What does the price of a bacon cheeseburger tell you about the state of the economy? Perhaps the Big Mac contains the “special sauce” to decoding the current consumer condition — or maybe it’s one of the many other oddball economic indicators that take into account everything from nail polish to men’s undies to corpses. [More]
Think our current cultural fixation on zombies is just part of the zeitgeist? A Clemson University literature professor says that it’s not that simple. Focusing on the zombie walks occurring in many cities, she points out that people have become more interested in playing zombie over the last decade as we feel powerless, penniless, and disenfranchised. [CBS Charlotte]
In a truly awful job market, employees will put up with all manner of indignities managers subject them to. When things are OK, people start to stand up for themselves and walk away, confident in their prospects. That’s why it may be good news for the economy that the number of people who quit their jobs surpassed the amount of layoffs in February.
Is it a good sign or a bad one for the American economy if Walmart’s sales are down nationwide? Does it mean that the affluent are back on their feet and no longer forced to shop downscale, or that none of us has any money at all?
Sure, McDonald’s operates all over the world now, but that doesn’t mean that everyone can afford their products easily. As proof, The Economist has spent years updating its Big Mac Index, which uses the local price of the McD delicacy to estimate the purchasing power of consumers in about 120 countries. Recently, UBS cooked up its own twist on the index, calculating how many minutes the average person would need to work at their job in order to earn that precious, precious Big Mac. Predictably, a worker in Nairobi must work the longest—over two hours—while a worker in Chicago would only need to work 12 minutes.
Here’s the problem with Crocs. You either love them or you can’t stand them. You make fun of them mercilessly, or you can’t imagine a more comfortable shoe. What’s problematic for the company that makes Crocs is that they don’t really wear out…and who needs multiple pair of glorified garden clogs in a recession?