Today in My History

2001:  No Tribble at All
2002: 
They Might be Giants
2003:  
Flying for Me
2004: 
Clam Dip
2005
A Taste of Freedom
2006:  Door to Door
2007:   Living with the Clean Queen


IN MY OPINION
TopDog/Underdog

Books Read in 2007
 
Updated: 11/17
"Second Chances"



 


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My Favorite Video Blogs
Desert Nut
Missbehavens
(for others, see Links page)

Look at these videos!
Ennio Marchetto
Argument to Beethoven's 5th
Time Warp
Star Trek Frasier
Defenders of Marriage
 

Family Stories Vlog
(updated 10/2/07)


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Cousins Day, December 2007

IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID

2 February 2008

It's one thing to sit at home in your plush recliner, surrounded by your faithful companions (3 dogs and 1 husband), with dinner simmering on the stove, a computer brimming with all sorts of goodies to savor later in the evening and nice warm slippers for your feet and watch the news to see the stock market going up and down, to see homeless vets trying to meet with Bill O'Reilly to prove they really exist, to see video of  streets where house after house is in foreclosure.

You feel terrible.  The economy is in the tank.  Oh those poor people. 

Turn up the heat and dish up dinner.  It's lamb tonight; I splurged.

But it's a different story when the tanking economy actually comes home to roost, as it did for me yesterday.

It was an e-mail entitled "financial challenges."  An e-mail the sender, the editor of the newspaper, did not want to send, but there it was.  It was very long, but the cogent part read

Instead of simply eliminating half of my correspondents, I'd rather ask if each of you might share in the sacrifice. Would you be willing to accept a temporary reduction in pay, for 2008, with the sincere hope of reinstatement to full salary in 2009? Starting with your next paycheck, you'd receive half of your current going rate.

There was a follow-up addendum to me.  Since I'm paid so little for reviewing shows, my salary would not be cut in half for reviews, but cut from $25 to $20.  The pay for my feature articles, however, would be cut in half.

The Internet is a double-edged sword.  The reason for the necessary cuts in staff or salary at the newspaper is the loss of readers and of advertising dollars.  When you can get all of your news through television or a plethora of print sources on the Net, do you need a newspaper, which only adds to the pollution problem?  When you can advertise on Craig's List for free, do you need to pay for a classified ad?  When you can shop for a house or a car on ComCast, do real estate agents or auto dealers need to list all their goods in the newspaper?

Well, you need it for the touches that we columnists bring--the home town news--but if subscriptions are down and advertising revenue is down, how can a small town newspaper hope to pay us all?

We're being hit with the double whammy of a declining economy overall -- particularly in the real estate market -- and declining advertising revenue as newspapers adjust to growing competition from the Internet. The Enterprise's real estate advertising has dropped by about half, but we anticipate the market will begin to rebound as the mortgage crisis is resolved, and as consumers begin to feel more secure.

(Wishful thinking?  Vote Obama?  Vote Hillary?)

I am in the fortunate position that the loss of half of my income won't really cause much of a ripple around here, especially since I will turn 65 in a couple of weeks and start getting Social Security.  I've been using my newspaper income to pay for my frivolous internet activity and miscellaneous sundries at Amazon.com, but I can now use the Social Security check for that (assuming they don't kill Social Security in the foreseeable future).

And, in truth, I suspect that none of us columnists are relying on our Davis Enterprise income to pay the rent or put food on the table.

Still, you can't help but extrapolate from this e-mail the anguish that heads of households feel when they are unexpectedly told that their salaries are going to have to be cut severely for financial reasons...or that their jobs no longer exist.

We're not to the point of selling apples on the corner yet, but nobody is denying that these are tough times for middleclass Americans


Check it out.  I've been interviewed.

Also, check here for a peek at my new screensaver.  I love it!

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Apparently this is the last full check I'll be receiving for a long time.
 

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