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Zoom'ing with Workvivo

Zoom - yes, that Zoom - has made an acquisition in the employment space and to say the boys have an opinion is an understatement. Will it be enough to fend off Microsoft, Salesforce, Google and others? So we’re sayin' there’s a chance, and I’ll leave it at that. Then it’s time for Buy-or-Sell with startups Loopin, Pera and Equitas, which gets pretty ugly, no gonna lie. Lastly, “strategic autonomy” is something we should all add to our bandwidth as France’s Emmanuel Macron talks about moving away from the United States and becoming a third superpower. It all ends up in a pretty animated, colorful episode.




S0: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts complete with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.


Joel: Oh. Yeah. On this day in 1987, the Simpsons first appear, thanks to the Tracey Ullman's Show. Just another American getting rich on the back of the British. Hey kids, this is the Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe. I'm your co-host, Joel 'Millhouse' Cheesman.

Chad: This is Chad 'Dropkick Murphys' Sowash.

Lieven: And I'm Lieven "Disappointed in France again" Van Nieuwenhuyze.


Joel: And on this show, Zoom go shopping. Macron sticks it to America. And a little...

Chad: Macron.

Joel: A Little buy or sell. Let's do this.


Chad: Yeah. That's what I'm fucking talking about. [laughter]

Joel: It must be a special shout out from Chad Sowash.

Chad: That's right, baby. Shout-out to Ireland for making President Biden look like a fucking rockstar every time he had an appearance in Ireland. President Biden recently came out to the Dropkick Murphys song, 'I'm shipping Up To Boston' which you were just listening to. Smoke, lasers, big ass Irish flag in the backdrop. Shout out to Ireland. They know how to make the old man look good.

Joel: It was like a wrestling entrance.

Chad: It was fucking awesome.


Joel: No way were those Irish people that excited to see Joe Biden. They had to be hopped up on Irish whiskey and Guinness.

Chad: I love it.

Joel: There's no other excuse for that.

Chad: When aren't they? What... [laughter] Is that something new? Did they stop that?

Joel: Yeah, it was around breakfast that they did this, that they had this celebration. So mine is Ireland too if you're done.

Chad: Oh, there you go. Sure.

Joel: So I'm gonna shout-out to Michael Daniel Higgins.

Chad: Now that is Irish. Jesus.

Joel: Yeah. So if you're not in America, many of this show's listeners aren't, this got huge press, 'Biden in Ireland'. This was a huge deal. So I'm watching this thing on TV and I'm watching Biden with the delegates. And there's this little guy next to Biden that looks like an extra from Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit. [laughter] And I'm like...

Chad: It's Frodo.

Joel: I'm like, "Who the hell is that guy?" So I researched it. It was Daniel or Michael Daniel Higgins, who is the president of Ireland. This guy is straight out of casting. He should have a pipe and a dragon to ride. And this guy is Ireland to the bone. Apparently, he's been there since 2011. He's only 5'4. He's literally the shortest world leader, male or female, on the planet.

Chad: Holy shit.

Joel: This guy reeks of Lucky Charms cover model. [laughter] And I was so impressed. He's in a tweed suit. He's got the bald head with the festive side.

Chad: Oh yeah.


Joel: He needs some big lamb chops. He's got a Bernese Mountain dog. It was just awesome. So, this guy was Ireland to the bone, and I loved it. I had no idea who he was, but now he's my favorite world leader. Michael D Higgins, baby, shout-out.

Chad: And it also made Joe Biden look better. Again, Ireland making Joe Biden look like a fucking rockstar. And that shit's not easy kids.

Joel: Two white dudes in their 80s, tell me they're not partying up in Ireland. [laughter] Jesus. Save us, Lieven. We're going from Ireland to Montana with Lieven shout-out.

Lieven: Right, right, right. I know Montana's not in Europe as Chad told me before the show, and I know Montana's on Europe, but I would love to...

Chad: Geography, okay? Geography.

Joel: Full of Europeans though. [laughter] Full of rich Europeans buying land.

Lieven: Rich even. Okay. Shout-out to Montana for showing Europe how to ban TikTok and I've been complaining about TikTok since TikTok was launched, even in the show a few times. And Montana actually was the first state to put a ban on TikTok. So now it's officially illegal to install TikTok on a smartphone if you're an American living in Montana. So hail to Montana.


Chad: And all five people who live there.

