justlistened to press conference press and panic..

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thanks so much for helping me find and listen to that discussion i would like your opinion on the honesty of the panel thank u

-- vicki gold (myfivekids@aol.com), March 10, 1999


Very much confirmed my view of Kosie and cohords. He essential repeated at least 5-10 times " we cant alert the people because we will NOT be able to handle stockpiling even this far ahead. If everyone of 250 mill. americans just buy's one pound of beans the system will crash.......the same is true for any other goods. I guess what he was saying was He would love to recomment preparedness but the sustem could not handle it and it would result in a panic and that is not permissible. Hie whole attitude in MHO was to tell the press report it all but don't tell people to prepare because the system can not handle it. JIT= Japaneese Instegated Treachary.

-- rickjohn (rickjohn1@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

Can anyone confirm rickjohn's Koskie quote? Did he really say that?!!

Transcript? Link?

-- rick blaine (y2kazoo@hotmail.com), March 10, 1999.


You can't blame the Japanese for JIT, you see, it was an American by the name of W. Edmunds Deming who taught them this process after WWII, and then spearheaded the implementation if it in the USA.

From the preface of the book "Out Of The Crises", by W.E. Deming (1982)..

"W. Edwards Deming is the internationally renowned consultant whose work led Japanese industry into new principles of management and revolutionized their quality and productivity. The adoption of Dr. Deming's 14 points for management could help industry in the United States. Dr. Deming has enjoyed a worldwide practice for 40 years."

-- Online2Much (ready_for_y2k@mindspring.com), March 10, 1999.


That's basically what he said.

"We can't even recommend that everyone buy a pound of beans. It would result in disaster."

-- mabel (mabel_louise@yahoo.com), March 10, 1999.

As a follower of Deming for many years, I'd hate to ascribe any Y2K blame on him or his many brilliant concepts.

HOWEVER, several assumptions were made in the JIT system - fully functioning infrastructure, and predictable delivery times with predictable quality.

The main reason for JIT was reduction in inventory costs leading to cheaper products. I don't think fault tolerance was considered except insofar as "qualifying" your suppliers.

I guess the Western world didn't qualify their suppliers very well.



-- Jollyprez (jolly@prez.com), March 10, 1999.

So he did say beans? That's scary... I'd think he'd be recommending tuna helper or something. Beans are a long-term item, not a purchase for 72 hour problem.....more like months.

-- Lisa (lisa@uptoears.in_beans), March 10, 1999.

Bad dog.

-- Lisa (lisa@work.now), March 10, 1999.

"We can't even recommend that everyone buy a pound of beans. It would result in disaster." What???? I am having difficulty believing he said this. If so, it has got to be among the stupidest things ever uttered in public.

-- Puddintame (dit@dot.com), March 10, 1999.


That's only 250 million pounds of beans. That's the same thing as if 25 million people bought one ten pound bag of beans. Or one big pig of a person bought one 250 million pound bag of beans......

Anyhooo, why on earth would that crash the system.

Methinks that Kosie is rapidly turning into a 'has bean'.

-- Craig (craig@ccinet.ab.ca), March 10, 1999.

I guess if Koskinenbones goes to the supermarket and sees 100 lbs. of beans on the shelves he figures that's the total amount which that market can sell that year. I'm having real trouble believing that this guy went to Yale law school. Someone better check up on his references. Of course, he was dumb enough to take the job.

Let's see. . . he get's paid $126,000 a year. Probably the lowest in his Yale law class. If y2k is a bump in the road, he's out of a job. If it's TEOTWAWKI, it's his fault. That's a good deal . . .isn't it?

-- Puddintame (dit@dot.com), March 10, 1999.

These comments by Koskinen are from near the end of the press conference. I have it on cassette. I'll post an exact quote later tonight.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), March 10, 1999.

Here's the part of the conference everyone on this thread is wondering about.


[Journalist introduces himself and asks a question]

Matthew Holme, Country Living Magazine. Are we actually creating panic if we tell people to start preparing now?

If they are going to stockpile food or something, if they buy an extra pound of beans every single week from now on, isn't that just helping the economy, rather than putting a great crush on things and taking things out of stock?

There is a supply now. There is no shortage. If people prepare gradually, then they're not going to have a problem.

[John Koskinen's answer]

Clearly, if people are going to accumulate anything, we'd do better if they start accumulating now and send that signal to the market.

But again, when you say everybody should get a pound of beans, you've got to understand if 200 million Americans all decide to go out and buy beans, I can guarantee there are not beans in the process to start accumulating it at that rate.

So the difficulty for all of this is trying to figure out what is the risk and what are the appropriate preparations to make sure that we can deal with them in advance.

I had a meeting with our pharmaceutical working group on Monday where we have the whole pharmaceutical industry -- the manufacturers, the wholesalers, retailers.

It's critical for us with them to work out what are the actual risks in that system, because it's a little like a seed.

If we're going to make judgements about inventories and productions of prescription drugs, those have to be made now, in advance.

So it's not as simple as saying, well, everybody should start early and there won't be a problem. Because for a lot of things if you have 255 million people, it doesn't make any difference.

A hundred million people start doing it early and it's a problem early, rather than a problem late.

The real question is, people need to do what needs to be done as best we can determine.

[end of John Koskinen's answer to Matthew Holme]


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), March 10, 1999.

Congress needs to go ahead and pass that crime against humanity bill I keep railing about. Koskinen needs to be fired immediately. Someone with a military background needs to be in charge of this.

-- Puddintame (dit@dot.com), March 10, 1999.

The original purpose of JIT was to save money by reducing inventory costs. For dinosaur organizations, that remains the primary focus today. For some, this has been more a matter of shoving inventory costs back on the supplier than of shrinking the entire pipeline.

