From the New York Times, a look at how the horrors of the Bush economy have trickled up to the denizens of the Other America–if only psychologically. Oh, they’ll pay for turning their backs on the one true savior, John Edwards. They’ll pay:
EVEN Dobbins, the teacup Yorkie, has to downsize. Its owner, Betsy Illium, recently replaced the groomer who specializes in little dogs (and charges about $130) with one from Petco, which charges $65.
Ms. Illium, a marketing consultant to medical practices and the owner of four Manhattan apartments (three are investment properties), is fortunate enough to have discretionary income. But the dreary economic outlook has prompted her and Dobbins to scale back. “It’s frightening,” said Ms. Illium, 45, noting that most of her money is tied up in real estate.
She was appalled when she calculated that Dobbins’s grooming along with her own weekly hair, nail and massage appointments; gourmet groceries; restaurant meals and Starbucks coffee cost nearly $2,000 a month. Now she gets manicures at a less expensive salon, meets her friends at California Pizza Kitchen and sends her sheets and towels to a laundry service instead of the dry cleaner.
These services might be considered luxuries in some cities, but they are frequently deemed necessities in New York City. Rather than do without, many residents like Ms. Illium – who are not in dire financial straits – are looking critically at their spending.