To the Honorable United States Representative Conor Lamb of the Pennsylvania 18th District

Dear Congressman Lamb:

As your constituent of the 18th District, I have been satisfied with your efforts to represent the interest of Southwest Pennsylvania in ways your hypocritical sellout predecessor Dr. Tim Murphy ever could. Though you may not be my representative for much longer due to a new congressional map, I wish you the best of luck beating Keith Rothfus. As a liberal who supports gun control and environmental protection, I know you may not share my views on everything. But since I live in a heavily red district, I know I have to make due with whoever Democrat has a fighting chance in the polls and be as inoffensive to the electorate as possible. Unlike Murphy, your support for affordable healthcare and unions seems genuine while you appear very keen on fixing the opioid crisis ravaging our nation. From looking at your priorities list, you seem honestly committed for actions that benefit working Pennsylvanians and their families.

However, while your site states that you have a bias for action, I am not sure if any of your stated goals are feasible at the moment. You may be today’s Senator Jefferson Smith in Washington, but sometimes a fresh face with good ideas can only go so far. You may be willing to work with anyone to protect our people and bring good jobs. But so has any politician willing to work across the aisle for the greater good. Yet, sometimes it does not matter whether you are willing to work with those who do not agree with you. But whether those on the other side are willing to work with you. And from what I have seen with the Obamacare repeal nightmare last year and since, I honestly believe that as long as Donald Trump is in office and Republicans control both houses of Congress that our nation’s problems will not get better and even exacerbate in years to come.

Yet, if there is anything requiring direct action by our leaders in Washington, then it is on the matter of Donald Trump in the White House. I am painfully aware he enjoys a credible following among a significant contingent in the 18th district since so many in my community, neighborhood, and extended family have disturbingly supported him and continue to do so despite all the unconscionable things he’s said and done. I know you make it a priority not to criticize Trump by name in your public life out of reluctance to offend potential constituents and voters. However, as my US Representative who genuinely cares about the issues affecting working Pennsylvanians and their families, I strongly urge you do. Now you do not have to talk about Russia or Stormy Daniels. Nor do you need to address his other numerous scandals and controversies. But I do believe if you really care about and respect your Trump-supporting constituents, you need to at least tell them the cold, hard, truth they do not want to hear: that the man they see as their champion has no interest in solving their problems and is not on their side. Trump knows how to give wins to interest groups he actually cares about, many of these are large corporation who support unpopular measures such as letting health insurance companies discriminate against those with preexisting conditions, doing away with key environmental regulations protecting our access to clean air and water, letting financial advisers deliberately give their clients bad advice on their money, eliminating essential banking regulations that will pave way to another recession someday, getting rid of key labor protections like those against wage theft, and handing a sweetheart tax cut deal boosting corporate profits to record levels.

But more importantly, you need to address the undeniable fact that Donald Trump has never been the friend of ordinary working Americans and never will. Throughout his entire career he has reaped in millions from the remains of failing businesses at the expense of investors, small businesses, and American workers. For decades, according to a 2016 USA Today article, Trump has been subject to at least 60 lawsuits along with hundreds of liens, judgements, and other government filings documenting people accusing him of failing to pay them for their work. These include a Florida dishwasher, a New Jersey glass company, a carpet company, a plumber, painters, 48 waiters, dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, real estate brokers who sold him his properties, and even several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others. Since 2005, Trump’s companies have also been cited for 24 Fair Labor Standards Act violations for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage according to the US Department of Labor at the time. In addition, USA Today’s review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens on wage theft claims filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies, or his properties since the 1980s. These range from a $75,000 claim by a New York heating and air conditioning company to a $1 million claim from a president of a New York City real estate banking firm. For Trump Taj Mahal casino project in Atlantic City, New Jersey Casino Control Commission records state that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or on time, if at all. These comprise of workers who installed walls, chandeliers, and plumbing.

Nor do all these wage theft cases date from the 1980s. In May 2016, Trump Miami Resort Management LLC settled with 48 waiters at Trump National Doral Miami golf resort over failing to pay overtime for a 10-day Passover event. The lawsuit contended that some even worked 20-hour shifts. In Trump’s facilities at California and New York, bartenders and wait staff have sued with a range of allegations from not letting workers take breaks to not passing along tips to servers. And in January 2017, several contractors who worked on his D.C. Hotel project with renovating the Old Post Office on wage theft claims.

In sum, these actions paint a picture of Donald Trump’s sprawling organization consistently failing to pay small businesses and individuals before tying them up in court and other negotiations for years. Sometimes Trump’s team financially overpowers and outlasts much smaller opponents by draining their resources that some give up the fight or settle for less, some declare bankruptcy, and some end up out of business entirely. Of course, Trump and his associates have shrugged off these wage theft claims on the excuse that they did a terrible job despite that he often offered to rehire those same contractors again. But the sheer number of companies and others he hasn’t paid either suggest two things. His companies have a poor tract record hiring workers and assessing contractors. Or more likely as alleged in dozens of court cases that Trump’s businesses renege on contracts, refuse to pay, or consistently attempt to change payment terms after the work is done.

Mind-boggling wage theft practices is just one way Donald Trump has screwed his over ordinary Americans. Though he has done well after his multiple Atlantic City casino bankruptcies, his own casino employees have collectively lost millions of dollars in retirement savings after Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts’ value plummeted. According to a class action lawsuit filed against the company following its 2004 bankruptcy, starting in 1996, THCR encouraged its employees to invest their 401(k) savings in company stock. That same year, it sold $1.1 billion in junk bonds to offset Trump’s personal debt and buy more ill-fated casino properties in Atlantic City. Then when the stock price neared its nadir amid bankruptcy, the company forced its workers to sell at a huge loss. More than 400 employees lost more than a combined total of $2 million from their retirement accounts. One worker who put $1,000 into her 1997 retirement account had her savings withered to just $59 by 2004. Trump has never had to declare personal bankruptcy but the company he set up to operate his Atlantic City casinos went through numerous corporate restructurings to reduce its debt load. Since Trump used his company as a means to of transferring his personal debt, issuing rounds of junk bonds to build cash that would erase them. As he prospered, his companies floundered. In other words, he put up little of his own money, shifted personal debts to his casinos while collecting millions of dollars in salary, bonuses, and other payments. Any burden of his failures fell on his investors and others who bet on his business expertise. While Atlantic City casino employees had their retirement savings wiped out, the share price rose from $.57 to $2.04/share, and Trump kept his $2 million salary after THCR emerged from bankruptcy, and took in more than $44 million in compensation over the course of 14 years he served as the company’s chairman.

Despite how many publications like the Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and others have done stellar work on reporting Donald Trump’s history of corrupt business practices which have left a trail of destruction and destruction in its wake, especially in Atlantic City. But I was deeply disappointed by how little the televised media and our leaders in Washington have touched upon his sordid history of corruption and abuse of power which I strongly believe are the core of his character and give an idea of what he really thinks about his white working class base. To him, they are just a means to the end meant to be cast aside once they’re no longer useful to him. I know their racial resentment and anxiety over demographic change was the main reason why so many of them voted for this unrespectable con artist to the presidency. But I think another big reason why he is in the White House today is the fact that many Americans don’t seem to take corporate crimes as seriously as they should since they hurt those with the least resources to defend themselves. Yet, when corporate executives steal from their employees and use their company to leverage debt and free themselves from responsibility for their bad decisions, ordinary working Americans suffer. And that is especially the case when workers are underpaid and in precarious situations that will result in termination if they ever dare complain or challenge their bosses. Trump’s crimes may be egregious but he’s far from the only man in Corporate America who’s screwed over his investors and employees. Wage theft is so endemic in this country that the average American has either been a victim of it or knows someone who has. And even when caught, employers who steal from their workers usually face little or no consequences. Since no Wall Street banker has been convicted for causing the Great Recession, I think addressing Trump’s shady business practices is a conversation is sorely needed on Capitol Hill and in our public squares, at least to make an example out of him.

I know criticizing Donald Trump in front of your constituents won’t be easy for you. I understand you don’t want to alienate potential voters. Yet, if not enough people in Congress don’t address Trump’s abuses of power and corruption as a businessman, including what he did to Atlantic City, then I deeply fear he might be on his way to winning a second term as president. Since the Constitution limits presidents to serving two terms, it’s very possible that Trump won’t need his white working class base anymore to retain power in the White House. I really don’t want to face the prospect of a Trump reelection victory. I have been through that nightmare once in my life resulting me crying myself to sleep afraid of what would happen to me and waking up early when I couldn’t sleep anymore. As a young woman on the autistic spectrum, I was almost inconsolable over the notion of losing my Medicaid coverage when the American Healthcare Act passed the House until the Senate’s ACA repeal plan died on the floor last summer. Since finding a job is difficult for me at the moment, I don’t ever want to go through that again. And since Medicaid is so essential for fighting the opioid crisis in this country which is now a national emergency, neither do you.

I know you are a good man and are nothing like the good for nothing piece of shit in the White House. You have made sacrifices to your country such as your time in the Marines and you support the welfare of those who served. And I do believe you care about ordinary Americans and their families. However, being a true advocate for your constituents shouldn’t just be about making stump speeches on what potential voters might want to hear. Though I know you do your best to fulfill the promises you’ve made. I am aware you don’t want to cause controversy among the public in Southwestern Pennsylvania. And considering you won your seat in a highly-contested special election by 755 votes, I wouldn’t blame you.

However, there comes a time when you must state the inconvenient truth that might make your constituents view you as a pariah in anger, which may put your political future at risk. Yet, if you want to prove that you’re truly on your constituents’ side and that you’re willing to put their interests first, then you must make a compelling, respectful, honest case to prove that Trump is taking them for suckers and has no intention to fix their problems. His history as a corrupt businessman who’s exploited employees and investors to enrich himself perfectly illustrates this. In fact, I have compiled a blog post in The Lone Girl in a Crowd highlighting decades worth of his corruption scandals with links if you’re interested. Yet, however vague and substance-lacking they were, Trump campaigned on some ideas similar to yours and promised similar things which unlike you, he had no intention to deliver. Many voters in the 18th District fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Living in a rural area, I witnessed the worst of it with people in my community flaunting Trump signs everywhere I went, of which I found deeply distressing. But even then, I knew Trump was working his art of the con since I had been conducting research on his past and building a case against him. Nonetheless, if you truly respect Trump voters, then you must tell them the truth, even if it brings you fits of rage from potential voters already sold on his brazen lies and false promises or costs your nascent career. Your constituents in Southwest Pennsylvania deserve nothing less.

Asking you to criticize Donald Trump at the risk of losing your career may not be the wisest of requests. Yet, with the Republican Party so deep in his support for this unrespectable man, I am desperately pleading you to stand up to him on behalf of the people in your district. Yet, while you denounce him as a fraud, assure your voters you will work with him if that’s possible and do everything you can to protect them against his cruel and hostile policies that only benefit him, his allies, and his corporate backers. Trump may value loyalty of his subordinates and supporters, but that doesn’t mean he will return the favor for he’s known to stab people in the back once they cease being useful to him or suddenly become a liability. And though he will provoke controversy to please his base, he will not go out of his way to help his supporters in any meaningful way that doesn’t benefit him in return. Since you’ve been a Marine, I’m sure you can show him what true loyalty means as you represent constituents who may not have voted for you and may not be able to give you anything in return.

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The World According to Stock Photography

antonio-guillem-girl-winning-good-news-stock-photography

While much of my blog has been filled with posts teeming with outrage over what my country has become since President Pussy-Grabber was sworn in to encouraging ICE to separate families at the border and putting children in cages, tent cities, and concentration camps, we should try to maintain our sanity with some fun now and then. No matter how hard it might seem to be. Nonetheless, like Lord Hamsterhair Cheetohead lately, stock photography is everywhere since it consists of photographs that can be licensed for public or commercial use. Whether used in marketing, advertising, or design as long as it’s not illegal or harmful, many graphic designers, web designers, and other professionals frequently take advantage of stock images to fill their design needs. Anyway, most often you’ll find stock photos on professional websites and greeting cards. In fact, it’s a whole industry which started in the 1920s as a way for professional photographers to market outtakes from commercial photo shoots. But many pro photographers today take photos exclusively for stock purposes since a large portfolio can earn a considerable amount of money each month from selling their images through a photography website. Even if the photographer doesn’t add new photos on a regular basis. Still, they have a reputation for being notoriously cheesy and generic with bland happy faces in their diverse workplaces of harmony and in their seemingly perfect but bland families. But there are some stock photos that are too ridiculous to explain or don’t seem to have any applicable purpose whatsoever. So for your reading pleasure, I give you an assortment of crazy stock photos. By the way, some of these might not be safe for work.

  1. “Do you know how to work this thing?”

I’m sure these guys have no idea to function as a news crew. Or they’re just goofing off.

2. Anyone can be a princess.

However, this guy seems to be really pushing the envelope. Still, he rocks the red sash.

3. So what do they call if you cross a dog and a frog?

Yes, I know it’s photoshopped. But you have to wonder about the mad scientist who’d create this freak of nature.

4. It’s been said his brains are made of noodles.

Granted, I love pasta and noodles. But this isn’t the kind candlelight dinner I’d want to participate in.

5. Not all snails travel at a snail’s pace.

This one practically gallops. Oh, wait, why does this one have legs?

6. Apparently, The Shape of Water didn’t get a stellar reception on a small budget.

This is why using CGI is important. Because simply kissing a fish is just ridiculous.

7. There are centaurs and there are these.

Somehow a horse head with a human lower body doesn’t look so good. And I think the centaur would agree with me.

8. Some chick just got puffed.

Guess someone decided to get a large blue fro. The other can’t help but stare.

9. Apparently, Swamp Thing decided to leave the swamp and get a regular job.

Though he’s got a tendency to track in leaves now and then. Here you see him fetching a file.

10. When you’ve been in a car wreck but the boss insists you show up for work on Monday.

Yeah, you can’t really do your office job after you’ve been injured in a number of places. But I guess his workplace doesn’t have paid sick leave.

11. When you’re robbing the place and want to show some color.

From Outbound: “A jaunty cravat makes any robbery a special occasion.” And here he’s stealing a hard drive.

12. Bertha always saw herself as a queen.

She’s even wearing a pink dress and a tiara. But she thinks she looks fabulous.

