Being Nowhere
Circus Tradition
Class Politics
Enormous Loss
Haditha Tragedy
Homeless Being
Illegal Camping Ordinance
Journalism Priviledge
Keep Us Safe
Leadership and the People

Lesser Evils
Lynching Iraq
News for Working People
Nice Cops
Palestinian Democracy
Poison Fish
Political Communication
Selective Memory
Vestigial Entrances

News for Working People

As the Herald Tribune launches an expanded business section it seems appropriate to wonder why the paper pays so little attention to the world of work.

It seems fair to assume that most readers still get their money the old fashioned way, and so when they dream of improving their financial situation thoughts turn to a better paying job. But for some reason the H-T has nothing to offer readers who want to make more money working rather than investing. It offers no information about sectors of the economy that are increasing employment rather than in decline; no information about where benefits are fulsome and turnover low; no suggestions about where promotion from within is commonly practiced.

The paper has nothing to offer people who might be interested in improving their skills and require information about scholarships or other financial aid and training programs; it has nothing to say about how to calculate the cost of education against the prospects of improved income -- it even has nothing to say about this with regard to planning for the future of one’s children let alone for the life of a working adult. While the paper provides lots of help with investment decisions, parents trying to figure out whether sending their kids to a more expensive college rather than a cheaper one will pay off in terms of higher lifetime earnings for the child get no help from the paper.

Each week the paper prints about 6 advice pieces wherein experts try to help people better manage their investments, and some of this advice involves highly technical calculations. But if a working person is considering taking a job involving more travel time and distance than the current one because the rate of pay in the new job is higher, she will get no help from the paper in figuring whether the move will be financially beneficial.

And finally, the two parent working family. For the first time in the history of the species -- and I mean that literally -- a large human society is sending off both parents to work while infants and toddlers are cared for by unrelated adults. This requires enormous managerial and financial skills, but the paper thinks these severely stressed families are more interested in top management changes at Hewlitt-Packard than in how to cut their costs or raise their income without taking any more time away from family. Really?

Start with the basic question of when does the added cost of supporting a second worker (another car; day care) begin to pay off? What impact does the earned interest tax credit have on this decision? Which companies or industries offer flex time? How does the second employer’s benefits package fit with that of the first wage earner? Plainly, there are many more similar questions.

It’s really hard to believe that working people would have no interest in this kind of information from their daily paper and prefer what they now get: essentially three real estate sections each week.













©Al Katz • Prof. of law SUNY, Buffalo, 1969-1989 (ret.)