Friday, February 10, 2012

Signs the economy is bad, February 10, 2012 edition

It's Friday, and my four readers know what that means around here. It is possible we may have another edition of "Signs that the economy is bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian. And sure enough, we've got a few signs this week, including stuff that we have seen before making a return appearance. I will note that except for one item, all items this week are related to education somehow. It seems education is a proverbial canary in the mineshaft when it comes to the bad economy.

  • Oh look, we are back with the issue of advertising in schools. Dallas (TX) ISD may be moving to allow advertisements in their classrooms. Via NBC 5. 
  • And we are back with the issue of colleges selling naming rights to make ends meet. And yes, once again, they are selling rights to name bathrooms.The article from Inside Higher Ed has an account of a few colleges who have been or plan to sell naming rights to bathrooms in order to raise funds. My personal favorite has to be the example from Pennsylvannia, where the donor demanded that "the walls be lined with plaques reading, 'The relief you are now experiencing is made possible by a gift from Michael Zinman.'”
  • Student loan debt is driving more graduates into bankruptcy. The big problem? Student loan debt is the one debt you cannot discharge in bankruptcy court. Yea, you can thank the sleazeball lobbyists from banks for that one. Story via The Los Angeles Times. On a related note, I can't recall where I read it, but I did read that many bankruptcy lawyers are not paid very well when compared to other law specialties. It is a field that has a lot of volume, and it is not glamorous. New lawyers are often saddled with high student loans as well, and thus, bankruptcy lawyers are often in the same boat as their clients in terms of the student loan serfdom. The fact that a society chooses not to invest in the education of its youth but instead allows said youth to fall into financial slavery makes a very poor comment on society.
  • Another report is out on how Dollar Stores are growing in the bad economy. It seems they are the one sector that so far can grow in this bad economic climate. How bad is the climate? According to the summary, we have "the rapid evaporation of wealth, both real and perceived, has profoundly changed the way Americans shop, how they think about the buying experience, and how they define value." We can certainly attribute that to things like stagnating wages and overall just people losing their jobs or having to work at lower paying jobs as corporations outsourced overseas. Report found via Full Text Reports. This is a sign of the bad economy I have pointed out before.

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