Thirty million people are out of work. That’s a lot. Just imagine the entire population of Canada sitting around watching “The View.” (They do? OK, never mind.) But really, this is serious. And it’s not going to get better anytime soon, because people who have been let go will not be brought back. Economy guru Allen Sinai said recently that “this is going to be the mother of all jobless recoveries.” What’s to be done? Workers World urges unemployed people to unite in class struggle. But that sounds too hard. We have a better idea: just wait. There are 76 million babyboomers and they’re getting old. The first of them will turn 65 in 2010. So some people are actually predicting a labor shortage in the near future. Groovy. Everyone can work. And they’d better. Who do you think is going to pay the boomers’ Social Security benefits? That’s right, sonny. No daytime TV for you.
And no Twittering, either. Or is it Tweeting? Tweetering? We don’t know. We don’t use it. Why? Because of things like “Tweets from Burning Man.” Are they kidding? We’d rather go in the kitchen and snort cayenne pepper. But we seem to be in the minority. As Slate noted recently, Twitter has gone from 1 million users to 44 million in the past year and a half and, at this rate of expansion, will be used by everyone on earth in the next year and a half. Thankfully, that’s not going to happen. Because teens consider Twitter, like, so not cool. A survey by ComScore showed just 11 percent of Twitter users are aged 12 to 17. Young people prefer to text. (Wy 2 go kidz! Tx 4 saving d world!)
Hastening to your doom? If you’ve ever flown Southwest, you know how cattle feel. But you’re in luck. Now you can pay $10 for the privilege of boarding your flight first. We’d do it. We’ve always disliked those smug passengers with their “A” passes, thinking they’re better than everyone else. Now we’ll be the smug ones. Haha! Or maybe we’ll just go JetBlue. Word has emerged that the airline cut a deal with the FAA to delay replacement of some “unapproved” parts on Southwest planes. What parts? That’s a secret. But Southwest claims its fleet should fly just fine as is. Air France said the same thing about its defective pitot tubes. And we know how that turned out.
Gripe of the week: generic beer. Whatever happened to it? If you (like us) were young (and not well-paid) in the ’80s, you have fond memories of generic beer. And generic chips. And lots of other cool generic stuff at the grocery store. It was all cheap and was just as good as the name-brand merchandise (because it was made by the brand-name companies). In reporting on the current recession, the media often include the phrase “worst since the 1980s.” Maybe it was all the generic beer but we remember (kind of) the ’80s as the best of times. Still, if this recession really is similar to that one, isn’t it time to bring back the generic brands? It’d remind us of the good-old days.