Out in La-La Land, when the going gets tough, the tough quit dry cleaning. I've created the CNBC Dry Cleaner Economic Index. After all, what's the first thing you stop spending money on when you need to cut back on expenses? And in Southern California, a lot of people are having to cut back.
First, there's the writers' strike, going into its seventh week. Michael Shader, who runs Milt & Edie's Dry Cleaner in Burbank, says not only have writers stopped coming in, but also some actors. During our interview, he realized, "As we're talking, I'm starting to think, 'Hmmmm, I haven't seen him, I haven't seen her.'" (On the upside, the strike may be good for doctors and chiropractors, as I hear writers are complaining of a new writer's cramp--sore wrists from holding picket signs.)