Walk with me. You should know there’s no love lost between some members of the Consumerist team and Aaron Sorkin. Not now, not ever. But doesn’t this country stand for something, something more than those who like West Wing and Newsroom and those who think it’s too much fast talking while walking, dammit? That’s why there are Sorkin parodies that are better than the real thing. Because this is America. We need to get this post up, damn it. We owe it to ourselves. [More]
Airline security regulations mean that traveling with a big tube of toothpaste in your carry-on is a distant memory. Yet, in their selection of mini toiletries, hotels give us bottles of lotion and bubble bath, but not one thing that just about everyone uses: toothpaste. Why is that? No one expects them to give us toothpaste because they don’t…because no one expects them to. [More]
Forget apple pie and full-calorie beer, y’all — didn’t you know that the quintessential American products are things like popcorn prawns, meatballs Texan style and the pizza hot dog? If you’re brain is doing the “wha wha whaaat?” dance, you’re not alone. You probably only know these items are marketed as American if you happen to live in Denmark. [More]
America! Born in the USA! We love America and the products we make on our own soil, but one study says that blind affection might not be deserved when it comes to clothing, and could actually be preventing us from buying American items. Researchers say that just because an item bears the “Made in America” tag, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re buying the best value or will have to shell out big bucks. [More]
A record number of Americans classify as the poorest poor, according to a new report. Right now, 1 in 15 Americans live at least 50% below the official poverty level of $22,314 per annum for a family of four. That’s making do with about $11,000 a year split between four people. [More]
Here’s a series of really nice-looking maps Datapointed made to visualize the 2000-2010 US Census data released this year. The bluer an area, the more people it gained. The redder an area, the more it lost. In the series of maps across America you’ll see urban centers surrounded by a blossom of red, ringed by a halo of blue. It’s the classic “flight to the suburbs” playing out. But one interesting development is the core of cobalt at the heart of these cities where downtown addresses have become in-demand again. Even beleaguered Detroit, as seen in this graph, is showing glimmers of a comeback in its most central neighbs. [More]
Culturally bankrupt shoppers are now buying twice as many forks as knives, according to a British department store. The Brits blame the erosion of their cherished culture on “the American habit of using a single fork.” And that’s not all. Apparently we’re also ruining their understanding and respect for the elegant tradition of proper place settings.
If your priorities are in line with that of Money magazine and are looking to move, you’ll be glad to know that they have once again put together a list of the best places to call home in all of these United States. This year, Money set out to find “small towns across the country-those with populations of 8,500 to 50,000-where jobs are available, crime is low, schools are top-notch and housing is affordable.” Sounds dreamy. The top 10 inside.
The debate on the BBC news right now is who is cooler, America or Europe. Europe is getting props for acting speedily and decisively in contrast to Paulson’s pace, which is getting characterized as dawdling and indecisive. Some of the very policies Treasury derided, they’re now considering since Europe enacted them. The ex-Reagan economic adviser talking head says it’s nationalizing risk, a backdoor way of calling them socialists. However, it wasn’t until Europe’s “socialistic” actions did the markets rebound. Who is right? Only time will tell; we’ll see if the rally sustains or is just another fitful shiver in this economic fever dream. The key here is confidence, and it seems to be the most precious and rare commodity on the face of the earth right now.
“Financial illiteracy has reached epidemic levels.” Author Braun Mincher has an editorial in the Austin American-Statesman on why every school in the U.S. should teach financial literacy. [Statesman]
To the fallen, the office workers, the families; to the firemen, the first responders, the workers; to the the hole in the ground, the empty space in the sky, to the the gray miasma—here’s a free bowl of soup. Thanks Shoney’s. I can’t tell whether that’s incredibly tacky or deeply poetic. Either way, it’s free soup.
Did you know there was an index to measure misery?
Misery is defined as a state of great unhappiness and emotional distress. The economic indicator most often used to measure misery is the Misery Index. The index, created by economist Arthur Okun, adds the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. It has been in the narrow 7-to-9 range for most of the past decade, but was over 20 during the late 1970s.
SF Gate columnist Mark Morford hates Black Friday, and he’s written an over-the-top Network-style screed against it, backing it up with some cringe-inducing YouTube clips of giddy, running Americans swarming into retail outlets last Friday morning.
After we posted Charlie’s complaint, “Charter Doesn’t Care If You Can’t Watch BBC America,” a Charter Communications Corporate Escalation Specialist emailed The Consumerist and we put her in touch with Charlie.
Ben — a man with perfect credit — needs help. Not Ben Popken, editor of this Mickey Mouse pajama publication. Ben A. — one of our most prolific tipsters.
Here’s another AOL user who should definitely be manacled to a rusty pole and beaten with barb wire. Dirty thoughts! Dirty! Dirty!