But the main *effect* of JIT, when properly understood and used, has been a dramatic increase in quality! This happens for two reasons: First, if a part lot is bad or fails to meet spec in some way, the lots are so small that there is no longer any incentive to consume a 4-month supply of bad parts rather than write it off. Second, engineering improvements or superior designs can be implemented immediately, rather than after the just-in-case huge inventories are consumed.

JIT is, as pointed out, made possible by smooth and reliable processes throughout the economy. And this reliability has been made possible by computers. We reached the 'critical mass' of near- universal computerization that made JIT possible at all, less than 20 years ago. And the real benefits of JIT only came clear about 10 years ago.

This is one of the major reasons why there's no going backwards -- we *must* fix our computers. The equipment for manufacturing huge quantities of parts no longer exists. The warehouses are gone. The necessary organizational and administrative processes have been lost. There's no such thing as 'almost just in time.'

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), March 10, 1999.

Here we go again!! Big brother knows best. What if I DON'T WANT to go to his tent city? I gave that up when I left government service many years ago, in a land far, far away. The principal thing that I read in Mr. K's comments is that NONE of us should prepare because they don't think the system could handle it.

Let me assure them. I don't care how much trumpeting and yelling the media does about y2k and the potential seriousness, 250 million JQP just aren't going out and buying beans. Even if the media started a blitz now, they probably would not be able to persuade more than 10-15% of the population to start preparing. You will always have the majority of the population playing stupid until it's too late. People in hurricane areas do not buy plywood and tape, etc. when it's on sale. No, they wait until a Hugo is sitting offshore with the weather bands coming over the horizon. And Mr. K expects them to panic and buy a pound of beans for an event still 9 months away and invisible to boot? Ain't gonna happen.

got my beans--need salsa.

-- Lobo (Hiding@woods.com), March 10, 1999.

I just realized something - He never said they SHOULD NOT start preparing - the reporter said pretty much what I've recommending = one can or two cans of soemthing per week per person, start now and continue through the whole year -

What he said was "we can't tell people to start preparing" because the "market" can't handle it. And I thought this nation re-armed to fight WWII beginning from a depression-level economy to throwing out ships, planes, tanks, and trucks, troops, rifles, cannons, landing ships, and people (plus all their food, and food and fuel for most of the free world) - and did it all in less than 16 months.

Now, if we can't grow some extra beans and rice when faced with a whole spring and summer to plan, plant and harvest it ----

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), March 10, 1999.


I agree. I think he is 'in a round-about-way' saying we should stockpile. I think he is expecting alot of people to read between the lines.

-- (mybit@cyber.space), March 10, 1999.

Robert, I wish I could agree with you on the ability of current day Americans to bond together and work for community and group instead of self. In WWII the populace was essentially family and community oriented and mostly rural. They were used to helping neighbors with problems--even the stupid neighbors. This essence of community and self has been lost except in isolated areas across this great land. Most citizens today are so busy 'cooping' or dealing with Johnney's Little League or Susi's skating lesson, they have no concept of 'needing' anyone. I grew up in the backwoods of WVa in the 40's and 50's. If a neighbor had problems (even of his own making) you went and helped him out. And damn well expected the same of him. Nowdays, your neighbor has a problem, you and the missus watch thru partially closed drapes and either sigh at his ignorance or laugh at his stupidity.

No, I don't think that the majority of Americans have the ability to 'respond to the call of the bugle'. The ability to respond is not there, it has been trained out of them by a negative feedback--'don't get involved' and a young lady dies in a park in NY. I do think that if y2k is an 8 or 9 there will be mass mayhem and 'every man for himself'. Believe me, this old globe isn't the Titanic anymore where genteel men and ladies promanaded to the lifeboats. It instead turned into a somewhat civilized version of a 'Soylent Green".

-- Lobo (Hiding@woods.com), March 10, 1999.

Lobo, I understand. I wish the good old days I remember so fondly hadn't been such a pain when I lived through them.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), March 10, 1999.

I knew I should have bought the beans BEFORE I bought all this damn BEANO!

-- Scotty (BLehman202@aol.com), March 10, 1999.

Flint, I never said the 'good old days' were that good. What I was commenting on was the loss of feeling toward our fellow man. No, I wouldn't trade the modern convienences we have now for those days. I enjoy my web, my ability to talk to anyone from anywhere, my ability to enjoy life and travel..point is, so does everyone else. And when (if) that is taken from them, the first response is denial (which won't last long) then anger. A deep unreasoning anger that will ensure that mob psychology rules.

Growing up in the hills of WVa, I worked my butt off on the farm. My dad and our neighbor combined spreads and we ran about 150 head of the nastiest onriest cattle you would ever want to see. (No bossie here). I also worked my butt off to get out of there, get an education and never have to do that again. I have done well enough that the only ranching I do is what I want to do...until now. Because of the shortsightedness of the 'leaders' of business and state, I probably will be forced to go back and do it again. Talk about deja vu. No I don't long for those days but I'm afraid that portions of it are coming back with a vengence.

-- Lobo (Hiding@woods.com), March 10, 1999.

Lobo -

Re Titanic:

Even more significantly, many of the gentlemen reportedly refused to even consider boarding the lifeboats. They knew their duty and they did it, which was (and still is) to ensure that the women and children were safe.

This is what drives me to prepare: Y2k poses a threat to my wife and children. I do not know how great the threat is, so I will prepare to the best of my ability.

And I do not accept the bland assurances of those in charge, since it is they who have placed my family in jeopardy. I have not panicked, nor will I. Like Madame Defarge, however, I will be making a list against the day of reckoning...

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.com), March 11, 1999.

The conference has now been archived. You can listen to it at this link:


RealPlayer software required.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), March 11, 1999.

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