The Jury Talks Back


What else the “official” numbers don’t tell you

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 7:14 am

Ignoring the “phantom jobs” that the Labor Department has been adding (over 700,000 this year alone), there are cases like this.

He is now in the co-pilot’s seat in the 50-seat commuter jets he flies, not for any failure in skill. He wears his captain’s stripes, he explains, to make that point. But with air travel down, his employer cut costs by downgrading 130 captains, those with the lowest seniority, to first officers, automatically cutting the wage of each by roughly 50 percent — to $34,000 in Mr. Lawlor’s case.

After my previous employer got bought out by Bosch, there were many changes.  Some people were let go (but given many months notice, so they had a paycheck and time, so that was nice), but everyone took a pay-cut.  Everyone.  The President on down (frankly, the Pres should have been fired for being an idiot and having a direct hand in the need to sell in the first place, but what do you expect from a with just a GED – seriously, when I have a better education than the guy running the place, we have problems) took a cut.  I don’t know how much salaried people took in cuts, and it was likely different from person to person – you cut less from the people you need most, I would assume – but yeah…  Cuts…

While it is good to get to keep a job, when you have your pay cut drastically, or your hours slashed, it has an unseen impact.  When your earning power is decimated, you fall behind on things and/or your standard of living takes a massive blow.

The roughly 17% unemployment (if you calculate it like we did back in the 70’s) does not take into account the people who experience this.  If it did, I suspect we’re be looking at one fifth of the population.

Also, I loved this gem from the article:

He still thinks he will return to being the family’s principal breadwinner, although as the months pass he worries more. “I don’t want to be a 50-year-old pilot earning $40,000 a year,” he said, adding that his wife does not want to be married to a pilot with so little earning power.

If that is accurate, and not just what he thinks his wife believes, I have something to say to her…

“Fuck you, bitch.”

I swear to God, if my wife were to say something like that, I’d have divorce papers on her night stand the following evening.  My above words can not begin to accurately portray my anger and disgust towards her (and any spouse like that).  It isn’t like it was his fault – he didn’t ask for it.

It’s good to know she really took the whole “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer” thing seriously.


  1. I’m not feeling very sorry for a couple making $68K+. That’s plenty to get by on if you can hold your tastes in check. I’d love to trade my current job with that of a $34K commuter airline pilot.

    There’s lots of hard-times stories out there today, but that ain’t one of them.

    Comment by gp — 10/14/2009 @ 7:42 am

  2. My prospective son-in-law wrote:

    if my wife were to say something like that, I’d have divorce papers on her night stand the following evening.

    You had better have been speaking figuratively, buster!

    Comment by The not so highly amused Dana — 10/15/2009 @ 5:47 pm

  3. Of course, while some people who work in private industry are facing cuts in pay and hours, some who work for the government think nothing of going on strike for higher wages, knowing that such would require tax increases.

    Comment by The very much unamused Dana — 10/15/2009 @ 5:49 pm

  4. Of course that was figuratively…


    Comment by Scott Jacobs — 10/16/2009 @ 12:59 am

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