Lieven: And their cows.

Joel: We have some live footage in the back of a ranch when the Chinese spy balloon flew over Montana.

Lieven: That's the only right reaction. If you see a balloon, shoot it.


Chad: Watch yourself, Lieven. One thing that this country has that no other country has is an abundance of guns. So they will shoot shit. Okay?


Lieven: I know.

Chad: Not safe, not safe.

Joel: Do they have the Yellowstone Show in Belgium?

Lieven: No. And actually I would like to see it. It's probably on some paid channel, but I actually...

Joel: Paramount.

Lieven: Never watch tv, but I wanted to see it. Yeah.

Chad: Paramount Plus.

Joel: Paramount Plus in Belgium.

Chad: Yeah. Probably gonna have to VPN it, but other than that, you should be good.

Lieven: I know how to VPN something.


Outro: What are you doing, step bro?

Joel: All right. Speaking of places to go and travel for both of us, Chad, we're on the move in Europe this year starting in July. I think we'll be in London for RecFest. Where else will we be in Europe this year?

Chad: We've got Unleash coming up this week. My brain is on fire because of everything that we're going to be doing in Vegas this week. And then thinking about RecFest at Knebworth, and then Nashville later. Yeah, there's just so much going on. Listeners, go to, click on events. Go ahead, register. Register for 'em all. Not to mention, we also have a move of the E-recruiting Congress from later this year to early next year.

Joel: Yeah.

Chad: So look for that.

Joel: Lieven, we're pretty bum you're not gonna be in Vegas for Unleash next week. There's fucking pot parties. We're in a ferris wheel, drinking all kinds of stuff. We're doing a tattoo event again. You gotta get out to America, dude, and come party with Chad and Cheese one of these years.

Lieven: Someday, someday I will. Promised.



Joel: Topics. Alright. Zoom, yes, that Zoom has announced its acquisition of Workvivo, an Irish startup. There we are in Ireland again that focuses on internal communication and company culture. The acquisition will diversify Zoom's product suite and give it a direct connection to a number of big name enterprise clients. Workvivo is known for its asynchronous communication platform, which fosters employee engagement through an activity feed, people directory surveys, and a conduit for critical company communications. The deal's financial terms have not been disclosed, but Workvivo's founders and employees will join Zoom as part of the deal. Apparently, they're called zoomies at Zoom in case anyone was wondering. Chad, we rarely see deals like this go down. What are your thoughts?

Chad: First off, zoomies are what dogs do when they're running around the house or around the yard when they just like for no apparent reason, they're like going full throttle. Those are zoomies. So we've talked about Workvivo on the show a few times. And it was kind of like a Facebook workplace style internet for companies. And I've always been kind of lukewarm on the idea as I felt that there are way too many other tools that are bigger and better like the Slacks of the world that are just components that vivo couldn't compete with. So I don't believe that I would ever buy a Workvivo, but where I would've swiped left, Zoom swipe right. And personally, I believe this is a great coupling. How can Zoom start to compete with Microsoft Teams? How can Zoom position itself as an employee communications platform beyond video and messaging and transform into a talent management hub? There's only one answer. That's Workvivo.

Chad: How does Zoom inflate its lagging stock price? [laughter] How can Zoom open up its TAM and then the ability to gain more wallet share from their current roster of clients? I mean, there are so many good reasons why a company like Zoom, which I didn't see happening, would buy a Workvivo. So this I think is probably the best arranged marriage of the year.

Joel: So we have talked about Workvivo a few times. They were founded back in 2017. They've raised roughly $40 million. They claim to have 1 million employees connect with their colleagues through their app and they count companies like Amazon, Lululemon and Liberty Mutual as their clients. So a lot of good things going on here at Workvivo. Terms were not disclosed, which is a little strange for a public company like Zoom. If they paid a good price for that, it seems like something that they would announce. You hit it round in the head when you talked about Microsoft. Look, Zoom was the darling of Wall Street during the pandemic. You had a few companies that were like, oh, they went from $20 to $300 a share and Zoom was one of those companies. Once the pandemic subsided, people went back to work. Teams got traction outta Microsoft. Zoom stock price has come back to earth in a big way. I think the AI component and what Microsoft Teams will be doing with OpenAI and the integration with ChatGPT takes it up another notch in terms of Zoom needs to do something. I think the other side of that is you have Salesforce which has been competing with Microsoft forever acquire a company like Slack and for the last year or so, Salesforce's share price has gradually gone up and up and up while Zoom stock price has been pretty much sideways for the last over a year really.

