Between 2009 and 2013, some 41.5% of Flint’s residents lived below the poverty line, compared to just 16.8% of the rest of the state. A quarter of its families have an annual income of below $15,000 a year. The city’s child poverty rate of 66.5% is nearly 10 percentage points higher than Detroit’s. Block by block, neighborhoods where GM had built houses for its workers were marked by the detritus of abandonment, crumbling homes and overgrown lots. Crime and despair began to fester. And generations of families barely making it replaced those that had once thrived. Often those families were one and the same. 

Today on MSNBC we launch Chapter 3 from our on-going feature, Geography of Poverty, “The Rust Belt: Once Mighty Cities in Decline: an Auto Giant’s Exit Brings Flint to its Knees” by photographer @mattblack_blackmatt and reporter Trymaine Lee.

This is way longer than I intended.

I want to respond to this post and to some of its responses as well, but I dont want to make multiple reblogs of the same post responding to several people and clutter everyone’s dash. Submitting just makes it easier to address everyone at once. 

Before I start, I want to say I have nothing against the accent maker, I think they’re making some sweet fucking accents and capitalizing on a niche that a lot of the userbase loves… Even if they are taking a very large page out of ********’s book. We as a community love pastels and goth shit and galaxies. There is a demand and they are giving us supply.  

But I will be frank and leave no room for people to put words in my mouth:

I do not have a problem with the accent artist or their accents. 
I do not have a problem with the accent artist or their accents. 

I do not have a problem with the accent artist or their accents.

I am responding to the linked post above, and the subsequent responses in order to address one thing.

That being said, lets git on in there.

I’m familiar with the accent thread, I’ve read peoples concerns and questions, as well as the artist’s somewhat shifty answers, and I’ve read through their rules. Which are in all honesty confusing and contradictory of themselves in several places. 

The most notably being the preorder vs reserve. 

And this is literally the only thing I want to address because it seems to be a very big part of the confusion. As a shop owner myself, I try to be as transparent and open as possible with my policies to make sure that I don’t leave people scratching their heads bc they’re unsure what I mean.

I want to point out that for many people, myself included, asking someone a question in a public forum can be very anxiety inducing. For me it’s a matter of worrying that I’m coming off as very stupid, that my question is stupid and the answer is obvious to everyone else, and that people are going to assume I’m not a very smart person. That being said, I DO have a hard time understanding some things sometimes, not because I’m stupid, but because some of the medications I take have crappy effects; including memory impairment, trouble placing names to objects, difficulty articulating things verbally, dry mouth that leads to being unable to speak for more than a few words because SERIOUSLY HAVE YOU EVER HAD COTTON MOUTH SO BAD THAT IT FEEL LIKE YOUR TONGUE IS WEARING A FUR COAT? AND NOT NICE SOFT MINK FUR. iM TALKING ABOUT SOME MANGEY ASS DOG FUR. try making small talk or asking a stranger in the store for help with your chihuahua coated tongue. Combine it with slowed reflexes and trouble remembering why im even at the store and people tend to assume that I’m either really fucking stoned or mentally deficient. I am neither of those things. But a stranger isnt going to know that.

Now it looks like I’ve gotten completely off topic, but my point is that some people, even though they’re confused about something, they may not ask for clarification even if the person answering is being nice. And its the same people (myself included) who will just… keep quiet and pay the higher price, do something theyre not sure of, or pretend they understand, because thats easier than bringing attention to themselves. 

So why am I writing this?  Im may not always be able to point out things that are inconsistent and need to be clarifiedbecause Im not always in a mental place where pointing out inconsistency isnt going to leave me shaking and sick with anxiety. but sometimes I have to put what i think is right first, and worry about the anxiety later.

TL;DR
I’m sure they’ll probably see this so here we go.

There’s some shit that you’re not clear about and people are confused, myself included. so  im gonna break down some highlights i made. And obviously no one has to take my advice, this is just to maybe get some clarification.

First of all. Either you don’t understand the difference between a reserve and a pre-order, or you’re twisting them to be what YOU want.

I took this straight off Apple’s support forum and switched out iphone for accent to help give everyone a better understanding.

