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Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Dicksonian" America

2008 saw the majority of Americans lose a substantial portion of their wealth (although with government assistance, Wall Street still made out okay). In the ensuing recession/depression, millions have left the workforce. The modern equivalent of the soupline--the Food Stamp program--has record enrollment. ObamaCare had added insult to injury by forcing up insurance premiums for those that aren't simply losing their insurance, and encouraging employers to lay off workers or shift them to part-time. Meanwhile, the Eloi seem more concerned about gay marriage than helping the economy. But obviously not everyone is bad off since one of the expanding job markets is that of household servants:

Demand for the well-staffed home is on the rise, according to agencies and house managers alike. Clients are calling for live-in couples, live-out housekeepers, flight attendants for private jets, stewards for the yachts and chefs for the summer house. In San Francisco, Town and Country Resources, a staffing agency for domestic help, has seen demand for estate managers and trained housekeepers grow so fast the agency is going to offer its own training programs in subjects like laundry, ironing and spring cleaning starting in 2014. 
Claudia Kahn, founder of The Help Company, a staffing agency based in Los Angeles, says she used to get one call a month for a butler but has gotten three in the past week alone. Some request old-fashioned " 'Downton Abbey'-type service," a phenomenon she attributes partly to the popularity of the television show and partly to clients yearning to match the lifestyle they experience at high-end resorts and on yachting trips.
As most homeowners know, a home's purchase price is just the beginning. And the bigger the house, the greater the number of dust bunnies. A good housekeeper earns $60,000 to $90,000 a year. A lady's maid can make $75,000 a year. A butler may start at $80,000 a year and can earn as much as $200,000.

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