Friday, July 22, 2016

Signs the economy is bad: July 22, 2016 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.   

This week the big news for many may be the gathering of hyenas and vultures in Cleveland. However, the bad economy does not stop for anyone, and we have a few signs this week. From college to expensive dresses, let's have a look.

  • You know those people who say if their candidate loses they are moving to Canada? They may be onto something. Are you one of those poor naive souls who still believes in the American Dream? Well, unlike those saps who whine they are moving to Canada after a bad election, the American Dream DID move to Canada (and Europe). Here is the real deal. According to this article from Truthout, "If you forgot to be born into a wealthy family, you're better off today living in Northern Europe or Canada, where social safety nets and investments in early childhood education have paid big dividends for ordinary citizens. In fact, Canada now has three times the social mobility of the US." Heck, if I could afford it, I would be long gone out of the United States. In the meantime, I just do what I can with what little I got. 
  • Here is more proof the so-called American Dream is long dead and buried: 14% of Americans are "food insecure," and that is going to get worse over time. In a country that brags about its wealth and opportunities, people actively choose to allow their brethren to starve because fuck 'em, that's why. It happened because of "a combination of nearly all the economic benefits of the post-2008 recovery going to the wealthy; and the sustained attacks on America's social safety net, led by state-level Tea Party governments." Initial story via Boing Boing. The full story can be found in The Atlantic here.
  • In college news, apparently more female college students are becoming sugar babies in order to pay for their college costs and avoid the dreaded student loan debt. Story via USA Today. I will be perfectly honest. "Sugar Baby University: where beautiful, ambitious people [people here means pretty much women who are very attractive and willing to do a few things which may or not be of dubious ethics] graduate debt free." Let's keep it real: If I had been a hot looking female willing to at least tolerate the companionship of some older guy willing to pay my expenses, believe me I would be debt free now and doing well. Now before some of you moralists climb on your high horses and start whining about prostitution, the moral decay of America, or some other nonsense, here are a few things to keep perspective: 
  • The event in Cleveland apparently saw some raise in local porn viewing as well as listings on Craigslist for various gay encounters. However, results seems mixed or vague in terms of whether the local sex shops saw more business or not as a result of the event. Story via The Stranger blog. One thing for sure is that escorts advertising on Craigslist did well in the bad economy this week. That story via Towleroad
  • In news out of Puerto Rico, where the bad economy is really wreaking havoc, they are seriously planning for the possibility of dismantling the Arecibo radiotelescope due to lack of funding. Story itself is in Spanish, via El Nuevo Dia
  • And not all was bad. The company that made Melania Trump's dress she wore for her speech in Cleveland did well. That dress sold out online right away after the speech. One of those dresses costs $2,190 by the way, so clearly someone is doing well in the bad economy, Story via The Week.

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