Friday, January 19, 2018

Signs the economy is bad: January 19, 2018 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.

This is the first edition for 2018. I thought I could go easy on this feature, but the Bad Economy just keeps chugging along. The Pendejo In Chief and the Party of Stupid certainly do not help the economy, but hey, it is what Americans (US people) proudly, willingly, and gladly voted for. So, let's see what has been going on recently.

Special section this week: Pendejo In Chief news:

Let's see how the Pendejo In Chief has been fucking shit up in the Bad Economy:

In higher education news of the Bad Economy. These are via Inside Higher Ed.:

In other news of the Bad Economy:
  • In Kentucky, local politicians mention the "War on Coal," and the masses get riled up. But the reality is that coal is in decline, and it will continue to decline over time. The federal government states as much. It really is time for people to get a clue, and among other things start retraining workers displaced by closing mines and making plans in other forms of energy. Hat tip to The Rural Blog.
  • Speaking of Kentucky, one of the local "scandals" to decent people is how the state continues to give tax breaks for film, movie, television, and commercials productions, including crappy films, to the tune of $160 million or so while the state overall has a serious budget shortfall. Because priorities, man. Story via The Lexington Herald Leader.
  • ProPublica took a serious look at the business of private trash collection and finds it to be deadly, especially in New York City.
  • In the United States overall, the bill for natural disasters, which have been specially harsh in 2017, is up to about $300 billion in a single year. But you know, that whole climate change stuff? No big deal, meh. Story via The Guardian.
  • Meanwhile, south of the border in Latin America, after making gains for years, poverty in Latin America is on the rise. Story via TeleSur. 
  • If you want proof that Big Pharma really has no interest in curing anything, but rather in just  making enough medications to keep treating something on and on (and thus fleecing more money), Pfizer just recently said they are halting research on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's treatments. There is no money in that kind of stuff, and those old people are doing to croak soon anyhow (or so they hope). Story via NPR.
  • So, you thought that prison scene (link to YouTube) in the movie Goodfellas was total fiction? It turns out that in the U.S., prisoners with money CAN pay for better accommodations in  prison. Story via AlterNet.
  • In rural areas, turns out it is getting harder for farmers to sell their farms to the next generation. Via The Daily Yonder.
  • Even in the narco trade, getting paid is getting harder, so drug debts are a part of life, and this means the violence to collect those debts has gone up too. Story via VICE.
  • A lot of business are going cashless, as in they do not take cash for transactions because they expect you to have a debit or credit card. Now, call me a Luddite, but I think  anyone not carrying at least a small amount of cash is a fool. Because, you know, Internet goes down, power goes out, so on, and suddenly you can't buy something nor can the business sell you something you may need because they decided to go cashless. And do not even get me started on all the hacks going on since said businesses are basically irresponsible assholes who can't secure their customers' information. Story via NPR. 
  • Weddings can be expensive. It is an idea the Better Half and I do not understand, since we did ours very modestly, but we hear people spend thousands and thousands on weddings. So, money gets tight later in the marriage, and couples need to recoup costs somehow. One way now is to sell your gently used wedding items to another couple getting ready for a wedding. Story via AlterNet
  • If you happen to be an attractive woman, and you are willing, you can be a sugar baby to a sugar daddy. However, you can't go just anywhere to find a sugar daddy. Here are the top 5 cities if you are seeking that kind of arrangement to help pay your college tuition or whatever it  is you may need money for. Via FHM magazine.

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