Joel: So juice the stock, well, Wall Street doesn't really agree. Since this deal was announced, the stock really hasn't done much of anything either. That's 'cause no one knows what Workvivo is, which is quite possibly versus buying someone like Slack. Slack was a multi-billion dollar deal though, where I'm guessing Workvivo was nowhere near that much money. So I think Zoom has its work cut out for it. I think it's an uphill battle. I think Microsoft is an apex predator looking to just take Zoom out, and I think Salesforce is making waves. Obviously Google's gonna get into some of this. Even Facebook's a little at work, which we haven't talked about in a while is still out there as a social media communications platform. So this is a Hail Mary as far as I'm concerned. It's Zoom trying to compete with Microsoft and some others. I think it's gonna be a failed attempt and the stock is gonna continue to go sideways and down. I don't think it's much of anything. Good for Workvivo. They got paid and sold and everybody still has a job. But as far as long-term prospects for Zoom, I would not be recommending buying that stock anytime soon.

Lieven: I kind of like Workvivo, but the problem is Zoom is the mothership and Workvivo is not going to improve Zoom, and I use Zoom a lot when I'm teaching. Zoom is a pretty good platform because it can speak to 100 and if you get a better account, if more people at the same time. And it's better for teaching than Teams for example, or Google Hangout or Skype or whatever. But it's not good. I mean, for example, the audio sucks. If you have several people talking at the same time, they are going to take one voice and lift it up and they're going to use some audio ducking on the other voice so they go down. So when people are in a meeting and meetings, good meetings have people talking to each other because they get animated, and then you just miss parts of the conversation. And that's something I don't have with Teams. For example, Teams is very basic, but Teams is doing what Teams should be doing, organizing meetings. So if Zoom wants to stay alive, it's not by buying companies like Workvivo, I think. They just should improve whatever they're doing as a basic. And today, I feel they're lagging behind. They had their moment like Joel said and the shares boom because everyone was pulling money from every company and investing in it.

Chad: And the few companies who would get better through COVID and Zoom was one of those, but they totally missed the momentum, I think. And now buying Workvivo is like a silly effort. I don't know. I don't think they can compete with companies like Google Hangout, Skype, Teams, and buying Workvivo won't make a big difference. So I think it's a lost shot.

Joel: Did he say Skype?


Lieven: They still exist, they still exist. [laughter],

Chad: He's looking up competitors and the number one competitor that came up, and this tells you the history of the rankings was Webex. And I'm like, who the fuck uses Webex anymore.

Lieven: Yeah, Webex.

Joel: Blue Jeans.

Lieven: Okay. They suck too, they suck too.


Joel: Next up, the return of Yammer everybody. Let's take a quick break and we'll play a little buy or sell.

Joel: All right, guys. Who's ready for a little buy or sell? Yeah, that's right. If you don't know, here's how we play. We talk about three companies that have recently gotten funding or are raising money. We read a summary and each of us will either buy or sell the company. Are you ready to play buy or sell? First up, we got Loopin. UK-based Loopin has raised 1.6 million pounds in seed funding. The beta platform, which aims to help businesses measure and improve employee morale is expected to roll out a coaching feature also. Loopin is the first to develop a metric for measuring morale. And it combines with generative AI to change the way successful companies operate. Chad, is this a buy or just another loopy startup? Go.

Chad: So it almost feels like this is a pivot of monumental size when they start talking about a morale platform. I mean, efficiency platforms. This is the time to be an efficiency platform, but yet they're trying to become a morale platform. I love efficiency tools. I can't get enough of them, but after watching the Loopin demos and digging deeper, it really feels like a platform that is about 10 years old. Kind of like Trello meets Google Calendar. You're using a platform, but if I'm still doing all the manual work, does that mean I'm more efficient? No. Integrating a virtual assistant into the platform, now that would be awesome. Recording meetings, transcribing, summarizing notes, being able to create actions and tasks for this pseudo Google Calendar thing that they have. In a world of chatGPT, we have to see more. And if you are going to make a big announcement calling it a morale platform, morale boosting platform, where's the wah, wah, wah at? 'Cause this is a sell.

