Mike Connolly, who traveled to the Bakken area from Minnesota in search of work, lines up at 4 a.m. each morning at Bakken Staffing, an employment agency, hoping to receive a job for the day, Williston, North Dakota, June 1, 2012. Mike lives in a trailer with his two Chihuahua mix dogs, Precious and Little Bit. In today's New York Times I read a couple of pieces that, in my mind at least, have relevance to this picture.
The first article – in the business pages – pointed out that between the years 2000 and 2008, the typical earning of men, who've earned at least a Bachelor's degree, fell $2,000. Then between 2008 and last year, their earning fell a further $3,500. It was about the same for women. The same piece pointed out what you might already know, that the top one percent of the American population now takes in nearly one dollar of every four dollars generated by the American economy.
The second article concerns the sale at auction of a single painting. On Tuesday night a 1969 Francis Bacon triptych sold for $142.4 million at Christie's – the most expensive work of art ever sold in this way. Reportedly, when the bidding for the "three studies of Lucian Freud" painting concluded, the overflowing crowd in attendance burst into applause.