THE CRUMBLING U.S. ECONOMY: PUTTING IT INTO PERSPECTIVE

Y’know, sometimes life is all about putting things into perspective. I’m reminded of a scene in one of my favorite books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. In this book, Arthur Dent has been rescued from Earth, by his friend who turns out to be an alien, just before the planet is destroyed.

There’s one point early on where Arthur is trying to come to terms with the fact that Earth is gone. He can’t quite grasp it when he thinks of the whole planet. So he tries to think of England (where he’s from). Doesn’t work. Then I think he thinks America, or New York. Doesn’t work. So finally he thinks of something small, I forget exactly, but I think it’s a local park, or a pub. And when he realizes THAT is gone, now it hits him, and he feels sad. He can finally comprehend the magnitude of the situation when he puts it into personal terms.

Well, that’s what’s just hit me with the U.S. economy. Yeah, I knew things were bad. There’s all of this talk of the Stimulus plan, but I just avoid it, because I don’t understand how this stuff works. I’ve got some friends who’ve blogged about it, and seen it discussed on some message boards, but it breaks down into partisan lines. All the liberals think it’s necessary and will make things better, while all the conservatives think it’s horrible and will make things worse. I can’t trust anyone to be Fair and Balanced in their opinion, and I’m no economic expert, so all I can do is sit back & wait & see what happens.

But I read the news, and I’ve been seeing all the reports of massive layoffs, companies going out of business, home forclosures, industry bailouts, stock market dropping, etc. But I’ve been lucky, so far. Had a few hits. For the first time in 8 years my company couldn’t give out X-Mas bonuses. That sucked, because it really would have come in handy. But I’ve still got a steady job, so it didn’t put me in the poorhouse.

Did my taxes last month, got my Federal refund, but my State refund has been delayed, supposedly until sometime next month, because of the California budget crisis. It’s only $243, but it sucks because that’s MY money. But it’s not like I’m starving, in the meantime. So I’m better off than a lot of folks.

But now something much worse as happened. My favorite radio station was a local station, 97.1 fm, which was a talk radio station. It was literally the only radio station I listened to, and had it always tuned to that in my caer. I’d listen to Adam Carolla (who replaced Howard Stern 3 years ago) in the morning on my way to work, and Tom Leykis in the evening on the way home. And if I went out during my first break, or lunch, I’d listen to Frosty, Heidi, & Frank.

But Thursday morning I tuned in and Adam revealed that all of the shows were cancelled, because the station was switching to Top 40 music. Apparently, even though the ratings were good overall, the station needed to save money, and it’s cheaper to play music than pay for talk shows. Just like that. That’s it. They all did their last shows and the station switched Friday @ 5pm.

This sucks! I have nothing to listen to in my car anymore! My drives to work & back Mon-Fri will be silent. I don’t like listening to music on the radio, I don’t need to hear the same songs twice an hour, & all of the other talk stations are political and, Left or Right, they all bore me.

I can’t believe this. I mean, just Wednesday night, Tom Leykis was bragging about how good his rating were, then the next day they’re shutting down. And the other hosts all said the same thing. Ratings were good and, in fact, they’re all still going to be getting paid for the remainder of their contracts but, apparently, it still works out to being cheaper for the station for them to play music instead. The economy must be really bad for CBS to take such a drastic step.

So now that my daily routine has been adversely affected, & I can personalize the situation, it’s really sunk in for me. WE’RE IN TROUBLE!

  15 comments for “THE CRUMBLING U.S. ECONOMY: PUTTING IT INTO PERSPECTIVE

  1. February 21, 2009 at 3:45 PM

    Nothing to listen to on the radio? THAT’S your biggest problem?!?

    Like

  2. February 21, 2009 at 3:51 PM

    Yeah, yeah, I know. I should shut my mouth. But, like I said, it’s all a matter of PERSPECTIVE.

    Like

  3. February 21, 2009 at 3:53 PM

    Nah, it’s cool. I’m just messin’ with ya.

    Like

  4. February 21, 2009 at 8:45 PM

    Yes, we are in trouble. It seems to me that far too many politicians, the Republicans AND the Democrats, are interested in grandstanding for political gain instead of actually helping the people, which is what they were elected to do.

    Like

  5. Luthor
    February 22, 2009 at 10:53 AM

    I’ll miss Tom Leykis on the radio.

    And I’m missing my California State refund, too. I guess that’s what we get for elected an action movie hero as our governor.

