Archive for September 3, 2013

Badvertising: The World of Poorly Chosen Ad Campaigns

Sometimes advertisements become unintentional forms of entertainment.  Have you ever seen an ad that has made you wonder why companies chose to let it see the light of day?  After learning about a recent tragic advertising mishap, I decided to see other company’s forays into bad taste.  If you love cringe worthy ads, you’ll like this roundup of some truly heinous examples of badvertising.

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France Debuts Bold And Innovative Plan To Jumpstart Economy (That They Already Tried in 2010)

The United States is far from the only country that is desperately trying to get back some of its former economic glory.  Out of all of the EU nations in economic turmoil France is far from the worst, but the country has been struggling to jump start its economy for decades.  Other European nations like Spain and Germany have been adopting polices that make their country’s much more business friendly since the 1990s, and now France is looking pretty expensive to businessmen in comparison to their neighbors.

Hindsight is 20/20

French labor costs are the highest of any major EU economy, and taxes have risen considerably over the past few years.  France recently lost the business of Michelin which closed its 52 year old factory in favor of moving operations to Spain, and it’s possible that other companies could plan on jumping ship to cheaper nations.  These events paired with the fact that the country’s economy has barely grown over the past few years spells an economic dry spell for France, but its president recently announced plans to bring some money back to the struggling EU nation.

President François Hollande is planning on jump starting the French economy by investing billions in up and coming technology.  When you look at the country’s past economic success with revolutionizing nuclear power and high speed trains Hollande’s plan seems practical, but some economists are doubtful that the investments will have much of a payoff.

Pictured: Not France

Pumping nearly 3.7 billion euros into industries that are working on 3D software, robotics, and other futuristic technology seems very similar to ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to pump money into emerging technologies in 2010.  That plan was 5 billion euros worth of failure, nearly three years after his Hail Mary plan corporate profit margins in the country are the lowest they’ve been since 1985.  Corporations are already wary of settling down in a country where wages and business taxes are high, so for this to work France would need to not only keep the companies that are already in the country, but also somehow attract other companies that could easily do business in cheaper surrounding countries.  Only time will tell if the plan will work, but most economists are doubtful that it’ll help.

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Help Me I’m Poor: New Report Shows That Americans Are Overworked And Underpaid

Every American worker

Do you have a nagging feeling that you’d be earning nearly double the amount of your current salary if the economy was better?  Well wage slave, there’s some good news and bad news!  The good news is that it isn’t all in your head.  A report from the Economic Policy Institute shows that the American economy is going through a period of wage stagnation.  The bad news is that their numbers were taken from 2002 to 2012, so wages were awful well before the economic crash of 2008.

Between 2002 and 2012 wages were either stagnant or declined for the entire bottom 70% of the wage distribution.  Wages may have been at their worst in the past 10 years, but these numbers come after a few decades of poor wage growth.  Essentially the American wage has been in decline since 1979.  Workers saw a brief period of growth thanks to internet boom in the 90s, but even then those who experienced a wage increase were in very specialized fields.

The average worker has seen a meager 5% wage increase from 1979 to 2012, despite the fact that worker productivity on average has been skyrocketing.  Essentially all of your after work whiskey rants are true, you ARE working way too hard for much less pay than you deserve.

Get used to it America

The news gets even worse.  Wages aren’t the only thing that has decreased, workers benefits like healthcare and paid time off have dropped off along with earnings.  The college wage premium (the wage held by workers with college degrees over workers without degrees) has grown much more slowly over the past decade in comparison to 20 years ago.  If that didn’t make you depressed, you should also know that corporate profits are at an all-time high in this country.

This may be shocking to you, but this isn’t news to the average economist.  People know that there’s a problem, but have no idea how to fix it.  Some workers have tried striking, but walk outs and protests won’t be able to fix the problem.  Despite the fact that many Americans think corporations could stand to pay their employees more, they’re also rabidly opposed to making it happen since they’re worried that the “job creators” will leave towns and states if they’re forced to pay their employees a living wage.    Washington D.C.’s infamous living wage bill was passed by a vote, but it seems like Mayor Vincent Gray is stalling on signing the controversial bill into law.

Currently we’re at an impasse, we know that there’s a problem but the public and the people in power can’t agree on what to do.  If you’re affected by low wages, your best bet is to take on a 2nd job and forgo eating, clothing yourself, and taking care of your children.

They’ll be fine

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