Friday, April 29, 2011

Signs that the economy is bad, April 29 edition

So we make it to another Friday here at The Itinerant Librarian. Welcome to another edition of "Signs that the economy is bad," the blog segment where I scour the Internet to find the oh so subtle hints that the economy is bad. Sure there may be little upticks here and there, but just ask the Average Joe out there; he'll tell you things are bad. So, without further ado, here are the signs for this week:

  • College graduates are not only more likely to move back home with their parents; they are also staying with their parents after graduation. (via Huffington Post). Sure, USA Today may report that the job market for 2011 college grads is getting better, but there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of that claim. I am sure that Ashley Moore, highlighted in the HuffPo piece has a thing or two to say regarding that USA Today report and the fact she is having a hard time finding any full-time job and is thus stuck underemployed in part-time work. 
  • Last week, the Philadelphia Orchestra declared bankruptcy (via Bizmology). This is not a good sign when the arts are fast losing support. Sure, some orchestras are still hanging on, but according the post, "groups in Honolulu and Syracuse have shuttered in recent months." 
  • You know the shit is starting to hit the fan when Wal-Mart is worried. From CNN Money, "Wal-Mart's core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday." Mr. Duke is not saying anything that anyone with some common sense would not say. Gas prices are high. People still have to drive, so therefore, they have to cut back on other things. Shopping would be one of those things to cut back. Now, when your business pretty much caters to those living paycheck to paycheck (that is the term used in the article), and you worry that your customers are running out of money, that could be a big problem. Now, how is Wal-Mart dealing with this situation? Well, for one, they are bringing guns back. Because nothing lifts sagging sales in your business than offering a better and more available selection of firearms. Now, sympathy for Wal-Mart does not come easy. After all, they did help create the shitstorm we are in now. You know, that whole "low prices" strategy where they squeezed competitors and small stores out of existence and outsourced everything else to China. 
  • Now here is an interesting one. It turns out that the high gas prices are driving a spike in fryer grease thefts (via Reuters).  Read on to learn more.
  • And you can forget about searching for aliens anytime soon. It seems the SETI project is shutting down one of its major research tools due to, you guessed it, lack of funds. More information from SETI here.

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