Joel: The wah, wah, wah is always at my beck and call, Chad. All right. I'm gonna go. This one's a little close to my heart. I launched an app 10 years ago called Morale, which is sort of similar ratedly, which I built looking at morale on review sites, and also poach, which use some natural language processing to kind of gauge, build almost like a stock chart of morale and what's going on with the company.

Lieven: Sentiment score almost, right?

Joel: Sentiment score, yeah. So this one's a little close to the vest for me. Although the idea is a buy because I've done it a few times and I can't like not be for it. I'm here to tell you it's not gonna happen because people don't care. Companies don't really care how you feel. I mean, everyone says they do. Everyone says that how our employees feel and their morale and they're excited to come to work is important. I think everyone being remote potentially gives this a shot, but ultimately, companies care about what you produce. They don't care about how you feel. And as long as you're producing and you're miserable, companies don't really give a shit. If you don't produce and you're happy...

Chad: You're fired.

Joel: Okay, great. If you're producing and you're unhappy, no one gives a shit. Basically, companies don't wanna know if you're happy or not. And as long as you're producing, they don't care if you're happy or not. If you're not producing, you're gonna get fired and you'll be unhappy either way. And it's certainly not something that, in my experience, companies are willing to spend a lot of money to do. So for me as well, the wah, wah is one of my favorites. This one, although a buy just 'cause it's close to me. It's a big sell because companies don't give a shit.

Chad: So you don't think Jamie Dimon and DJ Saul cares about their employees that they wouldn't think this is big?

Joel: No.

Chad: Exactly.

Joel: No, I don't.

Lieven: First of all, we do care about our employees, but we don't need a employee morale booster based on AI generated content to care about the people. I mean, it's totally bullshit. What can you expect from a platform like that? Something like giving me motivational slogans every 15 minutes. "Hey, go, go Lieven." Or every oak was once a little acorn, go, go. I mean, seriously. So what's the morale booster going to do with people who are seriously depressed? Nothing at all. I don't think you need a coach to keep your employees from leaving. I think you need interesting jobs and a decent surrounding and capable staff, et cetera. And the best thing I feel to improve morale is to offer your people a common enemy.

Chad: That's a different story. [laughter] Okay. Good talk.

Lieven: But what I found interesting about TikTok. [laughter] What I found interesting about Loopin once that their CEO, Ben used to be a Royal Marine, and he claims the motivational stuff he learned being a marine, he's using now in his app. And that's an interesting thing. And I'm sure that if you're able to motivate a team in a terrible environment like the army, then you should be able to do it in a company as well. But how do you feel about it Chad? It's your business, armies.

Chad: At the end of the day, that type of motivation is entirely different than the motivation that we see on the corporate side entirely.

Lieven: Yeah. You fucking maggot get your lazy ass. That's not the kind of...

Chad: Yeah, Because you could die. And if you're fucking something up, then literally there are lives on the line versus something like this. So when somebody says like, you're gonna take your motivational skills that you learned in the military, it's an entirely different world. So good for him. But yeah, I don't see it working.

Lieven: Sell, sell, definitely sell.

Joel: Three sells for Loopin.

Chad: Wow.

Joel: All right. Next up, Dutch HR tech firm Pera has secured 5 million euros. Pera aims to make recruitment faster and more accurate by analyzing the language used by job applicants and has a database of more than 5.5 million professionals. The funds will be used to develop Pera's technology, expand its footprint in the Benelux, is that how it's pronounced, Lieven?

Lieven: Benelux, Benelux.

Joel: Benelux, which is Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg, which I didn't know. That's news for me. And as well as the UK and continue to gather data to improve its algorithms. The firm's periscope tool examines applicant's responses to three open-ended question and compares them with a data set on the professional achievements of others. Chad, by or sell Pera?

Chad: This is probably the fastest assessment. See what I did there? That I've made in a long time. And it all has to do with the following quote from Rina Joosten-Rabou. Is that how you say it, Joosten?

Lieven: Good enough.

Chad: Where she mentions, I analyze the following statement. "The research behind Pera's approach is based on over 30 years of science, where it has been proven that people's communication contains subliminal clues about their motivations, personalities, and behavior". What the kind of fucking cycle bubble bullshit is that? Subliminal clues? Do ferries also help in the predictive function of Pera? I mean, if I were a hiring company, I would run for the hills. If somebody calls you and says, "Hey, I'm from Pera", put the phone down. I can't sell this fast enough. It's done. Good luck. Fucking subliminal. Are you kidding?

