04.02.12

Take a picture, DD

Posted in Census, Culture of Lickspittle, Extremism at 9:12 am by George Smith


Good news, lads! Good news! I found another pawn shop.

Nothing says economic fail better than a Cash for Gold shop under the glow of sodium light in the city at night. Liquidate your valuables now that you’re chronically unemployed. Or try to fence stolen goods. Your choice.

This was taken on one of my rounds, snapped on north Lake in Pasadena.

The shot including the boulevard was altered for sharpness, adding a grainy touch. The building was formerly a store selling religious books and pamphlets. It failed when the economy did in 2007-2008.

The next photo is one of the apartment complexes I worked during the 2010 census. On a very nice tree-lined street, it’s furnished corporate housing, a fancy way of describing only sort-of-posh rooming for transient indentured salaried workers.

It’s advertised as secure upscale living and keypad locks adorn most of its doors and gates.

It’s also like living in a tomb. The halls here were utterly silent, fully carpeted, windowless. Occasionally you could hear the wind whistling through those that featured small open spaces.

The apartments were fairly fortress-like, too, unless your idea of openess is a window installation with the blinds always down, one that looks out on a porch about one to one and a half square yards in area.

Management assiduously tried to defy census workers by trying to limit hours we might access the complex. However, the complex was built so that one had to cross the swimming pool area coming out of the lobby to the main quad. The swimming pool also featured a keypad and management gave its combination.

So despite all the keypad locks, the combination for every one was the same. That made it possible to simply bypass the lobby and management to get the work done, anyway.

[The census] showed the big fissures developing in American society – a large body becoming nothing but a servant class to the rich, ridiculously underpaid, often living under transient circumstances or in flophouses. — me, the Register


Good news, lads! Good news! Trespassers will be shot on sight. Survivors will be shot twice.

This is the lawn sign of a local right winger. Over the past three years, he’s unfurled a few head-turners. My favorite, although not for the reasons espoused by the owner, was one of a smiling Barack Obama in front of an artist’s conception of a bombed-out American city. Obviously, it brightened the neighborhood immensely. I wish I’d taken a photo but missed the opportunity.

And one day it was just gone.

The second part of the caption comes from another sign on the premises.


“We do know that more jobs are being created,” said Reich, professor of public policy of the University of California at Berkeley. “The problem is that the actual labor participation rate, the ratio of people who are in the labor force relative to the people who are eligible to work, it’s down to almost the lowest point it was during the great recession. We haven’t seen much pickup in that.” In February, it stood at 63.9 percent, which was down from 64.2 percent in February 2011, and significantly below the 66 percent levels of 2006 and 2007.

In addition, while the economy has been expanding for nearly three years and hiring is picking up, Reich notes, “we also see some major declines in terms of median wage. And that’s particularly true for the bottom 90 percent.”

In the past, economists argued that wage growth lagged in part because employers were spending more on benefits like health care and pensions. But that hasn’t been the case in the past few years. A recently released study from the National Institute for Health Care Reform shows that in 2010, the percentage of Americans with insurance who got insurance from employers fell to 53.5 percent …

“The ratio of profits to wages basically is the highest it has been. More corporate earnings are going to profits relative to wages than at any time since the government has been keeping track of this ratio since 1947. — from the wire

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