We made it to the Friday before Christmas, and I hear there some big movie or other opening today, which I am sure will make oodles of money for the House of Mouse even if the movie itself is not that great (aside from the visuals and carefully choreographed nostalgia; link to early review via P.Z. Myers). At any rate, while Hollywood may be raking in money this weekend, the rest of the economy remains bad. So perhaps escaping to a movie theater for some is not a bad way to forget the woes for a while. So, let's see what's going on these days:
- It seems that given current reports, at least half of us in the United States are living in poverty or are pretty damn close to it. Story via AlterNet. No wonder people try to put our pennies together or spend money they do not have to escape into a movie theater for a couple of hours. Folks not making a living wage, barely to no savings, and heck, can't even afford to fix a car, which is often a lifeline, when it breaks down. Things are really bad out there. But hey, keep voting for the same legislators and government officials who make sure things stay that way.
- Then again, some reports state that 80% of us are in debt overall and 1.5 million families live on 2 dollars per person per day, if they are lucky.. Stories via Project Censored.
- Home ownership, that oh so great American dream, continues to slip as more and more renters are now over the age of 40. Story via Equal Voices.
- You know your state is in shit's creek when another state has to take over the SNAP program for your state so your people do not starve. This is just what is happening in Maine. Story via Crooks and Liars.
- In higher education news, community students suffering homelessness and food insecurity seems to be finally getting noticed. Story via Inside Higher Ed.
- Now, many institutions of higher learning may not give a hoot about their students, just as long as their tuition checks are good. And they may cry money is tight, but one thing many of them can do is spend obscene amounts of money paying consultants on campus climate and diversity, ostensibly because they wish to address those issues, then throw the money away by hiding the reports when they do not like the results they get. Money that could have likely been spent better elsewhere if they were just going to ignore the truth. Story via Inside Higher Ed.
- Now here is something to ponder: six things people who are well off take for granted that poor people cannot afford. One of the things on the list? Sleep. Read why at AlterNet and check your privilege.
- And finally, Jeb Bush, GOP Presidential candidate headed to the ash heap (or so it seems so far) sends out a pretty pathetic e-mail begging for money that is basically a form of extortion. Talk about being desperate. Story via Addicting Info. I think the Rude Pundit best describes the pathetic nature of Jeb Bush at this point: "a fading porn star who keeps getting cast in flicks even though he can't get a hard-on anymore." Yea, talk about a bad economy.