Back on the Internet; Sequestration and the coming depression.

View 763 Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Cable Guy showed up this morning at 0820, looked at my TV, and went out and climbed the pole. Ten minutes later we had TV and high speed Internet connection. Someone had disconnected the cable to our house up high on the pole across the street. No clue as to who had done it, but presumably a Time Warner Cable Guy working on a neighbor system. No reason why it should have been disconnected. I pay my bills. Do they do this to make work for each other? I doubt that, but I have no other explanation as to why my cable TV should be disconnected.

We missed the game last night, which of course turned out to be The Second Best Lakers game yet, and Kobe’s best game of the season (40 points). It’s always interesting when Kobe goes mad. He says he intends to keep doing that so that the Lakers will make the playoffs. It looks to be an interesting season but the Lakers have to win a lot of games to get in the playoffs. We’ll see.


The President has excoriated the Republicans for not bailing us out of the sequestration which is going to end life as we know it. He says the only way out is to keep borrowing more money – the sequestration was his idea on how to insure that we did some spending cuts when we raised the debt ceiling, but he has forgotten that I guess.  Now the only hope for the nation is to raise taxes. Supposedly on the rich because there are plenty of tax rises that will affect us all coming inevitably.

The notion is to blame the coming Depression – and that looks to be inevitable – on the sequestration, although we will be spending more next year than we did last year, and more the year after that than we will this year: the sequestration will not be a “cut” in the budget, merely a diminution of the increase that is automatically built into the budgets we don’t pass any more. And Obamacare will cost a lot of money, the 2% increase in salary tax (as opposed to income tax which hits what’s left after the 12 to 20% salary tax), inflation, raise in minimum wage, and other economic disincentives will cost more, and the incentive to expand a business is lowered, fewer businesses start – maybe we won’t hit a full Depression, but the probability is there. We are doing it to ourselves.

Minimum wages of course hit those entering the work force; they don’t yet know how to make money for their employer, and as we make it harder and harder to fire incompetent people, the reluctance to hire them to earn more than they are worth in the hopes that they will learn to produce enough to earn their starting salaries — well, you get the idea. And the schools which ought to be teaching people to be worth at least minimum wages have not been doing that – it is unlikely they will get better at it so that graduates will be worth a higher minimum wage.

Ah. Well.


Not everyone is hurt by depressions. Some do well indeed. Others scrape by. But it’s really hard on those just entering the work force. Fortunately, Story Tellers always survive, and with the eBook revolution my backlist is worth something. Unlike physical books which sell out and have to be reordered, eBooks are always on the virtual shelf and the store is always open. And Young Adult books tend to do well in times of high youth unemployment; many of my books appeal to younger readers as well as to adults. They sell well in PX stores, too. I should get through the coming worse times. And thanks to all those who subscribed or renewed during the current pledge drive. That helps a lot.


It’s time for a walk. I have a lot of mail that has accumulated. I’ll try to get some of that up tonight.


And we have this for your amusement:

Great Moments in Contemporary Publishing

February 14, 2013

This is just too good to keep to myself.

An independent bookseller I know landed a major bestselling author for a rare in-store signing. He got the word out, took advance phone and internet orders for signed copies, and called his sales rep at the publisher to make sure the books would reach him in plenty of time.

“You’ve ordered 450 copies,” the rep told him. “I’m afraid we can only ship you 200.”

Why, for God’s sake? Hadn’t they printed enough?

“No, it’s policy,” he was told. “Two hundred books is our maximum order. We can’t take the chance of huge returns, or credit problems.”

The rest of the story is worth your time. It’s one more reason that print publishing is being eaten by Amazon


(Sunday: I intended to do mail last night, but we went out to dinner, and things caught up. And today will be the Oscars and I have an odd desire to watch them, probably because my oldest granddaughter is interested in fashion and design and will undoubtedly be watching it…)