscriptions for 1,011 copies (782 subscribers) have been cancelled.  The list of cancellations, which is updated every couple weeks, can be accessed here.
This still leaves more than 3,000 copies being distributed to Federal offices, 400 to outside subscribers and thousands of printed copies being distributed through the Federal Depository Library System. Obviously, the Federal Register is still being printed. Though Mosley believes it is inevitable that the printed version will ultimately go away, he says, "There is still a segment of our society that relies on the printed version.  As the generations that are into online instant access increasingly dominate the population, there will be less and less need for the printed version."

[President Obama] cites $33 billion in savings that have been identified just for this year-which is the primary point of the video message.

If you listen carefully to the President's video message on this subject, he uses the Federal Register as one of many examples of Government waste.  He displays a stack of the printed version of the Federal Register, which he asserts arrives daily at thousands of government offices and says, "no one reads this thing because it has been available on the Internet for years, which means taxpayers have been funding some pretty expensive doorstops."  He goes on to say, "That is just the tip of the iceberg," and cites a number of ways the Government is cutting back "pointless waste and stupid spending that doesn't benefit anyone." This includes such things as overnighting containers filled with nothing, eliminating thousands of unnecessary and unused government buildings, funding of web sites for private organizations, and more. He cites $33 billion in savings that have been identified just for this year-which is the primary point of the video message. It's hard to pick up an unused warehouse in Brooklyn and toss it down as an "expensive doorstop." The use of the printed Federal Register was for impact, something you can get your arms around and understand. Nowhere in any of the materials I read on this subject does anyone say buying printing is stupid spending or that the printing industry in its entirety represents pointless waste or produces expensive doorstops, as Makin seems to imply in his letter, video and email.

Makin's Response

Makin's letter to the President can be viewed here. In our discussion, he said, "Our issue was never the fact that the printing of the Federal Register is being stopped and something printed is going away.  We are very responsible in our position to the government and its need to reduce spending. We took offense at the President going on YouTube with imagery associating printing and printing presses with waste, stupid spending and other derogatory comments.  We understand that the printed version of the Federal Register will ultimately go away. Whether it is an Executive order or OMB directive doesn't matter.  It is the fact that the President used imagery and words that many printers already battling for survival found offensive. That's what we took issue with." Makin also stated that for every email he received stating that he took the President's remarks out of context, he received hundred from members who said it was the right thing to do. He also stated that he was on Capitol Hill the day the video was released with a number of Printing Industries of America members who were incensed when they saw the video. He adds, "The choice of imagery and words put together led a very poor message for an industry that is struggling enough."


Defend Print?

After Makin's email went out, I saw a number of tweets referencing it, saying that we needed to stand up as an industry and defend print against these sorts of tactics.  I say, "Get a grip!"

I love our industry as much as anyone else, and I get excited every day talking to innovative leaders in our industry running large and small businesses who are doing amazing things to grow those businesses, even during a harsh downturn.  These leaders recognize that the role of print is changing, and they are adapting their businesses to take advantage of not only the changing role of print, but also by adding services that bring value in a world where print must compete against alternative media.  They are finding ways to not only include print in today's modern media mix, but to make the entire mix more valuable because of the inclusion of printed component(s).

"Defending print" is a non-starter.  It is a tactic that didn't work for buggy whips or railroads or mainframe computers or hot type or stripping film, or the many other technologies that have been supplanted over the years. Where those technologies have found ways to co-exist, they have survived and often thrived.  Where they put efforts into defending "business as usual," rather than adapting to change-well, there are not a lot of hot type machines out there these days. And the strippers we hear about typically aren't working over a table laying out film.

"Defending print" is a non-starter.  It is a tactic that didn't work for buggy whips or railroads or mainframe computers or hot type or stripping film

What is called for is an understanding of the goals and objectives buyers of business communications are working to achieve and then playing a central role in helping them to achieve those goals and objectives. "Businesses formerly known as printers" that are taking that approach are thriving, and often filling those cylinders as well as making money from bits and bytes. Not every campaign and project will include print, nor should they. But there are many ways to make print a value-added component in today's business communications environment. Let's go after those and stop wasteful spending on "defend print" campaigns.

In Makin's letter to the President, he does point out that many printing companies embrace and integrate the Internet and new technologies, and that many are transforming to become "integrated communication solutions firms." This is certainly true and it is clearly a viable approach that will allow these firms to survive and thrive.  However, I still believe that our industry all too often takes a defensive, rather than a proactive posture. That posture makes us sound like we don't embrace change and don't understand that the world-and the role of print-is changing.  For most in the industry, that perception is untrue. Just as it is untrue that the President of the United States equated print as a whole with "stupid spending" that "doesn't benefit anybody."

Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at cary@whattheythink.com.



By Michael Makin on Jul 07, 2011

I don't know which was more offensive - the imagery and words used by the President or Ms. Sherburne who referenced buggy whips suggesting our industry (already under attack) was being overly sensitive. I stand by my letter to the President which if read in its entirety is self explanatory and discusses how the industry is indeed changing. Printing Industries of America had a responsibility to speak up and we did. It is unfortunate that through sanctimony Ms. Sherburne misses the point.


By Chuck Gehman on Jul 07, 2011

I think Michael Makin's response was justified and necessary.

The way Mr. Obama characterized print sounded less like a targeted comment about a particular instance of waste and more like a characterization of the printing industry as wasteful and our output as having no value.

Having our industry and the products we manufacture equated to Government waste is unacceptable and just can't be allowed to stand, and I'm really glad Michael acted.

"No one reads..." printed materials, is an idea our President should be promoting? I don't think so.

I think what the President said was quite damaging and demonstrated disregard for a large industry, with many small businesses, that employs millions of people both directly and indirectly.


By Bill Anderson on Jul 07, 2011

Wow. This seems to have misplaced political inuendo.


By Paul Strack on Jul 07, 2011

I completely agree that the PIA response was an over-reaction to an appropriate cost cutting measure. The President in no way attacked our industry, he was referring to a specific printed piece that no longer had a purpose in this digital world. Our industry needs to continue to advance and look forward at ways to embrace, and benefit from these technological advances. The only video more damaging to our industry that was posted last week was the "Print is Sexy" video.

Last week, I posted a video blog to Mr. Makin's response:


By Kurt M. Sanger on Jul 07, 2011

Whether any money will be saved by cancelling subscriptions will depend on each office that ordered a copy and how they used them. Personal copies were probably heavily marked up. Sections from group owned copies were probably copied. Printing sections from the web will cost the same unless each office prints whole copies off of the web. I can envision that increasing the cost 10X.

Most of the research I do, I print to paper, mark up, and file. I might search the electronic version later, but my paper copy has my notes on it.


By Jeff Hayes on Jul 07, 2011

Ahhh Washington ... filled with hyperbole, grandstanding, and posturing.

Is printing the Federal Register a good use of tax revenue? No. Was Obama insensitive to the printing industry? Yes. Should PIA speak up on behalf of the industry and point out its relevance? Absolutely.

Do printers need to become integrated graphic communications providers? I think we all know the answer to that question.


By Michael Eddington on Jul 07, 2011

Anyone else find it ironic that the online version of the PIA WhiteHouse letter, one that touts the printing industries ability to "embrace the internet and new technologies", was obviously a rather poor quality scan? I can't look at jagged-edged text in the Logo & "Advancing Graphic Communications" at the top without smiling and shaking my head.


By Mark Bonacorso on Jul 07, 2011

I think that the printing industry and perhaps the country, might be better served by eliminating a few of our trade associations.


By Charles Corr on Jul 07, 2011

Cary is, as usual, spot on.

Throwing red meat to stir up your base may provide some immediate ditto-head support for PIA but it misses the point. Some print is wasteful. As an industry we have to get over defending and sell the many benefits of print.

We need "adult" conversations based on facts not "gotcha" politics on either side.


By Chuck Gehman on Jul 07, 2011

@Jeff, well put, nicely summarized, thank you for removing the "politics" and putting the real issues into perspective.


By Scott Dubois on Jul 07, 2011

Bravo Cary!

Your comments are spot on. The print industry as usual (think Adobe/FedEx) is in a rush to over-react to something that they perceive as a slight to them. The industry is quick to respond and talk about a storied history - all while having heads in the sand about the future.... and I am not one of those "print will die and go away" folks - but it will continue to change.

I hate to break it to Mr. Makin, but I would bet the print industry is the biggest producer of waste. The industry continues to be against do-not-mail legislation and cares nothing for consumer preferences. Guess what, communication has changed and like it or not, people want to be in control.

PIA apparently also wants to make the argument that printers are embracing new technology (someday maybe PIA will learn the focus should not be on technology/equipment) in an effort to revamp their business. Yet, PIA could not get out of their own way rebranding a few years ago; electing to keep Printing as a primary part of their name and domain on the Internet.

