In surprising bipartisan move, Republicans stop being Republican and help pass jobs bill

job search

Get those red pencils from the '90s ready!

Hell may have frozen over yesterday when a $15 billion bill spurring job growth passed yesterday, 70 to 28, thanks to a bipartisan coalition of 55 Democrats, 2 independents and 13 Republicans.

The Times reports that the central element of the bill is giving companies who hire unemployed Americans an exemption from paying payroll taxes on those workers through the end of this year.

Happy job hunting, you lucky 25 million!

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Is the recession causing you to cling to your partner?

money marriage

All a marriage needs is flying wads of cash.

Money is an awkward thing in relationships, which is why it’s hard to believe anybody’s dating anybody in this economy. In fact, however, the opposite is true. The NYT reports that the recession has resulted in tighter bonds with your loved one (often whether you like it or not).

A spouse is more likely to depend on health care from a spouse, or on in-laws to help finance a mortgage or to assist with child care. And the ones who are hanging tight are retrenching and redeveloping an appreciation for time spent together.

All the more reason to listen to your elders and get married for the financial benefits! Continue reading

Congratulations, long-term unemployed, you are the new poor!

unemployed sign

Who can even afford cardboard and permanent markers anymore?

For anybody hoping to enjoy their weekend, the NYT instead ran some sobering statistics about what the jobless are facing: formerly middle class, the “new poor” are now relying on food stamps with years of unemployment behind them and no future prospects in sight.

The reasons for this are after the jump (hint: now is a good time to reach for that second beer). Continue reading

One benefit of the recession? Everyone loves to talk about money!

lolcatz money

Miraculously, kittens gained the ability to discuss finance too.

Apparently, it’s socially OK to talk about money now. “Where it was once shameful to talk about some of these things, now it’s not,” Hilary Black, editor of the anthology “The Secret Currency of Love,” told the New York Times.

And the stigma of being laid off has certainly diminished, if not disappeared altogether. “One silver lining to this terribly scary time is that people can talk about their troubles without fearing that others are secretly judging them as failures,” Ms. Black said.

Hm, I don’t know if this author’s ever been to Brooklyn or anything, but being unemployed has had a certain cache ever since bankers were deemed Satan’s children for ruining our economy with their greed. (And eating babies dipped in gold.) In my experience anyway, complaining about how you can barely afford the drink you’re sipping is one of the few ways friendships are formed. The stigma is really with all of those lucky bastards who have a job. No one wants to be associated with a paycheck, which is only a few social security numbers away from THE MAN.

No one in the Ivy League is having sex

steve carell 40 year old virgin

Let 40-Year-Old Virgin be a lesson to you, smartypants.

Ok, so that’s a bit of an overstatement. But it turns out most Ivy Leaguers are not getting laid. Maybe this explains why we’re so much more frustrated than everyone else? I’m not sure how this translates to the job hunt, but if the Jonas Brothers are any indication, your V-Card is a really good way to stay focused in the face of success.

According to a Crimson survey of the class of 2009, in their four years at Harvard, 52 percent of the students had one or zero sexual partners, and only 28 percent had even one dating partner. […] “Go Ask Alice!”—Columbia University’s Dear Abby-equivalent—reports that the majority of polled college students also had zero or one sexual partners in a given year, while believing that their peers were having three times as much sex as they were. Other revealing statistics include that 31 percent of U.S. college women are still virgins at graduation and that college male sexual activity is down from 2.1 partners in 2001 to 1.6 partners in 2006. [The Crimson]

Sounds about right to me…(Thanks for the tip!)

Dow dropping below 10,000 wreaks psychological havoc

stock market bull

This stock market bull doesn't look so scary anymore, does it? (Symbolically anyway...)

The NYT reports that the dow’s fall to 9,908.39 — its lowest level in three months — has delivered a “psychological setback as investors braced for more market volatility.”

The fall of the “closely watched barometer of the economy’s health” was attributed to fears over Europe’s debt crisis. And now that the holy number of 10K has been disrupted, shit is expected to fly. Continue reading

Breaking: a college degree isn’t really worth that much

college degree money

Something tells me it's going to take more than this little piggy to pay 4 years of tuition.

The WSJ reports:

Most researchers agree that college graduates, even in rough economies, generally fare better than individuals with only high-school diplomas. But just how much better is where the math gets fuzzy.

The problem stems from the common source of the estimates, a 2002 Census Bureau report titled “The Big Payoff.” The report said the average high-school graduate earns $25,900 a year, and the average college graduate earns $45,400, based on 1999 data. The difference between the two figures is $19,500; multiply it by 40 years, as the Census Bureau did, and the result is $780,000. Continue reading