I leave you alone for a couple of weeks, and serious mayhem breaks out from eclipses to hurricanes. So let's see what has been happening in the bad economy for this week.
Let's start with the hurricanes. Sure, places like Houston and Florida had been hit hard, not to mention the devastation in the Caribbean. However, the hurricanes themselves are not a sign of the bad economy. Here are your bad economy hurricane signs:
- Houston was hit seriously hard. I have a soft spot for the city because I lived and worked there for a few years. I still have some friends there. They are fortunate. Many Houstonians lost their homes and all they owned. This included renters. So, what did the landlords do? They decided to demand rent anyhow on properties that were under water (literally) or completely gone from people who lost everything, even the shirts off their backs. In a nutshell, greedy fuckery. This reminded me of this ("fuck you, pay me." Link to video clip) Story via Countercurrent News.
- Here is more fuckery out of Houston. This is the Christian edition. Joel Osteen, paster of the notorious megachurch in Houston, decided he wanted to keep his church clean and pristine, so he kept it close despite, well, being a church that one would think serve as sanctuary. His initial excuse was that it flooded. He was called out on that lie when people actually verified it was not. Eventually the social media shaming was so bad he finally allowed his tax shelter to be an actual shelter for the needy. You would think the story ends there. Oh, you would be wrong. He had to make up somehow, so when those needy people were in the church, people who lost everything, he decided to pass around the collection plate to them. Story via Countercurrent News.
- Naturally the Pendejo In Chief put an appearance in Houston, and he was peddling hats. Hey, this is America: you got to find ways to make a buck even at the expense of others' misery. Story via Crooks and Liars.
- Speaking of exploiting vulnerable people, Delta Airlines decided to jack up their flight rates out of Houston. You know, a little price gouging. Story via Alternet.
- In another case of "fuck you, pay me," the IMF pretty much told Barbados that even though the island is devastated. Story via Courthouse News.
- Let's take a moment and look at the suffering of the well-to-do as United Airlines, notorious for beating people up when they overbook, are now taking away perks from the first class passengers. Oh gods, the horror, the horror. Story via Inc.
- Now if you somehow manage to get on a plane and take a flight to Spain, they might not want you there. Though tourism is often good for the economy, apparently Spaniards are a little miffed at their tourism boom, especially since a lot of tourists behave like boorish assholes. Story via The Christian Science Monitor.
- LEGOs are not doing well. The company is cutting jobs for the first time as sales fall for the first time in 13 years. I will tell you why: they went ahead and got every other film license they could, and then jacked up prices in large part to get at the adult collector market. Some of those sets are ridiculously overpriced, and in the bad economy, LEGOs are discretionary items. In other words, when it comes to food or LEGOs, you get food (usually). Story via The Lexington Herald Leader.
- Sean Spicer shows that you can be an outright liar and enabler of lies, get canned from your White House job, and still get hired by a speakers' agency as long as you got "candor" and "wit." Go figure. Story via The Week.
- In rural counties, more than half of them do not have a hospital able to deliver babies. Story via The Rural Blog.
- It is not a good time to be poor in the United States as local governments find all sorts of ways to be cruel to the poor. Why? Because fuck them, that's why. Story via Alternet.
- The other big story in this period was the Equifax hack. Learn how U.S. regulators basically set things up so this just had to happen. Story via Naked Capitalism.
- Now I wonder how the Equifax mess will affect people borrowing money, especially in light of a recent report that Americans borrowing are at a record high. Apparently, they did not learn anything of the last economic crash. Story via NPR.
- Apparently Motel 6 is tight on money as it is (allegedly) selling out undocumented immigrants who are guests in their motels at $200 a pop to ICE agents. Story via Alternet.
- Another sign the economy is bad? More grandparents are raising children. Story via The Conversation.
- And yet another sign of the bad economy: "I need this job." Learn why that little phrase is so significant. Story via Esquire.
- In creative business options. Business travel got you bummed out? Maybe you miss the small comforts of home? Well, in some hotels, maybe you could rent a goldfish to keep you company for the night. Story via Atlas Obscura.
In higher education news:
- In Kentucky, the Party of Stupid governor they elected has told colleges and universities to get rid of any classes, departments, and programs that they do not need. If your degree does not lead to a high paying job on demand, then it should be on the cutting block. Either that, or such a degree could lead you to becoming a useless, selfish ignorant politician like Matt Bevin, who has a degree in East Asian Studies. So what I want to know is when is he returning his useless degree, manning up, and getting a serious and rigorous STEM degree? Story via Inside Higher Ed.
- Universities are reporting declines in international students. Part of the reason is the current political climate in the U.S., but the bad economy is also a factor. Story via Inside Higher Ed.
And how are the uber rich doing?
- In shitty rich hipster ideas, two guys who used to work for Google want to put New York City bodegas out of business. How? With vending machines they are calling "Bodega." Because not only are they being dicks at targeting the businesses, they do so shamelessly by appropriating their name. Story via Daily Intelligencer.
- If cheap toothpaste is not your thing, maybe you want to consider $17 toothpaste. Story via Boing Boing.
- And if you are uber rich, you want to sleep in comfort. Nice bed sheets are a good for a comfy bed, and recently, you could save $20 on a nice set of organic cotton bed sheets. Story via Boing Boing.
- Speaking of organic and other fancy labels, you can now also find gluten free water. Story via The Conversation.
- The Pendejo In Chief's golf clubs are doing very well as lobbyists have paid millions to join them. They would not be seeking any special access or anything, would they? Nah. Story via VICE.
- And speaking of politicians, keeping the appearance of being uber rich is often a concern. The struggle is real, so some of them resort to a little theft. Now, how do you avoid getting caught pilfering your government's own funds? Pro tip: Maybe try not to buy a tuxedo for your dog. Story via Esquire.
- Finally for this week: If you are into BDSM and fetish, and you got some money to burn, maybe you want some custom made wooden furniture for spankings and floggings. Some models start at $5,000. Story via VICE.