So, knowing the above, lets move on to your new rules.

line 1. its pretty standard MO to take preorders where the buyer prepays and thus funds the 1st print. a 10 pack is 2500g and if you charge 500g each, you can buy a 10 pack once half the people have paid. This is widely known, and most artist wait til a run is almost full, then ask for payment. Sometimes people pay sooner than others and you may be able to printer sooner.

line 2a preorder list. so a pinglist. its the same thing and I dont get why youre dancing around it. The wording here is confusing too. ‘you can be added to the preorder list by paying upfront or when 5 slots are filled’ Now I’ve read this and re-read it several times and… I don’t understand it. Are you saying that there is only a pre-order list once 5 people have paid, thus the run is funded? But it says OR. And I think thats leading to a lot of confusion. Do we not have to pay upfront if 5 slots are already filled? Because thats how it sounds, and thats shitty because it would put all the pressure on the 1st 5 people to pay ASAP, or they make everyone else wait, in which case you’re insinuating that if the accent doesnt go to print, its the fault of those first 5 people. Which is… fucked up. To say the least.

line 3. ‘preorders are 550 gems’ you dont seem to be changing that, BUT, reading through you mention “ Unfortunately I’ll only be taking reserves after I’ve printed the skins/accents otherwise it more or less becomes a pre-order” 
So if I understand this correctly, once you have the accent in your possession, it will never ever be a preorder again, will only ever be a reserve, thus the price will be 650g from then on. To me, and like I said, this is my opinion and speculation, that sounds like a way of leading up to phasing it out completely in the future. if you ‘forget’ to do preorders for a while, the userbase is so large that it wont take long for people to forget that there even used to be a 550g price, and to be honest thats some underhanded shit. Posts are easily edited and deleted. Out of mind out of sight and then it’s always been 650g for their accents.

Figure 2. Reserves.

line 1. Reserved accents HAVE ALREADY BEEN SUBMITTED. What this means, and what buyers may not know, (some may) is that the artist has/had enough gems from previous sales to buy a 10 pack without taking pre-pays. I often do this, and I think most accent makers do. Its just common sense. If I have enough gems and I know I’ll be able to sell another 20 copies, I’ll buy 2 10 packs and submit them, list they’ve been submitted, and still offer buyers the option to pre-pay. Other artist’s wait til they’ve received the order, toss them all onto the AH then ping everyone to let them know. Both of these are easy business models to use. It just depends on what you prefer and as long as you are HONEST and UP FRONT about everything, people won’t be caught off guard or blindsided. Nobody fucking likes being blindsided with a higher price out of nowhere. Plus its bad business practice.

line 2. Reserved accents are still 650g. reserving a slot requires… wait for it…sending in the 650g to get yourself a slot! What’s that folks? Right! Pre-ordering!

line 3. reserved extras will be listed on the ah for 650 gems. so literally the only difference is that if you prepay preorder you are guaranteed an accent while the rest of us have to meet in the pit and mosh it out for ours.

This is what buyers are confused about. This is what you need to be more transparent about so that people don’t need to ask over and over, only to get the same convoluted answers and excuses. For example;

This reads as if running an accent shop, the lists, pings, getting things sorted and in order, notifying people and just general customer service type things, are all things you’re saying you dont have time for/cant handle coordinating/or dont want to do. (maybe you should bring in a friend to help lighten the load. I understand having a busy life outside FR. Im pretty sure everyone does. You’re not the only person on site who lives a life off the computer.)

Except….you ARE doing exactly all those things. The pre-orders, pre-pays, pinglists, replies, aaaaand pretty much everything that comes with running an accent shop, because lets be honest, you’re basically running a small business. It may not be anything fancy, you may think of it as a hobby, which is fine, no one is making anyone run their shop according the the Better Business  Bureau’s standards. You have artistic and stylistic freedom to do as much or as little business as you want. You can even quit for no reason and not have to answer to anyone.

 But what I get from these comments is that you dont really give a fuck about the buyers and people who work to save up gems to buy an accent. Because what you’ve essentially done is pull the rug out from anyone who can’t shit gems at a moments notice. It’s a big middle finger to your buyers with comments like “That’ll mean sleepy star trails, glitterghoul and spooksy won’t be made available for less than what they’re listed at now (at least not by me in the shop or AH!)” That right there is just. Wow. that sounds like a big fuck you. Not wanting to deal with pings and pre-order lists (even though you still are????) and insinuating that coordinating things so that everyone is given at least some kind of fair chance to buy your accents is too much work… idk man. shits kinda fucked up. and the accents are awesome too. thats the thing. you could do all the preorders and shit and still make a huge profit bc just looking at the amount of people clamoring for copies right now proves that even at 650g as a base price, theyre going to pay because the quality is there. 

