What I love about the new Stimulus package (and what I HATE about it).

What I love about the new Stimulus package (and what I HATE about it).
Yesterday I tossed up a confetti-laden tweet praising the passing of the stimulus package in Congress.
And it’s true. I’m thrilled.
Because it supplements unemployment (and we all know what sector is exceptionally unemployed right now). It extends the freelancer (or gig worker) unemployment provision. And it provides for one-time stimulus checks.
Our struggling TheaterMakers along with so many other unemployed folks got handed a bandaid.
The bill also included the Save Our Stages provision which puts billions into the hands of arts venues around the country. And that will put even more TheaterMakers to work.
But there is a part of the new Stimulus package I hate.
I hate that it took this @#$%ing long.
There was no need. Absolutely no need.
While the politicians played their “game,” artists left the city waiting for more help. Theaters closed waiting for more help. People gave up.
In almost the same time as Congress has been negotiating this deal, companies developed, tested, produced, got approved and shipped not one, but MULTIPLE vaccines!
I mean, really? Congress couldn’t negotiate a law to help people, while doctors broke scientific records to help people?
I had hoped that something as serious as a pandemic would put an end to the bipartisan bull@#$% that we’ve seen over the last decade or so.
But no.
But no, not even the biggest calamity of the last . . . lifetime . . . could speed up our political “process.”
It has never been more clear that the goal of too many of our politicians in this country is to “win” a negotiation, rather than think about the people losing all around them. (I would name names of the specific party that has been more responsible for this attitude than the other, but I don’t think I have to.)
And in the modern era, there’s just no time for it. No need for it. And I don’t think any of us should stand for it. BS negotiating tactics and pure selfishness in politics (or in any business) is not gonna fly anymore.
Because @#$% is too serious right now.
Unfortunately, I can’t change how they do things in Washington (because I will never run for anything, that’s for dang sure.) But I can change how I do business.
And I’ll admit . . . there have been many times where I’ve negotiated a contract and could have given more, but I wanted to ‘win.’ It’s hard to check yourself during the process, especially when you’re dealing with a difficult party. But for those of you who found yourself in one of those negotiations with me, I’m sorry.
But I’m committing to changing the way I do business from this day forward. My negotiations are going to be much faster. No congress-like BS from me.
I’m going to cut to it. Because we’ve got to get shows going and get them going fast. I’m going to be responsible to my investors and at the same time fair to the people who join my teams.
And if people try some of the tactics that they’ve tried with me in the past, and try to bait me to want to win . . . well, sorry, but that won’t work with me anymore. I’ll just find someone else.
And as Congress begins to bicker over the next set of stimulus talks, and as our own industry gets set to start talking about how we restart, I urge us all to remember that we are on the same side.
Harmonious negotiations leads to harmonious working conditions.
And boy are we in need some harmony right about now.
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.