Tuesday, February 19, 2008


The other day I was contacted by an L.A. Times reporter. She was doing a story on the rental housing market in Los Angeles--specifically on why rents were climbing as the housing market and overall economy in general was tanking big time. She had seen my posting on Craigslist looking for a place and e-mailed to ask if I would comment on the situation with L.A. rents. I told her it could be summed up in one word:


I see the same ads posted over and over again on Craigslist. Obviously not many people can afford that Venice Beach studio for $2,300. I sure can't. Even if I could afford $2,300 a month--I wouldn't be spending it on a freaking studio!

This morning I went to the dry cleaner located around the corner to inquire how much they would charge for a minor alteration. I needed a pair of jeans hemmed--but I had already pulled out the old hem, cut it down to the proper length and ironed the seams. All that needed to be done was to run each leg under the sewing machine. Five minutes, tops. The owner quoted me ten dollars. I said, "You've got to be kidding me!" and walked out the door. I usually pay less than ten dollars to get pants hemmed from scratch. I've done more than 75% of the work and he wants to charge me ten dollars!

I walked down the street to another dry cleaner and showed him what I wanted. $4.50 he said. Usually they charge $8.50 (that's $1.50 less than dry cleaner number one) for hemming pants but since I've done much of the work, he'd charge me less than half what the other guy wanted. I can't even imagine how much dry cleaner number one would charge to hem a pair of pant from scratch. $20?

Greedy bastard...

In today's Washington Post, there's an article about oil futures rising above $100 a barrel--even though supply remains plentiful and demand has dropped. In textbook economics, usually when demand drops the price drops as well. But with oil companies posting obscene profits each quarter it seems the market isn't being driven by supply and demand but by corporate greed as well.

But whether it's price inflation by the Enrons and Chevrons of the world or price gouging by Cowan Cleaners, or the stingy boss who won't help you get ahead with a reference or the business associate that hogs all the good assignments for herself or the so-called friend who only offers you crumbs of their time, it comes down to the same thing:


And with all due respect to Gordon Gekko, it's not good.


  1. "Greed. Greed, is good."

    Man I HATED HATED "Wall Street". Although it's old enough I saw it ~2000. The money and fake everything just screamed fake fake auuuuugh too much early 1980's money. No caricature is too over the top. Ugh.

    Did you know there's a sequel?

    I saw "Time Bandits" the other night. Flawed but hilarous! It's aged quite well. A number of the images are still powerful: the screaming cow-head ghosts, the booming voice of god, Ian Holm as a brilliantly maniacal height-obsessed Napoleon. What fun!

    chat later hon

  2. I love Terry Gilliam but couldn't make it through Time Bandits. Maybe I should give it another shot. I think you need to be on mushrooms or smokin' something for that one though...