Two stories today remind us that these are not normal times, and not even normal downturns. In a normal economic "downturn," there are recession-proof jobs, jobs that are so critical, or fill a need of the times so perfectly, they can't possible be eliminated.
Health care is one such historical recession-proof job. But two large area health care organizations have announced cutbacks. Park Nicollet Health Services and North Memorial Health Care will trim 613 jobs.
"My colleagues thought health care was recession proof," Lawrence Massa, president of the Minnesota Hospital Association, told the Star Tribune. "We're seeing that's not the case."
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports today, another recession-proof gig is endangered -- prostitution.
Big Sister is not the only brothel suffering the effects of a battered global economy. While the world's oldest profession may also be one of its most recession-proof businesses, brothel owners in Europe and the United States say the global financial crisis is hurting a once lucrative industry.
Egbert Krumeich, the manager of Artemis, Berlin's largest brothel, said that in November, usually peak season for the sex trade, revenues were down by 20 percent. In Reno, Nev., the famed Mustang Ranch recently laid off 30 percent of its staff, citing a decline in high-spending clients.
An article on Yahoo Jobs earlier this year suggested education is a recession-proof job. Teaching? Have you seen the size of the state's projected budget deficit?
Forbes says there's always jobs for salespeople, although now they're called "business development specialists."
What about you? Are recession-proof? If so, I'd like to talk to you about your job for News Cut's "The Jobs We Do" category. Use this form or e-mail me.
(Posting here will be very light today. I'm driving to Worthington today to meet with officials at Minnesota West Community and Technical College. It will be on of the stops on the News Cut on Campus tour starting next month. Each Wednesday I'll be at a different college/university in Minnesota, talking to students about their journey and their outlook. Stops will include, White Bear Lake, Ely, Duluth, Worthington, Winona, and Moorhead. Everybody has an interesting story to tell and if you're in college, I'd like to tell yours. So stay tuned for more information.)(10 Comments)
There's more to displaying the flag than just putting up a flag. That point was brought home to me today while driving back from Worthington.
The community of Belle Plaine had the right idea in honoring returning American troops.
This tribute along Route 169 was punctuated with an array of American flags on utility polls. At one time, it must've been quite impressive. But it's a fine line between using the flag as a sign of patriotism, and desecrating it via neglect.
What's involved in putting up a flag? Taking it down.
According to the flag code:
The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning." We recommend that you contact your local VFW Chapter and ask them for help properly disposing of your flag.
Given how many cars use the highway each day, it's hard to imagine the conditions of the flags have gone unnoticed. They're sending a very different message now from the one obviously originally intended.(1 Comments)
I was out sick last week when KSTP Radio mysteriously canned Tommy Mischke, described in many quarters since as the last of the truly original radio types in the Twin Cities. Garrison Keillor called him his "hero" on a show a few years ago.
Area blogger Mitch Berg wrote what seems to be the definitive column on Mischke from his view as a call screener at KSTP before Mischke started working there.
... like a lot of genuine originals in any art form (and Mischke's radio was a sort of art form - and I say this while stressing that radio as a whole is a craft), the art depended on having a patron to shield the artist from the spikes and deadfalls of the open market.
That someone, so rumor always had it, was Ginny Morris, one of the granddaughters of Stanley Hubbard the Elder, the founder of Hubbard Broadcasting (and one of the great pioneers of American broadcasting in his own right) and the person who really pulls the strings on the radio side at Hubbard. Ms. Morris - so the rumors in the industry had it, at least when I was paying attention to them - kept Mischke on the payroll, and on the air, for many long years when there was no explicit market demand for a free-form, eccentric stream-of-consciousness show like his. As talk radio morphed into what it is today - a venue for partisan anger, humor and information - Mischke was an outlier who, I think it's fair to say, could only exist in the market with the aid of someone who really really wanted him to exist.
Here's the bit when Mischke joined Keillor on A Prairie Home Companion in 2006. Listen
So this month will be a tough one for long-time radio fans. Mischke is gone -- for now, anyway -- and Tom Keith retires from MPR's The Morning Show on Thursday. Julia Schrenkler and I will be live-blogging the event.
Icons come and icons go. But they always leave a little bit of themselves behind.(11 Comments)