5 (more) signs the economy is completely screwed

23 October 2008

You're probably going to spend Christmas Day drawing straws to decide which of you will be cooked, assuming you paid last month's gas bill. Bitterwallet's tip - don't pick Grandma; they don't call her a tough old bird on the urogenital ward for nothing.

There's no getting away from it; our economy is completely boned and the effects are being felt everywhere, whether you're a man of the cloth or a total clown. So here are 5 more signs that the world is doomed to poverty for a good while yet:

1. Cathedrals
Yes, even hyperthetical metaphysical deities like God struggle to pay the bills when there's a credit crunch. Donations needed to carry out vital improvements at Lincoln Cathedral have fallen by nearly a third, as people reject religion in favour of the occasional hot meal for their kids. [The Telegraph]

2. Laptops
Our friends at DSG International, who own Currys and PC World, have this morning announced that like-for-like sales of computer equipment have plummeted by 11 per cent. And while we can't afford to fill a fridge with food, there seems little point in buying a new one; sales of electrical goods have fallen by 7 per cent. [The Times]

3. Cars
Nobody wants a new car when they can't afford to eat, so instead of making more of them, Vauxhall shut down their plant in Cheshire at the beginning of October, for a fortnight. A spokesman for General Motors said the stoppages were "to accommodate changes in demand". Jaguar Land Rover announced last month its Halewood plant in Merseyside would close for a week after orders fell, and Spanish workers are taking longer siestas than usual; SEAT laid off over 1,000 employees temporarily at factories in northeastern Spain because of falling sales. [BBC] [GMA News]

4. Lobsters
The price of lobster caught in the US state of Maine, which accounts for 80 percent of all lobsters caught in American waters, is going through the floor. Not only are customers cutting back on expensive dining, but more than half of Maine's lobster harvest is typically shipped to Canada. Unfortunately, many processing factories north of the border had their money wrapped up in Icelandic banks. Whoops.

Seafood stores in Portland are selling fresh lobster for as little as $3.89 a pound because supply is outstripping demand, which in turn is hurting fisherman who are faced with soaring operational costs. "This is as devastating to the state of Maine as Hurricane Katrina washing away all the boats and blowing down all the wharves," said Dana Rice, a local lobster dealer. [Lexington Herald-Leader]

5. Burgers
You can't afford lobster when you dine out, so where do you take the loved one for your anniversary? Ronald's place, that's where. The tightening of the belt has led us to the door of the Golden Arches, with McDonald's reporting global profits increasing by 11% in the last three months, as consumers shun proper restaurants and make do with poorly assembled burgers. And a ville o'veesh vor my vife. [Fox News]

Photo by Sakurako Kitsa on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

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