We Need To Do Our Part

Last night my dinner host told me that she had moved into the luxury home I had participated in selling her last week (4,600 square feet in a luxury neighborhood), and on the first day a neighbor came over and said: ”I just want you to now that I am renting out rooms.”

My host (a rational human being) told the neighbor, “You do what you must do to survive.”

(She told me the painters we had arranged for her had worked until 2 a.m. on the day before she moved in, just to finish the job – they needed the money that badly.)

This morning in my front door was a slip of paper: “House cleaning, tutor for kids and fencing with 20 years of experience. If you need, please call * Please.”.

This is obviously a family doing whatever they can to survive – I just wish I had something for them. (I am already using my advertising space to get extra work for my housekeeper and yardman.)

Meanwhile, those of us doing better than just surviving should hire as many as we can to handle the deferred maintenance we have ignored, or even double up on the housekeeping and yard work  just to cover the jobs the workmen have lost in this economy from those who have had to let them go.

You can do well by doing good. Replace your carpeting, get new windows, donate to or hire workers from Operation Homecoming, get your home painted – DO SOMETHING!

There are people hurting and some of your neighbors are too proud to admit it until it is almost too late to help. When you have to resort to renting out rooms, or placing slips of paper in doors in the middle of the night, there is an unseen world of hurt out there.

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The REAL Unemployment Number

You hear daily that unemployment is at 9.8% — but that is putting the best face on an ugly picture.

The ACTUAL unemployment rate is described in government statistics as U6: U-6 Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers. That number is     17.0%

While that description is self-explanatory, there is a note, which I include in the interest of accuracy:

NOTE:  Marginally attached workers are persons who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and  are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the recent past.  Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not looking currently for a job.  Persons employed part time for economic reasons are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.  For more information, see “BLS introduces new range of alternative unemployment measures,” in the October 1995 issue of the Monthly Labor Review.  Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t12.htm

ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN Successfully Refuse to exclude Fox News

 

NY Times reports the White House/Fox news Kerfuffle

“Executives at other news organizations, including The New York Times, had publicly said that their newsrooms had not been fast enough in following stories that Fox News, to the administration’s chagrin, had been heavily covering through the summer and early fall — namely, past statements and affiliations of the White House adviser Van Jones that ultimately led to his resignation and questions surrounding the community activist group Acorn.”

And

“In a sign of discomfort with the White House stance, Fox’s television news competitors refused to go along with a Treasury Department effort on Tuesday to exclude Fox from a round of interviews with the executive-pay czar Kenneth R. Feinberg that was to be conducted with a “pool” camera crew shared by all the networks. That followed a pointed question at a White House briefing this week by Jake Tapper, an ABC News correspondent, about the administration’s treatment of “one of our sister organizations.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/23/us/politics/23fox.html