Friday, May 13, 2011

Signs that the economy is bad, May 13, 2011 edition

It's that time again, and this is a Friday the 13th edition of "Signs that the economy is bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian. This is the semi-regular segment (as in I do it when I have time and feel like it) where I scour the webs to find those oh so subtle hints that the economy is bad. The problem these days is that the hints are not so subtle any more. The economy is in the crapper, no matter what some pundit with some chart says. All you have to do is ask the average working Joe or Jane on the street. So, here are this week's signs:

  • Even your pets are bummed by the recession. Money is tight, and just like people put off going to the doctor for preventive care when the choice is paying the rent or car payment or going to the doctor, pet owners make the same choice, and Fido or Fluffy get the short end of the stick. (Via Live Science)
  • The best college graduates can hope for, in many cases, is a "survival job."  And the news do get worse: "And the longer college graduates go without working in their field, the harder it is to land interviews for jobs where they would use their degree."(Via Michigan MLive)
  • And speaking of college graduates, news keep getting worse for them. It turns out the graduating class of 2011 may well be the most indebted one in history. (Via WSJ).  So given the poor job market and poor salaries to start out, they will be pretty much condemned to live like serfs to their lenders, assuming they are even able to get a job. Just another fine example how society has chosen not to invest in students and its own future, instead abandoning higher education and leaving students on their own.The Wall Street Journal tries to sound upbeat, saying that the debt may not be so bad, that it may be a good investment. But in an economy where more often than not, the best job awaiting many college graduates is a McJob (see story above about survival jobs), WSJ is pretty much being irresponsible to say the least. It certainly is very fair now to honestly question whether college is really a good investment or not. For some people, it may still be. For others, some other kind of short study course (say a two-year degree) or just vocational training may be a path to good paying, steady work.
  • And you can pretty much forget about going to grad school. Advice from professors these days is more along the lines of "don't do it," and some even refuse to speak to their students about it, describing graduate school as a "suicide mission."  (Via The Nation).

      Monday, May 02, 2011

      So, Osama Bin Laden sleeps with the fishes

      I jotted down some brief thoughts as well as listed a few links I found interesting about the whole affair over on the scratch pad blog. Feel free to have a look if so moved. Or feel free to move on. Like most stories these days, the Bin Laden story will likely saturate the media for a few weeks. From the mandatory "asking the asshats to chime in on Facebook or Twitter" that news organizations seem to think is news to those who will disparage the achievement and use it to yet again attack the President (because apparently those people do not get the idea of "respecting the Office of the President" even if you disagree with the guy in office, not to mention the whole bunch of morons who use things like birther rants as code for their racism), I honestly would rather not hear about it more than I absolutely have to. That means that, for me, I will be watching a lot of things like Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, so on. I already get plenty of news via my RSS feeds and Twitter, so to be honest, by the time I get home, I pretty much want to be distracted. And if watching those other channels does not work, I do have a few good books I am currently reading that I know will do the job just fine.