Friday, May 26, 2017

Signs the economy is bad: May 26, 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.

Another hard week in the bad economy. A lot has been going on, so let's get started.

Before we go on, I am going to quote Tony Soprano to give you a heads up:

"I'm gonna say a few things. I'm gonna say some bad words. You're just gonna have to deal with it."

  • The big news in the bad economy this week was the Pendejo In Chief's budget proposal. Basically, if you are not male, white, and obscenely rich, you are screwed. So. how bad is it? Here are a few examples:
    • Mother Jones lays it all out: "Here's How Trump's New Budget Screws Everyone But The Filthy Rich." If there is a program that low class and middle class people and families depend on, it is on the chopping block. 
    • You have too many kids and you are poor? No food for you or your spawn. You are screwed too according to The Washington Post.
    • You are a lower income child, and you need health care? Sucks to be you since his budget cuts your health benefits. Story via The Washington Post.
    • Rely on food stamps? The SNAP program? Well tough shit. The budget cuts that too. Story via Vox. Those 45 million or so who rely on food stamps for some food on the table, fuck 'em. The irony is how many of those likely voted for the Pendejo In Chief and the Party of Stupid. You think I am just saying that to be mean? Well, a "CNN analysis found that of the top 10 places with the largest percentage of residents who use SNAP, seven voted for Trump in the 2016 elections." No further comment needed. 
    • Are you a school student in  a rural area? You guessed it, fuck you too. Via The Rural Blog
    • Are you a rural voter who voted for the Pendejo In Chief? You really thought he and the Party of  Stupid were going to protect you in exchange for you vote despite evidence to the contrary? Sucker. Via The Rural Blog.
      • And speaking of those rural voters, odds are good many of them may start depending on food pantries more. Well, they may be up shit's creek because hunger may be on the rise in the US, but donations to food pantries are not. It's like the powers that be want them to starve or something. Story via NPR. 
    • Hell, not even wild horses are going to come out alive if this budget goes through. I guess this will be Trump Steaks 2.0. Story via PBS Newshour. 
  • The other big fuss this week was HUD Secretary Ben Carson saying poverty is a state of mind. I will make sure to tell my creditors and landlord that their payments this month will be in happy thoughts. Yea, it's all in your head according to the good doctor. Story via The New York Times, but if you go on Twitter, they had a field day mocking him as he rightfully deserves.  A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and Carson definitely is wasting his. 
  • In more normal bad economy news, a bunch of retailers are closing stores...again. Story via USA Today. How the hell Sears is still alive is beyond me, and to think they were once a mighty and respectable company. Talk about how the mighty have fallen.
  • If you are a woman with  a college degree, and you have student loans, things are not too bright for you. According to the article, the "burden of student debt is having an outsize impact on women who now hold nearly two thirds of the $1.3 trillion in outstanding education loans, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Association of University Women." Story via The Washington Post.
  • Meanwhile, in the UK, reports of teachers becoming homeless because their salaries are not enough to pay for housing where they work. Via The Guardian
  • Let us look at something positive. In Ohio, a local coroner is expanding business opportunities for funeral homes and refrigeration trailers. What a guy! What is causing this boom in business? There is a massive opoids addiction epidemic in his county, and he has so many corpses he cannot fit them in the morgue and has to rent out storage space. Story via Vox
  • Meanwhile, a new study finds that there are more sweatshops than Starbucks  in Chicago. So much for the joke that there is a Starbucks in every corner. Not in Chicago. Story via Truthout.
  •  And in New York City, Uber has been stiffing its drivers of owed money. Story via Vox.
  • In "oops" news, the "US failed to keep proper track of more than $1 billion in weapons and equipment to Iraq." By the way, we do need add the qualifier "again." This is not the first time the US does this kind of thing. Story via The Washington Post.
  • The Week has something or other about Millennials, who are all about "the experience," saying no to "traditional wedding gifts." Let me bottom line it for you: just give them the damn cash already. Deity of choice knows they will need it in the bad economy.
  • The New York Yankees baseball team is not doing well in terms of ticket sales, even with a winning record overall. Naturally, they mostly blame it on those damn Millennial kids who could not care less about attending baseball games. Hell, I am not a Millennial, and  I could not care less about attending sporting event at a stadium. That is what ESPN and other channels are for, if I must (plus that helps me avoid the overpriced concessions). Story via The New York Times
  • Meanwhile, the maker of Bud Light is spending money to polish up the company image to make the brand seem more sophisticated. . . lol (yea, excuse me a moment while I laugh here). . . (OK, I am set). The reality is that the serious money for them these days is in the craft beer brands they have been buying up left and right (they don't make them themselves, so they just used money to muscle in on that market), and that is really where all that marketing money is going to. Story via The Washington Post.
  • And finally, a follow up. In the previous installment of "Signs the economy is bad," one  of the big news items was the kerfuffle over avocado toast. Well,  you may need to have something to drink to wash down that avocado toast. Now you are set with the new avocado latte. Just what every hipster Millennial needs. Story via USA Today.

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