Friday, February 12, 2016

Signs the Economy is Bad: Valentine's Day Weekend 2016 Special 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.  

It is the weekend of the Hallmark Holiday (I think most people call it Valentine's Day). And though the economy may be be bad, depending on who you ask, the economy is doing super if you are in one of the industries that sell stuff for the holiday. Men will be forking out anywhere from $250 to $500 dollars easily to please their women who feel they must have something for the holiday. It's a women's holiday, pure and simple, where a bunch of stuff is marked up for the sake of "romance." Suckers. Mercifully, I am married to a very low maintenance woman who does not fall for the bullshit. But that is me. I know most of you guys out there are screwed, so I hope you were at least smart enough to get your act together early (though that is unlikely. According to the second article I just linked, most guys leave it to the last minute. Dumbasses). Way I see it, I romance her and take care of her the rest of the year so I don't have to worry about the Hallmark Holiday. Besides, we all know the candy will be on a fire sale the day after.

And if you need to find a gift, well, that should not be a problem. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are plenty of places that will happily sell you stuff:

You get more facts and trivia about Valentine's Day from the U.S. Census Bureau here

At any rate, putting Valentine's Day aside, the economy is still bad, and there are plenty of signs out there to prove it. Let's have a look.

  • So, say you spent some time in prison and did your time. Or maybe something as simple as you got a ticket, so you paid the fine. However, clearing your record can be costly, and not many can afford it. Why would you worry? Well, apply for a job, get a background check, and if that old ticket that should have been cleared is still there,  you can kiss that good job goodbye. Story via Yes! Magazine.
  • And now, let's look at today's edition of "How the Mighty Have Fallen" 
    • Yahoo!, once a major player in the Internet and an empty shell of itself, is laying off staff and even considering selling itself. Considering their services have pretty much kept decaying over time, it may be a matter of time. You can tell they are pretty much barely holding on. They are already laying folks off and looking at trimming at least 15% of their workforce. Stories via NPR and Reuters.
    • Sears is closing more stores, and they are hoping to do it at a faster pace. Story via The Christian Science Monitor.
    • Walmart is closing stores. Now you know when Walmart has to close stores that the shit has hit the fan. However, this round of closings has caught attention because it is in rural areas. In other words, it is happening in areas where Walmart went in, decimated the local markets and small local businesses, and they became the only business in many cases for things like groceries and other retail. Now, my sympathy here only goes so far. These are the people who pretty much said, "hell, Walmart sells that cheaper, I am shopping over there" despite all the signs that local economies would die, and Walmart had no real loyalty to communities. So Walmart now said, "well, y'all really ain't worth it, so we are leaving, so long losers." So now, there is no Walmart, and nothing else to replace it. Karma can sure be a bitch. Story via The Rural Blog.
    • And speaking of karma. In New York City, that crazy church pastor who claimed Starbucks sold coffee with sodomite semen and that Jesus would stone homos is about to lose his church. The ATLAH Church is so full of debt that a judge has ordered it be sold. Story via The Advocate.
  • And finally for today, in the bad economy, people often need to get creative in order to survive and maybe make a buck. This homeless man in Detroit knows not everyone carries cash, so for the convenience of the people who may give him a small handout, he has found a way to take debit and credit cards.  Story via The Root.

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