A reader writes:
My brother works in the movie industry as a producer for a major movie studio. Or, rather, that's what he did until today.
He had just gotten the job a couple of years ago and was one of the newer employees at the studio. He wasn't some rich movie mogul, which is what most people think of when they hear the term "Hollywood producer." Truth be told, there are a good number of producers that are in the middle of the totem pole and generally make the same salary as most other middle class professionals. That's what my brother was, and he was pulling down just enough to make his mortgage payments and support his wife and one-year-old daughter.
But today the studio announced a bunch of layoffs, and his name was on the list. They say that the movie business is one of those recession proof industries, but when you have the base of such an interconnected economy collapse and you also have lots of people suddenly waking up to the fact that they've been living way beyond their means, then it seems that even the mighty Hollywood ends up shedding jobs. And those people, just like everyone else, will have to think about finding work, staying in their homes, and making sure their families have good health insurance.
The irony is that I thought my job was in far more danger than my brother's, given that I work for public radio, which depends on the generosity of listeners and underwriters. It goes to show that you can cover a recession every day, but never really get it until a loved one loses his or her job.