Who was it that said "Beware the Ides of March - you could get a sunburn?" Was that William Shakespeare or Mel Brooks? Either way, he was right.
In these days of abnormal weather, we may be somewhat distracted from the vagaries of the economy. The economic climate seems to be in the mid-60s, whereas the temperature has been more in the low 80s during this surprisingly temperate winter/spring. The economy is heating up, but not fast enough, many fear.
The talk about safety nets and survival has been exacerbated by election-year rhetoric, so Isthmus staff writer Joe Tarr got the idea to investigate just how different life is these days between the rich and the poor. Of course those are wildly general terms and only generally fit the individuals whose lives are profiled in the piece.
To Have and Have Not is the title of an Ernest Hemingway novel made into a movie by Howard Hawks starring Humphrey Bogart. But Tarr's report is no romantic adventure. It is in part a numbers-laden description of what is happening at either end of the economic spectrum. It is not a rousing tale of dramatic movement, but rather one of an inexorable pressure being exerted upon people's lives - or not. Some folks have been doing well over the past few years, though their success is untraceable in the statistics aside from the growing gap between the top and the bottom of the scale.
As the Republican presidential nomination battle continues, it seems more and more likely that the Wisconsin primary will be a hotly contested affair. There is no doubt that we'll be hearing the word "jobs" a lot. As we've learned through recent experience, while talk can be cheap, it can also be very expensive.