Friday, October 10, 2014

Signs the Economy is Bad: October 10, 2014 edition

Welcome to another edition of "Signs the Economy is Bad" here at The Itinerant Librarian. This is the semi-regular (as in when I have time and/or feel like doing it) feature where I scour the Internet in search of the oh so subtle hints that the economy is bad. Sure, pundits may say things are getting better, but what do they know? And to show not all is bad, once in a while we look at how good the uber rich have it.  

A few interesting items this week, so let's get on with it.

  • It what has to be the "Motherfuckery Story of the Week," Walmart has decided that the economy is bad, and since they are not making enough money it's time to take away the health insurance of their most vulnerable part-time workers (story via The Week). And for the rest of the workforce, their premiums are going up too. To put things in perspective, " Walmart's net profits are expected to be $15.88 billion this year, and the Walton family — heir to the Walmart fortune — is worth a combined $143.6 billion." But you know, things are bad, so Walmart has to tie its belt, the poor babies.
  • Meanwhile, poverty and hunger in the United States continue to be a serious issue. Many in the U.S. make it their national hobby to demonize the poor. However, the thing is this: " more and more, hunger looks like you and me." Perhaps a little visual may help out as "Americans on Food Aid Document Their Hunger in Photos."Story via Yes! Magazine.
  • We have made jokes before in this blog about naming rights from ads in textbooks to naming bathrooms after donors. The economy may be bad, but rich people often love to see their names splattered all over the place to show their "generosity" (or cupidity is more like it). The next trend for rich people and corporations? Getting towns to change their names and the names of public spaces to the name of a brand or rich person. Economy is bad, and towns, municipalities, schools, so on need some cash. So, hey, sell off the local public park so it can be the Coca-Cola Park for a few bucks. Sounds good? In theory (for the corporate and the rich maybe), but this is a problem for public spaces and the message it sends. Story via AlterNet.
  • Bad economy or not, some people just feel like they need to have the latest gadget. In what is a pathetic commentary on American consumer society and the urban decay of Detroit all wrapped up into one, a Detroit man was trying to barter his beat up, fixer upper home for an iPhone 6. However, if you feel an iPhone 6 is too much, he is willing to negotiate.  Story via The Week
  • Today's Public Service Announcement is for college students. Contrary to what some cranky right wingers believe, not all college students are choking on their silver spoons. For many, going to college is pretty much living in poverty. It means having to, among other things, find cheap food options. So, to help out, here is a list of the "50 Best Cheap Pizza Places for College Students Across the USA." The nice thing about the list is that it does not have pizza chains, otherwise the "Hot N' Ready" guys would likely be on top as cheapest). On a side note, from the list, I have had pizza from Mad Mushroom in West Lafayette. It's pretty much pizza with no frills. Story via COED Magazine.
And finally, one for the uber rich:

  • Now if you are one of the uber rich, one of the problems you may face is dating. After all, if you are part of the 1%, there are not many others like you out there. So trying to find a suitable and well-off financially mate is kind of a hardship. Good news: there is a solution in a new dating app for the 1% called Luxy. Now, uber rich, don't worry: this new solution is not for gold diggers or such, so no need to be concerned that hot chick who pretends to have wealth is just some poor hoe who is a gold digger or, in the case of the gals, some poor schmuck trying to marry up. When it comes to Luxy, "'It’s Tinder without low-income dating prospects,' according to the description. 'In fact, the average income of male users on LUXY is over $200k and those who are unable to keep up financially are immediately removed from the service.'" Exactly. You are uber rich; you don't want to date just any plebeian. You have standards. You have more money than God, and you expect your date or potential mate to be the same. So, "if you're currently looking for a man or woman to fill the emotional emptiness in your Swiss Bank Account, Luxy may be the app for you." Story via Big Think.

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