[Neuharth vs. Marie Antoinette: Has he finally lost his head?]
Once more channeling Marie Antoinette, our favorite tanned, multimillionaire media mogul delivers a message to all you whining, soon-to-be laid-off workers: Let them take out mortgages!
To be sure, the focus of today's Neuharth column isn't the thousands of Gannett employees losing their jobs in the worst economy since the Great Depression. Nor is it about the dozens of workers on the verge of getting walking papers at Neuharth's own version of Marie Anoinette's palatial Versailles: the Newseum. Indeed, none of that dreary news is even mentioned!
Instead, Neuharth is teaching another lesson in commonsense Prairie values, set in his sainted South Dakota birthplace, Eureka. Small community bankers there didn't get mixed up in any of that crazy stuff going on back at Wall Street, he sneers. (Neuharth's reliable source for this news: a flack for a bank trade group.)
"Seven years ago," he writes, "I had a chance to buy the old family home here for $15,000. Could have paid cash, but we wanted our oldest child, Alexis, then 10, to learn about things like mortgage payments. The Great Plains Bank agreed to loan us $7,500 for 10 years, but only after careful examination of my financial statements. Alexis became a co-signer of our $91.03 monthly mortgage checks."
So, what are your kids getting for Christmas?