@Mark Bonacorso I am in agreement with you that we could use a few less trade associations.


By Michael Makin on Jul 07, 2011

@Mr. Corr - you obviously did not read the letter from Printing Industries of America. The entire focus was to point out the positive changes taking place in the industry. Spot-on with personal bias perhaps.


By Mark Bonacorso on Jul 07, 2011

@Scott Dubois, well said!


By Charles Corr on Jul 07, 2011

Mr. Makin,

I did read the letter. I believe it to be defensive in tone and an ineffective approach. I know of no no greater believer or proponent of the value of print than I am. My bias is towards the facts and what works. Veiled ad hominem comments about bias are a distraction. I would be glad to debate the points.


By Gene Hayes on Jul 07, 2011

Comparing print and our industry to "buggy whips" isn't exacty the approach that anyone should take when discussing our industry.

I agree we are in the communications industry and not the print industry. But, print is still and will continue to be a big and important part of our industry in the future.

Obama as usual seems to play politics with all business and capitalists as the "bad quys" and himself as the defender of the so called "middle class." We need to spread the wealth around" isn't exactly a pro business approach. This time it was print and our industry that was maligned.

I felt that the response from Michael Makin was certainly justified and the proper response. We have too many people apologizing for our industry and not nearly enough defending it. Ms Sherburne might look toward the Obama administration for future employment opportunties since they seem to have similiar agendas.


By Richard Lindemann on Jul 07, 2011

Looks like if Cary was trying to pick a fight with PIA she's done a good job of it.


By Andrew Gordon on Jul 07, 2011

It does seem like a missed leadership opportunity to support the President in a good goal while tying in the value and relevance of print into those goals. While the PIA letter does attempt to promote print's future, a positive letter would have gone a lot further to promote the opportunity. I suspect that Obama's door would be open to the printing industry if we would state that we agree there is waste and that the industry is actively promoting the rationalization of print and encouraging practices that add value and relevancy to ensure that what we print is effective and useful. A missed opportunity if you ask me. By the way, we should feel really bad for the Fiddlin' Foresters!


By Chuck Gehman on Jul 07, 2011

The President probably doesn't know anything about this industry, and making this comment was ill-informed and a mistake.

Perhaps now, thanks to Michael's outreach, he knows we exist.

What if the President said, "The government's use of automobiles pollutes the air and wastes energy. No more driving, it's an example of government waste. We should all be taking trains and our cars should be used as coral reefs."

I'd argue that this is no less true than how he described the print version of the Federal Register.

The difference is that he's well informed about of the automobile industry, and he knows nothing about the printing industry. He knows he could never say such a thing about the automobile industry, and that it would create a unstoppable uproar.

Who is here to defend our industry? The Printing Industries of America.


By Rick Littrell on Jul 07, 2011

After reviewing the letter, I have to agree that it did seem defensive. I watched the video and the implication was on waste and not "print is bad". He was using the directory as an example of government waste and not taking issue with "print". I understand that Mr. Makin is passionate about print, as he should be, but trying to defend an application, such as directories, that is "dead man walking" doesn't make sense to me. Just doesn't seem that is where the battle should be fought...BTW, it's not a battle of print vs. the world. It is about communications and how print fits into how people want to consume their information. What is going on is at a society level, which impacts our industry...whether we like it or not. No apologies are needed, recognize print for what it is...a powerful communications tool that has to live (AND will live) with other powerful communication tools.

Can't we all just get along???????? I think that we can!


By Michael Eddington on Jul 07, 2011

The president focused on a particular manufactured item that no one needs, and already has access to through complimentary technology. He didn’t belittle the industry itself. The fact the PIA feels the need to defend the industry shows more than a little insecurity for its role, and that of that of the industry as a whole.


By Mark Budd on Jul 07, 2011

After watching the video I have to agree with Michael Eddington, the president did not attack the printing industry. Regardless, it's rather inspirational to see Michael Makin and rest come to the defense of the Federal Register, a publication printed by the Government Printing Office and their proud Union men and women. It's about time PIA started to back the union. Anybody want to talk about the Congressional Record? 1500 hundred copies a day!


By Brian Regan on Jul 07, 2011

Read the letter and watched the video.

Things I noted in the video:

1) The President was reading a teleprompter (Surprising, I know)

2) The images of print and wasteful spending made me look at print in a negative way (My folks are going to kill me).

3) The Fed register is that thick and printed daily? The Fed register is that big and put online daily? Does anyone read it or use it? Takes up a lot of space on some server I imagine.

