Friday, February 11, 2011

Signs that the economy is bad, February 11, 2010 Edition

Ah, it is the New Year. OK, it has been the new year for a while now, but this is our first "Signs that the economy is bad" segment for 2011 here at The Itinerant Librarian. This is where your friendly librarian scours a variety of news sources to find those oh so subtle hints that the economy is bad. Just because we have a new year, it does not mean the economy has gotten better. Sure, those pundits may say that stocks are up or things are better for those on Wall Street. That's nice. For the rest of us in the trenches, things are still pretty grim in one way or another. But pundits just look at things like financial analysis and "expert" opinions. How do I know the economy is bad? I find the subtle signs, which I am now sharing with my three readers. So, here we go.

  • It's that most wonderful time of the year, when Girl Scouts go out to take orders for their annual cookie sale. You have to be dead, on a very restricted diet, or just cold and inhuman not to order at least one box when that cute brownie girl comes by with the form. Well, the economy is tight for the Girl Scouts as well. It seems that some of their cookie brands are going to be discontinued (link to WSJ). At least thin mints are safe. Bad news? If you liked those chocolate chip cookies that were diabetic friendly, those are gone. Too bad. (a hat tip to Jezebel).
  • Even getting a hit is getting difficult on the old checkbook. We often hear stories of women trying to hire a hitman to get rid of their pesky husband. Usually the tale ends when it turns out the wife was talking to an undercover cop posing as the hitman. Apparently telling apart the fakes from the real hitmen is not easy. And by the way, men get caught too, but for some reason stories of women doing it seem more sensational. Now, I do not know what the going rate for a hitman to take out your spouse is these days. I don't get too many phone calls at the reference desk asking, "do you know how much I should pay for a hit on my spouse or ex?" Apparently it seems that it is getting too expensive. Thus, one woman decided to try to get a cheaper option. Since she could not afford to kill the husband, she figured she would pay for just crippling the guy. The guy in question being an ex-boyfriend. She also wanted to make a down payment and put the rest of the hit on a payment plan. (a hat tip to Obscure Store and Reading Room). 
  • Guitar Hero bites the dust. Yep, the makers of the video game are going to stop making it, citing, well, economic reasons. 
Now, in case you might say I am a pessimist, I do find stories where a small part of the economy is getting better. If you are super rich, things are certainly good for you. How do I know? Well, for one, the yacht building business in Germany is facing increased demand.  According to the article from Der Spiegel, it seems Germany has become a leader in building high-end yachts. And what do customers want on their boats?

"The demands from customers are getting more and more eccentric: A helipad is already de rigueur. Some customers even want two -- after all, berths for floating palaces are in short supply, even in super-yacht marinas in places like Monaco, Nice, Portofino and Palma de Majorca. Some clients want freezer rooms so that they can have snowball fights off the Bahamas. While others order complete operating rooms or recording studios"

There is more, but I will let you read the rest. See? I am not all about the bad signs. Once in a while, you find a sign the economy is doing ok for some people.

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