For folks living in Southern California, the writers' strike is kind of a big deal. For people living in other parts of the country, it's a little less important than the latest government report on cholesterol.
The reason the writers' strike makes headlines in Lala land is that the ripple effect on the local economy is fairly significant. One estimate has the entertainment industry accounting for 7 percent of the GNP of Los Angeles County. That's around $30 billion annually. Now, that's not what the writers make, but the various productions they have a hand in generate that kind of money once you take into account everything it takes to make movies and television shows. When the writers stopped writing several weeks ago, it was just a matter of time before the productions, which depend on scripts (even Jay Leno can't tell a joke without someone writing it for him), could no longer move forward, putting thousands of people out of work.