Joel: Okay. First of all, the website is ridiculous.


Joel: That is the most asinine weird website for a SaaS company I've ever seen. They must have spent a ton of money on this website and it's totally ridiculous. Just go check it out if you wanna see what I'm talking about. That was a big, like eeh, for me starting off. So the website says, "Your written language is like a fingerprint. It can reveal your key competencies and future potential. All we need is your responses to a three-question interview". Okay. Who the fuck writes anymore, okay? It's a lost art. Kids don't do it. Young people don't write well anymore. And if you need to be a solid writer to come across on this test as a good potential employee, a lot of people are screwed 'cause they just don't write anymore. Paradox is Traitify, which uses visual shit and apparently works, I think is a much better technology.

Chad: Visual shit.

Joel: I mean, if you want something simple, go with a Traitify or Paradox. If you wanna go all in on this stuff, use someone like Plum. I just don't see Pera cutting through with a three-question writing test. I do like their regional focus and I like that I've learned a new word like Benelux because maybe I'll use that at some point. [laughter] But for me as well, man, I just do this fast enough. This is crazy shit, Pera. Lieven?

Lieven: First of all, if you say Benelux, you have to say Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and not Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg as you did, because then the acronym is kind of lost but...

Joel: Have patience, man. God is not finished with me yet. Sorry.

Lieven: Benelux.

Joel: Benelux.

Lieven: Okay. But talking about Pera, I totally agree. I mean, they say on their website, three simple steps. The candidate answers three open questions online. There's no right or wrong. Then Pera registers the answers and extracts information from a language that subconsciously says something about the candidate. And then, well, the platform compare that data with the database of successful people in the same role. That's... In my opinion, it's bullshit. But who am I? [chuckle] And I asked Rina Joosten because that's the way how you pronounce her name. I asked Rena Houston on LinkedIn to connect and she already accepted. So I'm going to give her the right to answer and if she listens, maybe somehow will hint the show to her.

Chad: Oh, she'll listen.

Lieven: If she listens, she can contact me. We're connected now and I'm really interested because psychology interests me. And if she can prove that subconscious stuff like this could work, I'm happy to listen. But for now on, it's a very, very big sell.

Outro: Doesn't anyone notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

Joel: That's six sells everybody. Let's see if...

Chad: Geez.

Joel: The final company can save it. All right. This is a crowdfunding deal that's nearing its goal of raising 700,000 euros. The company Equitas is an interview intelligence software aiming to support fair and inclusive hiring, helping companies build diverse teams. Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Belfast, the startup says it's seen 800% year over year growth in the volume of interviews and have a sales pipeline of over 3 million pounds. 32 investors have already jumped in to invest, but I wanna know what you two think. Chad, by or sell Equitas?

Chad: So co-founder Michael Blakley has experience in recruiting and deep experience in assessments. And what is an interview? It's an assessment. The platform provides structure to the interview, creating a standardized flow in questions including probing questions. No note-taking necessary as the audio is recorded and transcribed. Pretty standard nowadays. This is a very competitive space, but I always bet on industry experience and Equitas has that plus focus on the UK and Ireland. For me, gonna break the ice. It's a buy.

Joel: Holy shit.


Joel: Somebody had to. Lieven, you're champing at the bit. Do you wanna go or do you want me to go?

Lieven: No, I wanna go. No worries.

Joel: Go ahead.

Lieven: I feel it's like very American software. I think it maybe useful for multinationals to prove in courts they don't discriminate because basically with the transcribing staff and all, that's what it's doing. It's keeping records of how this... The application process went and then it's offering proof. "We didn't discriminate because of this and that." But for most as I'm based in Europe and probably also for really big companies in Europe, we don't need software to do it.

Lieven: I mean, the shortage of qualified candidates is structural. So we just don't have the luxury to choose between many candidates, let alone to discriminate. So I don't think many companies in Europe will be interested in buying software to prove they don't discriminate. And they definitely won't buy it because they don't want to discriminate. I mean, they don't wanna discriminate, but they just won't. So I don't feel this has big possibilities in most European countries, but maybe Anglo-Saxon countries, yes, they resemble America more. Could be, but for me it's a sell.