4) Ceasing to print it makes boat loads of sense to me. However, if it is used as a key data source, how often is it printed from a desk side printer by a politician that likes to read things NOT on a computer? That question is not addressed at all.

Michael Makins letter:

1) Not surprised to see it - PIA and its leadership are and should be advocates for the industry.

2) Did not seem defensive as much as tactful and trying to educate the reader as much as scold.

3) Felt it was a bit odd to use data from 2008 on.. Basically a "While you were around and mostly in charge Mr President" approach. So maybe in that regard it was attacking and puts the President in a defensive stance reading it.

What is far more interesting are the comments here and all the various posturing. Seems there is ore to this than the video and the letter, so I will pop some popcorn, sit back and watch the show.


By Kerry Stackpole on Jul 07, 2011

While I have no "bones to pick" at the moment with either President Barack Obama or PIA President Michael Makin on this particular controversy, as many have already noted, the industry most certainly has to speak out and share its perspective on the value of print. That's one reason we launched the education campaign Print Grows Trees, which challenges the widely held belief that by using less paper and print, trees will be saved. See for yourself at: http://www.PrintGrowsTrees.org


By Gene Hayes on Jul 07, 2011

I agree Brian. This is about much more than the video and letter.

It is surprising how very few of those critial of Michael Makin's letter are true owners, CEO's or upper management with a vested interest in printing and or marketing solution companies that struggle every day with sales, technology changes, labor, government regulations and profitability.

I expect the PIA and NAPL to be advocates for the industry. While I concentrate on making money. (I know that's a dirty word for some but with the capital invested, risks and time spent in years in growing a company, I believe we deserve it.)

Believe I'll have some popcorn and take a brief intermission myself. I have a company to run.


By Michael Eddington on Jul 07, 2011

Just to be clear, one doesn't need to be an owner, CEO or top level mgt in order to have a vested interest in the print industry, or a valid opinion on this topic.

Obama's video will do little to change the current course of the print industry, and PIA's response will do little to repair any imagined damage said video caused.


By Pete Basiliere on Jul 07, 2011

"The PIA is overly sensitive on this one - the printed Federal Register IS a doorstop!" (my tweet two weeks ago)

The message from the PIA to President Obama should have been:

"You're right. The Federal Register is ideally suited to an electronic format. Similarly, there are other materials the federal government publishes that are ideally suited to physical print. We stand ready to help you both cut costs and improve communications within the government and with its constituents."


By Paul Strack on Jul 07, 2011

Did anyone catch the irony in the fact that the PIA notified its members about this reply to the President via e-mail, instead of using a printed PIA letterhead?


By Wrich Printz on Jul 07, 2011

I hope every single person on this page is ready to continue this debate, live and in person during


This is one of the most important discussions I have seen regarding this industry, and while it may seem that "battle lines" are forming...we all have a great deal more in common than we do apart.

I am not sure if it would be a formal session (or just a tavern brawl...), but if we are going to shape the future for this industry, rather than just be shaped by it, we need to develop a strategy and speak with a unified voice. Seems like a good place to start.

-My two cents- I think the President was 95% correct. He pointed out something that could be made better. He fell down on the 5% where he should have focused on the solution that actually HELPED a large employer (the Printing Industry) and HELPED US CITIZENS stay informed about the activities of the Federal Government. (Relevant-Printed messaging to help consumers and business understand changes in government for example)

Further- I think Mr. Maken was also at 95%. It's his JOB to step up to the Bully Pulpit and promote this industry, and remind folks of just how important it is. Not everyone is running around with their 3g Ipad 2, getting ready to clutter up landfills with their electronic left overs once the Ipad 2+/3/17.5 comes out. With new technologies coming out, print has hundreds of years of future left in it, and print deserves respect for the hundreds of years of service it has given. Was it a bit defensive? Yeah. But a great deal of it is spot on.

Lastly...Cary's job as a journalist is to challenge each of us, and to push any President, be it Obama or Makin or Commercial Print owner to discuss important matters of the day, and take steps to improve our lot. If anyone does not think she did that....I would take a look at the comment list again for this entry, and see the impassioned responses.

There is a lot of fight left in this industry. Let us all "forgive us our trespasses" and make sure we are fighting the right folks, for the right reasons.

See you all at the show.


By Petter Kolseth on Jul 08, 2011

Seems like printing industry reps are a bit sensitive… Discontinuing the printing of a totally useless catalog is just pure logic. I neither heard or saw any attack to the art of printing as such.


