Friday, August 11, 2017

Signs the economy is bad: August 11, 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 are on a roll for another week with "Signs the economy is bad." Assuming the Pendejo In Chief does not get us blown up with his saber rattling and blustering over North Korea, let's see what else has been going on.

  • In addition to saber rattling, the Pendejo In Chief has been talking tough on immigration. The result of this  is that American farm owners are scared shitless because it means they could lose their cheap, exploited, underpaid, often undocumented barely slaves immigrant workforce. There is already a shortage of farm laborers as it is, and his tough talk is not adding anything. And as we all know, heaven forbid white anglo Americans who may need a job rush out to pick fruits and vegetables. Story via The Daily Yonder.
  • For many parents, it is that "most wonderful time of the year." No, not Christmas. The start of school where they can finally send their kids out of the house. Part of the ritual is buying them school supplies. If you feel as a parent, or as a teacher stuck buying their own school supplies, that those supplies are more expensive this year, it turns out they are more expensive this year. Story via
  • With the legalization of marijuana in a few locations, there has been an economic bonanza for many. Now some have noticed  that more  than a few pot shops have opened in poor neighborhoods. Is The Man trying yet another plot to kill off poor people? Trying to keep the poor masses down? Not quite. There is actually a good explanation for it, and it boils down to economics. Story via Alternet
  • Speaking of poor people, time to settle one of the old canards: No, poor people do NOT eat more junk food than anyone else. Research reveals that poor people actually eat less of it and do so less often than middle class people. Story via Vox
  • And while are calling out bullshit, turns out that whole thing of employers whining that they can't find workers because those potential workers can't pass a drug test is also not really true. Story via VICE
  • In rural areas, country stores are closing. Story via The Rural Blog
  • Churches and houses of worship in some areas are not doing well. For instance, in New York City, they are facing the possibility of having to sell their buildings to developers, often historic buildings, to make ends meet. Story via The New York Times.
  • In other news, it seems that drinking is on the rise in  the United States, especially among women  and minorities. I can't imagine what could possibly be prompting that. Some people may say that is a problem, but in the bad economy I say this is opportunity. Personally, I am thinking if my librarian gig does not work out, I can go train to be a bartender. Plus, imagine the possibilities of jobs opening and being added in the liquor industry from manufacturing to sales and distribution. That is just the alcohol. People often eat with food, so boom, food service jobs might expand too. Just saying. Story via NPR.
  • So, let's see what can we blame on Millennials this week. It turns out that grocery stores are putting in full restaurants inside the grocery stores in order to attract Millennials. There is even a new term for this: "groceraunts." Story via NPR.
  • This week has been a bit rough on some rich folks too: 
    • Macau billionaire was convicted of bribing UN officials. Now, for a guy like him it means basically house arrest in a fancy residence. However, he was just told no more private massages. Life is tough. Story via Reuters.
    • In San Francisco, apparently a bunch of rich people could "not afford" (a.k.a. figured rules do not apply to them) to pay a small sum of taxes, which then added up over the years. So the city finally called them on their shit and took away a private street. Story via NPR. 
  • Finally, a little trivia item. Ever wonder what happens when someone wins a contest from an eatery where you get "free food for life"? Well, it turns out there are rules. Read more about it in this article from Wise Bread.

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