Posted on 10 November 2010.
SAN FRANCISCO—The Chinese economy recently took a hit due to a new San Francisco law that bans restaurants from giving away toys with any meals deemed unhealthy.
San Francisco, deemed one of America’s 100 fattest cities in 2010 by Men’s Health, immediately put a hold on all imports of Happy Meal toys.
“We already had several warehouses full of toys for local restaurants,” said importer/exporter Art Vandelay. “With the new law, it will take years to get rid of all these toys. We simply had no choice but to stop importing all plastic products from China.”
Due to the enormous amount of fast food consumed in San Francisco, Chinese imports to the entire U.S. dropped by ninety percent.
Clearly, this has economic ramifications for both nations, but China in particular has been left in limbo. “Perhaps we shall take this as a sign we should stop artificially inflating the value of our currency,” said the country’s economic leader, Wen Jiabao, insinuating that the San Francisco law was part of a greater plan to sanction China for its economic policies. “The stress among our oppressed laborers of potentially losing their jobs could cause riots demanding freedom and equal rights.”
Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, was not happy either. “This decision will decrease the business fast food franchises receive, resulting in layoffs of working Americans. This recession is not the time to worry about the health of our children.”
Posted in Business, Nation, No. 45, World
Posted on 07 April 2010.
EVANSTON—A group of Northwestern students spent their spring break learning the ins and outs of community service on Alternative Student Breaks’ first sexual tourism trip. Students who signed up for the excursion had the opportunity to perform service at all 13 of ASB’s existing sites, in such exotic locales as Missouri and Kansas.
“We wanted to be able to service as many communities as possible, so we decided to visit two sites a day. It was rigorous, but being able to interact with that many communities was definitely worth the strain,” says McCormick sophomore Charlie Jenkins.
Some of the communities that participating students serviced were the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center, and a Colorado wolf sanctuary. But for Weinberg freshman Steve Johnson, the most meaningful experience was at the Wichita Children’s Home.
“It was really the children who needed my service more than anyone. Some of these children had never been serviced before, whereas most adults we met on the trip had been receiving service on a regular basis for years,” he said.
In addition to stimulating the residents, students also stimulated the local economies through their spending at fast food establishments and local pharmacies.
“I feel like we really made a difference in the lives of the needy, without having to do all that boring stuff like building affordable housing. ASB instilled in me a lifelong commitment to servicing communities across the United States,” says Medill senior Brian Hunt.
The new trip broke ASB records for enrollment, with 69 students participating in the expedition. NU President Morton Schapiro declined to comment on this momentous achievement.
Posted in Local, No. 32
Posted on 02 November 2009.
WILMETTE, IL—Area grandma Gertrude Smith catapulted herself to untold riches last week after closing on her 12-year financial plan, which involved investing in Ty Beanie Babies. The sale of her 270 beloved sacks of beads, worth almost nothing, inexplicably raised her net worth to an estimated $1.8 Billion.
The plush animals, a fad from 1997, were snatched up by rabid consumers and hoarded as rare collector’s items, despite having been as readily available as water. Many cited the future potential value of the mass produced toys as the justification for the frenzy.
In a recent exclusive interview, the new mogul offered a glimpse into the astute business management that landed her the deal. “Don’t touch the tag. If you touch the tag, you’re going to ruin it. Snort [the bull] is going to be worth twice as much some day. That’s what I always told my grandkids.” Smith’s discipline paid off.
She recently began hosting a new show on MSNBC to reach out and guide her new followers. “The window on the Beanie market is closing, but I see the Pokemon segment growing more bullish every day. Snorlax is strong, Squirtle is stale, but Charmander is white-hot. Sell sell sell! We’re all in Pokemon Stadium, you’re Ash, and the opportunities are flying around – you gotta catch ‘em all.” Financial experts are praising the 83-year-old widow’s razor-sharp predictions, and expect her sound advice to lead the U.S. economy back to stable ground.
“When you’ve spent years creating a clusterfuck economy through reckless lending,” waxed Wells Fargo trader Steven Terin, “sometimes all you need is grandma’s good ol’ common-sense advice to fix it.”
Posted in Business
Posted on 03 April 2009.
WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama has used a very hands on approach to try to revive the economy. He has, as promised in his campaign, attempted to remove agencies or institutions which are not operating efficiently or effectively. Last week, Obama forced General Motors C.E.O. Rick Wagoner to resign, citing that GM’s troubles were largely Wagoner’s fault. Obama’s control over GM did not stop with just its C.E.O.
Obama’s changes in office have been as specific as selecting new cars for his motorcade. He and the First Lady visited a Washington D.C. area GM dealer after returning from the G-20 Summit. “We were looking for something quaint,” says Michelle Obama. “Barack and I were ready to buy one of those new GMC Acadias. He wanted to get one that had a black interior and a white exterior, but I convinced him that black and black was the way to go.”
To the Obama’s dismay, the dealer was unable to locate the exact make and model they requested. “They had such specific requests on such short notice,” claims GM salesman Rick Mahogany. “I just couldn’t get what they were looking for in time. I’m only one man.”
President Obama is allergic to incompetence, so he fired the salesman on the spot, citing an executive order. His recent control over GM helped speed along the process. “I will be appointing a more efficient staff to the local dealership. Only if we work together and end inefficiency can we combat this global crisis.”
Posted in Business, Politics
Posted on 25 March 2009.
EVANSTON—Frigid economic conditions have shrunk the size of Northwestern’s endowment, according to new reports from President Bienen’s office. University spokesman Steven Westerstein released a statement yesterday downplaying the so-called “shrinkage” effect on NU’s performance.
“We here at Northwestern University have always felt that it’s not about the size of the endowment, but how you use it that really matters. Besides, it’s not like our endowment is that small. At least we’re still bigger than Wash U.”
Northwestern student reactions were very mixed about the news of the endowment’s shriveling. “Oh, that concerns me a lot. The main reason I decided to go here was the size of the endowment,” said Weinberg junior Melissa Bergson. “I don’t know if my experience will be quite the same anymore.”
“I think a lot of universities are concerned too much with endowment size,” said SESP freshman Julie Howitzers. “They don’t realize that students don’t really care that much. NU has a lot of other great benefits besides its endowment. It just has a strong personality, which is important to me.”
In his final months at Northwestern, President Bienen wants to extend the life of Northwestern pride far beyond his tenure. “The goal is to keep it going in the long run. We’ve been around since 1851, so there will always be some bumps in the road. We just need to stay focused to extend our prosperity.
The dwindling size of NU’s endowment presents a problem to school administrators. “Once the stock market warms back up,” explains Westerstein, “we’ll be back to normal size. Hopefully, with our endowment re-erected, performance will return to normal.”
Posted in Local
Posted on 14 February 2009.
WASHINGTON—With the DOW closing just above 7,850 on Friday, economists are predicting that the worst has yet to come. A mortgage crisis, depreciation of the dollar, and a failed economic policy by the Bush administration are largely to blame for tough economic conditions. With companies forced to cut down on spending, laying off workers was inevitable. Unemployment has reached its highest rate in years, 7.6%, that according to the United States Department of Labor.
Spokesman for the Department of Labor, Shaun Chandler, was reluctant to share some of the government’s findings on the struggling economy. “Things are not looking up right now,” he stated in a press conference on Friday. “The federal government is doing everything in its power to sort through this mess and eventually bring relief to the people.”
With a very capable workforce unable to receive a paycheck, Chandler was asked when the relief would come. “We’re really working on it…You know, we can’t do everything here. I know there are millions without work, but it is not exactly like they are helping themselves.”
A new study by the department found that laid off Americans were not helping their situation. The study determined that 78% of those no longer receiving a salary “are doing very little to help the struggling economy.” Director of the study, Samuel Chastere, explained that “These laid off whathaveyous are not putting any money into the economy. If they don’t start buying things, I’m not sure we’ll ever get out of this mess.”
Betsy Schlieden, who recently retired from United Airlines, believes the unemployed are to blame for a weak economy. “The unemployed have abandoned their patriotic duties. They are spending far less than the people with jobs.” The unemployed have, however, helped one industry in particular. The alcohol industry has shown impressive numbers early in the first quarter.
Posted in Business, Politics