But when they come to you with questions and concerns about the sudden higher price, the new and confusing terms that cause them to worry if theyll even be able to buy your accents, you talk them in circles with more confusing answers. But. BUT. They come back. They. Fucking. Come. Back. And they pay the higher price! because people legitimately WANT your accents because they ARE awesome, and you’ve figured out how to capitalize on that, which isnt illegal and youre technically not doing anything wrong. But  what you are doing is being purposely obtuse and evasive about  jacking up your price out of nowhere.

Btw you did a great job showing that you ARE smart and capable of running a successful accent business by mass releasing a flurry of colorful accents (reserve only of course) to pull the focus away from fact that you’ve yet to give anyone a straight answer. You’re on that Donald Trump shit yo.

Just fucking own your shit and say ‘I think my accents are worth this, so that what I’m going to charge. If you dont like it, you dont have to buy it.’ Because as long as you’re honest with your customer base and you don’t make it seem like you’re being shady; people WILL pay the higher price. 

Of course, you’re free to do what you want and charge what you want, but i think you should at least be clear about prices, preorders and reserves, instead of trying to make it sound like youre doing something different, when you’re not. 

shoutout to the people making it. we dont talk about you enough. congrats on working so much you dont see the point in even going home, congrats to those working their asses off to get the things you want, and also congrats to those doing it with a smile on their face and not a complaint on their lips. i see you and appreciate your hustle.

Five Things To Do Within Five Years Of Retirement

In order to plan for a fulfilling retirement, consider taking these steps in the five years before you retire so you are transitioning toward retirement rather than away from working:

1. Plan to take extended vacations to your retirement destination to really get a feel for it in various seasons.

2. Don’t wait to make new connections.  

3. Re-ignite your hobbies.

4. Make home improvements while you are still working.

5. Update your financial plan. 

Start taking steps now to transition to retirement, not just financially but also socially and emotionally. This will give you a better chance of creating your dream retirement. 

NUMBER ONE REASON NOT TO VOTE FOR DONALD TRUMP

he is completely OBSESSED WITH MONEY, all he sees is dollar signs, which means he can be bought, he wants to be bought, and he would sell his power to the highest bidder. he believes that other countries should pay the USA billions to police them (this has never worked and it’s always made everything 100000x shittier for everyone), and he compares everything by value and price. what’s the value of a black or trans life to him? who tf knows. that shit has no grey area, the value of a life is incomprehensible, but he doesn’t have any concept of that. HIS EMPATHY CAN BE BOUGHT, and he will cause the end of the middle class and the overwhelming rise of poverty and oppression if he becomes president, and EVERYONE IS GOING TO REGRET IT. he would replace our ambassadors and our foreign affairs people with businessmen, and under his administration, people’s rights would be measured by their salaries even more than they already are. unless you want to live in a country where you’re used as a pawn for business, and treated as a number in a money making system, then DO NOT VOTE DONALD TRUMP.

source: http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/video/full-interview-trump-on-immigration-hillary-clinton-and-his-controversial-campaign-505901123767

Why is undercutting seen in such a negative light? Is it because the economy is so screwy on FR? The last VP I played was Neopets (years ago), and it was an accepted (even expected) practice there. I mean, if you want to sell something, obviously you should price your shit lower than everyone else’s shit so that it’s snatched up quickly. If you’re annoyed that someone’s undercutting you, then just buy that person out, and re-inflate your item’s worth again. Simple, no?

cbc.ca
'Demi' Canadian bill becoming local currency in Quebec's Gaspé region
Need change for a $20 bill? Residents in Quebec’s Gaspé region are simply cutting bills in half to create two $10 bills, in an attempt to encourage residents to shop locally.

Residents in Quebec’s Gaspé region are cutting Canadian bills in half to create a new local currency they call the “demi.”

No one really knows who started the practice, but $5, $10 and $20 bills, sliced down the middle, have been showing up since the spring.

Residents and some local merchants have been using them, accepting their value as half of the original bill.

“It’s money that can only be circulated among these local users,”  said Patrick DuBois, a demi user from Carleton-sur-Mer, Que.  

