My Blog Week: April 28 to May 4
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A Word on the Week
A bonus cartoon, apropos of what we’ve been reading in the news.
This little series I’ve been doing on The Cartoon House was inspired by the lack of challengers from our president’s own party for the 2020 Republican nomination. It’s possible party members fear (superstitiously) to confront the “roaring economy”, to seem contrarian towards all the good news.
The New York Times caught some social media flack this week for publishing a sunny-side-up take on the latest jobs report. Referencing these figures, people tend to talk about job creation. The mental picture is of a factory so besieged with orders the owners have to add a third shift and hire twenty new workers. Now, if you have a crap job you’re keeping until the fifteenth, so you can pay your share of the rent—and then, because such jobs are easy to get, you plan to quit, take a little time off, pick up something else around the end of the month…or maybe you’ve just signed up for the new gig work, giving people lifts…
You don’t really have a “job” except when you check the app and accept an assignment. In the first instance, does both the refilling of the job you quit, and your filling of another just like it—the churn in the nation’s state of employment—count as two jobs added to the economy? In the second instance, does the company count you a newly hired worker, even though the work has few defining limits, and you may not be earning at all?
At any rate, all numbers provided by those government agencies that track them are equally legitimate news to report. Some give a better view of who has been invited to this celebration (white men) and who hasn’t (minority women).
(Also, the last bit: $4350 versus $2882, a man’s median income with an advanced degree, as opposed to a woman’s, is striking. Do women not pay the same amount as men to obtain their degrees?)
Meanwhile, infrastructure. A big push to fix roads and bridges would be a boost to decent-paying jobs for ordinary Heartlanders, among others. While we’re at it, it would be great to think of water reclamation to fight drought efficiently, restoration of flood plains by removal of outdated dams, disaster mitigation programs to relocate people at high risk for life underwater in the coming decades, habitat corridors incorporated into new highway systems, and highways themselves developed with future transportation trends in mind.
Monday, another poem in the second grouping of the Eight series, on the topic of propagandists’ ways: “Urgency”. Tuesday, Sequence of Events, the memories of Rob Healy bearing on the plans of Ethan Bragg. On Wednesday, a new episode of The Totem-Maker, the character with the Prince’s army, on the march. Thursday, Catastrophe, in which Admiral Servan finishes his interview. On Friday, another part of the short story, “Tourmaline”, Anton making important acquaintances; and on Saturday, “Song of Trout”, the eighth of The Folly’s Pale Knight arc, with Virginia Keltenham’s assistant called upon by destiny.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: April 28 to May 4
Poetry Foundation: Joseph Brodsky, “A Part of Speech”
Sequence of Events: Give a Dog a Bad Name (part five)
The Totem-Maker: Winter Alone (part five)
La Catastrophe de la Martinique: fifty-four
Tourmaline (part two)
Song of Trout: Eighth Pale Knight
The Guardian: Secrecy and Firing Squads