Friday, August 30, 2013

Signs that the economy is (still) bad, August 30, 2013

I have not done one of these in a while, but there have been items in the news showing us that the economy is (still) bad. So, I have scoured the web from one end to the other (also known as I looked over a few things coming in my feeds, and then added a thing or two) to give you this week's signs. Some may be amusing, but others not so much. Things are getting serious folks, or rather they are still serious but for some reason people are not taking them seriously as they  keep voting and enabling the folks making the mess in the first place.

  • Apparently sales of superhero action figures and toys are down. I honestly would have thought with the glut of superhero films out there, that this was not an issue. Apparently, it is. Hasbro is reporting some down movement in sales. However, they claim that as soon as the new Star Wars films come out (deity help us. I am keeping my expectations low on these if the prequels are any indication) and their license kicks in, things will be better. We'll see. Story via IO9.
  • And speaking of games, Christian video gaming is heading down the drain. I always knew there was such a thing, but I always saw it as a joke. Well, I guess the joke is pretty much over. Left Behind Games is barely operating (if you can call what they do now operating), and its CEO has declared bankruptcy.  Story via Pharyngula
  • In Gary, Indiana, you can buy a house for less than the cost of a cup of coffee (story via Addicting Info).  The city is a shell of the industrial giant it used to be. Corporations like Bethlehem Steel (now gone out of business. Disclosure: my father in law worked for them many years, managed to retire from there before they went belly up. And no, they do not live in Gary) and others have vanished. Like Detroit, residents have pretty much vanished too, so the local government, in a desperate plea to keep anyone is putting up local properties for very cheap sale (certain conditions do apply). In the end though, keep in mind, it means living in Gary, Indiana, which has been known to be murder capital of the U.S (this story via Chicago Tribune. The city no longer has that title, but it's not like its gotten better overall) among other things.
  • In more serious news, Pew Research finds that share of young adults living with their parents is going up. I don't think this is terribly surprising. Lousy job market. Low job availability after graduation. That assumes you can even afford to go to college given how cost of higher education has skyrocketed out of control. And if you somehow managed to get into college, and you had to take out loans to do it, you may be in debt up to your eyeballs meaning you can't even afford a place to live, again, assuming you managed to get a job in the tight job market. This is one vicious cycle that is not getting better any time soon. Then again, their parents and grandparents did not exactly do them any favors. Sure, they got the dream of education, so on, then pretty much went on to wreck the country and the economy for anyone who came behind them (and us, this would include me on the tail end, but at least I am lucky to be employed).
  • Keeping up with serious news, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that there are more families with an unemployed parent. According to the report, "the number of households with children under 18 who had at least one unemployed parent rose by 33 percent, from 2.4 million to 3.2 million, between 2005 and 2011. In some states, the rise was much sharper."
  • Then again, not everyone experiences a crappy economy. In Vegas, they are selling a $750 dollars cupcake. Yep, you read that right. Story via Incredible Things. Let them eat cake. 

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