Friday, July 07, 2017

Signs the economy is bad: July 7, 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.

We have made it to another Friday, and my four readers know it is time to check on the bad economy. So let's get on with it.

  •  The United States has a serious problem with plastic forks. This may be a time to consider bringing your own silverware to those fast food places where you may need silverware. Story via Grist
  • In New Mexico, farmers are worried the price of pecans may get too high. Why is that a problem? Pecans are used for a lot of things, besides just eating them and making pecan pie. It turns out pecans can be ground up and used in a lot of other products, and if the price gets too high, companies who use pecans may switch to a cheaper nut. Story via The Lexington Herald-Leader.
  • As some of you may have heard, Puerto Rico is having a massive economic crisis. It is so bad that  Puerto Ricans are migrating to mainland US in droves. These days they favor Florida as a destination given the warmer climate. However, turns out many of them struggle when they get there to get a job. Reasons include language barriers, lack of academic preparation, or if they have academic preparation and/or credentials, the expense of getting a license, say if you are nurse, to get licensed in Florida. One of the interesting results, well to me, is a cottage industrry rising of consultants, trainers, so on to help those Puerto Ricans navigate the Florida job markets. Story via The Lexington Herald-Leader
    • In fact, things are so bad in Puerto Rico, even the kidneys are leaving. It turns out that the agency that runs transplant lists and gives priority to who gets  an organ changed rules so certain ratings that used to be regional are now nationwide. The result is that they are taking a very large amount of kidneys from Puerto Rico that could be going to Puerto Ricans on  the waiting list. Because the colonials may not be good enough to be full Americans, but their kidneys are certainly good enough for some bigot in Louisiana or wherever. Just a bit more colonial fuckery. Story is in Spanish language, via Primera Hora
  • If you need more reason to hate Amazon, turns out they have cost brick and mortar stores at least 295,000 jobs. Find that piece of trivia and more at Yes! Magazine.
  •  Even rich people are having it tough. Getting a private jet can get expensive. Well, one company is taking that problem head on, and they are building a little jet that "comes in with a $2 million pricetag that is billed as substantially less than that of its closest jet- powered competitor, though it's still more expensive than most piston planes." Story via USA Today.
  • QVC is buying Home Shopping Network (HSN). Why? They are hoping that with consolidation they can stand up to Amazon. Personally, I do not shop via television channels, but once in awhile I do find it entertaining to watch some of their sales segments. At times, it amazes me some of the things they sell that people are willing to buy. Story via The Lexington Herald-Leader.
  • The Washington Post asks why churches value cash so much when it comes to donations. There are some reasons given in the article, which is also looking at the anniversary of the ATM machine. However, I have a more basic and straight theory. It's so it is easier to skim the top without anyone being the wiser, kind of like a casino (YouTube link). When you think about it, both businesses, and yes, churches are businesses, are not that much different in separating money from suckers. 
  • Meanwhile things have gotten so bad for the 1% that in some affluent town in Massachusetts the high school students want to drop their school's mascot. What is that  horrible mascot? The Millionaire. Kiddos, just because  you drop the mascot, your parents and you will still remain 1% assholes in all likelihood. Story via The Washington Post.
  • For the remaining 99% in the US, things have gotten so bad that car buying has slowed down. Now, in a nation that loves its cars and the mark of independence they give, slow car buying is definitely a sign of the bad economy. Story via The Week
  • Some of you may recall that the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City went bankrupt. Well, Hard Rock Cafe recently acquired the building, but before they can convert it to one of their properties, they need to clean it out. They are holding a massive auction. Here is your big chance to get a gaudy lamp or  some other souvenir. Story via VICE
  • And finally for this week, if you want to be hip about your chocolate addition, you can now snort it thanks to new chocolate snuff. Story via Boing Boing.

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