Yesterday I participated in a one hour market research forum in which I provided my opinion on the websites of different toning shoes (like FitFlop, MBT, and Reebok Easytone). For this service, I was compensated $100. It may have been the easiest $100 per hour gig I will ever have. It also made me wonder why people won't pay me to share my opinion on other, more important topics.* I have lots of opinions. The front page alone of this morning's The New York Times is an indication of all of the opinions I have:

  • Obama Calls for Bipartisan Effort to Fight for U.S. Jobs (the print title, though, is "Obama Proposing Bipartisan Effort to Win the Future"): If anyone thinks this can be done by giving tax cuts to corporations, they are smoking crack. Large companies today are more profitable than ever and they got that way by taking their tax cuts and laying off workers. The people who are left do the jobs of multiple people for no increase in pay. What else are they going to do? Last time I checked my history books, the Robber Baron Age of no regulation (well, except regulations that favored businesses abusing workers) sucked for the vast majority of people. Actually, I didn't even have to check my history books to learn this. I lived it through the "W." era. Make it go away!
  • New York State Takes Control of Nassau’s Finances: Me to Husband: Did you see that NYS is taking over Nassau County's finances? Like they even have control of their own?!?!?! Husband: It's a special independent body. Me: Then it should take over New York State's finances, too.
  • Evidence Is Elusive on Charge of a Blizzard Slowdown: I missed the Dec. 26-27 blizzard while I was in Istanbul, but I heard all the horror stories. My friend told me that public buses got stuck in the middle of Canal Street, a busy road through Chinatown leading to the Manhattan Bridge, and were abandoned. Ambulances also got stuck on unplowed side streets and were left behind. It was a mess. It was a mess for a variety of reasons, one being that the entire senior staff in the mayor's office was on vacation and not paying attention. However, a Tea Party-supported Councilman claimed that it was due to unions. See, the unions, to punish the mayor for budget cuts, decided not to plow streets, according to this theory. The councilman said that some unnamed union members came to his office to tell him this. The Mayor's Office said they would look into it, but didn't exactly dispel the rumors because it got the heat off them. Then the Brooklyn DA's office decided to investigate. So now we are spending money investigating one dude's claim even after he refused to give more info about his mysterious visitors. I was suspicious and pissed. Everything these days is blame public workers, it's all their fault. Yep, it's their fault that the average public employee is equally qualified and educated as private sector employees but paid at least 4% less than a private sector employee doing the same job. But anyway, of course it turns out that this councilmember made the whole thing up and is now trying to change his story to make it more plausible.
  • Financial Crisis Was Avoidable, Inquiry Finds: "A Congressional inquiry said bankers and regulators could have seen the 2008 crisis coming and stopped it." NO SHIT, SHERLOCK.

Based on my little sampling of today's news stories and my commentary, I don't understand at all why no one would pay me for my opinions on things other than consumer goods. (Eye roll.) Seriously, though, am I any less qualified than half of the talking heads on TV? No siree. My resume is ready for whoever is interested.

*Although to some extent that is what I do at BlogHer, although I only wish it was $100 per hour.

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