    Like

  6. February 22, 2009 at 2:54 PM

    I’m in college, and it’s a struggle to pay tuition, and other expenses. So I’ve known for awhile that the economy sucks.

    Like

  7. February 22, 2009 at 3:38 PM

    @ Tiye: I agree. I don’t know who’s fault it is, but I think it’s a shame that a stimulus plan with majority support couldn’t have been passed. Because I know that a lot of our economic outlook is based on perception. If 80-90% of the congress had voted for this, and all of the major politicians spoke out in support of it, I bet the stock market would be doing much better already.

    @ Luthor: I saw The Governator on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and he was praising the stimulus plan. He seems to think it will be good, for Californa, @ least. Let’s hope we get our money soon.

    @ Joselyn: I’m sure that is tough.

    Like

  8. February 22, 2009 at 6:29 PM

    I was an original listener to FHF. Having Frosty, Heidi and Frank around to make me laugh and get me through work, make sad or terrible news seem a little less frightening and make the world a little less serious was something special and will be greatly missed.

    You really had to listen to the whole show.

    Bye, FHF. May you rise again someday.

    Like

  9. February 22, 2009 at 6:56 PM

    I agree Dave. They were a very fun team to listen to.

    Like

  10. February 23, 2009 at 12:09 AM

    Over the years I have developed a sort of friendship with Adam, Teresa, Bald Brian, Frosty, Heidi and Frank. Losing these shows will be like losing best friends. These guys have become like my family, a strange family that I never get to see but still feel I know and laugh with. While I thank them all for the good times, I hope to hear all of them again soon. On another station… headed by a smarter company than CBS Radio.

    Like

  11. AmusingFiddle
    February 23, 2009 at 8:55 AM

    Leykis was an idiot. His reasoning was retarded. Most of the male callers sounded uneducated/uninformed. If anyone intelligent called presenting an argument against him, he would criticize their delivery and grammar instead of arguing the point. I am glad he is off the air. He was complete tool. All things aside, if you ignored the content, it was hilarious at times.

    As for Adam Corolla, hasn’t been the same since left Dr. Drew and “The Love Line” on KROQ.

    Like

  12. February 26, 2009 at 6:52 AM

    Good blog. I think you’re right: stuff like the economic woes (we’re always referring to it as ‘the credit crunch’ here in the UK) are difficult to really acknowledge unless you’re personally affected by them. So far, we’re lucky – we’ve both got secure jobs (my budget was reconfirmed for another year yesterday), our mortgage is fixed, we can afford to live comfortably because we weren’t extravagent to start with, and we don’t have any personal debt beyond the mortgage to worry about. The most annoying thing for us at the moment is the way in which the Bank of England keeps lowering the interest rates – people like us, who save money every month, are getting nothing for it and that sucks. But yeah, in the general scheme of things that’s a pretty minor problem.

    Like

  13. February 26, 2009 at 10:52 PM

    Jacq: “The most annoying thing for us at the moment is the way in which the Bank of England keeps lowering the interest rates – people like us, who save money every month, are getting nothing for it and that sucks.”

    That’s been a complaint here in America, too. It seems like all of the government bail-outs, and talks of tax relief, is aimed @ the people who are in trouble because they screwed up. While the folks who have actually been responsible get nothing.

    Like

  14. daxx1313
    March 10, 2009 at 9:15 PM

    Good news Frosty, Heidi and Frank fans! Frosty, Heidi and Frank have a podcast that streams from frostyheidiandfrank.com , and it uncensored. I’m listening to it right now. It sounds like they didn’t miss a beat. The Carolla podcast is awesome. It can be found at adamcarolla.com .
    The only issue I have is the FHFU show is only streamed, I can’t download it. This isn’t acceptable where I work, so I’ll have to listen to it at home. What I have done to pass the time at work is play old Carolla and FHF podcasts. They are still funny a year-and-a-half later.
    I kinda got tired of Leykis. He talked about the same six things over and over. The people that the comments were aimed towards never got what he was rapping about. Oh well.

    Like

    • March 14, 2009 at 4:22 PM

      Hey “daxxx1313,” thanks for the info!
      I’ve been listening to Adam’s podcast, I’ve subscribed to it on itunes, & I think it’s great! I didn’t know about FHF having a podcast, but I’m going to check that out now.

      I wish I could still hear Tom, but I don’t think a podcast with him would work, because so much of the appeal of his show was listening to him answer phone calls & interact with listeners.

      Like

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