November 6, 2010

Down On His Luck Millionaire?

I just came across an AP article via Yahoo  about a new TV show called "Downsized".

The AP article on it says:

"The WE television network on Saturday premieres "Downsized," an eight-episode series about the blended family of Laura and Todd Bruce who are struggling financially following the collapse of Todd's construction business.

Bruce used to take in $1.5 million a year. ..."

What. What now?    He used to make $1.5 million?  Now they're "struggling financially"?    I'm sorry if I seem callous about their situation but if you used to make $1.5 M in a year then there is no good reason that you should be struggling.  Unless there are very extreme circumstances such as severe medical problems or the like that we don't know about.   The article doesn't go into much detail over what happened to their money.  
"They lived well when construction was booming, frequently eating out, and didn't react quickly when tougher times came. Bruce racked up credit card debt trying to keep up and pay employees when the work went away. Laura Bruce is a schoolteacher, waitressing on the side and about to teach fitness. "

Then the article goes on to quote the TV exec saying:"It's the face of the economic issue of our times," said John Miller, chief programming executive at the women-centered WE network.  No it isn't.    The face of the economic issues of our times is not people who used to make $1.5M a year and now have nothing.   

It is possible that the $1.5 M a year is actually the gross revenue of his business before his expenses.   That seems more likely.   But the article isn't clear on the point.  If thats the case then I'd chalk this up to bad journalism.     Or are we all just supposed to know that "Bruce used to take in" means his gross business income?  I don't think so.

I'm also curious why the wife Laura's two jobs of schoolteacher and waitress aren't enough for them to get by financially.   Sure teachers don't make a ton of money but isn't it enough to pay basic bills?

I guess I'd have to actually watch the show to clear up the situation.   But I don't know of they'll really go into the families financial history much at all.     Its probably going to be 95% about the drama of their lives as they struggle to pay bills.   I might check out the show out of morbid curiosity.   I shouldn't watch it though cause I'm pretty sure it will be garbage.

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