I was just getting my APA receipts organized. I'll submit them next week to my University, and in due course I'll get reimbursed for nearly every dollar I spent on the APA Eastern. But I have to say that the grand sum is pretty staggering, considering what one gets in return.
Unless one happens to live close enough to DC to not need to fly, the cost for most of getting to the conference and staying in the conference hotel has to be roughly $1000. How do graduate students and non-TT slave-wage earners who don't live on the East Coast afford it?
What we do is, we scrimp; we find less-expensive alternatives to the conference hotel; we eat as cheaply as we can; and we put up blog posts and comments in which we point out what a bunch of inhumane bullshit the current set of hiring procedures are and in which we propose more humane, less bullshitty alternatives, for which we are then derided as entitled whiners who are unwilling to do what it takes to get a job in philosophy.