Friday, March 27, 2009

He is Tramping Out the Vintage ..

... where the grapes of wrath are stored ...

The recession has come to call at Steve's house. Book business is slow -- editors fired, lines condensed or eliminated, and nobody is pounding down the doors to throw money at me, alas.

My wife, who works for the Port of Portland, has, along with all the other non-union employees, been given a choice between unpaid furlough, or a pay cut -- same difference -- spread out over the next year and half. No raises, no bonuses, no new hires, and folks going to get riffed.

Still, we are better off than a lot of folks; at least my wife still has a job, and eventually, I'll sell another book. Probably ...

I'd love to blame all this on the Bush administration, but it goes back farther than him, and includes Bill the Willie and George the Elder, though Shrub certainly could have helped head it off at the pass and didn't. War, it seems, isn't always good for the economy.

Of course, given all the "experts" who didn't see it coming, it's hard to blame Former Occupant, since his name and "expert" don't belong in the same galaxy together. But he had people, supposedly.

Everybody better be rooting for Obama to help get us out of the quagmire. Anybody who wants to see him fail for political reasons, given the tenor of the times, is, in my opinion, an idiot; which, as we all know, is one step below imbecile, and two below moron ...


Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

Yeah, we (school district employees) have been told not to expect any cost-of-living increase or other raises, and there's talk of some amount of furlough time. Last time we went through this I got five days unpaid leave spread over three months. I'm hoping it won't be any worse than that this time.

William Adams said...

FWIW, John McCain introduced a bill for mortgage reform in 2005 or 6, but couldn't get any traction or attention --- even though his speech introducing it was almost prescient in predicting the mortgage meltdown.

Most people today have almost _no_ idea of how bad it can get, or how bad it was during the depression.

My grandfather loaded up his Model T during the depression w/ his tobacco crop and drove it to the market in Richmond --- it sold for so little, what it brought in wouldn't even pay for gas to drive the truck back, so he sold it and walked.

A co-worker's family has continued a wonderful family tradition which they started in the depression when a Christmas present would be some necessity like shaving soap or a can of one's favourite soup --- each gift has attached to it a riddle, the answer of which is the gift. Opening gifts involves gathering _everyone_ around, reading each riddle, each person making a guess, and only then opening the present. Takes all day apparently.

Unfortunately he hasn't kept a record of riddles / gifts, esp. of the original ones from the depression --- rather a shame that, it could make a fascinating book.


Mike said...

The art world, as you might guess, is pretty slow, too. Funny thing, really, 'cause I've noticed over the years that the people who buy my stuff tend to have a lot of cash (which means I should probably raise my prices) but it seems people with plenty of money aren't buying, either. Not even the rich SF writers. I did get $5 in tips playing guitar in a bar last week, so things are looking up, I suppose.