Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just Compensation

I have decided that my demand will be non-negotiable. I will take a page from the Republican playbook. This will be my version of no new taxes. I want, no I require, a free subscription to the New York Times.

Earlier this week, another of my apparently pithy comments found its way into print in this most highly thought of publications. I clearly must be considered indispensable, a poor man's version of Krugman, or at least an everyman's foil to Brooksian rantings. I can only imagine that the letters editor waits each day for yet another of my invaluable suggestions on what is wrong with the world and how best we can fix it.

And how has the paper repaid (more accurately, paid) me for all my effort? How has the 5AM wake-up, the energy expended in combing the pages for just the right article, the writing and re-writing been rewarded? Where is the thank you? The only constant in our relationship is the invoice that I must satisfy for continued access to their thoughts. Where is the equity? Am I forever to be the unpaid intern? No more, I say.

I can only imagine the reaction when my mandate is received. Have we pushed Nussbaum too far? Can we afford to lose such an indispensable resource over such a small sum? Is he not worth so much more than he is requiring?

As I contemplate this scenario, I become increasingly infuriated with those who have ignored me, and taken me for granted. Do they really consider me something less than I imagine myself to be? Can it be that those in power don't even know what I have done to keep circulation on this paper alive? Can they even fathom a New York Times in which my voice is silent?

They don't want this to escalate. They don't want to see me become a free agent and auction myself off to the highest bidder. They don't want one day to open the Washington Post and be forced to revisit their mistake. They want me, I know it.

But what if they don't see the necessity to capitulate? Defeat would be humbling and humiliating for me. I am, after all, a Democrat and I do weigh the possibilities and the potential pitfalls.

On second thought, maybe I should just ask for a weekday subscription. I have learned valuable lessons from the President. Compromise is not a bad thing, and if you are compelled to lower your expectations and your requirements maybe you can get at least something out of the negotiations. So, maybe we didn't get the single payer health care reform (or even ask for it) but at least we got a watered down version of Romneycare. So maybe we had to agree to massive cutting of government spending during the worst recession in memory, but at least we didn't default on our debt obligations.

So maybe I shouldn't use the Democrats and their powers of bargaining as my role model. Or maybe I shouldn't be asking for something I am not sure of receiving. I think, after further reflection, I will retract my demand and instead, concentrate on something much more realistic and attainable.

Maybe I can ask for a paper route to earn enough to pay for my subscription. Please.


Nancy Leeds said...

That was great Robert. Clearly, you ask too little, but if they agree to the paper route, I'll bet Joanne will be happy to deliver on bike. Everyone she services will get it early, dry and with a smaller carbon footprint.

Anonymous said...

Consequences - Aren't they just the most frustrating things... Why do some folks feel the need to deal with them and others blissfully go along, secure in both their ignorance and righteousness?

It has begun to occur to me that perhaps "smart" is not an asset in the political world - only shrewd. I voted for Obama, in part, because I was desperate to have a President who was smarter than I was after the previous 8 years. But "smart" and "looking at what is best for the country", just isn't cuttin' it with those shrewd devils who have their eyes on their bottom line. Maybe we should give Obama some shrewd advisors who will get him to go for broke - Oh, wait, isn't that what we have now? - BROKE!

I do think you should clearly state your case to the NYT, but demand a column like Krugman - none of this dilution of aspiration. Ballsy and shrewd, that will get it done! Watch those Republicans. Great role-models.

Seriously, I do like your blog:)


Anonymous said...

Robert, LOL:):):)