“No one else will accept it anywhere right now.”

Michelle Secours, who owns a business in Caplan, Que., said the demi has created a parallel local economy. She said it shows a commitment to local businesses.

“You have to be kind of in-the-know to use it, so it’s creating a tight network,” she said.

“It’s not going to be accepted in a depanneur in Montreal, so it’s a way for us to consolidate our money here.”

The Bank of Canada says the practice isn’t illegal, but also isn’t advisable.

“The Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes or mutilating them [is] inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride,” Bank of Canada spokeswoman Josianne Ménard said in a written statement. […]

Canada’s real gross domestic product declined by an annualized rate of 0.5 per cent in the April-June period of 2015, after falling by 0.8 per cent in the quarter from January-March, meaning Canada’s GDP has been in decline for two straight quarters. Statistics Canada also updated its previously-reported first-quarter numbers to reflect a marginally steeper decline than previously thought. StatsCan had pegged the first-quarter GDP decline at 0.6 per cent earlier this year, but that number was revised to 0.8 per cent on Tuesday.

Keep reading

During the 1990’s, poverty returned to its rightful place as the key objective for global development policy. Poverty reduction, we now realize, will not happen simply if the economy is growing. And policy makers are now aware that having ‘the right policies’ is not enough…
—  The Politics of Poverty Reduction by Paul Moseley

America’s Best Bachelor Degrees By Salary [Infographic]

Attending and graduating from university can never guarantee you a well-paid job down the road. However, some bachelor degrees are more likely than others to make you a high earner. Read more.

thestar.com
Trudeau is talking sense amid deficit hysteria | Toronto Star
Justin Trudeau broke with prevailing economic orthodoxy when he refused to commit to balancing the federal budget immediately at a time when economic growth is sluggish. The Liberal leader is right.

look i hate trudeau as much as anyone but all the other parties are talking balanced budgets which is some neoliberal bullshit i think it’s important to emphasize that trudeau actually has the right idea here (even if liberals have been the ones to implement austerity through balanced budgets in the past)

A large deficit is a symptom, not a cause of economic weakness. The bigger problem today, which Trudeau implicitly recognizes, is the lack of jobs and decent demand in the economy.

As the Liberal leader noted, when there is unemployment and falling income, private confidence will be low and subdued spending behaviour will follow. Firms will not invest until they are sure that they can sell the extra output that would be produced by the new productive infrastructure. Consumers will not provide them with those guarantees because they are worried about their job security.

If the private sector is reluctant to spend because of uncertain growth prospects, then clearly some other sector needs to pick up that slack. At a time of contracting global growth, exports clearly can’t pick up the baton of growth. That leaves the government and, yes, a budget deficit or two, if that’s what it takes to restore economic growth. […]

4

This is a local train station near Kolkata,India.

Indian railways is one of the world’s largest railway networks comprising 115,000 km (71,000 mi) of track over a route of 65,436 km (40,660 mi) and 7,172 stations. In 2014-15, IR carried 8.397 billion passengers annually or more than 23 million passengers a day

Railways were first introduced to India in the year 1853 from Mumbai to Thane. In 1951 the systems were nationalised as one unit, the Indian Railways, becoming one of the largest networks in the world.
By 1875, about £95 million were invested by British companies in India. Guaranteed railways.By 1880 the network had a route mileage of about 14,500 km (9,000 mi), mostly radiating inward from the three major port cities of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. By 1895, India had started building its own locomotives, and in 1896, sent engineers and locomotives to help build the Uganda Railways.
In 1920, with the network having expanded to 61,220 km (38,040 mi),a need for central management was mooted by Sir William Acworth. Based on the East India Railway Committee chaired by Acworth, the government took over the management of the Railways and detached the finances of the Railways from other governmental revenues.
The period between 1920 and 1929, was a period of economic boom; there were 41,000 mi (66,000 km) of railway lines serving the country; the railways represented a capital value of some 687 million sterling; and they carried over 620 million passengers and approximately 90 million tons of goods each year. Following the Great Depression, the railways suffered economically for the next eight years. The Second World War severely crippled the railways. Starting 1939, about 40% of the rolling stock including locomotives and coaches was taken to the Middle East, the railways workshops were converted to ammunitions workshops and many railway tracks were dismantled to help the Allies in the war. By 1946, all rail systems had been taken over by the government.