13. This astronaut has a flight to catch in space.

I see he’s got his luggage with him since he can’t do his laundry at the ISS. Still, why is he wearing a space suit?

14. It’s nice that Jerry has decided to make dinner tonight.

Heard his secret sauce is from an old family recipe. It’s said to include a tablespoon of arsenic, a teaspoon of strychnine, and just a pinch of cyanide.

15. This dog breed is known as a Jacques Rousseau Terriere.

He’s easy to distinguish from the Jack Russell with his curly mustache, his taste in French bread and wine, and his penchant for berets, paintings, and arthouse films. And he doesn’t care for pretentious cheap dog food either.

16. Apparently, the mime has just managed to escape from the jaws of death.

And by “jaws” I mean large chomping mouth of teeth you’d find at a dentist’s office. Doesn’t seem thrilling does it?

17. Seems like this chimp is quite the chatterbox.

“And then I told him, ‘Dude, chill down. It’s not worth flinging your poo over.'”

18. Didn’t know you could play frisbee with your pet turtle.

Apparently, they’re really great at playing fetch for some reason. Don’t really see why since they move like, well, turtles.

19. Wonder how many pictures did they take of him?

Even this kid is baffled. And he sat for the other pictures.

20. Her face is a little cracked.

Let’s hope that her delicate eggshell face cracks don’t lead anything to spill over. Because that would really make a mess.

21. Wearing a watermelon helmet changes everything.

This is especially when you’re wearing goggles and stick your tongue out. Wonder if he’s high on life.

22. And now, a stop-motion version of Romeo and Juliet by director Wes Anderson.

Yes, it consists of two people wearing animal masks and dressed in hipster clothing. Don’t think this will go well for Wes. Unless he casts Owen Wilson as Friar Lawrence.

23. With romantic dinners, there are just some foods you shouldn’t make out with.

Sharing a kiss during a romantic dinner a la Lady and the Tramp is romantic. Sharing a kiss during a chicken dinner is just plain disgusting.

24. Crazy Larry will clean your car and keep it nice and polished.

But don’t you leave anything in it. Or else he’ll take it and pawn it off for some extra cash to support his meth habit. He’s also had an infamous reputation with the ladies and a record of sexual misconduct.

25. During desert nights, beware of the fierce and dreaded cattysnake.

Known to hang around pumpkin patches for some reason. But while they may be cuddly, their bites are deadly.

26. “Take that, you pathetic puppy!”

I kind of feel bad for the dog here. I mean how is anyone going to take him seriously after getting the crap beat out of him by a guy in a banana costume?

27. When your baking has caused your stove to burst into flames but you don’t have a care in the world.

The smoke detector is on the fritz like crazy. But instead of getting the fire extinguisher or calling the fire department, he’s watching the stove burn with a glass of wine.

28. Want to eat a slice of bread with nails?

Of course, you want to eat that. Because you’d find swallowing all those nails as painful as hell.

29. You’re never too old to have fun.

Since when do they have rocking horses in adult size? And since when do old men enjoy going on horsey rides?

30. When you just have to get that last selfie while your friend is about to be burned for a human sacrifice.

“I know you’ll be burned to death, Kyle. But for now, let’s remember the good times before I get the hell out of here.”

31. “Greg, I don’t think you get the meaning of ‘Casual Friday.'”

I mean he’s showed up with messy hair and no shirt. And I’m not sure if he’s even wearing pants or shoes.

32. “Ahhh, grass!”

Yes, she enjoys lying in the grass. Then again, she could be murdered in the middle of nowhere.

33. “Wanna see my pineapple dance?”

Funny, how that one pineapple is conveniently placed in her crotch region. Not to mention, she’s wearing a winter hat.

34. When you’re in a tender embrace with your significant other but are considering other options.

Indeed, they’re hugging each other while checking their phones. Guess that’s modern dating nowadays.

35. “Help! I’m trapped in a jar with exclamation points!”

And I guess she’s trying to figure her way out of there. Though she might be running out of ideas.

36. “Answer the question or I’ll shoot!”

Not exactly the best way to deal with the big questions. Shoot first never works well.

37. “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Business Man!”

Flying in the air faster than a speeding printer and more powerful than a server filled with memoranda. Flying through the sea of finance and willing to save the day from a calamitous paper jam.

38. Presented The Bachelor: Equine Edition.

Watch a bunch of mares compete for the heart of this dashing stallion at this lavish stable. Or as it’s better known: Study Duty.

39. Since she was a little girl, this demonic goblin had a dream to dance.

Here she does her Black Swan dance for the Transylvania Ballet Theater. Graceful isn’t she? Wonder if she’d do well with Gollum.

40. Ever heard of Wendy of Wendy’s? Turns out she has a brother named Wendell.

He’s a certified public accountant at some firm in Cedar Rapids. They don’t talk about him much.

41. “If we should go down, we’ll die together.”

For God’s sake, the two have guns pointed at each other? You can guess they’re going to blow each other’s brains out eventually.

42. A well-dressed mouse should always stand for a portrait.

Though why she has human hands, I have no idea. Though she strikes a regal pose.

43. If you can’t get Bill Nye the Science Guy, here’s Lab Guy Larry.

He’s kind of a poor man’s Bill Nye. Except way more careless and prone to bites from skeletons.

44. This nun seeks prayer and meditation under the sea.

Don’t know how she can be underwater without scuba gear. Not to mention, look serene in that heavy habit.

45. This pampered pooch always has to shop till she drops.

Carrie Pawpaws just has to have those designer dog collars. Not to mention, those fine rawhide bones and squeaky toys.

46. After a career terrorizing Gotham City, the Joker decided to work for Wayne Enterprises as an accountant.

Now whenever he wants to terrorize Gotham, he just embezzles money and commits insider trading. Because white-collar criminals seldom get punished.

47. Open wide for this puffer fish.

Uh, those fish are actually poisonous. So trying to eat one like that is a very easy way to die. But this woman doesn’t get the memo.

48. This boxer has become the reigning champion of his sister’s bedroom.

Or he might just have a girly taste in decorating. You never know. But he doesn’t seem bothered by it either way.

49. Some days you just need to relax with some Post-It Notes.

Notice she has nothing written on them. But she doesn’t give a damn since she’s in her happy place.

50. When you find out that your longtime crush is in a relationship on social media.

Indeed, she feels dead inside. But she can’t really look away. I know she’s getting carried away. Yet, get her time.

51. “Thank God, I saved the crucial paperwork!”

Still, when you’re out in the water, saving the paperwork is the least of your worries. For God’s sake, you’re better off trying to find dry land.

52. “Now, class, when I ring the bell, settle down and I’ll give you candy.”

Not sure if employing Pavlov’s techniques will help. This especially goes if they’re in high school.

53. “Sit down, class, let’s get busy on those physics problems.”

If I had a teacher like that in school, I’d suspect I was in a porno. And that one of my classmates was about to fall victim to statutory rape. Then again, it’s best not to judge by appearances. But come on, would any school let a teacher dress like that?

54. “Sit down, kids, it’s time to learn.”

I guess you won’t have a good time in this guy’s class. Behave or he’ll introduce you to his friend, Mr. Longstick.

55. In the future, people will spend hours marveling and contemplating on corn.

Now I know where that family got their idea for their crazy futuristic corn people Christmas card. Didn’t know it was from a stock photo that made no sense.

56. “All right, don’t move! This is a raid!”

Man, armed robbers and murderers really do start young these days. Also, don’t mind the hand above. My guess is that person is dead.

57. You’ll always have a good time in a string quartet.

Yeah, I don’t think it’s like Sex and the City with stringed instruments and old timey costumes. Yeah, I know it’s really crazy.

58. When it rains, she barely touches the chair.

This stock photo was brought to you by the power and imagination that comes with brown acid. Because someone must’ve been tripping balls to come up with this photo idea.

59. “Paint me like one of your French girls.”

Maybe he should take off his clothes first. Then again, it would still be kind of silly. Except if he had rock hard abs. But I can’t imagine that.

60. For some reason those trapped in jars will either panic or try to get out.

The businessman is especially panicky. The construction worker’s just scaling the walls.

61. I’m positive she’s going out with a bang.

Because that’s what happens when you light a dynamite stick with a cigarette. It’s sure to be explosive.

62. “Oh, shit, I’ve burned the chicken!”

Yet, she’s not wearing oven mitts. While smoke is coming out of the oven.

63. Walk on the moon? That’s so 1969.

So this astronaut has decided to bike on the moon. Not sure if the tires will retain air in the vacuum of space.

64. This Christmas Santa is ditching his sleigh and reindeer for a magic jet.

Because he needs a more efficient way to deliver all those presents on one night. Unfortunately, Rudolph and the other reindeer may not see it that way.

65. Is there a fire? Call the fire lizard.

Well, maybe if the fire is confined to a small tree. Comes complete with his red hat and fire extinguisher.

66. Don’t have a defibrillator? A pair of irons will do.

Still, he seems very excited to use them on his patient. Kind has crazy eyes and a weird smile. This doesn’t look good.

67. Introducing Captain Waggles of the U.S.S. Doggypaddle.

Here he is with a lifejacket and fingers up. Wait a minute, dogs don’t have fingers.

68. It’s said those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

And that people who work in glass offices with glass dividers shouldn’t have sex on the job. Let’s hope neither are married with families.

69. When you’re a TV, it’s always dinner for one.

And I see she’s looking at a TV screen. Kind of twisted if you ask me.

70. Didn’t know that farts can leave a cloud of gas.

And it’s drifting to the flowers. Well, at least we aren’t around when the cheese was cut.

71. “Hello, darkness, my old friend….”

Yet, he lies in his bed on a sheet cake which will get his face covered in icing. But he’s laying awake in existential dread and loneliness.

72. When you’re in the buff and you need to feed your cat.

Notice how the fridge door is conveniently placed over him. Just so he can give his cat some meat.

73. “Okay, let’s put our helmets together.”

Yet, they’re clad in high heels and dresses. Not exactly what you’d wear on a motorcycle.

74. Chipmunks like to get it on at the copier.

Don’t know about you. But I’ve got a feeling those at the office will be seeing some chipmunk porn sometime in the near future.

75. Today’s Special: Head.

And she’s in a styrofoam tray covered in plastic wrap. Just like meat at the grocery store.

76. Seems like her lower body isn’t attached to the rest of her.

Yet, she seems to awe at that after the magician sawed her in half. Unfortunately, he couldn’t put her back together.

77. “Excuse me, you dirty whore, but that’s my boyfriend you’re fucking.”

The guy’s like, “Honey, you’re early. Nancy and I were just having a discussion on….adoptions.”

78. Sometimes you can type what you want from the screen.

And the cat’s just staring dumbfounded at the screen. Like it must’ve accidentally drank a milk dish with acid.

79. “Wanna share a cold one with me on the road?”

This guy’s getting so busted if police pull him over. Because drunk driving is dangerous and has killed people.

80. If you want to keep your kids safe on the internet.

My mistake. If you see your kid in night-vision goggles and a tinfoil hat, you best send your kid to a therapist. Otherwise, he might grow up into a full-blown conspiracy theorist like Alex Jones.

81. This guy really wants to see what’s in this laptop.

On the bright side, at least he can’t steal your online data. Only commit deliberate physical sabotage.

82. Behind a dumpster in an alley, an astronaut seeks a horse genie.

The genie grants the spaceman 3 wishes in exchange for a lifetime supply of hay and sugar cubes. Also it shits gold.

83. Someone’s in deep denial on their baldness.

Since he’s using a comb that he doesn’t need. Because he already shaves his head.

84. “All right, Eileen, let’s settle this with an umbrella fight on the roof.”

However, they’re attempting a showdown during a thunderstorm. Not the smartest thing to do, especially if lightning strikes one of them.

85. Here’s the new face of Wall Street Finance with an office at Suite 666.

Still, ladies, I’d stay away from that guy if I were you. Since his looks could kill while his demonic eyes show he’s up to no good.

86. “Jason, I didn’t know your dick was that huge!”

Please don’t tell me that guys look at each other’s dicks in the men’s room. Because I don’t know what to make of this photo.

87. You’d almost swear he takes after his father.

The resemblance is so uncanny. Maybe because they photoshopped the dad’s face to the son.

88. This takes getting canned to a whole new level.

Having to work in a trash can must really suck. But this guy’s taking it in stride.

89. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Malware.

Apparently, wizards can now use and repair computers. While Harry’s not hunting dark wizards, he’s working part-time as an IT guy at the Ministry of Magic.

90. When you have to return to work from a business summit at a nudist colony.

Yeah, that has to be embarrassing. And he only has a briefcase to cover his genitals. Too bad everyone else will see his butt.

91. “Come on, y’all! Let’s take the tennis court back from the jocks!”

With a tennis racket in one and an AR-15 in the other, Bridget leads the punk tennis revolution. It was a glorious moment for goths, punks, and emos everywhere.

92. At the office some men may deflate and lose their spines.

And here is a 100% accurate depiction of a Republican Congressman in Trump’s America. If you’re represented by one, it’s time to vote them out of office in November.

93. Ever have to be deep in thought against a toilet in the middle of the desert?

From Bored Panda: “This is the state of mind one enters at 3am after having crawled home from that awesome night out, spent the last half hour hugging the bowl, then suddenly you become the universe, the whole universe and everything in it.”

94. “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

Where’s Life Alert where you need it? Also, Grandma’s not coming to Christmas this year.

95. “Must sniff donut sugar..”

Seems like someone has a problem with white powder donuts. Someone better give her an intervention.

96. Old people enjoy their retirement with a gun over a rabbit that’s cared for life.

It’s only a matter of time until they get the gun back together and shoot the rabbit dead. So run, bunny, run! Or it’s kill the rabbit and rabbit stew.

97. The Lord taketh, the Lord poseth for selfie.

I can’t even list all the things wrong with this. Also, can I see a selfie of Jesus with his disciples at the Last Supper?

98. Now you can surf the net while riding the waves.

Still, I don’t think he’ll fare so well when he has to ride the big wave. But at least he’s sent his 3rd quarter expense reports.

99. “Just one more picture before we shut the trunk for our escape.”

Luckily for Marvin, his kidnappers were dumb enough to post a photo of a him in a trunk and brag about abducting him on social media. So police will find him and bring him home in no time.

