There are a lot of signs the economy is bad this week, so let's just get on with it.
- Fixing potholes is hard, and it can be expensive. It is probably why so many roads in the United States are falling apart. Omaha, Nebraska has a solution. Instead of fixing roads, they are just letting them go back to being gravel roads. Story via The New York Times.
- We have a some signs the economy is bad from the world of guns and those who love them:
- Yes, there are liberal gun owners, and they would prefer not to buy their guns and ammo from "shops run by trigger-happy, extreme right-wing folks who sell target sheets shaped like Hillary Clinton and stickers that read 'Muslim Free Zone.'” Perfectly understandable, and it sounds like a new business opportunity for some enterprising gun seller who is not an extremist and happy to sell to liberals who are gun enthusiasts. Story via Boing Boing.
- Still, many gun sellers and retailers are having the blues. Their industry along with them spent all that time stirring fear that Obama was going to take their guns away. That never happened, and they even got their wish when the Pendejo In Chief won. So, why are they sad? Well, turns out the hysteria over guns going away is no longer there, and sales are down. Because fear and paranoia always make for good gun sales. Oh well. Story via Mother Jones.
- How good was the business of fear and guns when Obama was in office? Well, it is estimated that Americans happily bought $17 billion dollars worth of ammunition during the Obama presidency. But with the Pendejo In Chief reassuring Americans their guns are safe, those happy days for the gun industry may be gone for a while. Story via The Washington Post.
- We have also a few news from back in the American colony:
- As in other states, their teacher's pension has been mismanaged, subject of corruption, and rising costs, and now it is nothing more than a legal ponzi scheme where young teachers now basically can expect not to get much of what they put in during their working years. Story via The New York Times.
- In fact, things have gotten so bad on the island that governor of Puerto Rico issued a warning letter to a few U.S. states where a lot of Puerto Ricans migrate to that if the proposed Medicaid cuts and ACA repeal are implemented, they can expect an even bigger migration and thus impact on their social services. Story via El Nuevo Dia (Spanish language newspaper).
- On the other hand, the Puerto Rican government is trying to get creative in bringing in revenue for the impoverished island. They are doing so by trying to promote medical tourism so Americans can go to the island for cheaper health care. An advantage? Unlike going to Mexico, for instance, they would not need a passport. Story via El Nuevo Dia.
- Still, Americans when they can do go to Mexico to get affordable health care they need. Story via Ozy.com.
- In general, Americans are not doing well. In 2016, 90% of American households lost about $17,000 to the plutocrat thieves of the U.S. Story via Bill Moyers. Not that they seem to care since they went ahead and elected a plutocrat for U.S. president and kept the plutocrat party in power.
- Bill Moyers' site also has a report on California immigrants who are canceling or outright refusing food stamps and other public assistance for fear of the dreaded La Migra. It is either hunger or deportation, but it is not like most Americans care. After all, they voted for the guy who promised to build a wall.
- Americans claim they can spot a good deal when they see it, but let us be honest, not very often. For instance, no matter how unbearable the airline industry makes flying, Americans will put up with it and then some for the sake of saving a few bucks. This includes the recent
misery'basic economy' class airfares major American carriers are putting in place. Story via National Public Radio (NPR).
- Also via NPR, a report that kids who are hungry in school lag behind their better fed peers.
- They say necessity is the mother of invention. Need a car ride, but you do not have PayPal or a credit card for the persnickety Uber driver? A new service is emerging that accepts cash: Libretaxi. Story via Boing Boing.
- Automobile and other vehicle companies now have the latest fuckery of wanting you to license their car parts and software like computer companies in a scam to make more money (and screwing you of what you rightfully own if you paid for it). How bad is it? It is so bad that John Deere tractor owners are using hack Ukrainian software so they can repair the tractors they paid for and own to get their farming done. Story via Boing Boing.
- In today's "they took our jobs" segment, in some parts of the nation (read affluent East, mainly the capital), you can now get a robot to do your food delivery. Story via NPR.
- In the end, how bad is the bad economy? It is so bad that the OMB Director
whinedstated he has to buy his own business cards. Talk about a horrifying sacrifice and hardship. Story via Crooks and Liars.
As I often point out, not everyone does poorly in the bad economy. Let's have a look at how the uber rich are doing, and who may be doing well in the bad economy:
- Usually Donald Trump, a.k.a. the Pendejo In Chief, does well in the bad economy. However, he had a bit of a tumble this week as he lost 200 spots on the Forbes big list of billionaires. Story via New York Magazine.
- In fact, it has been a bit rough for Trump and his businesses recently. Americans do not want to work for his winery, for instance, so the company is scrambling to get cheap foreign workers. It's tough being a miserly plutocrat. Story via Jezebel.
- Bank lobbyists are doing well in the bad economy. Banks spent record amounts of money paying them to sway politics in the recent elections. Story via Reuters.
- If the GOP proposals to repeal the ACA get implemented, the insurance industry will be making a lot more money. The fact they would have less clients and insure less people is not an issue to them. That is just a decrease in the surplus population. Story via In These Times.
- Texas is not exactly an education mecca. However, despite the fact their funding for public education leaves a lot to be desired, they do have money to burn when they actually want to pay for something. In this case, it cost them $9 million dollars in grants to attract some big shot professor from Illinois who probably will not even teach undergraduates. He certainly got a hell of a good deal in the bad economy. Story via Texas Tribune.
- The bottled water industry must be feeling pretty good. Turns out bottled water just overtook soda as the number one drink in the U.S. There are a lot of suckers out there making this possible. Story via MarketWatch.
- The U.S. military would certainly do well if the Pendejo In Chief's budget is approved. Now, you may wonder how they would spend all those billions of dollars. Well, here is an explanation of how they could spend $54 billion dollars if they got it. Story via VICE.
- And in one of those "only in America" moments, a bankrupt coal company executive is actually getting honored for his "fine work". Story via Mother Jones.