Monday, April 13, 2009

Around the world for 80 grand!

I'm emerging from a long-running hiatus to do what I do best: sigh about the New York Times' coverage of rich folks. The most recent installment is about a law firm which offered some of its associates a deal: take a year off - don't show up for work - and we'll pay you a third of your base pay. That's $80,000.

So of course, the article is about one woman who chose to take the offer and is going to take a trip around the world. For a year. She's considering Tanzania, Rwanda, India, and other exotic places. How do I know this? Because her dining room table is covered with Lonely Planets. My breakfast table, however, is covered with (proverbial) puke.

Could this paper be any more tone-deaf? This irritating theme -- that the recession is turning out to be a perfect time for upper-class, secure people to do some soul-searching and globetrotting -- offends me. Does this law firm's policy really constitute a 'trend' worth mentioning to millions of Americans? Given the employment and income situation of MOST Americans, isn't this article sort of like putting a big, chocolate-covered strawberry under the nose of a starving man and then eating it in front of him?

That being said, I think I'll email this woman and see if she needs a Swahili translator to come along for the East Africa section of the trip. I'm pretty rusty, but it's worth a shot.

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