Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


The dying economy

I have a good friend who for many years was in a seemingly failsafe business: the business of dying. Funeral homes, like auto parts stores, seemed recession-proof. One would think that this business would be booming right now, what with all the death and despair.

But apparently not. Imagine my surprise in seeing this article about the very unhealthy pallor overtaking some funeral parlors.

“You have (L.A.) funeral homes that were doing 500 calls a year and are now doing 300 calls a year,” one casket industry veteran is quoted.

The economy is gloomy indeed when even the business of death is dying.

2 Responses to “The dying economy”

  1. Dan Says:

    “Dying ain’t much of a living.”

  2. Joe Stafford Says:

    I don’t know how- but I missed this and wanted to put my 2¢ into the mix. First, “dying ain’t much of a living” much as I hate to be in disagreement with Mr Wales, my life in death care funded a respectable Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. Second, funeral businesses do indeed fail, and mine was one such example. Strangely at the same time in the mid-2000-oughts that it became less and less likely to attract customers to my establishment (standing up live human beings are the customers, b/c they tend to have checkbooks and credit cards) — Atlantic City’s land values went into the stratosphere. At 51, and with only a 20% interest in the land my business sat on, I informed the co-owners that they should decide to sell. My siblings had been waiting for years for me to throw in the towel on my career. Settlement was amicable and I emerged debt-free. The cultural and demographics of my hometown or any city or region has a tendency to change. In my case, I had either buried everyone, moved to Florida or moved 10 miles out of Atlantic City with no desire to return. I took the money and ran.

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