Tag Archives: News

The ‘Double Whammy’ that is holding our Economy by the Throat

By: Zach Betzing, Leo Mathis-McKee

As the U.S. economy has started to open up through the past few months, businesses all around the country have been opening, and customers are back in the brick and mortar stores. This spike in demand throughout businesses worldwide has put a lot of stress on manufacturers and shipping companies, all frantically trying to meet these expectations and satisfy their customers with needed goods and supplies.

Through all of these factors, a bottleneck occurred. This influx of shipments into ports and spike in demand for materials created a new supply chain shortage, which has been torturing businesses for months now. Prices on common goods have spiked, and stock has been extremely limited. Grocery stores and supermarkets like Walmart, HEB, and Whole Foods have been heavily affected by this large shortage, along with the enormous amount of loyal customers, who are now struggling to find necessities.

This is not the only shortage occurring, though. As the pandemic continues, not all of America has been able to get out of the house and back into the workforce. To put this issue into perspective, a survey conducted in mid-2021 by SHRM shows that 9 in 10 surveyed organizations are having difficulty filling certain open positions. This shows really bad news for business owners, as they have to limit hours or close altogether due to a low amount of employees. Most importantly, SHRM also reported that 93% of these unfilled positions are manufacturing jobs, which can partially explain the supply chain shortage previously mentioned. Countless businesses around the country, including restaurants that can’t serve tables/certain food, or supermarkets that cannot stock shelves are struggling from the  combination of these shortages. This has ultimately left employers scrambling for employees, doing anything they can to fill positions, like raising wages, increasing benefits, and less restrictive application requirements or job experience. This leaves great incentives for people to get back into the workforce, get some extra money, and help get us out of this widespread shortage.

As seen above, however, there is a silver lining: this shortage won’t last forever. As USA TODAY said, the “…worker shortage should ease in 2022, as COVID wanes…” (Davidson 1). This gives us hope, as there could be an end in the near future to this issue. For now though, we’ll have to power through these shortages, and get more people back in the workforce.

We Ain’t Clownin’ Around

With Halloween right around the corner, conflict is brewing in America concerning… clowns. Yeah. Clowns. That’s the level we’re at. Following the stabbing of a Pennsylvania teen by a clown, there has been a surge of these “clown sightings” as the media refers them.

What do these clowns do? Where are they found? Why are they doing it? We all have questions. Sparking a huge social trend #creepyclown or #clownsighting, these clowns stand eerily, and begin chasing the person who is recording. The natural reaction for anyone is to run. Especially when they are running at you with a knife, baseball bat, or even a chainsaw. At the end of August, the most disturbing sightings were about clowns trying to lure children into the forest or into vans.

Then came the stabbing of the Pennsylvania teen on the 25th of September, sparking the Penn State clown hunt. Hundreds of students marched the streets at night armed with sports equipment. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Not only are these clowns chasing people in multiple states, even assaulting them, they are threatening their local elementary, middle, and high schools. They’ve posted threats on the schools’ Facebook pages, then deleting them, but we all know that the police can recover those “deleted” posts. If you didn’t, then think twice before you post something stupid. These clowns have actually caused many lockdowns across the country, just hanging around the schools.

This whole thing seemed like either people, and crazy people, around the U.S. planned this, or people want to hop on the bandwagon. No one knows who is really part of this clown cult, who is just in it for sick pranking, and what their motives even are. Urban terrorism? Ruin Halloween with a national prank? Purge reenactment? Actually that sounds the most likely if you think about it. Also, there needs to be a new Purge movie but that’s besides the point.

I’m not going to act all tough and claim I’m a master clown hunter, but if I see a clown approaching me at high speeds, I can’t legally say what I’m going to do, but they say the best defense is a good offense. I’m really not in the mood for this sort of nonsense, as well as many students, parents, and community members.

It’s ridiculous that this is the level we’re at. Really? You’re going to dress up as a clown, wield a weapon, chase people, hang around schools, which some take it further as to destroy property and assault. At the same time, we can’t believe everything. Most of the evidence is on Instagram, where you can find dozens of similar videos, but some of them…well a lot of them seem or have the potential to be fake. Then there is the fact that the reports of attacks have been faked, and arrests have been made for prank calls. It’s also a ‘he said, she said’ sort of situation–a prime example being the clown sighting in Belterra.

It also feels like this thing has been blown out of proportion. People want to act like there is a Halloween war coming and now is the time to choose your side: the creepy clowns, or the fearless clown hunters. Plot for a new Purge movie? James DeMonaco, make it happen. A few serious clown-related events have sparked this idea that every bored loser dressed in a clown costume is out to kill or kidnap with more and more pranksters joining in. It’s sad to see this affect the professional clowning community who fear for their lives for doing their jobs, but this is why we can’t have nice things.

If you wan’t to survive this clown-pocalypse, it would be best to adopt Coach Daniel Foster’s two step emergency plan: “Step 1: Don’t waste your time on this. Step 2: Go to class.”

 

 

Written by Nifa Kaniga

Opinion Editor

Entertainment Editor