Joel: Alright. We're back to selling guys. Okay, we're back to selling. All right. HireVue, Willow, VidCruiter, Vervoe, Paradox, Spark Hire, Wedge, Hire Fix, Indeed, TestGorilla, BrightHair... BrightHire, sorry. Should I go on?

Chad: No. That's great market validation. That's a good point. Yeah.

Joel: Equitas is a knife in a gunfight. If you want to invest in Belfast, buy a bottle of Bushmills. This also is a sell for me. If you're keeping track at home, that is eight sells and one buy. Alright. Let's get to one of our favorite or least favorite, depending on who you're asking. Leaders in Europe. French President Emmanuel Macron has called for Europe to reduce its reliance on the US. What? And avoid being caught up in a confrontation between the US and China over Taiwan. Speaking to journalists after spending six hours with Chinese President Xi during a state visit to China, Macron emphasized his support for his concept of, "strategic autonomy," for Europe in which Europe would become a third superpower. The French president argued that Europe should focus on boosting its own defense industries while reducing its reliance on the extra territoriality of the US dollar. European Council President Charles Michel seems to agree saying EU cannot "blindly, systematically follow Washington." Chad, what do you make of all this strategic autonomy talk in the old country?

Chad: I make that I wanna hear from the European on this one first.

Lieven: And that's supposed to be me?

Joel: That is you, yes.

Lieven: Well, first of all, Macron spent six hours talking to Xi Jinping and afterwards, he launches the idea of Europe as a third superpower. Seriously. Russia and China succeeded in convincing Trump to move away from Europe and NATO, but then Trump scrolled up and he didn't get re-elected. So now they have to try something else, and they try a different approach and convincing Macron that Europe needs to be a third superpower. And Macron obviously has a very big ego, and he probably sees himself as the president of that third superpower. That's ridiculous. In different times, I would agree on Europe needing to reduce its dependency on the US, but not today. These aren't the times. Without US, Ukraine will be a part of Russia by now, Taiwan would be Chinese. So what? I'm sure Putin think Poland and maybe the Baltics belong to Russia too and have no clue what China wants after Taiwan, but I'm sure we won't like it.

Lieven: And China has been increasing their military budgets drastically in the past decade. It's not because they're afraid of NATO and they're afraid that NATO might attack them. So I don't know what they're planning on, but Taiwan is too small to justify those really big growths and military budget. And China doesn't have many friends. So you have North Korea, but there are many countries with common enemies like Iran, for example, idealistically, they are totally different with China, but they have the same enemy, the west. So I don't think we want a stronger China right now. It's really... It's a problem. I think it's a problem bigger than Russia is, but now getting a split up between the United States and Europe would be the biggest stupidity to do, but who am I?

Joel: America.

Chad: So yeah. So you mentioned a name, Trump. He was probably one of the best, was he? Helpful idiots that all the strong-armed men across the world had, the Xis, the Putin's, the... What's this little buddy in North Korea?

Lieven: Kim Jong Un.

Joel: Un.

Lieven: Or something, Kim Jong Un.

Chad: He's saying the things that you shouldn't out loud, which is another thing that Trump is saying. If you feel this, I totally get it. That this is not something you say on the world stage at this point in time. Do I believe in isolationism? No, that's total bullshit because we have to have redundancies. And we have to be smart because we do have a global economy, although you have to be smart. And from the EU, I see from the standpoint of you look to the EU first and then you look outward and number two is the US. Totally get that.

Joel: So one thing neither of you mentioned was a certain riotous behavior in France currently going on because they're raising the retirement age. And what better way...

Chad: A diversion...

Joel: What better way to divert attention to riots in the street in Paris than to talk about being autonomous and leaving the US or relying on the US much less than they have? Look, historically, World War II happened. Europe was decimated. America basically said, "We're gonna police the seas, the oceans. We're gonna basically be a Kevlar vest over Europe, protecting you from everything. You won't have to build your military as much as you have in the past. We'll create a union and things for 50 years or so." We're pretty much like that. And America spent a lot of money to protect everyone and everyone lived really nicely and had nice welfare in Europe because they didn't have to build a military.

Joel: They could spend all their money on their citizens and keep them happy in that system. Fast forward to today, America, I think is spending 5X on Ukraine versus what Europe is. We're still spending a ton of money for defenses of Europe and keeping Russia at bay in many cases. So it's sort of strange to say Europe is gonna be autonomous and less on the US. I see the reality of it in that if we do get into war with Taiwan, does Europe wanna be involved with that? Not really. They didn't really wanna be involved when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Now they did send troops ultimately, but we sent a lot more troops to Europe and money and resources than they did to...

