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November 29, 2007
Loose lips sink markets
“We’re dangerously close to talking ourselves into a recession,” says Chris Plummer in MarketWatch. Black Friday sales jumped a “blistering” 8.5 percent, but the “fear-mongering” media merely pushed “gloomy spin” about desperate bargain hunters. Fed Chairman Bernanke said growth would slow, and “political opportunists” shouted recession. And if you let the “bipolar disorder” infecting investors make you “depressed,” then “you are the bigger fool.” Sept. 11 and the dot-com bust combined caused merely “one of the shallowest recessions in U.S. history,” but a “passing credit squeeze” is going to sink us?
Burger King is too cheap to pony up a penny per tomato to help migrant workers, says Eric Schlosser in The New York Times. And its refusal to join McDonald’s and Taco Bell by agreeing to the one-cent raise means that most of the “impoverished” tomato pickers in Florida “are about to get a 40 percent pay cut” this holiday season. It’s a “spectacle of yuletide greed worthy of Charles Dickens,” especially considering that the chain’s private-equity owners are basking in rare “good fortune.” You would think they’d be able to find the $250,000 a year it would cost. Instead, Burger King suggests that pickers unhappy with their pay “apply for jobs at its restaurants.”
of The Week magazine.