Saturday, April 4, 2009

No One Makes Out Like the Bossman Does

I complained to the old man when CRAFT Magazine folded. They're continuing on with the dude version, Make, but I don't own a saw and I'm not that interested in soldering circuits. I wonder why CRAFT couldn't stick it out. I thought that was the whole point of running a magazine--it's competitive and tough, but you do what you can to keep it afloat. Right? The Paris Review saw some pretty rough times, but it's still around. I'm sad that CRAFT has gone the way of profit margin obsession; they were building a community of DIY people.    

Anyway, the old man and I were also talking this morning about the future of The Boston Globe, which is looking pretty bleak. This led to a discussion about the auto industry and how thirty years ago the auto workers union accepted a deal for a pay cut in exchange for a worthwhile retirement package. That means for thirty years people have been working with skills and expertise that are worth more than what they get paid. Now it looks like the auto industry will only be able to pay these workers something like ten percent of the retirement they were promised when they took a pay cut. Health care costs aside, I wonder why it is that the auto industry is broke, even after it moved factories overseas and crapped on its workers, even after not doing the simple: making a better car. "They feed they lion..."

Profit. Maybe it wouldn't matter to us so much if we had universal health care. Maybe business leaders would make better decisions and maybe these leaders would be more creative, outside of fumbling with numbers in order to have higher profit margins. Regardless, I can't help but think about the auto workers and all the people who work for The Boston Globe, particularly those who are our watchdogs, who stand in the snow and rain during press conferences and who sit through boring sessions of congress that our elected officials don't attend half the time. 

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