Sunday, August 31, 2014

Atlantic City

I stumbled upon a couple articles on Atlantic City's current casino "contraction," here and here, and it sounds like the beach town is losing 5,000 jobs in three days. Which doesn't sound good. I suppose you could say that as a country, where gambling is increasingly legal everywhere citizens are taxed, we may be reaching our saturation point for blackjack tables and slot machines.

But I remember back when Vegas was the only option in town, so to speak, and my childhood neighbors' first cousins went to work as card dealers when the Atlantic City casinos first opened. I remember this as the late seventies and that they were going directly from high school because the casinos offered good union jobs and working as a dealer seemed like a great opportunity to earn a decent wage, what is now commonly referred to as a "living wage" and not at all guaranteed for current card and dice workers in riverboat America. I was a kid, not even a teenager, and going to work for a new casino sounded very impressive at the time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Documenting China








Saturday, August 2, 2014

is the debt half full?

The fact that 35% of Americans owe debt that is delinquent, at least 180 days old, has been flying around the internet lately and included in the headline of this Lynn Stuart Parramore article: "Debtor Nation: 35 Percent of Americans Owe Bills to Collections Agencies.

At the same time, if one acts against the tweeting tendencies of our common era, and actually reads the article, we learn that the median debt of the 35% who owe a debt for more than 180 days is only $1349.

In other words, there are 65% of Americans with no delinquent debt and then another 17.5% with less than $1349. So 82.5% of us, or more than four out of five Americans, have less than $1349 in past-due debt, and frankly that is not so bad.

Among the other fifth, or 17.5%, I imagine, as anyone would who has had significant debt or a close relative with such problems, "the sleepless nights and anxiety that comes from an ability to meet debt obligations" could be very real, though.