Our Afternoon Coffee barista, Sheena, is on vacation for a few days. I'll attempt to fill the mugs meanwhile;)
Bedbugs can really cost you
There's a great video here on Smart Money about a surge in bedbugs in the U.S. It reports that "95% of exterminators have reported treating bedbugs compared with just 25% before the year 2000". Bedbugs look very different at their 5 stages of development, can be difficult to spot and "exterminating them is definitely not a do-it-yourself task." Liability for infestations is even creeping into lease agreements though "landlords are usually held responsible for extermination."
Unemployed are facing the full cost of COBRA
The Fiscal Times reports "Jobless Hit with Higher COBRA Insurance Fees" because "Deficit-conscious lawmakers have not renewed a subsidy that helped many jobless Americans afford health benefits. A longstanding federal law called COBRA requires employers to continue insurance for former employees, typically for 18 more months, if they pay the entire premium plus a two percent administrative fee. Last year, Congress approved a 65% COBRA premium subsidy, but it ended May 31."
U.S. retailers are keeping supplies of computers lean
"For signs of the flagging health of U.S. consumer spending, look no further than Taiwan" according to Bloomberg today."Sales at Asian computer makers, which account for more than 80 percent of computer and parts imports into the U.S. each year, indicate American shoppers aren't likely to boost the spending that accounts for 70 percent of the world's largest economy. Already, consumption is growing at the slowest pace of any recovery since 1945."
"Virginia will spend surplus on state employee bonus, roads, bay cleanup"
This, according to today's Washington Post was announced by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell in response to Virginia's unexpected fiscal year end surpus of $403.5 million – "almost twice the previous estimate, state officials said earlier this week ... McDonnell told legislators the state will spend $82.2 million on a 3 percent bonus for state employees, $18.7 million for education, $48 million for roads and $36.4 million for Virginia's Water Quality Improvement Fund, which is used for the Chesapeake Bay cleanup. State employees have not received a raise since November 2007. "