100. When you’re baking cookies while trying to survive the fallout from the apocalypse.

Though the cookies might be a bit radioactive. But sometimes that’s a risk you must be willing to take in the bunker.

The Strange Matter of Stock Buybacks

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Within the last 40 years as economic power shifted from workers to owners, corporate profits take of the US economy has more than doubled. Yet, despite corporate profits at an all-time high, job growth remains anemic, wages are flat, and the country can’t even afford its basic needs. A $3.6 trillion budget shortfall has left many roads, bridges, dams, and other public infrastructure in disrepair. Federal spending on economically crucial research has plummeted by 40%. Public college tuition has more than doubled since the 1980s, burying recent graduates under $1.2 trillion in student debt. Not to mention, many public schools along with police and fire departments are dangerously underfunded. So where did all the money go? After all, public companies have nearly $2 trillion in cash just sitting on their balance sheets. So Corporate America has the resources to deploy a lot of money, invest in new technologies to draw growth, give workers a much-needed raise across the board, hire and train employees, build new facilities, pay off loans, pay shareholders, and pay taxes to the government.

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Since the 1980s, stock buybacks have grown in popularity on Wall Street as this graph shows. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren told The Boston Globe, “stock buybacks create a sugar high for the corporations. It boosts prices in the short run, but the real way to boost the value of a corporation is to invest in the future, and they are not doing that.”

But no. Instead, companies keep spending more and more money on stock buybacks. Once illegal and considered insider trading until 1982, stock buybacks have become increasingly popular especially since the 2008 recession. Today, these buybacks have become one of the biggest trends in the post-financial-crisis stock market and the largest source of net demand since 2009. Since 2010, 1,900 companies have spent money on buybacks and dividends with a combined return of capital to shareholders for them equaling 113% of capital spending. So much that a growing number of companies are borrowing money to fund the buybacks. Thanks to Donald Trump’s massive corporate tax cuts, American companies have lavished Wall Street with $171 billion of stock buyback announcements this year, a record high. All in all, Corporate America has pledged 30 times more buying back its own stock than investing in its workforces. Thus, the money these companies make through their financial manipulations drives record-level profits.

Proponents say they reward these long-term shareholders by effectively increasing their company ownership and help boost a stock’s value by raising its earnings per share. When there’s no other compelling use for a company’s cash, this is a better alternative than risky spending or other big investments. But its critics think that buybacks only make things look better than they seem. Indeed, the EPS rise but not because earnings are growing. In other words, they just exist to make shareholders feel better but nothing really changes. Even some of their fiercest proponents claim they’re overused. And in recent years, evidence shows that buybacks haven’t helped boost stock values at all. Other critics argue that buybacks result in companies acting more like banks that hold assets and earn interests and less like a business making money off selling goods and services. Or invest their profits in their workforce and other productive ventures. According to the Academic-Industry Network’s William Lazonick, “Buybacks are not beneficial or necessary to household savers with diversified investments. The only ones who benefit are those who dump shares and are strictly in the business of timing.”

What are stock buybacks?

Also known as a “share repurchase,” is a company’s buying back its shares from the marketplace. Think of it as a company investing it itself or using its cash to buy its own shares. The concept is simple: because a company can’t be its own shareholder, it absorbs repurchased shares and reduces the number of outstanding shares on the market. When this happens, each investor’s relative ownership stake increases on the company’s earnings.

How are stock buybacks carried out?

They’re made in 2 ways:

1. Tender Offer– company may present shareholders with a portion of all their shares within a certain time frame. This will stipulate both the share number the company wants to repurchase and the price range they’re willing to pay (almost always at a premium to a market price). When investors take up the offer, they’ll state how many shares they want to tender along with the price they’re willing to accept. Once the company has received all the offers, it’ll find the right mix to buy the shares at the lowest cost. Tender offers can be a way for executives with substantial ownership stakes and care about a company’s long-term competitiveness to take advantage of the low stock price and concentrate ownership in their own hands. This can free them from Wall Street’s pressure to maximize short-term profits and allow them to invest in the business. But they should only be made when the share price is below the company’s intrinsic value of its productive capabilities and the company is profitable enough to repurchase the shares without impeding its real investment plans.

2. Open Market– company buys shares on the open market just like an individual investor would at market price. It’s important to know that when a company announces a buyback, the market usually perceives it as a positive thing, causing the stock price to shoot up. 95% of buybacks are these. Yet, they often come at the expense of investment in productive capabilities and aren’t good for long-term shareholders. When I discuss stock buybacks, I’m usually referring to the open market variety which used to be illegal and considered insider trading until 1982.

3. Dutch Auction– an alternative form of tender offer which specifies a price range within which the shares will be bought. Shareholders are invited to tender their stock if they wish at any price within it. The firm then compiles the responses, creating a demand curve for the stock. The purchase price is the lowest price allowing the firm to buy shares sought in the offer. And the firm pays that price to all investors who tendered at or below that price. If the share number exceeds the number sought, the company buys less than all shares at or below the purchase price on a pro rata basis to all tendering at these rates. If too few shares are tendered, the firm either cancels the offer or buys back all the tendered shares at the maximum price.

Why would a company want to use buybacks?

A firm’s management may tell you that a buyback is the best use of capital at a time since their goal is to maximize returns for shareholders. Buybacks generally increase shareholder value, at least on the surface. The prototypical line in a buyback press release is “we don’t see any better investment than in ourselves.” This can sometimes be the case but it’s not always true. Nonetheless, there are still sound motives driving companies to buy back shares. Management might think the market has discounted its share price too deeply due to weaker-than-expected-earning results, an accounting scandal, or a poor overall economic climate. Thus, when a company spends millions of dollars buying up its own shares, it means management believes the market has gone too far discounting its shares. More importantly, share buybacks can be a fairly low-risk approach to use extra cash since reinvesting money into R&D or a new product can be very risky. If these hard-earned investments don’t pay off, then that hard-earned cash goes down the drain. Using cash to pay for acquisitions can also be perilous. Mergers hardly live up to their expectations.

Another reason is that companies don’t want to just sit on money, much for the same reason that investors don’t like holding piles of cash either: inflation erodes cash value, so putting it to work makes sense. During periods of economic growth, it’s better to allocate profits to capital (like a factory) or labor as an investment to the firm’s future. But it’s also risky because the economy could worsen. Though I’m not sure if I actually agree with this since I think stagnant wages are part of why the economy isn’t getting any better. So in periods of economic uncertainty, companies choose to give the cash to their shareholders, which should’ve went to their workers. As the head of S&P Investment Services Mike Thompson told Business Insider in 2016, “In an environment like this return cash to shareholders keeps them pleased with the short-term gains while not committing to large investments that could hurt performance.”

Increased Shareholder Value– there are many ways to value a profitable company but the most common measurements is Earnings Per Share (EPS). If earnings are flat but the number of outstanding shares decreases.

Increased Float– as the number of outstanding shares decreases, the remaining shares represent the float’s largest percentage. Increased demand and less supply means a potentially higher stock price.

Excess Cash– buybacks are usually financed with a company’s excess cash, demonstrating that it doesn’t have a cash flow problem. More importantly, it signals that executives feel that cash re-invested will get a better return than alternative investments.

Improving Financial Ratios– or improving metrics upon which the market seems heavily focused on, which is questionable. If reducing shares isn’t done to create more value for shareholders but rather make financial ratios look better, the management likely has a problem. However, if a company’s motive for initiating a buyback program is sound, its financial ratio improvement in the process might be the result of a good corporate decision. For one, share buybacks reduce outstanding shares. Once a company buys these, it often cancels them or keeps them as treasury shares. They also reduce assets on the balance sheet and increase return on assets and equity. They also improve a company’s price-earnings ratio as the market often thinks lower is better.

Dilution– another reason for a buyback may be a company’s wish to reduce the dilution often caused by generous employee stock option plans. Bull markets and strong economies often create a very competitive labor market. So companies have to compete to retain personnel and ESOPs which comprise of many compensation packages. Stock options increase the share number when exercised, which weakens a company’s financial disposition.

Price Support– companies with buyback programs in place use market weakness to buy back shares more aggressively during market pullbacks. This reflects confidence that a company has and alerts investors that it believes the stock is cheap. Often a company will buy back its stock after taking a hit, which is an overt action to take advantage of discount prices on its shares. This lends support to the stock’s price and ultimately provides security for long-term investors for rough times.

Higher Stock Prices– an increased in EPS will often alert investors that a stock is undervalued or has the potential for increasing in value. The most common result is an increase in demand and an upward movement in the stock’s price.

Tax Benefit– while a buyback is similar to a dividend in many ways, it has a major advantage over dividends of a lower capital gains tax rate. Whereas dividends are taxed at ordinary income tax rates.

Does that mean stock buybacks are good?

Not necessarily. Sometimes buybacks can be a great thing if a stock truly is undervalued and represents the best possible investment for a company. But a company must meet certain specific conditions:

1. The stock should be trading at price to economic book value below 1, meaning that the company is buying back shares for cents on the dollar.

2. The company’s balance sheet and free cash flow should be strong enough to support a buyback without jeopardizing future liquidity or investment opportunities.

3. The company should have more cash than it does profitable investment opportunities.

One company meeting all three criteria is Oracle who bought back $8.1 billion in stock (5% of its market cap), reducing outstanding shares by 120 million. Its shares currently trade at a PEBV of 0.9, meaning it’s buying back shares at a 10% discount rate to their zero-growth value. With $50 billion in excess cash on its balance sheet and $9 billion in annual free cash flow, Oracle has more than enough cash on hand to support its buyback program, and more than it could reasonably hope to profitably invest in the near term as of 2016. Oracle’s buybacks don’t just serve their shareholders’ interests, they also benefit the overall economy. When a company with excess cash and few investment opportunities buys back its stock, it puts that cash back in the marketplace for individual investors to distribute to companies needing capital. In buying back billions of dollars in its own stock, Oracle cheaply retired its shares without comprising its ability to invest in future growth.

While there are buybacks that make sense from a capital allocation standpoint and serve the investors’ best interests like in Oracle’s case, these are normally the exception rather than the rule. In fact most companies buying back stock aren’t in Oracle’s situation. If a company merely uses buybacks to prop up ratios, provide short-term relief to an ailing stock price, or get out from under excess dilution, watch out. Oftentimes, they can be a downright bad idea and can hurt shareholders. This can happen when buybacks are done in the following situations:

1. When Shares Are Overvalued– companies should only pursue buybacks when their shares are undervalued. A company that buys overvalued stock destroys shareholder value and would be better off paying that cash out as a dividend, so that investors can more effectively invest it. As Warren Buffett said to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in 1999, “Buying dollar bills for $1.10 is not good business for those who stick around.”

2. To Boost Earnings Per Share– since buybacks can boost EPS, a company stock buyback in the market reduces outstanding share count. This means earnings are distributed among fewer shares, raising EPS. Thus, many investors applaud share buybacks since they see increasing EPS as a surefire approach to raising share value. However, contrary to popular belief, increasing EPS doesn’t raise fundamental value. Companies must spend cash to buy these shares. In turn, investors must adjust their valuations to reflect reductions in both cash and shares. Sooner or later this cancels out any EPS impact. In other words, lowering cash earnings divided between fewer shares won’t produce any net change to EPS. Of course, a major buyback announcement generates plenty of excitement since a prospect of even short-term EPS can give share prices a pop-up. But unless the buyback is wise, the only gains go to those investors selling their shares on the news. There’s little if any benefit for long-term shareholders.

3. To Benefit Executives– many executives get the bulk of their compensations from stock options. As a result, buybacks can serve a goal: while stock options are exercised, buyback programs absorb the excess stock and offset dilution of existing share values and any potential reduction in EPS. By mopping up extra stock and keeping EPS, buybacks are a convenient way for executives to maximize their own wealth as well as maintain share value and options. Some executives may even be tempted to pursue share buybacks to boost share buybacks to boost the share price in the short-term and sell their shares. In addition, big bonuses that CEOs receive are often linked to share price gains and increased EPS. Thus, they have an incentive to pursue buybacks even when there are many ways to spend the cash or when their shares are overvalued.

4. Buybacks Using Borrowed Money– the temptation using debt to finance EPS can be hard to resist for executives. The company might believe that the cash flow it uses to pay off the debt will keep growing, bringing shareholder funds back into line with borrowings in due course. If they’re right, they’ll look smart. If they’re wrong, investors will get hurt. Moreover, managers assume that their companies’ shares are undervalued regardless of the price. When done with borrowing, share buybacks can hurt credit ratings, since they drain cash reserves that can serve as a cushion when times get tough. One of the reasons given for taking on increased debt to fund a share buyback is that it’s more efficient since the debt’s interest is tax deductible. However, all debts must be repaid at some time. Because what gets a company into financial difficulties isn’t lack of profits but lack of cash. With debt, buybacks become more complicated which doubles the risk since a firm’s leverage levels may cause financial distress in the future and harm shareholders in the long-term.

5. To Fend Off an Aquirer– in some cases, a leveraged buyback can be used as a means to fend off a hostile bidder. The company takes on significant additional to repurchases stocks through a buyback program. Such leveraged buybacks can be successful in thwarting hostile bids by both raising the share value and adding a great deal of unwanted debt to the company’s balance sheet.

6. There Is Nowhere Else to Put the Money– it’s very hard to imagine a scenario where buybacks are a good idea, except when a company feels like its share price is far too low. But if the company’s right about undervalued shares, they’ll probably recover anyway. Thus, companies buying back shares are, in effect, admitting that they can’t invest their spare cash flow effectively. Even the most generous buyback program is worth little for shareholder if it’s done in the midst of poor financial performance, a difficult business environment, or a decline in the company’s profitability. By giving EPS a temporary lift, share buybacks can soften the blow. But they can’t reverse things when a company is in trouble.

Why do companies actually use buybacks?

In theory, corporations should have a distinct advantage over the rest of the market when buying back shares. After all, executives know their industry, the company’s challenges, and their strategic plans better than anyone else. This should enable them to buy their stock when it’s cheap and not when it’s overvalued.

But most companies carry out buybacks for reasons that have nothing to do with maximizing shareholder value. Pressure to hit short-term earnings targets and executive compensation plans often incentivize the wrong metrics which often push companies to buy back stock when it’s most expensive and the money could be better used elsewhere. This is what the Harvard Business Review calls “The Overvaluation Trap.” Data shows that companies buy back more stock during booms and sell them during market crashes. In this way, less like the knowledgeable executives and more like panicky and underperforming investors.