Chad: They were already in a conflict. Let's make sure everybody remembers that.

Joel: Hold on. We wanted to... We're fighting a two-front war. They're fighting the Nazis.

Chad: Again, they were already in a conflict.

Joel: The point is they have no...

Chad: What fuck did you want them to do?

Joel: They have no history of saying the US is in trouble in Asia.

Chad: France had given up. What did you want them to do, Joel? What did you want France to do then?

Lieven: Even Belgium gave up after six days.

Chad: Historically, you're all fucked up.

Joel: Europe does not wanna get involved in the Pacific.

Lieven: No, no, it's true. But...

Joel: Am I wrong?

Chad: When they bombed Pearl Harbor, what was going on in Europe at that time, Joel?

Joel: War.

Chad: Oh, no shit, no shit. They had to defend themselves.

Joel: So we could have said, "You guys deal with Europe. We got the Japanese to deal with", but we didn't do that.

Chad: No, we saw that shit coming to us, so we had to actually do something. That was an America first issue.

Joel: Why could have Europe seen Japan coming their way?

Chad: They could have, but they're already in a fight.

Lieven: Japan is very far, and Germany wasn't.

Joel: So we weren't in the European fight, but we got into it. That's okay. But your argument that they were already in a war, so they couldn't come to the Pacific.

Chad: Dude, most countries were decimated.

Lieven: Yeah. And America was pissed off because of Pearl Harbor, and then they had to be involved. But I'm not sure. Did they want to be a part of the second World War in the beginning?

Chad: No.

Lieven: In the first one, they only joined in '16 or something. When did the Americans come to Europe to save our asses for the... I dont know how many times.

Chad: We're always slow. Yeah.

Lieven: Yeah. But when you come, of course you change tie.

Joel: So let me get around to my final point here. [laughter] Europe is destined to eventually... I don't wanna say be on its own, but America is going to support Europe less and less as the decades go on and on. And they need to figure out what their road is. Is it a third superpower that makes nice with both the China, Russia, Iran, axis of evil as well as America, and try to tow that line and trade with both? I mean, let's be honest, for energy, Europe had a really nice winter that was warm. This wasn't a huge issue, but energy is going to be an issue next year. So Europe has a lot of issues in terms of relying on stuff from Russia and energy that they need to at least act like we're not America's bitch. We can make our own decision. [laughter] So I think Macron in some ways and Europe in some ways is forced to be, "We can't just totally be on one side or the other. We have to try to play nice with everybody so our folks don't fucking revolt", which as Macron knows, they have a tendency to do. They wanna keep the peace, keep people warm in the winter, keep people fed. And to do that, they have to play on both sides of the fence.

Lieven: But I think it'll be selfish from Europe to say, "Okay, when Russia is attacking Ukraine, America, please help us." But when China is attacking Taiwan and the Americas has guaranteed they will protect Taiwan, now Europe would say, "Now this, we don't wanna be involved." It just doesn't work like that. There has to be loyalty from both sides.

Joel: I will tell you, if Russia had rolled through Ukraine and was at the doorstep of Poland, Europe would be singing a much different tune than they are now.

Lieven: Definitely. Yeah, of course. And it was a possibility. Russia expected to do it in a few weeks, take the whole of Ukraine. Everyone actually so as I was surprised it didn't work out that way. So apparently, Russia's army wasn't as good as they expected.

Chad: Crimea was a practice run.

Lieven: Yeah. And we didn't react and they expected the same now.

Chad: We did not.

Joel: And I'm sure Russia would love nothing then for our attention to be diverted to the Pacific and China, which leaves Europe much more on its own than it does now. So anyway, the world is gonna get interesting, kids, in a not great way, I suspect.

Chad: Get me a beach and an umbrella drink. That's all I care.


Joel: Portugal's fine, everybody. Let's go meet up at Chad's for pina coladas and sunbathing. We out.

Chad: We out.

Lieven: We out.

S5: Thank you for listening to what's it called? The podcast, the Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting, they talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of shout-outs to people. You don't even know and yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue, nacho, pepper jack, Swiss. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Anywho be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play or wherever you listen to your podcasts. That way you won't miss an episode. And while you're at it, visit Just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. It's so weird. We out.


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