We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...our government isn’t running trillion-dollar deficits because we’re letting the working class get away with not paying its fair share. We’re running those deficits because too many powerful interest groups have a stake in making sure the party doesn’t stop.
When you look around the richest precincts of today’s Washington, you don’t see a city running on paternalism or dependency. You see a city running on exploitation.
Not long ago I asked readers what my time is worth on a per-hour basis. Collectively and independently, they settled on a number of about $500/hr (see the comments). Now look for a moment at what Medicare pays, even at its highest level of billing for a physician’s time for evlauation and management of a medical problem: for 40 minutes of a physician’s time, it’s $140 (or $210/hr) before taxes. Again, we see another disconnect as to how doctors are valued in our current system.
The piece on newspaper advertising hits home with me. There are 2 former newspaper execs who live on my street, and both have struggled to find, or hang on to, jobs in the last 4 years.
Both have had to shift their focus to areas of media where I've spent my time over the last 27 years, and making a shift like that is not a simple task. The industry is overrun with former print people.
The upside is that startups are everywhere, and if you're willing to take stock options and a lower salary (I did that once, and never again), you can find work. The work is difficult and more suited to 25 year-olds with the energy to put into developing interest in a product that is hard to sell.
But some have started to make that jump. You do what you must to pay the bills.
The other upside is, as the article points out, that overall advertising spending is growing. Oddly enough, there is a link between easy money and ad spending. It's not surprising, really, but it exists (I did a study for a company I worked for several years ago that shows how policies like QE actually increase free cash flow, which usually winds up being spent on advertising).
Despite such a link and its benefits to my industry, QE is a dangerous policy that is likely to fail in the long run. But you make hay while the sun shines.
Advertising and inflation are inextricably linked, as well. Assuming QE leads to inflation, and it likely will (it already has, depending on how you measure it), this will increase advertising revenues, too. I entered the industry just as the high inflation years of the late 70's and early 80's was ending. Many old-timers lamented the slowdown in spending which coincided with the lower inflation.
And finally, technology isn't slowing down. Every 'new' thing is creating new advertising 'space'. I've seen companies creating Twitter accounts and selling the 'space' on their 'tweets'. Creative destruction, as Schumpeter would say, at its finest.
It's telling that the area where our nation's "public servants" live is generally the richest in the nation. To borrow from the title of Fred Schwed's book - Where are all the customer's (private citizens') yachts? The federal government, created for the purpose of promoting the general Welfare (which is the opposite of providing welfare for specific groups) and securing the Blessings of Liberty, has instead enriched itself by denying us the very things it was meant to protect.
Mead writes: "There clearly are people in the press who think they are called to this work to support and further a political and moral vision of what kind of place America should be. They have come to the media because they want to “change the world” as so many idealistic young people put it. As human beings who try to incorporate their ideals and their passions into their professional lives, they believe in many cases that conservative governance would be a disaster for the country, and they are sure that an “informed” public opinion would reject conservative nostrums. Given that, they want to make sure that their own work contributes to an enlightened, informed public opinion and so they consciously approach their work by looking for stories or angles that reinforce liberal narratives and undermine conservative ones."
"Informed". So they misinform us in the attempt to see that we are "properly" informed. We see the man behind the curtain, and so we are informed that he is lying to us in one way or another.
Also: "(I’ve met billionaires on both sides and as far as I can see the motives of conservative and liberal contributors are not that different: a mix of genuine ideological faith with a healthy understanding of the value of having close ties with powerful people.)"
A result of too much government intrusion. They have to buy influence to protect themselves. Big Government is a protection racket.
States and I.D.s: If states are properly picky, the ACLU and the Feds would be all over them. Cynical? Moi?