Summary: An op-Ed about Paul Ryan.
It was midnight. When Merrill Lynch announced it’s shotgun wedding to Bank of America, I was in a bar with Sunday night friends. When Lehman Brothers announced it’s bankruptcy – I was in a taxi storming down Madison Avenue with a wealthy friend. We started talking about the collapse. I remember vividly aghast, stating “the street looks so alive, but all these stores will shutter in the next few months”. I walked down Madison months later and sure enough – “For Rent Signs” replaced luxury monikers.
In the past year, we’ve seen the real estate market bounce back with full force. Largely because cities and small towns across the nation have emptied out and people with hopes for a better job have come to the cities, NYC being a prime destination for those who’ve felt stuck in their small markets. I’ve seen this happen a lot, especially with ASMP and in dive bars where creatives’ huddle. During and after the Depression, the cities recovered quicker and faster then the suburbs.
“What happens when Editors and PR Girls reach a certain age.” I’m at Woodbury Commons having Margaritas at the Applebees chatting with a friend who’s just received a promotion, friends shop for seasons old sale items. We’re frank about salaries, pitching and possibilities. He’s just received a promotion. But at 40, neither one of us know where to go beyond Editor-In-Chief. A goal that seems almost unattainable to many, but will be in his grasp. Another friend works for a Gossip rag, churning out blog posts like a sweatshop worker makes cheap shirts. We both pop into IM almost daily, wondering about our fate as a freelancer. I realize at some point, that because a generation behind me, hasn’t gotten paid, rates stay the same, because as I develop more skill and savvy, it’s still not enough for salary comps.
By many accounts we’ve made it. We’ve all been published countless of times, and many look at us – like we’ve made it media. I myself rattle off credits with a bit of blasé, every once in a while – marvel. I’ve done a lot since the crash. Since the day the world stood still and life changed for all of us. Yet my bank account seems to hardly reflect my resume.
Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential pick triggered this walk down memory lane. In an almost awe inspiring adherence to the mantra of “Strict Conservative” he wants to kill Social Security and Medicare, get rid of most safety nets and give the super rich even more tax relief. While learning more about his track record. I’m almost dumb-founded. Perplexed. Even angry at how tone deaf and myopic Mittens has become. Yes – just called Mitt Romney – Mittens. Not only does the Ryan pick galvanize the conservative base. It shores up his opposition. While pissing off almost every Senior in Florida. I’m really hoping The Daily Show sends a crew to interview them. I have an almost apocalyptic vision of seniors and children making iPods, iPads and iPhone’s for the Chinese in ten years if they’re elected.
For some reason, we as American’s insist on electing government officials that have not acted in our best interest. So many Senators and Congressman who helped deregulate the worlds banking system are still in office, stymie and clog the arteries of progress.
I don’t have answers to many questions. I don’t know what will happen. All I know, is that education, the ability to keep ourselves healthy and once again introducing and support innovation in America will get us out of this cycle. Yet we resist it with every fiber of our being. The wealthy keep on spouting through Mitt Romany’s lens – that it’s as easy as getting a job. I’d love to have them all go unemployed and hit LinkedIn at the same time. Watching that job ticker go higher “515 have applied for this job” (it’s on fire).
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are clearly not the answer. There is now a clear simple divide between the two parties, something we have not had for many election cycles. All I can hope. Is that the Koch Brothers won’t take hold of America and all their wealth and influence will not generate the mind blowing headlines that swept Bush into office. I never want to ask myself this question again. “How Can 59,054,087 People Be So Dumb?”*.
*Headline from the Daily Mirror on November 4th, 2004