Friday’s Memo – Your Own Stimulus Plan

Many in the United States have filed unemployment benefits claims at a rate far exceeding one-half million a month and have done so for months.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports new figures  today and the expected 12,000 filings increase seems absolutely insignificant compared to a whole of nearly 700 thousand people asking for help just last month.

Chatting with friends from Europe I hear of layoffs although I can’t tell from perusing headlines of world editions of newspapers.  Everyone is focused on the G-20 meeting and President Obama.  The global economic slump appears as a sub plot to the London confab.  The President offers little hope the world’s economic powers are ready to work together without fingers of blame.

In the past week’s headlines A.H. Belo, publisher of the Dallas Morning News, sought to chop $10-million a year.  The Wall Street Journal reports Belo wants salary cuts of as much as 15 per cent for some and for unions to consider pay cuts.  The New York Times seeks pay cuts as well.

The Chicago Sun Times filed for bankruptcy this week.  It’s on the auction block.  The Tribune, Star Tribune, and Journal Register have already went to court seeking protection.

A WSJ survey kind of finds CEO pay fell less than nine per cent.  The last sentence in the report underscores flourishing perks despite recent criticism.

I’m sure someone who lost their job in El Centro, California, just east of San Diego, has a lot of sympathy for those the Wall Street Journal questioned.  El Centro takes the label Capitol City for the Great Depression because it has the highest jobless rate in the United States.

The New York Times reports the travails of three average Americans and their life changes over the last three months in  “A Struggle to Make Ends Meet.”  The Times also presents an interactive map of the geography of joblessness in the US.   Try it out.

I am so sorry in London fingers have wagged in attempt to sidestep accountability.  However, I am so uplifted by the words of magazine publisher Earl Graves, Jr. when he admonishes each of us to be accountable and “to develop your own stimulus plan.”

Next week Broadcast Newsroom Computing will consider some individual stimuli.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

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