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This 2016 Forbes graph of GE stock buybacks and its valuation. You can see that instead taking the traditional investor advice of “buy low, sell high,” they actually have bought high and sold low. As a result, their stock has lost value.

A graph from Forbes shows this value-destroying behavior for General Electric by comparing between the amount of money spent buying back shares and the price to economic book value, a measure of growth expectations embedded in the stock price. As this graph illustrates, GE bought back an incredible $12.3 billion worth of stock in 2007, just before the market crashed. At the start of the bull market in 2009, the company sold off $600 million worth of its own stock. Throughout the last decade, you can see a high correlation between how expensive GE’s stock is versus current cash flows and how much stock the company buys back. Overall, in the last decade, GE bought back $44 billion of its own shares (17% of its market cap). Yet, its stock fell by 15% over that same time. By inefficiently utilizing valuable capital to buy back stock at inflated prices, GE destroyed value for long-term shareholders. When a company’s equity is overvalued, its executives have to scramble to justify that expensive price. One way to do that is by artificially boosting the EPS through share buybacks. As this Forbes graph above shows, GE does this effectively as the company managed to hit or beat EPS in 15 out of past 16 quarters.

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Business Insider’s graph on IBM also shows how buybacks might make the EPS look good as the number of outstanding shares drops. Despite that the net income has fallen, which isn’t a good sign in most businesses.

Another case is IBM who spent $4.6 billion in 2015 and $125 billion in the decade prior as of 2016. According to a Business Insider graph, from 2010 to 2015, its total share count was down by about a fifth while earnings per share rose 15%. Yet, in that same period, IBM’s actual income went down 11% as sales fell, too. As a result, IBM has lost about $50 billion in market value since 2013, or about 30%.

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Since executive pay is often tied to stock compensation, top Wall Street execs have often been pressured to do buybacks to increase their coffers. Even if it makes no strategic financial sense. It’s part of a phenomenon called greed. This is a Bloomberg graph of IBM’s CEO compensation.

Also, many companies have executive compensation packages incentivizing excessive share buybacks, either directly or indirectly. In GE’s case, a percentage of its bonuses depends on the company returning a certain amount of cash to shareholders. In 2014, executives had to make sure combined dividends and buybacks hit at least $10 billion to get their full bonus, even if that decision made no strategic sense. But it makes perfect sense in regards to greed. Because when share prices go up, CEOs reap a bonanza so the value of their pay also rises in what amounts to a retroactive and off the books pay increase on top of their already humongous compensation packages. As a result, the very people we rely on to make investments in the productive capabilities that will increase our shared prosperity are squandering most of their companies’ profits for their own prosperity. The Academic-Industry Network’s William Lazonick told The American Prospect, “All of those trillions of dollars flowing out of companies are being used to build the war chests of hedge-fund activists for further buybacks or [giving them more] money to play around with on derivatives. When you connect the dots, it’s part of bigger process. This is really a long-run problem that helps to explain concentration of income at top because it’s getting made off the stock market.

Other companies incentivize share buybacks through emphasizing metrics that can be easily manipulated and have little impact on shareholder value. For example, Cisco executives are judge in part on their ability to grow adjusting operating income, adjusted EPS, and operating cash flow. That term “adjusted” is crucial since Cisco uses metrics for judging executive performance exclude share-based compensation. Meaning that executives can pay employees (and themselves) with stock instead of cash, buy back shares to offset dilution, and increase these adjusted metrics to improve real operating performance. In 2015, Cisco bought back 155 million shares. But after effects of employee stock compensation, it only reduced the total outstanding shares by 38 million. So all those buybacks are just trickery executives use to boost their own bonuses.

And it’s not just GE, IBM, and Cisco. According to FactSet data by Andrew Birstingal, the performance of companies engaging in buybacks has been disappointing. “In the past year, companies repurchasing shares saw an excess weighted cumulative return of -1.9% relative to the benchmark, while companies not repurchasing shares saw a return of 9.8% relative to the benchmark,” he said in 2016. On a three-year horizon, those companies buying back shares ended up with a -2.9% return against 11.5% gain for those not buying back stock. A study found that companies completing buybacks outperformed their benchmark before 2001. Yet, those who completed buybacks between 2002 and 2006 didn’t generate better returns since that time than those who didn’t. Based on this research, buybacks aren’t helping share prices in either short- or long-term.

However, the cost of buybacks doesn’t just come from overpriced stock losses, but also from missed opportunities to invest growth and innovation. Over the past decade, AT&T bought back $50 billion in stock which could’ve been used to improve its wireless network quality and catch up with Verizon which doesn’t buy back stock. All those buybacks didn’t keep AT&T from underperforming versus Verizon and the broader market. We tend to think of buybacks as a sign of success proving a company has plenty of cash to throw around. In reality, they amount to admission of failure for a company buying back stock signals the market that it lacks profitable investment opportunities.

So what’s the deal with stock buybacks and the economy?

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Stock buybacks don’t give any incentives for companies to use profits in improving their enterprise and raising workers’ wages. The frequency of buybacks have led to increased economic inequality and more money going to the 1%.

Before the Security and Exchange Commission loosened regulations that gave companies an ability to repurchase stock without facing charges of stock manipulation and a shift toward stock-based compensation toward top executives, corporate money flowed through the broader economy in the form of higher wages or increased investments in plants and equipment. But today, these stock buybacks drain millions of dollars of windfall profits out of the real economy and into a paper-asset bubble. This inflates share prices while producing nothing of tangible value. Corporate managers have always been pressured to grow earnings per share, but where once the only option was the hard work of actually growing earnings by selling better products and services, they can now simply manipulate their EPS by reducing the number of outstanding shares. As a result, it has become a gigantic game of “keep away” with CEOs and shareholders tossing a $700 billion ball back and forth over American workers, whose wages as a share of GDP have fallen in almost exact proportion to profits’ raise. Since buybacks give firms no incentives to share their profits with the workers who truly invest in these companies, pouring their lives into them each day for pay increases and stable opportunities. Or the taxpayers who have an interest in whether a corporation that uses government funding can turn a profit that allow it to pay taxes. As the Academic-Industry Network’s William Lazonick told The American Prospect, “The issue is what are they not doing when they do stock buybacks. What they’re not doing is keeping people employed longer, paying them more, and giving them more benefits. There’s a direct connection between the decline of those norms and the rise of buybacks and the legitimized ideology of ‘Shareholder First.’” Over the last decade, 94% of company profits have gone to shareholders through buybacks and dividends.

This practice isn’t just unfair to Americans, but also to individual harmful to both companies and the American economy. A 40-year obsession with “shareholder value maximization” stock buybacks and excessive dividends have reduced business investment and boosted inequality. Now almost all firms carry out investment through retained earnings. Thus, diverting cash flow to stock buybacks has inevitably resulted in lower rates of business investment. And since the 1980s, corporations have bought back more equity than they’ve issued, representing a net negative equity flow. In other words, shareholders aren’t providing capital to the corporate sector like they should. They’re extracting it. Meanwhile the shift to stock-based compensation helped drive the 1%’s rise by inflating the ratio of CEO-to-worker compensation from 20 to 1 in 1965 to 300 to 1 today. Labor’s steady falling share of GDP has depressed consumer demand, resulting in slower economic growth. It’s mathematically impossible to make the public- and private- sector investments necessary to sustain America’s global economic competitiveness while flushing away 4% of its GDP year after year. If the US is to achieve growth distributing income equitably and providing stable employment, government and business must take steps bringing stock buybacks and executive pay under control. The nation’s economic health depends on it.

What should be done about stock buybacks?

The federal government must reorient its policies from promoting personal enrichment to enhancing national growth. Such policies should limit stock buybacks and raise the marginal rate on dividends while providing real incentives to boost R&D investment, worker training, and business expansion.

According to a 2014 Harvard Business Review, a good first step would be an extensive SEC study of the possible damage that open market buybacks have done to capital formation, industrial corporations, and the US economy over the past 3 decades. For instance, during the amount of stock taken out of the market has exceeded the amount issued in almost every year. From 2004-2013, this net withdrawal averaged $316 billion a year. Overall, the stock market isn’t functioning as a funding source for corporate investment.

Another measure we need to do is reining in stock-based pay which should be very limited. Many studies have shown that large companies usually use the same set of consultants to benchmark executive compensation and that each consultant recommends that the client pay its CEO well above average (which is what CEOs want to hear). Thus, compensation inevitably ratchets up over time. They also show that even declines in stock price increase executive pay. So when a company’s stock price falls, the board stuff even more options and stock awards into top executives’ packages, claiming that it must ensure they won’t jump ship and will do whatever necessary to get the stock price up. A 1991 SEC decision allowing top executives to keep gains from immediately selling stock acquired from options only reinforces their overriding personal interest to boost stock prices. Because corporations aren’t required to disclose daily buyback activity, it gives executives the opportunity to trade to trade undetected on inside information about when buybacks are in progress. The SEC at least should stop allowing executives to sell stock immediately after options are exercised. And incentive compensation should be subject to performance criteria reflecting investment in innovative capabilities, not stock performance.

But more importantly, we must transform boards determining other executive compensation. Boards are currently dominated by other CEOs with strong bias toward ratifying higher pay packages for years. When approving enormous distributions to shareholders and stock-based pay for top executives, these executives believe they’re acting in shareholders’ interests. And that’s a big part of the problem. The vast majority of shareholders are simply investors in outstanding shares who can easily sell their stock when they want to lock up gains or minimize losses. Since taxpayers and workers are the people truly investing in the productive capabilities of corporations, they need to have seats on boards of directors. Their representatives would have the insights and incentives to ensure that executives allocate resources to investments in capabilities most likely to generate innovations and value.

If business leaders want to maintain broad support for business, they must acknowledge that a corporation’s purpose isn’t to enrich the few, but to benefit many. Once America’s CEOs refocus on growing their companies over their share prices, shareholder value will take care of itself and all Americans will share in the economy’s benefits. The corporate allocation process is America’s source of economic security or insecurity whether its people like it or not. If Americans want an economy in which corporate profits result in its shared prosperity, the buyback and executive compensation binges will have to end. Sure executives will complain like whiny babies. But the best executives might actual get satisfaction being paid a reasonable salary allocating resources in ways sustaining the enterprise, providing higher standards of living to the workers who make it succeed, and produce tax revenues for the governments providing it with crucial perks.

The Vultures of Wall Street

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For the United States in 2017, the economy is growing, unemployment is low, and consumer confidence is at a decade-long high. Though this would normally create a retail boom, more chains are filing for bankruptcy and rated distressed than at the height of the Great Recession. Cities across the country are facing 6,800 store closings which has become known as the retail apocalypse. This year 19 retail companies have declared bankruptcy including Radio Shack, The Limited, Payless, and Toys “R” Us. Naturally people like to point at Amazon but e-commerce sales in the second quarter only hit 8.9% of sales. So it’s not like these stores are necessarily hurting for business despite declining sales. Besides, most of the retailers already have online stores.

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Here’s a chart on the stores closing due to the retail apocalypse. Though we often blame Amazon for this and declining sales, the real cause for this is far more insidious than you can even imagine.

However, the real reason why so many companies are sick has little to do with technological disruption. Rather with debt and a predatory financial scheme. Over the past decade, private equity firms bought numerous chain stores and loaded them up with unsustainable debt payments as part of their business strategy. Billions of dollars of this debt comes due within the next few years. As Bloomberg wrote in a recent article, “If today is considered a retail apocalypse, then what’s coming next could truly be scary.” The retail sector has already lost hundred thousand jobs from October 2016 to April 2017. In the following June, 1,000 stores closed within a week. And it will only get worse. This year only $100 million in retail debt came due this year. But there will be $1.9 billion next year and $5 billion on average due between 2019-2025. This threatens retail sales and cashiers who make up 6% of the entire US workforce and a total of 8 million jobs. And since these workers aren’t confined to any one region, the entire country will share their pain. In the Pittsburgh area where I live, 26.8% of retail loans are delinquent. States like Michigan, Illinois, West Virginia, and Ohio are among the hardest hit where retail employment has declined over the last decade and those will likely spread. Meanwhile, any states like Florida, Arkansas, and Nevada have overly relied on retail for job growth and will feel more pain as the fallout deepens. States like Alabama, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Mississippi, and South Carolina have the highest concentration of cashiers. As the debt comes due, expect more displaced low-income workers, shrinking local tax bases, and investor losses on stocks, bonds, and real estate.

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The tragedy of Sears is a major example of how private equity can be so insidious. Once a retail bastion, it’s now facing bankruptcy thanks to overbearing debt and mismanagement by hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert.

The most famous example of this is Sears which is now closing hundreds of stores and facing bankruptcy. Once a bastion in America’s consumer-based economy, it has been run to the ground by none other than hedge-fund king Eddie Lampert. A former Yale roommate of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, arranged the Sears-Kmart merger and immediately started shifting revenue to shareholders. In addition, he spent $6 billion on stock buybacks to reward investors and raise the share price. More importantly, Lampert personally lent billions to Sears Kmart which increased its corporate debt. As its in-store sales lagged, Sears sold off major assets like its Craftsman brand tools and Land’s End outdoor equipment to pay for the loans. He also split ownership of 266 Sears and Kmart buildings into a real estate investment firm called Seritage. Last year, Sears and Kmart stores paid $200 million in rent on these properties they once owned which ate up its operating revenue. Even as Sears’ very existence is in question, Lampert will likely come out ahead. He’s enjoyed fees from all the lending to Sears and he’ll recoup more money in any restructuring even if Sears has to sell off inventory to do it. As Seritage’s shareholder, Lambert’s hedge funds can profit from higher rents charged to new retail outlets moving into shuttered Sears and Kmart locations. In fact just this year, a Kmart near where I lived and used to shop closed down and I knew some people who worked there.

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This is a Kmart store in Rostraver Township, Pennsylvania that’s near where I live. On June 7, 2017, it was announced this store was closing. I’ve shopped at this place on many occasions and knew some of the people who worked there. Kind of a shame. I’ve also heard that the Kmart in Mount Pleasant Township closed earlier this year as well. Kind of a shame.