By Charles Corr on Jul 08, 2011

It is great to see such passion in support of print. How do we best work cooperatively to address the value of print?

As for some comments....
Gene Hayes - I am critical, a member of senior management and have a vested interest in our printing company. Mr. Gene Hayes, don't let facts cloud your delusional ideological blather. Anyone who believes Cary is motivated by a desire to find employment with the Obama administration requires professional help.

I believe facts and arithmetic are relevant. Most Obama supporters support profits and capitalism. Surprise...Obama isn't a socialist and is a US citizen. Taxes as a percent of GDP are at the lowest level since the late 1950's. Corporate profits are up since his administration and our industry is performing much better. Attacking Obama may make you feel better but doesn't address the generation of more print.

As for Mr. Michael Makin- for the sake of transparency I must confess I am a Cary supporter.


By Howard Owen on Jul 08, 2011

From the WSJ last month -

"The story goes that Milton Friedman was once taken to see a massive government project somewhere in Asia. Thousands of workers using shovels were building a canal. Friedman was puzzled. Why weren't there any excavators or any mechanized earth-moving equipment? A government official explained that using shovels created more jobs. Friedman's response: "Then why not use spoons instead of shovels?"
That story came to mind last week when President Obama linked technology to job losses. "There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers," he said. "You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don't go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate."
The president calls this a structural issue—we usually call it progress. And it isn't exactly a new phenomenon. It's been going on for centuries, and its pace has accelerated over the past 50 years. Businesses relentlessly look for ways to replace workers with machines. The machines get better and smarter. We go from spoons to shovels to excavators, not the other way around."

Isn't the real issue - especially in light of today's unemployment numbers - how is America going to replace jobs that are lost due to technology and automation, whether the industry is printing or newspapers or car manufacturing?

The unintended benefit of the president's remarks and Mr. Makin's letter is the discussion they created. And the discussion illustrates how we, business owners, must change to maintain profitability and growth. I learned many years ago, when I watched a local hardware store close under pressure from a national chain, that failure to change is futile.

Thanks to all those who commented for being advocates of our industry, whatever your role!


By Mark Pomerantz on Jul 11, 2011

Interesting to see the various responses, but I have to say that the most significant issue was not mentioned; why is the President of the United States even involved at this low-level issue when we are trillions of dollars in debt and in jeopardy of losing our global financial leadership? No wonder we are headed over the cliff as a nation. When the POTUS, an elected 'servant' of the elctorate, is infering winners and losers in private business...THAT is the problem. No matter what the industry is.


By Paul White on Jul 11, 2011

Cary,I just read your 7/7/11 article and the responses to date. I think you wrote a fine article and made a great analogy to the buggy whip. It reminded me of a visit to the Concord Monitor Newspaper several years ago. In their lobby was a grand and beautifully restored Concord Coach -- the Mercedes of the horse drawn era. Unfortunately, coaches like this are a relic of the past; but we still have various means of travel involving other methodologies that accomplish the same task.

Before the printing press was invented, scribes did the “printing” and only a privileged few were able to see the content. The printing press put those scribes out of work, and later, electronic publishing made typesetters and Linotype operators obsolete. We are now going through a period of technological change and economic problems that seem to drag us all down. Today’s changes in printing foster business opportunities for those willing to think outside-the-box and view themselves as “Graphic Communicators”. Otherwise, all of us involved in the printing business will become a mirrored image of a railroad industry that failed to recognize they were in the “Transportation Biz”.


By Gene Hayes on Jul 11, 2011

My comment "Ms Sherburne might look toward the Obama administration for future employment opportunties since they seem to have similar agendas" Certainly wasn't meant to be taken literally as Mr Corr seems to believe. Only as an attempt at sarcasim to make a point. My education at a small midwest state university must have failed me when attempting to do so.

Mr. Corr I am sure President Obama is a US citizen and a socialist. So we at least agree on some of your comments. I am currently under going therapy to help me better understand the liberal agenda, apparently it hasn't been successful.

However, neither have that much to do with this forum.

To Paul Strack--I too find it ironic that our print and print related associations who decry the loss of printed pages no longer publish printed rosters and rely on the electronic medium more and more for communication with their members.

I still support the PIA 100% on the letter. Do I think it will make a difference or even be read by members of the Obama admiinistration ? No, but hopefully it will be in back of the mind of some of our local members of congress when considering legislation that could have an affect upon our industry.

I think I hear my therapist calling !


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