Friday, November 15, 2013

Signs the Economy is Bad, November 15, 2013

We made it through another week, and there are still signs out there that the economy is bad. Do not let the pundits fool you into thinking that things are getting better. Sure, there may be a couple of anomalies, mostly stuff for the one-percenters, but for the rest of us, things are still rough. Let's see what have we found this week.

  • J.C. Penney's has ended free wi-fi in its stores. If you thought you could mooch off some free Internet while shopping, or if you work there, and this was likely your only perk worth a damn, that's gone. The company needs to save some money pronto, so probably enabling people to come into their stores, hop on their smartphones, use their store to "showroom," then buy the stuff on Amazon was probably not a hot idea. They are saving about 7 million dollars, which seems like small change given that "$985 million net loss posted by J.C. Penney in the year ended Feb. 2, 2013." 
  • And a follow up to last week, Blockbuster is history as they have rented their last movie ever.
  • I hate when people think that college students somehow have it cushy. College students are often there through hard work and sacrifice, and poverty conditions are quite common (were it not for technicalities, many likely would fully qualify for aid other poor people get). I have been in that boat of making decisions based on how much money I had or rather did not have and having to basically hide that part of me from others. So this open letter from a Duke student, which could basically be a student in any college or university, struck a nerve with me. Our students here at Berea College certainly, more often than not, arrive with empty wallets, and we at least try our best to care for them. Most colleges and universities could not care less. 
  • In fact, these days, things are so bad that rich people are pleading poverty. You know shit is hitting the fan when the wealthy whine they can't afford designer clothes. While I do understand the concept that for celebrities, those fancy clothes and jewels they wear to galas are often loaners (loaned by designers basically for promotion purposes, and those items often or usually do have to be returned), sympathy here does not go far. Learn to dress more modestly hun. Some of us are lucky we can afford any clothes at all. 
  • Stephen Colbert certainly knows how to spot signs of bad economy. While the rest of us have hard times, he shows us how the wealthy can now go "glumming" for vacation. Don't know what "glumming" is? Read the article and watch the video clip to find out. 
  • Now, often these days I do find signs that things may not be so bad for some people. Remember the line from the film Pulp Fiction where Vincent asks Marsellus' wife, Mia, what a $5 dollar shake (link to quote) might taste like (here is the movie clip for context)? Forget that! We have found a $500 dollar milkshake. Read the story to find out what it's made out of. I have a feeling if Mia was sipping that shake, poor Vincent would not be given a taste. 
  • Finally, in other news, a new Miss Universe was crowned. The new beauty queen was spotted wearing a $1 million bathing suit. Apparently her new gig as Miss Universe includes being spokesperson for some swimsuit company, and they unveiled the suit that Miss Universe is modeling. Have a look and read for more details. 

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