Sunday, September 11, 2016

Signs the economy is bad: September 11, 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.  

We did quite make it to posting on Friday. It has been a busy week here for me, so this week we have a special late night Sunday post. I know the big thing this weekend is remembering 9/11, but this post is free of that so you can feel you get a little break from the somewhat excessive jingoism. Do I feel for the victims? Absolutely? But I also loathe the jingoistic exploitation of the event and the fact that the powers that be used it to basically rule by fear. In some key ways, the terrorists won, and Americans let them do it by easily giving up many of their rights. But I digress. 

We have quite a few stories this week, including a few out of Texas, a state that so far has zero days without being a fucking national embarrassment. But it is not just Texas. This week there are a lot of signs that the economy is bad, so let's get on with it. 

However, the  economy is not bad for some people. The uber rich and certain people with no ethics or  morals happen to do fine. Also if you work some odd or unusual jobs (and you happen to be decent and ethical), you are probably doing well. Let's see how the other half lives and thrives: 

  •  Learn about those who eat at the most exclusive restaurant in the United States. Story via The New Yorker.
  • If you sell guns, you are very likely doing very well, specially since survivalists, specially in the Pacific Northwest, are keeping you in business by stocking up on more and more guns and ammo. Story  via The Rural Blog
  • If you work in the technical side of the porn industry, you may be doing well. Porn has always been a technology innovator, so if you work in that field, odds are good you are in demand and do well. Plus, odds are good your innovations go on to live in the rest of society and technology down the road. Story via AlterNet.
  • Are you a farmer stuck with some shitty old barn that is too expensive to repair or demolish? Sell it for "reclaimed wood" so hipsters and TV home development shows can use it in their fancy projects that no real people can afford. Story via NPR.  
  • Also via NPR, taco trucks are hot now. After a Republican operative made a racist faux pas, turns out taco trucks are getting more popular. In fact, this one taco truck racked up even more sales at a Detroit event thanks to that dumbass.  
  • Now college students may be homeless, and adjunct professors are living in poverty, but some schools are more than happy to spend money on all sorts of lavish things. For instance, Berkeley recently paid $200,000 to do PR and elevate the image of a chancellor who is on the way out anyhow; he is stepping down. They need to position their celebrity as a "key thought leader." I shit you not. Story via Inside Higher Ed.
  • Here is one of two stories I am highlighting this week where if you lack morals, ethics, and basic decency, you can make a bundle of money and be rich. In this story, one guy ran a fake Trump site, and made thousands from suckers supporters sending donations. Story via Esquire.
  • And finally for this evening, our second story. I always joked that I was in the wrong line of work. I had no ethics, scruples, or morals, I would set up a revival tent, preach something, and get suckers the faithful to give me money to give them some nice platitudes. Well it turns out you can do that sort of thing. Become an end times prophet, scare the crap out of the gullible believers, and make a ton of money in the process. Lose your soul? Pshaw that is only for the gullible who believe. Story via Patheos.

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