PORTSMOUTH, Va. — To get in the Labor Day mood and because the blog’s Wayback Machine recently was repossessed for non payment — yo, Imaginary Board of Directors, why do I pretend to bankroll you bums? — I’ve harnessed the power of the Internet to revisit the economic past.
This past has a soundtrack by one of Patrick Bateman‘s favorite bands.
Back we go to the days after a man changed his professional name to Huey Lewis because Hugh Anthony Cregg III and the Announcements of Certain Aspects of Events Most Pressing in Importance would not fit on the merch. Can you imagine the embroidered navy golf towel ($20), blue triangle laptop skin ($29.95) or the black ceramic coffee mug ($15) with all that on it? Neither could they. Then, a laptop was where you might let your steady gal rest oh-so chastely after the sock hop. T’was a simpler time. Even actors knew their place.
We’ve got a 9.1 percent unemployment these days, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But, in 1982, there were tough economic times, too. The annual unemployment rate (though it cannot be exactly compared to the current rate for some reason involving statistics, data and blah blah blah) was 9.7 percent, and crept over 10 percent, as per The New York Times.
But then something happened. A man with a harmonica sang this:
Hundred dollar car note
Two hundred rent.
I get a check on Friday,
But it’s already spent.
Sports followed in 1983. It does not address the workplace. But the labor market was improving to the tune of “I Want A New Drug”:
Why do we work? Motivation. In 1987, Cregg & Co. released “Doing It All For My Baby.” This came amid a year of strong job gains, with a jobless rate of 6.2 percent. Unemployment even dipped below 6 percent, as The Monthly Labor Review reported the following year.
And 1987 also was one of the last recorded times a video showed its attractive model as little as possible in favor of a lead singer made up like an old man:
In 1991, the national unemployment rate had risen from 5.6 percent to 6.8 percent. With another recession afoot, America was pooped. It wanted “A Couple Days Off.”
Cregg & Co. were delighted to oblige.
Which brings us closer to our time, meaning the almost present, which is only now-ish if you are not reading this later in an amazingly farfetched future in which these meandering posts get as many hits as do Belligerent Q&As.
The year was 2007. A duet version of an old song features Lewis and … Chris Gaines himself! So be it.
Meanwhile, annual unemployment was at 4.6 percent. What could possibly go wrong? Some thought the U.S. economy would crash.
Well, I am pleased to announce that Cregg & Co. are on Twitter. Have been for days. Really. So we’ve got that.
Believe me when i tell you
It gets a little rough
We work a little harder
But it never is enough
Enjoy your weekend. It’s all gonna be okay. I’ve got a bead on a used DeLorean. I’ll go back and warn somebody. Or bet on sports.
P.S. Every bass player should look like Mario Cipollina.