Sears’s mismanagement reflects an ongoing pattern of private equity takeover artists benefitting from crippling the companies they purchase. Golden Gate Capital and Blum Capital, the 2 firms behind Payless, paid them $700 million in dividends in 2012 and 2013 on the company’s back. Payless filed for bankruptcy this year and closed 400 stores. Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy in September unable to sustain between $400-$500 million in annual interest payments on $5.2 billion long-term debt. Private equity firms, including Bain Capital and longtime firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, stripped out nearly $2 billion in cash as debt levels rose. And Toy “R” Us’s profitability was increasing when it filed for Chapter 11 since sales in the toy sector had been rising annually by 5% over the past 5 years.

Toys R US To Close 87 Stores

Toys “R” Us wasn’t among the worst casualties in the retail apocalypse. But its filing for bankruptcy in September came as a shock because its profitability had increased and its business was mostly stable. However, the real reason was that the toy store chain was overburdened with debt to private equity firms that bought it out in 2005.

What you see is a robbery in progress. Private equity firms borrow massively to buy companies and use corporate cash reserves to pay themselves back. Workers contributing the value to the business see nothing but the possible job cut since companies usually cut staff to service the debt. When the company collapses under the borrowing weight, all workers lose their jobs even when sales are up. Though troubled retailers have billions of borrowings on their balanced sheets like Sears, sustaining that load will only become more difficult even for healthy chains like Toys “R” Us. Private equity firms defend that their business model returns companies to fiscal health thanks to superior management. But this isn’t what we see in the retail apocalypse. Retail firms typically roll over debt to buy time and avoid bankruptcy. However, interest rates have increased since the last set of buyouts several years ago, making that prospect more expensive. Now these overleveraged companies are finding it difficult for anyone to agree to refinance. As a result, delinquent payments on shopping centers and other commercial real estate have spiked as high as one quarter of all loans in some parts of the country.

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This is a map from Bloomberg showing the concentration of retail jobs all over the country from 2016. Due to private equity overleveraging, the retail apocalypse will only get worse as debts come due. This could mean millions of Americans losing their jobs.

Yet, private equity firms don’t receive a lot of attention which is why I devised this handy FAQ for you to look at. If there is a reason we should care about private equity firms, is that they play a huge role in our economy. Though not all PE firms aren’t predatory finance schemes, many are. And the fact they’re less regulated than banks only exacerbates matters when these vulture capitalists put a company under. Predatory financial schemes hurt everyone. They kill jobs and businesses as well as ruin communities and whole economies. As of 2012, private equity firms own companies employing about 1 out of 10 Americans. This makes them hugely important since they’re basically America’s biggest employers. If you work for a PE-owned company, you might stand a chance of losing your job within the next few years. Now I’m not a fan of corporate America and have the criticized the retail industry for mistreating their workers on shit wages, unpredictable schedules, and anti-union activities. But I understand the retail industry does play a key role in the US economy. Even a shit job like cashier is a job nonetheless. And people rely on these jobs to support their families. Thus, I believe we need to understand what these private equity firms do and how many of them can be a business’s best friend or its worst nightmare. So here is a handy FAQ for reference. Besides, since millions of Americans will lose their jobs over private equity activities, they should know the truth as to why.

What is a private equity firm?

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This is a diagram of a private equity firm business model. Though I suppose more of an advertisement since it seems to create a positive image.

A private equity firm is an investment management company that provides financial backing and makes investments in the private equity of startup or operating companies through an array of loosely affiliated investment strategies. Usually described as a financial sponsor, each firm takes a bunch of money for a private equity fund and buys up these companies. They do this by usually matching rich people and institutions with more money than they know what to do with to middle market companies who need access to a steady flow of cash. First, the equity firm buys the company through an auction. Second, the firm then increases the company’s value whether through upgrading its accounting system, a procurement process and information technology, or laying off workers and closing unprofitable operations. In return, the private equity firm will receive a periodic management fee and a 20% share in the profits earned. With their investors, private equity firms will acquire a controlling or substantial minority position in a company and then look to maximize that investment’s value. And they generally receive a return on their investment through one or more of the following (if they’re lucky):

Initial Public Offering (IPO)- company’s shares are offered to the public, typically providing a partial immediate realization to the financial sponsor and public market into which it can later sell additional shares. Through his process, a privately held company transforms into a public one. IPOs are usually used by companies to raise the expansion of capital, possibly to monetize investments of early private investors, and become publicly traded enterprises. Companies selling shares are never required to repay its capital to public investors who pass money between each other afterwards. Although an IPO offers many advantages, there also significant disadvantages such as the costs usually associated with the process and the requirement to disclose information that could provide helpful information to competitors. Details of the proposed offering are disclosed to potential purchasers in the form of a lengthy document known as a prospectus. Most companies undertake an IPO with assistance from an investment firm acting in the capacity of an underwriter. Since underwriters provide several services like help with correctly assessing share value and establishing a public market for shares.

Merger and Acquisition (M&A)- one company is sold for either cash or shares in another. As an aspect of strategic management, M&A can allow enterprises to grow, shrink, and change the nature of their business or competitive position. From a legal perspective, a merger is a legal consolidation of 2 entities into one. Whereas, an acquisition occurs when one entity takes ownership of another entity’s stock, equity interests, or assets. From a commercial and economic point of view, both types of transactions generally result in consolidation of assets and liabilities under one entity and the distinction is less clear. A transaction legally structured as an acquisition may lead to placing one party’s business under the other party’s shareholders’ indirect ownership. At the same time, a transaction legally structured as a merger may give each party’s shareholders partial ownership and control of the combined enterprise. This deal may be euphemistically called a “merger of equals” if both CEOs agree that joining together is in the best interest of both of their companies. Meanwhile, when the deal is unfriendly (like when a target company’s management opposes the deal), it might simply be seen as an “acquisition.”

Recapitalization- cash is distributed to the shareholders (in this case the financial sponsor) and its private equity funds from a company’s cash flow or raising debt or other securities to fund the transaction. As a type of corporate reorganization involving substantial change in a company’s capital structure which may be motivated for a number of reasons. Usually, the large part of equity is replaced with debt. In more complicated transactions, mezzanine financing and other hybrid securities are involved.

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As you can see from this infographic, private equity is widespread. As you can see, they’re a major presence in the US economy. Of course, the industries they invest most into are consumer and information technology, which should surprise anyone.

But we should understand that often the effort to fix up the company fails and bankruptcy is the outcome. So while the rewards are great so are the risks. Back in 2012, The Wall Street Journal did an analysis of the 77 businesses Bain Capital invested during former Governor Mitt Romney’s tenure. It found that 22% either filed for bankruptcy or shut down within 8 years of Bain’s investment. Even several companies that initially provided Bain with huge profits later ran into trouble. Of the 10 deals producing more than 70% of Bain’s gains, 4 eventually filed for bankruptcy. But the companies that succeeded were hugely profitable as the Journal concluded that Bain turned $1.1 billion into $2.5 billion in gains in the 77 deals.

So they’re like hedge funds?
Not exactly. Private equity firms characteristically make longer-hold investments in target industry sectors or specific investment areas where they know a lot about. They also take on operational roles to manage risk and achieve growth through long-term investments. Private equity firms and investment funds shouldn’t be mistaken for hedge fund firms which typically make shorter-term investments in securities and other more liquid assets within an industry sector but with less direct influence and control over a specific company’s operations. And hedge fund firms usually bet on both the up and down sides of a business or an industry sector’s financial health.

What is a private equity fund?

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This is a diagram of a generic private equity fund. The private equity firm acts as the general partner while the limited partner investors usually supply the cash for the investments.

Private equity funds usually have a general partner (GP) raising capital from cash-rich institutional investors like pension plans, universities, insurance companies, foundations, endowments, and high-net-worth individuals investing as limited partners (LPs) in the fund. Before buying the company, the GP (who makes all the fund’s decisions), devises a plan for how much debt to use, how the company’s cash flow will be used to service the debt, and how the PE firm will exit at a profit. The private equity firm typically has very little of its own money at risk, only investing 2% or less in the fund while the LPs put up 98% of the equity. But it claims 20% of any gains from these companies’ subsequent sale. Among the terms set forth in the limited partnership are the following:

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Though I’ve already shown a private equity fund’s basic structure, here’s a more detailed chart. You can see the kinds of partners who invest as well as the strategies used.

Term of the Partnership- usually a fixed-life investment vehicle that’s 10 years plus some number of extensions.

Management Fees- annual payments made by investors in the fund to its manager to pay for the private equity firm’s investment operations (usually 1% or 2% of the committed capital to the fund).

Distribution Waterfall- the process in which the returned capital will be distributed to the investor and allocated between the Limited and General Partner. This waterfall includes the preferred return, which is the minimum rate of return (e.g. 8%) which must be achieved before the GP can receive any carried interest, which is the profit share paid to the GP above the preferred return (e.g. 20%).

Transfer of an Interest in the Fund- Private equity funds aren’t intended to be transferred or traded. Though they can be transferred to another investor but such transfer must receive the fund manager’s consent and is at the GP’s discretion.

Restrictions on the General Partner- the fund’s manager has significant discretion to make investments and control the fund’s affairs. However, the LPA does have certain restrictions and controls and is often limited in the type, size, or geographic focus of investments permitted, and how long the GP can make new ones.

Can you describe each private equity firm investment strategy?
Certainly. Here are some in depth descriptions of some major strategies. Though they’re not the only kind of ways private equity firms invests.

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The main investment strategy private equity firms uses is the leverage buyout. This involves buying a company with a combination of equity and debt and using its cash flow as collateral. In fact, it’s usually on the company to pay back the debts. This practice has been prone to plenty of overleveraging and abuse like in the case with Sears.

Leverage Buyout (LBO)- a financial transaction in which a company is purchased with a combination of equity and debt so its cash flow is the collateral used to secure and repay the borrowed money. Since the debt costs less than capital and equity, it serves to reduce the acquisition’s overall financing costs. After all debt costs less than capital and equity because interest payments reduce corporate income tax liability while dividend payments don’t. So the reduced financing costs allows greater gains to accrue to the equity, and as a result, the debt acts as a lever to increase the equity’s returns. Though usually employed when a financial sponsor acquires a company, many corporate transactions are usually funded by bank debt which can also represent an LBO. It could take many forms like management buyout (MBO), management buy-in (MBI), along with secondary and tertiary buyout among others. It can occur in growth situations, restructuring situations, and insolvencies. Though LBOs mostly occur in private companies, they can be employed with public companies, too (in a so-called PtP transaction-Public to Private). As financial sponsors increase their returns by employing a very high leverage (like a high ratio of debt to equity), they’re incentivized to employ as much debt as possible to finance an acquisition. In many cases, this can lead to “over-leveraging” in companies in which they don’t generate enough cash to pay their debt, leading to insolvency or to debt-to-equity swaps in which the equity owners lose control over their business to the lenders. This is the main strategy most private equity firms use and typically finance a buyout of a company with 30% equity and 70% debt. Private equity funds use the acquired company’s assets as collateral and put the burden of repayment on the company itself.

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This is a diagram illustrating how start-up companies are typically financed. First, the new firm seeks out “seed capital” and funding from “angel investors” and accelerators. Then if it can survive the “valley of death” (when the start up’s trying to develop on a “shoestring” budget), the firm can seek venture capital financing.

Venture Capital (VC)- a form if financing provided by firms or funds to small, early-stage, emerging funds either seen as highly profitable or potentially so. VCs invest in these early-stage companies in exchange for a return or an ownership stake in those they invest in. They take on the risk of financing risky startups in hopes that some of the firms they support will eventually succeed. The typical VC investment occurs after an initial “seed funding” round also called the Series A Round. A VC will provide this financing in the interest of generating a return through an eventual “exit” event such as the company selling shares to the public for the first time in an IPO or through its merger or acquisition (a.k.a. “trade sale”). In addition to angel investing, equity crowdfunding, and other seed funding options, VC is attractive for new companies with limited operating histories that are too small to raise capital in the public markets and haven’t reached the point where they could secure a bank loan or complete a debt offering. In exchange for the high risk that VCs assume by investing in smaller and early stage companies, they usually get significant control over their decisions along with a portion of their ownership (and consequently value). They also often provide strategic advice to the firm’s executives on its business model and marketing strategies. Additionally, VC is also a way in which the private and public sectors can build an institution that systematically creates business networks for the new firms and industries so they could progress and develop. The VC institution helps identify promising new firms and provide them with finance, technical, expertise, mentoring, marketing “know how,” and business models. Once integrated into the business network, these firms are more likely to succeed as they become “nodes” in the search networks for designing and building products in their domain. However, VC decisions are often biased as well as exhibit an instance of overconfidence and illusion of control like entrepreneurial decisions in general.

Growth Capital- a private equity investment (usually minority investment), in relatively mature companies that are looking for capital to expand or restructure operations, enter new markets, or finance a significant acquisition without a change or control of the business. Companies seeking growth capital will often do so to finance a transformational event in their lifecycle. Unlike VC-funded companies, growth capital companies usually able to make a profit but can’t generate sufficient cash to fund major expansions, acquisitions, or other investments. Because of this lack of scale, these companies generally can find few alternative conduits to secure capital for growth. Thus, access to growth equity can be critical to pursuing necessary facility expansion, sales and marketing initiatives, equipment purchases, and new product development. Growth capital can also be used to affect a restructuring of a company’s balance sheet, particularly to reduce the amount of leverage (or debt). Growth capital is often structured as the preferred equity, though certain investors use various hybrid securities including a contractual return (like interest payments) in addition to an ownership interest in the company. Often, companies seeking that growth capital investments aren’t good candidates to borrow additional debt, either because of the stability of the company’s earnings or existing debt levels.

Mezzanine Financing- any subordinated debt or preferred equity instrument representing a claim on the company’s assets that’s senior only to that of common shares. It can be structured as either debt (usually an unsecured or subordinate note) or preferred stock. It’s often a more expensive financing source for a company than secured or senior debt. The higher cost of capital associated with mezzanine financing is due to it being unsecured, subordinated (or junior) obligation in a company’s capital structure. Should that company default or go bankrupt, mezzanine financing is only paid after all senior obligations are satisfied. Additionally, since it’s usually a private placement, mezzanine financing is often used by smaller companies and may involve greater leverage levels than issues in the high-yield market which involve additional risk. But in compensation for the increased risk, a mezzanine debt holder requires a higher return for their investment than a more senior debt holder.

