Welcome to the day after St. Patrick's Day hangover edition of "Signs the economy is bad." Yes, things are still bad in the economy, and for some reason, I noticed much of the signs have to do with hospitals and health. I guess if you close down enough hospitals you can start decreasing that surplus population. So, let's get on with it.
- We have seen that hospitals in rural areas are closing their labor and delivery rooms (story from The Atlantic). Not like you really need those, right? But that is not all. Many rural hospitals are just closing down period. As in the whole hospital is closed and gone. The thing is not just the hospital closing, which leads to lack of access to medical facilities and long drives (for those in the rural areas who can even afford to drive). Those rural hospital closings mean that many small businesses and local jobs that depend on that hospital are being decimated as well (story via The Rural Blog).
- And speaking of the bad economy and hospitals, things are so bad in Puerto Rico that the local electric company actually cut off power to a hospital that apparently was unable to pay its electric bill. (Naturally, said electric company did not cut off power to the rich developers, hoteliers, and other robber barons that do not pay their electric bills neither). Story via El Nuevo Dia (and this one is in Spanish).
- Because hating the poor in the United States is the national hobby, people actually ask who are the legitimate poor (as if there is such a thing). Story via TalkPoverty.
- Then again, there is a new war on poverty, though it is not so much war against poverty as it is war against the poor. Story via TalkPoverty.
- Now if in the midst of all this poverty talk you are thinking to yourself that it cannot happen to you, you may want to check what your odds are that you could experience poverty at any given moment in your life. Story via AlterNet.
- And if you are thinking a college degree will get you ahead, you may want to think again. Story via Vox.
- You can also tell things are bad because Americans are once again racking up a lot of credit card debt. Story via AlterNet.
- If you wonder why journalism is not what it used to be, part of it may be because newsrooms are laying off journalists in massive numbers. Story via BillMoyers.com
- And in our final story for this Friday, our friend over at Poor as Folk explains a new holiday she has coined that is very proper for the bad economy. : Taxmas.