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LOS ANGELES Tuesday, March 3rd 2015 4:07

  • Issue: Could LA Parks Department Run the Greek Theatre?

    Emily Alpert Reyes and Catherine Saillant

    Date: Mar 3, 2015 

    Entertainment titans have battled for months over who should run Los Angeles' Greek Theatre.

    A city commission recommended Live Nation for the job, but the City Council disagreed with that pick. Neighborhood groups have pressed for longtime operator Nederlander to stay in charge of the Griffith Park venue alongside its new partner, AEG. 

    That debate has triggered legal threats, played a part in political campaigns and set off an avalanche of lobbying at City Hall. Now the saga could take an unexpected turn: Parks officials have suggested that the city could operate the theater. 

    Parks department officials are recommending that the city commission toss out its last request for proposals to run the Greek, as lawmakers had urged them to do. It could then redo the process -- or it could operate the Greek itself as an “open venue,” department officials said. 

    Running the Greek would let the city maintain control of the concert calendar, a department report says. Instead of a single promoter such as Live Nation running the venue, different promoters could confirm performers with the parks department on “a non-exclusive basis.”  (Read the rest.) 

 



Doggie tantrum. Wet and pissed!

Is Rich Little’s career over? Impressions time.

Hell No I Won’t Go! Cockatoo finds out he’s going to the vet

 

 

  

 

 


Bought the Farm

 

This term was used during World War 2 whenever a Allied Pilot would have to make a crash landing into a European farm/house. WW2 pilots who did this were actually charged for the damages they caused and actually in a sense: 
"bought the farm"

 


 

We're Becoming a Nation of Servants

OTHER WORDS - Fire fighter, basketball player, lion tamer, teacher, nurse: Ask little kids what they want to be when they grow up, and you'll get all sorts of answers. But you'll never hear this one. You'll never hear youngsters say they want to devote their careers to serving rich people.
 
Today's youth might want to reconsider. They're facing an American economy where serving rich people increasingly seems to offer the best future with real opportunity. We're well on the way to becoming a full-fledged "servant economy," as the economist Jeff Faux puts it. 
 
We've had "servant economies" in the world before. At times, people even rushed toward servant status. In the early industrial age, jobs in mines and factories would be dangerous and pay next to nothing. Domestic work for rich families could seem, by comparison, a relatively safe haven.
 
But that calculus changed as workers organized and won the right to bargain for a greater share of the wealth they were creating. Over the first half of the 20th century, America's super-rich lost their dominance, and fewer and fewer Americans worked as servants for them.
 
This state of affairs didn't last long. Since the late 1970s we've witnessed an assault on the building blocks of greater equality — strong unions, progressive taxes, regulatory limits on business behavior — that has hollowed out the American middle class.
 
Good manufacturing jobs have largely disappeared, outsourced away. Most Americans no longer make things. They provide services.
 
We could, of course, have a robust "service" economy, if we built that economy on providing quality services to all Americans. But providing these quality services, in everything from education to transportation, would take significant public investment — and significant tax revenue from America's rich.
 
A half-century ago, we did collect significant tax revenue from America's wealthy. No longer. Tax cuts have minimized that revenue and left public services chronically underfunded. That leaves young people today, Faux notes in his new book The Servant Economy, with a stark choice.
 
Young people can either become engineers and programmers and spend their careers in "pitiless competition with people all over the world" just as smart and trained but "willing to work for much less." Or they can join the servant economy and "service those few at the top who have successfully joined the global elite."
 
In this new "servant economy," we're not talking just nannies and chauffeurs. We're talking, as journalist Camilla Long notes, "pilots, publicists, art dealers, and bodyguards" — a "newer, brighter phalanx of personal helpers."
 
Want to see the world? In the new servant economy, you can become a "jewelry curator" and voyage to foreign lands to pick up gems for wealthy clients.
 
Want to face daily challenges? You can become a concierge and hire an elephant for a wealthy patron's wedding reception.
 
Or, if you lean traditional, you can always shell out $12,000 for a course that will certify you as a manservant in good standing with the Guild of Professional English Butlers.
 
A butler can annually pull in over $100,000. But serving the rich can be far more lucrative than that. Interior decorator Michael Smith pulled in an $800,000 fee for his work on a Wall Street CEO's office. John Blackburn, an architect in Washington, DC, specializes in designing horse barns for wealthy equestrians. His fee can run up to $300,000 per barn.
 
But we have a basic problem here. We have a limited pool of super-rich people who can afford to commission horse barns and hire elephants.
 
As of this past summer, calculates the Credit Suisse Research Institute, only 38,000 Americans had fortunes over $50 million. The entire world has only about 3 million people worth at least $5 million.
Even if those 3 million gave gainful "servant economy" employment to 100 people each, we would still have another 4 billion folks on the outside of the "servant economy" looking in.
 
The "servant economy" can only be a dead end. We need to change course.
 
(Sam Pizzigati edits Too Much, the weekly Institute for Policy Studies newsletter on excess and inequality. This column was provided to CityWatch by OtherWords.org a project of The Institute for Policy Studies.) -cw
 
 
 
 
 
 
CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 88
Pub: Nov 2, 2012
 
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