Distressed Securities- securities over companies or government entities experiencing financial or operational distress, default, or are under bankruptcy. As far as debt securities, this is called distressed debt. Purchasing or holding distressed debt creates significant risk due to the possibility that bankruptcy may render such securities worthless (zero recovery). Deliberate investment in distressed securities as a strategy while potentially lucrative is significantly risky as the security may become worthless. Doing so requires significant levels of resources and expertise to analyze each instrument and assess its position in an insurer’s capital structure along with the likelihood of ultimate recovery. Distressed securities tend to trade at a substantial discounts to their intrinsic or par value and are considered below investment grade. This usually limits the number of potential investors to large institutional investors like hedge funds, private equity firms, and investment banks.

Why would anyone invest in a private equity fund?

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Though private equity has earned a reputation as corporate saboteurs outside Wall Street, this kind of investment is quite popular among investors. As you can tell from these stats, the notion of private equity won’t go away soon.

Private equity funds are illiquid and managed by active investors. Those familiar with common index funds such as those of ordinary investors might hold in their investment portfolios might lead you to believe a private equity fund investment is foolish. But private equity funds do have a number of good advantages.

1. Taking companies private is incredibly profitable- When a private equity firm takes a company private from the public market, it has 100% of the ownership and thus can claim all its profits and control all capital allocation. Thus private equity firms have unlimited control over what goes on in the company unlike public equity investors. So they could claim all cash flows in the company.

2. Equity returns in short time frames- It wouldn’t be wise to invest in a portfolio of 100% stock if you’ll need the money within the next 5-7 years. Yet, since private equity firms take companies private, they reap the full ownership benefits (profits) and then resell the companies within 5-7 years in the future. During this time period, private equity investors receive equity-like returns in a time period that would only be safe for fixed-income investments.

3. Leverage- Private equity funds take money from investors and then leverage it with bank loans and bond issues from their newly acquired companies to boost returns for their investors. If a private equity firm takes a company private at 10x earnings of 10% per year, it can do very well for its limited partners by leveraging those earnings with cheap debt. It’s kind of like buying real estate, which when leveraged with bank loans, can be an excellent one.

4. Exits- Private equity funds are designed to exist only for a period of spanning less than a decade. When the fund reaches the end of its designed life, it “exits” its holding by selling them. A common exit is to sell a private equity position to a competing firm or to list private companies on the public markets through an IPO.

Why would a company seek private equity financing?

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Here’s a cycle of private equity financing from a firm’s site. Though this seems more catered to investors and has a rather positive spin on it.

Private equity financing provides several advantages to companies such as the following.

1. Active involvement- Unlike other funding options, private equity firms are much more hands on and will help a company reevaluate every aspect of their business to see how it can maximize its value. Having experienced professionals in a business can also result in major improvements.

2. Incentives- Private equity firms need a business to succeed since they borrow a lot of money to make their investments and have to pay that back and generate a return for their investors. Individual partners in private equity firms often have their own money invested as well and make additional money from performance fees if they make a profit. So they have strong incentive to increase a company’s value.

3. Large amounts of funding- Private equity can provide larger amounts of money than other options since deals are usually measured in hundreds of millions of dollars. This kind of money can have a massive impact on a company.

4. High Returns- Combinations of major funding, expertise, and incentives can be very powerful on companies. According to a 2012 study by the Boston Consulting Group, more than 2/3 of private equity deals resulted in the company’s annual profits grow by at least 20% while nearly half of the deals generated a profit growth of over 50% a year or more.

5. Patient Investors- Since private equity firms invest in a company to make it more valuable within a number of years before selling to a buyer appreciating the lasting value created, their investors are less concerned with short-term performance targets though they do have their eyes on the prize. Sometimes such firms are also known to offer private equity back office services to other firms or companies needing them for investments.

What are the disadvantages of private equity financing?
At the same time, private equity financing come with an array of disadvantages such as the following.

1. Dilution/Loss of Ownership Stake- Other funding options let the owner still stay in control of the company despite the investment’s costs. A company may receive much more money with private equity, but the owner has to give up a large share of the business. Private equity firms often demand a majority stake and sometimes leave the owner with little or nothing in ownership. It’s a bigger trade and one many business owners balk at.

2. Loss of Management Control- Beyond money, a business owner can lose direct control of their company. The private equity firm would want to be actively involved which can be a good thing. But it can mean losing control of basic elements in the business like setting strategy, hiring and firing employees, and choosing the management team. Since the private equity firm’s stake is usually higher, the loss of control is much greater. This is especially true when it comes to the private equity firm’s “exit strategy” which might involve selling the business outright or other options that don’t form part of the owner’s plans. Then there’s the fact that private equity decision-making has been shown to suffer from cognitive bias such as illusion of control and overconfidence.

3. Different Definitions of Value- Private equity firms exist to invest in companies, make them more valuable, and sell their stakes in large profits. Mostly this can be good for the companies involved since any business owner would want to create more value. But a private equity firm’s definition of value is very specific and limited since it’s focused on a business’s financial value on a particular date about 5 years after the initial investment when the firm sells its stake and books a profit. Business owners, by contrast have a much broader definition of value with a longer-term outlook and more concern for relationships with employees and customers as well as reputation. Such difference can lead to clashes.

4. Eligibility- Private equity firms look for particular types of companies to invest in which have to be large enough to support those major investments and offer potential for large profits in a relatively short time frame. This means that a company must have very strong growth potential or it’s in financial difficulties and is currently undervalued. A business that can’t offer investors a lucrative investment within 5 years will struggle to attract interest from private equity firms.

5. Debt Accumulation- Private equity firms use significant amounts of debt to perform deals in financial markets. This can significantly damage not only the company who has to pay for the debt but also to investors and financial markets as well. Not to mention, they charge their companies a bunch of hidden fees. They also make the companies sell their real estate and pay a higher rent to remain on the property, too.

6. Lack of Transparency- Though oversight on private equity firms has increased since 2008, they’re still less regulated than more traditional forms of financing. Private equity also adheres to some practices that alarm politicians. One tactic is a fee-waiver conversion which intentionally directs a greater amount of an investor’s capital away from higher-taxed fees and into a more favorably taxed category.
So what’s with the vulture capitalist reputation?

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Though not all private equity firms are vulture capitalists, there are plenty of large firms that have acquired such reputation. One of these was Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital as you can see on this cartoon chart.

Private equity firms are notorious for making money for their investors without regard to stakeholders in the business. In most cases, private equity firms acquire the kinds of companies that are already in poor financial health, lack a competitive environment, or have poor managers. They want to acquire companies cheap and that means buying companies they believe have more value than Wall Street is willing to realize. Sometimes this means buying companies everyone knows will go out of business. Sometimes a private equity fund performs as advertised using reasonable amounts of debt and providing access to management and expertise and financial resources. This usually involved smaller companies with few assets that can be mortgaged but many opportunities for operational improvements.

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This is Joshua Kosman. In 2009, he wrote a book called The Buyout of America arguing that private equity firms are terrible and will cause the next credit crisis. In his intro he writes, “I believe the record shows that PE firms hurt their businesses competitively, limit their growth, cut jobs without reinvesting the savings, do not even generate good returns for their investors, and are about to cause the Next Great Credit Crisis. Leadership is needed to rally opposition to close the tax loopholes that make this very damaging activity possible.” So far this year’s retail apocalypse is proving him right.

However, the reality is that private equity firms almost always buy larger and profitable companies that already have modern management systems in place as well as substantial assets that can be mortgaged. Here, private equity firms use debt and financial engineering strategies to extract resources from healthy companies. This earns them a reputation for using strategies that critics say play out more as “vulture capitalism”- a phrase that some people use to describe the process where investors make enormous profits while needlessly laying off workers. Private equity investors may increase their investment in companies they own by replacing senior management, reducing the workforce, selling off assets, and essentially gutting the company for profit. A private equity firm could buy a sizeable company, load it up with debt, and then take the money out. After improving their short-term earnings through cuts, it can borrow money and pay itself a dividend. In good times, it can collect a disproportionate share of the investment returns. But this can set up that company for failure and financial vulnerability. If the debt can’t be repaid, the company, its workers, and its creditors bear the costs. Yet, even when a company fails, a private equity firm still makes money. For instance, from 1987-1995, 22% of the money Bain Capital invested in funds raised went to companies that eventually went bankrupt. But Bain made $578 million, comprising of the bulk of these companies’ profits. Under Mitt Romney, 4 of Bain’s 10 biggest investments ended up bankrupt yet the firm still made a killing. Today, it’s no surprise that private equity activity’s often said to focus on short-term profits over a company’s long term health.

But do they improve businesses? According to author Josh Kosman, that may not be so. Out of the 25 biggest buyouts in the 1990s, 52% of those companies ended up bankrupt. Among the 10 biggest, private equity improved only one of the businesses. In 3 cases, the results were mixed while the other 6 companies would’ve been better off had the private equity firm not acquired them. A report from Moody’s back in 2012 showed that in the 40 biggest leveraged buyouts that took place from 2005-2008, these companies saw a revenue increase by 4% while their strategic peers saw profits rise by 14%.

Another criticism is that studying private equity returns is relatively difficult since private equity funds don’t disclose performance data. As these firms invest in private companies, it’s difficult to examine the underlying investments. Comparing private equity to public equity performance is challenging because private equity fund investments are drawn and returned over time as investments are made and subsequently realized. Commentators have argued that a standard methodology is needed to present an accurate picture of performance, to make individual private equity funds comparable and so the asset class as a whole can be matched against public markets and other types of investment. There’s also a claim that private equity firms manipulate data to present themselves as strong performers, making it even more essential to standardize the industry. It’s even worse that private equity firms aren’t as regulated as banks.

Can you describe some shady private equity firm financial engineering practices?

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Here’s a chart on the rates in which private equity firms have stripped assets on retailers. Much of this took place in the mid-2010s. Through junk bonds and leveraged loans to fund special dividends to PE owners, retail stores have lost billions in their assets. What a shame.

Certainly. After a buyout, private equity firms often engage in financial engineering that further compromise their portfolio companies. They might have companies take out loans at junk bond rates and use the proceeds to pay themselves and their investors a dividend. They might split a real estate rich company into an operating company and a property company. They then sell off the real estate and repay investors while the operating company must lease back the property and pay the (often inflated) rent. As you can see, this is what Eddie Lampert did to Sears. They may require their companies to pay monitoring fees to the PE firm for unspecified services. Paying these fees reduces the companies’ liquidity cushion and puts them at risk.

What happens to portfolio companies and workers?

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Here is a list of companies private equity firm KKR owns. Some of the these brands you might recognized, especially Toys “R” Us which filed for bankruptcy.

In these situations, financial engineering results are predictable. In bad economic times, these companies’ high debt levels (especially in cyclical industries) make them seriously vulnerable to default and bankruptcy. According to one economic study, roughly a quarter of highly leveraged companies defaulted on their debts during the last recession. Though the financial crisis officially ended in 2009, bankruptcies among PE-owned companies continued through 2015. In 2007, a PE consortium acquired Energy Future Holdings which defaulted with $35.8 million in debt in 2014. In 2006, a PE acquired the Las Vegas-based Caesar Entertainment whose long-term debt more than doubled by mid-2007. In 2015, it declared bankruptcy putting over 30,000 union workers at risk. Rigorous econometric studies back these job loss cases. One study found that through 2005, PE-owned establishments had significantly lower employment and wages post buyout than comparable publicly-traded companies. Though PE-owned establishments experienced higher wages and employment growth than their counterparts in their buyout year. But employment rates at PE-owned companies were 3-6.7% lower after 2 years and 6% lower after 5 years.

What happens to the Limited Partner investors?

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Here’s another chart detailing which companies private equity owns. Many of these will surprise you. But some of them won’t.

Private equity fund performance depends importantly on how investment returns are measured. Private equity firms use the “internal rate of return” (IRR). Finance economists use the “public market equivalent” which compares returns in PE investments from comparable stock market ones. Recent academic studies find that buyout funds don’t deliver outsized returns to investors. Despite industry claims, private equity funds haven’t beaten the stock market since 2006. A recent study indicates a downward trend in PE performance finding that the median PE fund outperformed the S&P 500 by 1.75% in the 1990s and by 1.5% in the 2000s. Private equity returns also need adjustment for PE investments’ greater riskiness. Industry analysts and most investors assume that private equity fund returns should exceed stock market returns by 3%. More than half of US PE funds have failed to meet that standard over the past 25 years. Average PE returns are upwardly skewed by top quartile funds’ outperformance. But recent research shows it’s no longer possible to predicts which funds will outperform the stock market. GPs with top quartile funds have about a 25-cent chance that their next fund will do the same. Same goes for GPs with bottom quartile funds.

What should the US do about private equity firms?
We must hold our politicians responsible for the looming retail apocalypse. After all, our tax code privileges debt by making corporate interest payments tax-deductible. Private equity firms that gut companies and walk away receive tax subsidies to pull it off. This incentivizes them to borrow even more to run the game again. Even more importantly, we need to look at these asset-stripping schemes with more skepticism. The Securities and Exchange Commission can and should police these designed-to-fail corporate bonds resulting from these leveraged buyouts. The SEC should also go after banks underwriting these deals and earning fees off of companies’ misery.

The House Republican tax bill proposed a cap on deductibility on interest payments over 30% of a company’s earnings. The Senate bill defines earnings in such a way to reduce that cap even further. This should discourage some debt-fueled buyouts which private equity firms don’t like. However, the GOP tax plan exempts real estate companies which leaves a gaping loophole. This could help private equity firms that split their business’s operating side from the property side like Sears did. And enable them to put all the borrowing onto the property side and keep deducting the interest. Not to mention, most of the Republican tax bill is a piece of shit that punishes most Americans who don’t own a yacht. So I wouldn’t advocate the Republican tax plan to crack down on private equity anytime soon.

Nevertheless, don’t expect that Donald Trump will do anything about and we shouldn’t be surprised. The Trump administration will likely continue aiding wealthy financiers through regulatory neglect since those people are their donors. Recently, Comptroller of Currency Keith Noreika broke with a years-long crackdown on high-risk corporate lending, signaling that these private equity firms should issue more debt. It’s a shame we don’t have regulators willing to protect workers, investors, and the economy. Because private equity is accelerating a decline that will affect millions in every major city. To do nothing is to let it continue.

