Friday, March 17, 2017

Signs the Economy is Bad: March 17, 2017 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.  

The big news this week is that El Pendejo In Chief just presented his budged proposal, and  it is pretty much a slash-and-burn on pretty much anything that is not the military and homeland security. So naturally, we need to take a look at that part of the bad economy. Let us take a look at a small sampling of who does poorly in this scheme and who does well because at the end of the day, it is a matter of following the money.

Doing poorly from the Pendejo In Chief's and Party of Stupid's budget: 
  • Rural areas. Rural areas voted overwhelmingly for El Pendejo in Chief and the Party of Stupid. In Kentucky, the state went for the GOP, especially in the eastern coal regions that stood to lose the most. Things like clean water, air, assistance with Internet access and broadband, small business loans, and so on are getting the ax. And that is in addition to cuts to health services and the Affordable Care Act. In the end, they voted, and they got what they asked for. Story via The Daily Yonder.  
  • Programs that assist the poor and needy, like Meals on Wheels. The WH budget director said this week that Meals on Wheels is just not achieving results, and the compassionate thing is to cut off funding for the program. I guess those starving seniors should get off their couches, get a damn job, and buy their own damn food instead of waiting for free food delivery. If they want food delivered, they can pay for Domino's like everyone else. If you want to get technical, what he is cutting are the sources of funding for things like Meals on Wheels. So, while some hardcore Republican may pipe up to whine "hey, he is not cutting that because it is a state program, not federal", guess where the state or states get the money to run things like Meals on Wheels. Grants from the federal government (for example, Meals on Wheels often gets money from the federal Community Development Block Grant), i.e. federal money. So yea, he is cutting the funding, but nice try at deflection. Story via Democracy Now!
  • The Appalachian Region, which ironically voted overwhelmingly for El Pendejo In Chief and the Party of Stupid. Among the losers is the Appalachian Regional Commission.  Story via The Rural Blog
  • The homeless, and there will likely be more homeless too. Read more about it from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

 Doing well from the Pendejo In Chief's and Party of Stupid's budget: 

  • Anything related to military spending and "defending the homeland." However, this can vary. Spending for actual military stuff is mostly good. Some of that homeland stuff, depends on what it is. Things like disaster planning are getting cut. Story via AlterNet.
  • Nuclear weapons and those involved in their production, etc. The budget draft proposes an extra billion dollars for production of nuclear weapons in the United States. Story via The Center for Public Integrity. 

 Other signs the economy is bad this week: 

Now, let's have a look at how good the uber rich have it and  who is doing well in the bad economy: 

  • American banks did really well in 2016. In fact, they made even more than they were making  before the financial recession hit. Story via The Week.  
  • The new CEO of Yahoo! stands to make more money than the outgoing CEO Marissa Mayer. Now some feminists are already arguing about inequity because the new guy is a man who is getting paid more for what may be an easier job; I mean, Mayer already fucked up the company and left it in ruins.  Ms. Mayer basically oversaw the downfall of Yahoo! including being there when their massive hacks happened and the company was being bought and cannibalized by Verizon, so I have no sympathy for the lady who is getting her golden parachute anyhow. According to the article, "After nearly five years of leading Yahoo, Mayer is stepping down with a $23 million severance package, according to a proxy statement the company filed on Monday. With $69 million worth of unexercised stock options awarded to her and $97 million of Yahoo stock she already owns, Mayer is expected to have a net worth increase of about $189 million, according to Fortune." Sounds more like a First World Problem. I would love a job where I get fired for fucking up a company and still walk away a multimillionaire. Story via The Christian Science Monitor.  
  • A bit of a mixed situation for higher education administrators. Their salaries are going up, but they are losing some of their other perks. Story via Inside Higher Education.  
  • Apparently if you vape, the devices can explode, and if you want to sue, there are plenty of lawyers who will be happy to take your case. Story via VICE

And finally, in the economic overkill story of the week: using a multi-million dollars PATRIOT missile to shoot down a 200 dollars drone. Genius. Story via Popular Mechanics


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