If you’ve been watching our fundraiser headings, you’ll see our fourth goal, that of bonuses for Lambert and Jerri-Lynn and other honoraria, was close to being met before your great responses today to the “Double Your Donation” challenge.
And you blew past that target quickly!
And we are also just shy of our original donor target of 1100 donors, which we are increasing to 1350.
This year, we’ve had many new donors, and I can tell from the time when they come in and sometimes the odd amounts due to currency conversions, that they are from overseas. Some gifts are modest, but those are often particularly meaningful, since those donors often tell us they are on tight budgets but want to do what they can to support this community. Please give now at our Tip Jar if you haven’t had a chance to do so yet, by check, credit or debit card, or PayPal. And if you doing well, please give generously to help bolster the donations from people who gave despite having limited means.
We are on our way to meeting our fourth target, support for extra manpower so we can keep the make our 365 day a year, just about 24/7 coverage more sustainable. If Yves the publisher and Yves the employee were two different people, Yves the employee would have gone on strike a long time ago.
Perhaps you’ve heard of karōshi, a Japanese word that translates roughly into “death by overwork”. The Guardian reported on this phenomenon:
Japan has again been forced to confront its work culture after labour inspectors ruled that the death of a 31-year-old journalist at the country’s public broadcaster, NHK, had been caused by overwork.
Miwa Sado, who worked at the broadcaster’s headquarters in Tokyo, logged 159 hours of overtime and took only two days off in the month leading up to her death from heart failure in July 2013….
Sado’s death is expected to increase pressure on Japanese authorities to address the large number of deaths attributed to the punishingly long hours expected of many employees.
We don’t want to get you overly worried, but the last day Yves had off was July 4, 2016. Her overload situation has become more acute due to having to care for her 92 year old mother, who sadly is starting to have short-term memory problems. She was able to go to Maine for a week this year and eat lobsters (and even better, the dry scallops) and see the beautiful scenery, but she was still posting most days, liberating comments in the mod queue, and managing her torrential flow of daily e-mails. So this was a badly-needed break but still short of real downtime.
Even though your generous support of the site have allowed her to have a day and a half off from posting every week, and shift more of daily Links duty to Lambert, this hasn’t translated into more personal time for Yves. Even on her days off from posting, Yves is managing the business of the site, discovering and responding to e-mails she embarrassingly didn’t see, sometimes catching up on research, and often vetting story ideas or articles pitched to her.
A big reason that the site consumes more writing/production time than in the past is that we’ve kept improving our output and expanding our beats. Our Links section used to be 25-30 links. It is now 55 and sometimes more.
Similarly, in runup to the crisis, when anyone who knew about finance was a one-eyed man in the land of the blind, many of our posts had only a few hundred words of commentary on an extract or extracts from news articles. Now, a significant portion of what Naked Capitalism does is quick turn-around political economy analysis of a very high caliber. We often produce think tank level work but with the aim of stripping away obfuscation and holding people accountable. That means more writer time on average per post.
We joke that we run the site with 1.6 people, although with our increased commitment as a result of Covid-19, it might be up to 1.8 writer equivalents. Regardless of the precise figure, it’s a way to highlight that we provide a remarkable level of output and the consistency of coverage with very thin resources.
Put it another way: a typical working year for a full time person is assumed to be 225-250 work days. That is still very stingy by world standards, since 250 days amounts to every weekend off plus two weeks of vacation, with no allowance for national holidays. Even with the very helpful support you’ve provided in the past to help make the site less dependent on Yves alone, Yves has been working at a burnout-inducing level for far too many years.
And sick days? Fuggedaboudit. When Yves had a scratched cornea when on the West Coast (necessitating ER visits in LA and then in San Francisco), this site kept going without a hitch due to Lambert and Jerri-Lynn swinging into action. It was very gratifying for them to pick up the schedule without missing a beat…..but they deserved to and had to be paid for the extra work, which is why we need to come to you to provide funding for breaks and emergencies. Given the need to care for her mother, Yves may wind up leaning on Lambert and Jerri-Lynn for elder care needs, like time off to take her to the doctor or urgent care.
The amount we are seeking for this target, $21,000, is the same meager level for weekend, holiday, and “shit happens” support that we asked for last year. We hope you’ll recognize how essential this is and donate generously to keep Yves in fighting fettle and have other talented writers like Lambert and Jerri-Lynn Scofield contribute more regularly.
There are multiple ways to give. The first is here on the blog, the Tip Jar, which takes you to PayPal. There you can use a debit card, a credit card or a PayPal account (the charge will be in the name of Aurora Advisors).
You can also send a check (or multiple post dated checks, if you want to spread out payments) in the name of Aurora Advisors Incorporated to
Aurora Advisors Incorporated
164 Peachtree Circle
Mountain Brook, AL 35213
Please also send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the headline “Check is in the mail” (and just the $ en route in the message) so we can count your contribution in the total number of donations.
Our sick days, weekend and vacation coverage target is $21,000, and we are already over $4225 towards that goal. Thanks SO much for your generous support!