The Legal Loan Sharks Among Us: The Matter of Payday Loans

 

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A loan shark is a person or body offering loans at extremely high interest rates. When we hear the term, we usually think about gangsters who lend money to people but enforce repayment through methods like blackmail and threats of violence. However, what you may not know is that while loan sharks are mostly seen as figures in the criminal underworld and organized, they’re not always seen as crooks linked to the mob, especially in the world of small time and salary lending. Historically, it wasn’t unusual for many moneylenders to skirt between legal and extralegal activity. In late 19th century America, the unprofitability and negative societal perception of small loans paved the way for a slew of lenders offering loans at profitable but at illegally high interest rates under a veneer of legality and preyed upon a borrower’s ignorance of the law. The 1920s and 1930s saw a rise of loan sharks who targeted high risk borrowers and small businesses either in dire straits or ill repute as well as enforced repayment through threats of violence. Sometimes these loan sharks were affiliated organized crime but they never had such monopoly. Today our non-standard lenders consist of subprime loans which led to a global financial crisis and payday lending which are both legal. But both are rather exploitative and prey upon those who can’t qualify for standard loans on mainstream sources. Yet, it’s the payday loans that generally don’t receive the attention they should since they’ve come under tremendous scrutiny as a predatory enterprise and must be stopped. Here I provide a small cheat sheet for explanation.

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It’s likely you may see a lot of payday loan ads like this. A payday loan is a small unsecured loan that’s typically due on the borrower’s payday. However, they tend to have an reputation of high interest rates.

What is a payday loan?

A payday loan is a small short-term unsecured loan that’s typically due on the borrower’s payday. They usually range from $100-$1,500 and are often due 30 days or less. A payday loan relies on the consumer having previous payroll and employment records. In a payday loan, a borrower gives the lender access to their checking account or writes a check for the full balance that the lender has an option to deposit when the loan comes due. Other loan features can vary. Though payday loans are often structured to be paid off in one lump sum payment, interest only payments known as “renewals” or “rollovers” aren’t unusual. In some cases, payday loans may be structured so they’re repayable in installments over a longer period of time. Payday loans usually include a finance that may range from $10-$30 for every $100 borrowed or the check’s percentage value.

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While payday loans are legal under federal law, state laws may vary. My home state of Pennsylvania is one of the states that prohibits them outright as you can see from the map.

Are payday loans legal in the United States?

At the federal level, yes and payday lenders are subject to regulation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well as the Federal Trade Commission along with the Truth in Lending Act that requires them to disclose their finance charges. And there are special protections for military servicemen through the Military Lending Act. However legislation regarding payday loans varies widely between different states. As of 2017, payday lending is legal in 27 states, legal with restrictions in 9, and banned in 14 including my home state of Pennsylvania.

How did payday loans come to be?

The history of payday loans can be dated as far as the early 1900s with some small lenders participating in salary purchases, buying a worker’s salary at less than its value days before the scheduled payday in order to avoid usury laws. Loan sharks and the mafia also had their own payday loan schemes starting from the 1920s. In the 1930s, check cashers cashed post-dated checks for a daily fee until the check was negotiated at a later date and began offering payday loan services in the early 1990s. When banking deregulation caused small community banks to go out of business in the late 1980s which, the payday loan industry sprang up in order to fill the void in the microcredit supply at expensive rates. From there, the industry grew from less than 500 storefronts to over 22,000 and a total size of $46 billion. The number has grown even higher over the years that by 2008, payday loan stores nationwide outnumbered Starbucks shops and McDonald’s restaurants. There are also major banks that offer payday loans as well as companies that offer them online. Deregulation also caused states to roll back usury caps and allow lenders to restructure their loans to avoid them after federal laws were changed.

What do I need to qualify for a payday loan?

According to the CFPB, payday lenders generally require you to have an active checking account, provide proof of income from a job or another source, show valid identification, and be at least 18 years old. Some may have additional criteria like minimum time at your current job or a minimum income to qualify for a certain amount.

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Like payday loans themselves, rollovers and renewals on payday loans also have varying legality among the states. However, they’re usually more or less regulated except in Kansas, Utah, and Nevada.

What does it mean to renew or rollover a payday loan?

According to the CFPB, “Generally, renewing or rolling over a payday loan means you pay a fee to delay paying back the loan. This fee does not reduce the amount you owe. If you roll over the loan multiple times, it’s possible to pay several hundred dollars in fees and still owe the amount you borrowed. For example, if you roll over a $300 loan with a $45 fee three times before fully repaying the loan, you will pay four $45 fees, or $180, and you will still owe the $300. So, in that example, you would pay back a total of $480.” Some payday lenders give borrowers this option if they can’t afford to make the payment when it’s due. Nevertheless, this practice is legal in only 14 states and most of them place limits on this save Nevada, Utah, and Kansas.

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Despite what ads may tell you, most payday loan users are low income workers who usually take them out for recurring expenses over the course of months. This is partly why a lot of users have trouble paying them off.

Who uses payday loans?

According to a Pew study, “Most payday loan borrowers [in the United States] are white, female, and are 25 to 44 years old. However, after controlling for other characteristics, there are five groups that have higher odds of having used a payday loan: those without a four-year college degree; home renters; African Americans; those earning below $40,000 annually; and those who are separated or divorced.” Recent immigrants, Hispanics, and single parents also were more likely to use payday loans. And most borrowers use payday loans to cover ordinary living expenses over the course of months, not unexpected emergencies over the course of weeks (contrary to what the industry states in its ads). So it’s not unusual for borrowers to use more than one. The average borrower is indebted about 5 months a year. In 2013, 12 million people took out payday loans each year.

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Payday lenders may claim to help people in tight spots. But they ensure employees to make tough times last forever thanks to obscenely high interest rates that may be impossible for some to pay off.

So why do payday loans have a shady reputation?

Payday lenders are notorious for their predatory lending practices of exorbitant higher fees and interest rates than traditional loans that don’t encourage savings or asset accumulation. According to the CFPB, “The cost of the loan (finance charge) may range from $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed. A typical two-week payday loan with a $15 per $100 fee equates to an annual percentage rate (APR) of almost 400%. By comparison, APRs on credit cards can range from about 12 percent to 30 percent.” If that loan’s not paid on time, then the total cost will be much larger than expected $404.56 within 20 weeks or $2,862.22 within 48. The Pew study states that the average payday loan borrower took out 8 loans of $375 each and paid interest of $520 across the loans within a year.

Payday loans are usually marketed towards low-income households because they often can’t provide collateral in order to obtain a low interest loan or lack access to a traditional bank deposit account. Families who use payday loans are disproportionately black or Hispanic, recent immigrants, and/or under-educated since these individuals are least able to secure normal lower-interest-rate forms of credit. The payday loan industry takes advantage of the fact that most of their borrowers don’t know how to calculate their loan’s APR and don’t realize they’re being charged rates up to 390% interest annually. Those higher interest rates are likely to send borrowers into a debt spiral where they must constantly renew. And according to the Center for Responsible Lending, almost of half of payday loan borrowers will default within the first two years. Taking out payday loans also increases the possibility of economic difficulties that make it hard to pay the rent, mortgage, and utility bills. Such difficulties can also lead to homelessness as well as delays in medical and dental care along with the ability to purchase drugs. Since payday lending operations charge higher interest-rates than traditional banks, they have the effect of depleting assets in low-income communities. A consumer advocacy group called the Insight Center reported that payday lending cost the US $774 million a year in 2013.

Payday lenders have also made effective use of the sovereign status of Native American reservations, often forming partnerships with members of a tribe to offer loans over the internet which evade state law. While some tribal lenders are operated by Native Americans, there’s also evidence many are simply a creation of so-called “rent-a-tribe” schemes where a non-Native company sets up operations on tribal lands. The FTC also monitors these lenders as well. And the fact the Military Lending Act imposes a 36% rate cap on tax refund loans and certain payday and auto title loans made to active duty armed forces and their covered dependents as well as prohibits certain terms in such loans illustrates that the payday loan industry has targeted military servicemen.

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Payday loans are often a debt trap since they target people who can least afford to pay them back. And such debt may lead borrowers to take in more payday loans ensuring a vicious cycle to continue.

How are payday loans a debt trap?

A debt trapped is defined as “a situation in which a debt is difficult or impossible to repay, typically because high interest payments prevent repayment of the principal.” According to the Center for Responsible Lending, 76% of the total volume of payday loans are due to loan churning, where loans are taken out within two weeks of a previous loan. The center states that the devotion of 25-50% of the borrower’s paychecks leaves most borrowers with inadequate funds, compelling them to take new payday loans immediately. And they will continue to pay high percentages to float the loan across longer time periods, effectively placing them in a financial hole.

How do payday loans affect the economy?

Payday loans actually hurt the economy. Though they’re designed to provide consumers with emergency liquidity (despite being normally used to meet normal recurring obligations), payday loans divert money away from consumer spending and towards paying interest rates which can range from 200-500%. In 2011, payday loans cost the US $774 million in consumer spending, $169 million in 56,230 bankruptcies, and 14,000 jobs. States that have outlawed payday lending have lower rates of bankruptcy, a smaller volume of complaints regarding collection tactics, and the development of new lending services from banks to credit unions.

How long does it take to pay off a payday loan?

Borrowers typically have payday loan debt for much longer than the loan’s advertised two-week period, averaging about 200 days. Though most borrowers do know when they’ll pay them off and about 60% of them pay off their loans within two weeks of the days they predict.

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Payday lenders can be quite ruthless when it comes to collecting the debts. On some occasions, payday lenders have threatened borrowers with legal action that has led to a small percentage serving jail time.

How do payday lenders collect on loans?

Under federal law, a payday lender can use only the same industry standard collection practices used to collect other debts specifically standards listed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA forbids debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, and deceptive practices to collect from debtors. Such practices include calling before 8 o’clock in the morning or after 9 o’clock at night, or calling debtors at work. In many cases, borrowers write a post-dated check to the lender and if they don’t have enough money in their account by the check’s date, it will bounce. When that happens, payday lenders will usually attempt to collect on the consumer’s obligation first by simply requesting payment. If internal collection fails, some payday lenders may outsource the debt collection or sell that debt to a third party. Yet, a small percentage of payday lenders have in the past threatened delinquent borrowers with criminal prosecution for check fraud which is illegal in many jurisdictions. But over a third of states in 2011 allowed late borrowers to be jailed despite the fact that debtor’s prisons have been federally outlawed since 1833.

Then there’s the matter with Texas, which prohibits payday lenders from suing a borrower for theft if the check is post-dated. But lenders get their customers to write checks for the day the loan is given knowing that they’d bounce since the borrowers didn’t have any money. If the borrower fails to pay on the due date, the lender sues them for writing a hot check. Sometimes they can file criminal complaints. This has led Texas courts and prosecutors becoming de facto collections agencies that warn borrowers they could face arrest, criminal charges, jail time, and fines. On top of debts owed, district attorneys charge additional fees. Borrowers have been jailed for owing as little as $200 and most of them who failed to pay had lost their jobs or had their hours reduced at work.

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There are several alternatives to payday loans whether it means borrowing money from work or from friends or taking money from a credit union. However, if you need some fast cash before your next payday, it’s better to pay a late fee on your bills than take a payday loan. Because payday loans are nothing but high interest debt traps.

Are there any alternatives to payday lending?

Yes, there are. Credit union loans have lower interest but more stringent terms that take longer to gain approval, employee access to earned but unpaid wages, pawnbrokers, credit payment plans, paycheck cash advances from employers (“advance on salary”), auto pawn loans, bank overdraft protection, cash advances from credit cards, emergency community assistance plans, small consumer loans, installment loans and direct loans from family or friends. Those who own a car can go with an auto title loan which uses the equity of the vehicle as the credit instead of payment history and employment history. You can also take advantage overdraft protection at your bank, establish a line of credit from an FDIC-approved lender. However, if you should consider taking payday loans, always consider the alternatives or at least try to avoid taking them. So if you need to pay your bills before payday, a late fee might be cheaper than a payday loan finance charge.

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Yes, payday loans work like that. So remember, if you’re a low income worker in need of money, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help from a friend or employer. Chances are they’d probably not put you through financial hell like the predatory payday loan business. I mean such

Help Not Wanted: Job Listings You Might Not Want to Apply

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As a chronically unemployed blogger, I tend to see myself doomed to a lifetime of seeking and applying for jobs that I really wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the money. Of course, I’ve just set up a better domain name and applied for advertising I’ll see how that goes (even though I still had to pay for the domain and mapping). But even when I’m good to go, I may not be completely liberated from having to search for a job (unless I try getting my book published again). But I have managed to improve traffic in recent months. Let’s just say when it comes to the job market, having is better than wanting. Now most of the jobs I’ve had were sporadic with an expiration date and don’t last long. But at least it’s something. However, most of the entry-level office jobs I actually want come with much more stipulations such as work experience which really pisses me off. Seriously, I have skills and experience but it’s just that I don’t get paid for it at least currently. Nevertheless, there are plenty of want ads out there that seem like they’re written by businesses and people who really don’t have any clue. Whether they be newspaper classifieds, help wanted signs, or online Craigslist ads. I once found a writing want ad with so many typos and grammar mistakes that it was ridiculous. So without further adieu, here are some job listings that I advise even the most desperate job seekers to avoid. Some of these may not be safe for work but must be posted anyway since they’re just too crazy to ignore.

1. Litterbox Cleaner: Must work for pancakes.

Cleaning litter boxes for a nominal fee like $7.25 an hour would seem reasonable. Cleaning litter boxes for pancakes is just plain crazy. Seriously, working for pancakes?

Cleaning litter boxes for a nominal fee like $7.25 an hour would seem reasonable. Cleaning litter boxes for pancakes is just plain crazy. Seriously, working for pancakes? I’m not that desperate.

2. Now hiring someone to dress up as a velociraptor.

If this job was advertised in the Pittsburgh area instead of Vancouver, I'd gladly apply. However, I don't really have much experience wearing costumes but I'll happily go for training. Seriously, $15/hr is a good deal.

If this job was advertised in the Pittsburgh area instead of Vancouver, I’d gladly apply. However, I don’t really have much experience wearing costumes but I’ll happily go for training. Seriously, $15/hr is a good deal.

