Friday, June 29, 2018

Signs the economy is bad: June 29, 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.

It has been two weeks or so since the last time I posted for this blog series, and hell may be breaking lose. From Harley Davidson moving some operations overseas to an upcoming shake up of the U.S. Supreme Court, it would not surprise me if I suddenly see the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse coming around the corner. Armageddon or not, the Bad Economy keeps on rolling and surviving, so let's see what has been going on.

In corporate and business news:
  • The president of American Airlines in no uncertain terms basically told their passengers (a.k.a. the cattle they transport) that the airline does not really care much for them.  Their president "believes his airline should give passengers nothing from which it can't profit." So yea, providing decent service and amenities is not profitable, so fuck y'all. Story via Inc.
  • Harley-Davidson, the iconic U.S. motorcycle company, was not too appreciative of the tariff plans announced by the Pendejo In Chief, so they are working to move a large part of their production overseas. Story via TruthDig
  • On the positive, some of the Pendejo In Chief's policies please corporate America. Private prison companies stand to make more profits as a result of his policies that separate immigrant children from their parents. Story via In These Times.
    • In fact, this kind of business, warehousing children, is so good that a Texan nonprofit is leasing a warehouse in Houston to hold some of those immigrant children in the hopes of reaping some money too. Story via The Houston Chronicle.
  •  Again, due to the Pendejo In Chief tariffs, newspapers find themselves cutting back on print because of tariffs on newsprint paper. Story via The Rural Blog. If your local newspaper seems to be getting thinner, this may be why.
  • Do you live in a town with a dying or already dead shopping mall? Do you ever wonder how come that barely living mall manages to stay open despite any lack of maintenance or new investment? There is a reason for that. Basically slum landlords hold on to that mall and land as an asset, and they could not care less about the mall itself. Story via Reuters.
  • In San Francisco, it is becoming more unaffordable to live unless you are rich. It is so bad that they have a shortage of waiters, who can't afford to live in the city. So restaurants are now just doing without, and they are making their customers do some of the table service work. Story via The New York Times. I say fuck that. If I want to get my own drinks, bus my own table, and get food from the counter, I can just go to a fast food restaurant and get my food quicker and with less pretense. 
  • Meanwhile, Amazon, known for skimping on things like treating their warehouse employees properly, is hoping to get a few suckers "entrepreneurs" to do delivery for them so they can skip paying the USPS or some other delivery company. In other words, you will be lucky if you get your package from them within this century. Story via Inc.
  • A recent study revealed that Black passengers have a more difficult time securing a ride on Uber, Lyft, or even other taxi services. Story via The Lexington Herald-Leader. I can't imagine why (*cough* racism *cough*).
So, how bad have been the Pendejo In Chief's tariff policies? Let's count some ways:

  • See above for Harley-Davidson.
  • The Canadians are "livid" about the tariffs, so they are boycotting U.S. goods. Story via NPR.
  • U.S. pork and fruit producers are likely to suffer, Story via Reuters.
  • U.S. steel and aluminum markets could suffer. However, this author argues that if the U.S. recycled more, some of that damage could be less. Story via The Conversation. However, given that Americans are not exactly the sharpest tools in the shed (I mean, look who they put in government), don't count on recycling suddenly picking up.
In education news:

  •  Schools in Mississippi are not doing well, and adding to their woes, they have 2,100+ openings for workers in their public schools. According to the article, "administrators across the state report trouble finding enough teachers, nurses, bus drivers and other employees." Story via The Lexington-Herald Leader.
    • However, so you guys do not say I am all negative, there is a positive news piece of out Mississippi: their casino revenues are going up. Woo! Story via The Lexington Herald-Leader.
  • Meanwhile, back in the U.S. colony, public schools in Puerto Rico keep closing. Story via In These Times.
In rural news:

In jobs:
  •  The median U.S. musician still makes under $25,000, and they often have more than job. Via Rolling Stone.
  • Apparently the Pendejo In Chief is notorious for not keeping documents he  needs to keep. He often shreds papers, tosses them in  the waste basket, so on. So, someone has to be hired to pick up those pieces of paper and  tape them back together again. Story via Politico.

In other bad economy trivia and miscellaneous:
And last for this week, let us have a moment of  silence as the Jerry Spring Show has announced they will not be making any new episodes (at least unless a  new syndicator orders more). Story via Boing Boing. Talk about end of an era.

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