Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nannies on the Bread Line

Even though New York's Governor has been praised for his stewardship amidst the recent Wall Street meltdowns, he's probably wishing his leadership were needed somewhere else right now. (Like making speeches where he praises those who pass up Wall Street jobs for more virtuous ones like community organizing.)

Despite the routine vilification of the men and women who make the big banks run, we should all see a booming Wall Street as a sign of economic good health and prosperity. That means more jobs for those not working on Wall Street and more money for charities and public institutions. When Wall Street's ailing, so are service sector jobs and non-profits. For each financial industry job, two to three positions in other sectors, from legal to leisure, are created.

This morning I was reminded of all this while chatting with a neighbor's nanny who told me there were suddenly lots of nannies out there without jobs. Apparently, with the pink slip comes the realization that you no longer "need" all those nice extras -- like nannies and personal trainers. Though some may rejoice in such a comeuppance, the reality is that for every person who loses his job, there are two or three more who also lose theirs.

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