If You Are Not Paying For The Advertising, You Are The Advertising

Big RSVP pre-season opening ice cream social was held at Velvet Ice Cream’s Ye Olde Mill the other day (Velvet Ice Cream increasing wages for new employees, credits federal tax cut, Kent Mallet, The Advocate, 3-28-18). Smiles and ice cream all around with Ohio Senator Rob Portman celebrating the recently enacted permanent tax cut for businesses like Velvet. Who doesn’t like ice cream? Good times. Isn’t a day goes by that The Advocate doesn’t feature some area business, established or just opening, usually on the front page. Comes under many guises like “Ace of Trades” or family history, etc. The Dager family history has little to do with a water powered mill (“Velvet will fix the roof of the mill, installing natural shingles like the ones used 200 years ago, at a cost of about $60,000 to $80,000.”). But then celebrating THAT history would be politically incorrect, at least for the theme of this particular GOP social event. Elsewhere, same trade journal, same day (business news is usually the product of a business trade publication), the headline “Licking County set record low unemployment in February” (same reporter, 3-27-18). Good times. Who doesn’t like setting a record (“The county’s unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent last month, according to the ODJFS Bureau of Labor Market Information.”)? A day earlier we read “State gives $750k to help build Newark Boys and Girls Club” (same reporter, same publication, 3-26-18). “State Sen. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark, who helped secure the appropriation in the state senate, praised the Evans Foundation effort to establish the local club, which will be part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Columbus Region. “For youth, this is one of the most exciting things in my lifetime,” Hottinger said. “It’s something that’s been on my radar screen for 30 years. I have a special place in my heart for at-risk kids. It’s an economic opportunity for the youth of Licking County and long overdue.”” Good times. Who doesn’t desire an “economic opportunity” for their kids? “The $1.2 million [state appropriated] amount ranked Licking County 24th of Ohio’s 88 counties in the community projects funding. When adding the $750,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs, the county ranked 19th.” Someday we’ll be number one! We’re always told how competitive it all is, economic opportunities for youth and all. So where’s the 21% of Licking County that is below the poverty line? Or the 51% that the United Way in the ALICE report says is one step away from being there (if not there already)? Only a couple of days earlier (3-22-18) Emily Stewart for VOX headlined “Corporate stock buybacks are booming, thanks to the Republican tax cuts. Republicans said their tax bill would go to workers. Instead, it’s going to Wall Street.” (“Right after Republicans in Congress passed their tax bill, lowering tax rates on corporations, companies delivered a very public thank-you: a series of bonus and investment announcements. It was a major PR opportunity for both corporate America and the GOP, meant to show that American businesses were sharing their billions of dollars in tax cut savings with their workers and the broader economy. But over the next few months, the real winners from the corporate tax cut became clear — not workers and consumers, but shareholders. Companies have boosted dividends and stock buybacks. A stock buyback is when a company buys back its own shares from the broader marketplace.”) Well, the GOP ice cream was good. And how about all those kids? At least the Advocate avoided using the phrase “at risk” in conjunction with the great “economic opportunity” (Jay did it for ’em!). Wages haven’t gone up, the poverty rate is still the same as well as the ALICE “almost poverty” rate, so how are these kids to get to the Boys and Girls Club? “Expected to open in 2019 at 96 Maholm St. Open 3-8 p.m. during the school year, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the summer, serving about 200 children per day. Cost $5 per year for each member. Ages, kindergarten through 12th grade.” One high school for all of Newark is possible only because of mandated (and funded) public school bus transportation. What are the kids on the north end to do? Play at the Hollander Pool whether it has water in it or not? And those at the east end? Play along the tracks? There is no reliable, affordable, accessible, sustainable public transportation in Newark, at least not during the hours the Club will be open. And the single moms at or in poverty, who are working while being at or near poverty, who would benefit most from this Club (estimated at 40+% of single moms)? What have they to look forward to? Same day as Mallett’s record setting employment news (3-27-18) Arthur Delaney headlined “GOP Food Stamp Plan Would Shift Some Funds From Benefits To Training” for the Huffington Post. “The proposal to reauthorize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program would subject more enrollees to “work requirements,” and would require states to set up training programs for 3 to 5 million people who might be unable to find suitable private sector work. Such programs currently serve 700,000 SNAP recipients.” Gannett failed to cover this. Why is that? At one time there were free small print publications like The Advertiser, the Booster, and other “neighborhood news” community outlets. They were bought out by The Dispatch, Gannett, Sinclair and other “News” outlets. What those small publications served for advertising commercial products is now done by bona fide news source journalism. Puts a whole new meaning to the phrase “If you are not paying for the product, you are the product.” More like “If you are not paying for the advertising, you are the advertising.” Good times.

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