3. Wanted: Female model for future iconic photo shoot. Don’t expect compensation other than a bag lunch and SPF 30.

Okay, this ad was probably written by some amateur male photographer (or student) who thinks too highly of himself. Seriously, the ad is simply hysterical to read that I'd just want to see the result.

Okay, this ad was probably written by some amateur male photographer (or student) who thinks too highly of himself. Seriously, the ad is simply hysterical to read that I’d just want to see the result.

4. Wanted: Hole digger for a guy who’s planning a homicide while his wife’s out of town.

Reading this ad, it's obvious this guy is secretly planning to kill somebody on the first week of October. From grave dimensions to the insistence that it must be dug under the cover of night. Seriously, if you an ad like this, answering it will get you charged with aiding and abetting.

Reading this ad, it’s obvious this guy is secretly planning to kill somebody on the first week of October. From grave dimensions to the insistence that it must be dug under the cover of night. Seriously, if you an ad like this, answering it will get you charged with aiding and abetting.

5. Wanted: Babysitter but for druggie couple. Unlikeable losers with no self-esteem and social skills preferred.

Okay, maybe spending Saturday night with some whiny little kids isn't such a bad gig after all. Seriously, this couple is looking for an enabler who won't expect much in return. What they really need is an intervention.

Okay, maybe spending Saturday night with some whiny little kids isn’t such a bad gig after all. At least they’re cute, fun to play with, and innocent enough not to know better. Seriously, this couple is looking for an enabler who won’t expect much in return. What they really need is an intervention.

6. Hiring girl for $50 to determine which is the bigger dick.

Now a job posting for penis sizing. That's a new one. Still, while it may lead a girl to look at other guys' dicks, at least it won't get them charged with a crime.

Now a job posting for penis sizing. That’s a new one. Still, while it may lead a girl to look at other guys’ dicks, at least it won’t get her charged with a crime.

7. Wanted: Part time personal assistant for naturist couple.

You know your job interview is going to be awkward when the people responsible want ad have to explain their reasons for adopting a questionable lifestyle such as nudism.

You know your job interview is going to be awkward when the people responsible want ad have to explain their reasons for adopting a lifestyle that would make certain people uncomfortable. But a part time job that pays $20-25/hour isn’t that bad.

8. Wanted: 2 hot twin assassins to serve as bodyguards for deranged rich guy. People with glasses need not apply. Interview conducted in undisclosed location.

You'd expect to find an ad like this in an action movie since billionaires tend to be prime targets in those all the time. However, this ad is just so ridiculous that you'd swear this guy doesn't exist.

You’d expect to find an ad like this in an action movie since billionaires tend to be prime targets in those all the time. However, this ad is just so ridiculous that you’d swear this guy doesn’t exist.

9. Gay male computer geek in Santa Fe wanted to help middle aged gay guy meet other men online.

As far as want ads or personal ads go, I'm not sure whether this one is either one or the other. Seriously, he seems like he kind of wants a companion than tech tips.

As far as want ads or personal ads go, I’m not sure whether this one is either one or the other. Seriously, he seems like he kind of wants a companion than tech tips.

10. Actress wanted to flirt with boyfriend. I wonder what can go wrong with that.

Seems like this woman wants to hire an actress to flirt with her fiance because she really doesn't trust him around other women. Seriously, if I saw an ad like this on Craigslist, I'd wonder about this woman's relationship.

Seems like this woman wants to hire an actress to flirt with her fiance because she really doesn’t trust him around other women. Seriously, if I saw an ad like this on Craigslist, I’d wonder about this woman’s relationship.

11. Wanted: Flexible, intelligent, and friendly workaholic for all shifts. No vacation or sick leave.

Well, with a post like this, you'd think this advertised just about anything from fast food to retail. Still, I have to admire the employer's brutal honesty here but I wonder if they need to lower their standards a bit.

Well, with a post like this, you’d think this advertised just about anything from fast food to retail. Still, I have to admire the employer’s brutal honesty here but I wonder if they need to lower their standards a bit.

12. Wanted: Lawn care worker. Hula hoop required.

Why you'd need a hula hoop for lawn care, I have no idea. Seriously, I have yet to see what kind of lawn tasks a hula hoop can accomplish. These are the kind of things YouTube can come in handy for.

Why you’d need a hula hoop for lawn care, I have no idea. Seriously, I have yet to see what kind of lawn tasks a hula hoop can accomplish. These are the kind of things YouTube can come in handy for.

13. Babysitters somehow seem highly sought after whether it be for little kids, druggies, or comatose grandmas.

Now a hyperactive child for $10 is one thing. But this guy seems to want a babysitter for his grandma because he wants to change her will. Of course, the poster declined in a very passionate fashion.

Now a hyperactive child for $10 is one thing. But this guy seems to want a babysitter for his grandma because he wants to change her will. Of course, the poster declined in a very passionate fashion.

14. Wanted: Expendable minions for world domination attempt. Must work 24-7 for little or no pay. No weirdos, please.

I'm sure this is a joke since no sane person would want to work for a Fascist psychpath boss 24/7 for little or no pay. Then again, noting how many henchmen get virtually no respect in fiction, this explains a lot.

I’m sure this is a joke since no sane person would want to work for a Fascist psychpath boss 24/7 for little or no pay. Then again, noting how many henchmen get virtually no respect in fiction, this explains a lot.

15. Part time saleslady wanted who won’t be a bitch and can take sexual harassment.

Okay, with an ad like this, it's clear that the employer is a real asshole who has absolutely no respect for women. Seriously, if you're a woman and you see job notice like this, just look away.

Okay, with an ad like this, it’s clear that the employer is a real asshole who has absolutely no respect for women. Seriously, if you’re a woman and you see job notice like this, just look away.

16. Help Wanted: Hipsters, globetrotters, and artist types need not apply.

Let's just say when it comes to employees Vinnie's Pizza has a pretty low view for people in bands, people with art gallery openings, and people wanting to go to Europe.

Let’s just say when it comes to employees Vinnie’s Pizza has a pretty low view for people in bands, people with art gallery openings, and people wanting to go to Europe.

17. Now hiring accountant. Must go through ASAP course.

Seems like this ad has a few errors in it and I'm not sure that an ASAP course even exists. Also, it doesn't display any contact information whatsoever.

Seems like this ad has a few errors in it and I’m not sure that an ASAP course even exists. Also, it doesn’t display any contact information whatsoever.

18. Hiring computer engineers to solve difficult problem. Must solve for number here.

This company must really be desperate for computer engineers since they leave the numbers for x and y for you. Also, I can actually guess the number is 044-876-8000 with some calculation. Seriously, why they just have applicants solve for x and y.

This company must really be desperate for computer engineers since they leave the numbers for x and y for you. Also, I can actually guess the number is 044-876-8000 with some calculation. Seriously, why can’t they just have applicants solve for x and y?

19. Novelist seeking mentally ill people to interview for new book. Must be successful and interesting.

Let's just say that this person would save far more time and money if they'd just check out the biography section of their local library or Wikipedia. Seriously, there are a ton of celebrities and historical figures out there who'd fit this ad's description perfectly. May I recommend Andrew Jackson.

Let’s just say that this person would save far more time and money if they’d just check out the biography section of their local library or Wikipedia. Seriously, there are a ton of celebrities and historical figures out there who’d fit this ad’s description perfectly. May I recommend Andrew Jackson.

20. Night and weekend cab drivers wanted. Former getaway drivers preferred.

For the former mob getaway driver who's now on witness protection, this will be the perfect job for you. Then again, I'm not sure if getaway drivers have good driving skills.

For the former mob getaway driver who’s now on witness protection, this will be the perfect job for you. Then again, I’m not sure if getaway drivers have good driving skills.

21. Become a school bus driver. Have evenings and weekends off, no take home work, and $16.25/hr doing what most parents do for free.

As funny as these ads are, they're very effective. These would make anyone want to drive a school bus. Then again, I'm not sure $16.25/hr is worth dealing with complete brats.

As funny as these ads are, they’re very effective. These would make anyone want to drive a school bus. Then again, I’m not sure $16.25/hr is worth dealing with complete brats.

22. Experienced bartenders who can understand complete drunken gibberish wanted.

Deciphered, this says,

Deciphered, this says, “Ah, fine, I’ll have one more before I go home.” Of course, when someone says this in the correct pronunciation, they’re completely drunk and shouldn’t be served.

23. Legitimate Job Wanted: Ex-pot smuggler seeks alternative line of work after jail sentence.

Aside from from the obvious criminal record, and prison sentence, this guy really seems to emphasize his qualifications. Of course, he should have no trouble finding work in Washington State or Colorado.

Aside from from the obvious criminal record, and prison sentence, this guy really seems to emphasize his qualifications. Of course, he should have no trouble finding work in Washington State or Colorado.

24. Bodyguard wanted, must be great boyfriend material.

Now I don't know about you, but I'm not sure if this woman is looking for a bodyguard or a boyfriend. And it seems like her perfect man is an action hero.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure if this woman is looking for a bodyguard or a boyfriend. And it seems like her perfect man is an action hero.

25. Now firing, apply within.

This is a great sign to show how even the smallest typo can change a whole meaning. Yeah, I suggest they fix the mistake and replace the sign. Because I'm sure nobody would want to work for them with that.

This is a great sign to show how even the smallest typo can change a whole meaning. Yeah, I suggest they fix the mistake and replace the sign. Because I’m sure nobody would want to work for them with that.

26. Smiling faces wanted for drug testing.

Yes, they want smiling faces but if you show up too happy, they may think you're high. Still, if this is for some minimum wage service job, I suppose happy drug free people will be hard to come by.

Yes, they want smiling faces but if you show up too happy, they may think you’re high. Still, if this is for some minimum wage service job, I suppose happy drug free people will be hard to come by.

27. Workers wanted, preferably female for kitchen jobs.

So I suppose this is a sexist workplace. I'm sure men can do kitchen work just as well as women. I'll take a pass on that.

So I suppose this is a sexist workplace. I’m sure men can do kitchen work just as well as women. I’ll take a pass on that.

28. Help wanted to put out house fire ASAP.

For one, if your house is burning, why can't you just call 911 for the fucking fire department for God's sake? Any normal person would do the same thing. Also, if your house caught fire an hour ago, I'm sure there will be nothing left. Seriously, this guy's an idiot.

For one, if your house is burning, why can’t you just call 911 for the fucking fire department for God’s sake? Any normal person would do the same thing. Also, if your house caught fire an hour ago, I’m sure there will be nothing left. Seriously, this guy’s an idiot.

29. Wanted: Some fucking loser stoner who knows anything about Apple products.

Man, this person really seems to swear a lot on Craigslist. Still, I wouldn't want to work for this jerk $200/hr or not. Also, for a lawyer spending $.95 on iTunes songs is nothing. So why complain about it?

Man, this person really seems to swear a lot on Craigslist. Still, I wouldn’t want to work for this jerk $200/hr or not. Also, for a lawyer spending $.95 on iTunes songs is nothing. So why complain about it?

30. Now hiring for a male escort service?

I don't know about you but this sign gives the phrase,

I don’t know about you but this sign gives the phrase, “work hard” a whole new meaning. And I’m sure they need to change, “people” to “men” particularly middle aged men with erectile dysfunction.

31. Taxidermy place needs deer skinner for hunting season.

Yeah, seems like deer hunters need not visit this taxidermy place, at least until they find a new skinner. Wonder how they lost the last guy.

Yeah, seems like deer hunters need not visit this taxidermy place, at least until they find a new skinner. Wonder how they lost the last guy.

32. Help Wanted: Polish need not apply.

I wonder what this employer has against Polish people. I can't understand why Jack Krasozowski should be turned down due to his ethnic heritage.

I wonder what this employer has against Polish people. I can’t understand why Jack Krasozowski should be turned down due to his ethnic heritage.

33. Young girls wanted for pickling and bottling? What the hell?

I suppose either this person is a cannibal with a preference for pickled girls or really had no idea how people would read it. Either way, I'm not sure if I want to work there.

I suppose either this person is a cannibal with a preference for pickled girls or really had no idea how people would read it. Either way, I’m not sure if I want to work there.

34. Help Wanted: Sirius persons only apply within

So if you're not Harry Potter's fugitive godfather who can transform into a shaggy black dog, you probably shouldn't apply. As to why anyone would want to hire Sirius, I have no idea.

So if you’re not Harry Potter’s fugitive godfather who can transform into a shaggy black dog, you probably shouldn’t apply. As to why anyone would want to hire Sirius, I have no idea.

35. Now hiring someone who has a clue.

On one hand, you might think getting a job there is easy. On the other hand, if an employer wants to hire someone with a clue, it might mean this might not be a great place to work.

On one hand, you might think getting a job there is easy. On the other hand, if an employer wants to hire someone with a clue, it might mean this might not be a great place to work.

36. Work at Murder Burger. Here’s a flyer of our restaurant policy.

Now while working at a fast food joint may be one of the most soul sucking and thankless jobs ever, at least this want ad is honest about their policy. Still, it's pretty funny.

Now while working at a fast food joint may be one of the most soul sucking and thankless jobs ever, at least this want ad is honest about their policy. Still, it’s pretty funny. Love what they say about politicians.

37. Wanted: Pretty and ugly exotic dancers for titty bar.

You have to admit, at least this has less workplace discrimination than Hooters, in regards to their hiring practices. Still, wouldn't want to work there.

You have to admit, at least this has less workplace discrimination than Hooters, in regards to their hiring practices. Still, wouldn’t want to work there.

38. Looking for female deli staff. Former gymnasts and contortionists preferred.

I'm sure flexibility has to do with schedule. But I'm not sure if people would get the idea, especially if they want women.

I’m sure flexibility has to do with schedule. But I’m not sure if people would get the idea, especially if they want women.

39. Wanted: Pizza cook. Must have masters in S. Y. M.

It actually means

It actually means “shutting your mouth.” Still, they also want no crybabies and people able to read a schedule.

40. McDonalds: Now hiring losers at $6 an hour.

I can see why people working at McDonalds want a $15 wage. However, even if they did pay $15/hr, I'd still not want to work there. Or eat there for their food is disgusting.

I can see why people working at McDonalds want a $15 wage. However, even if they did pay $15/hr, I’d still not want to work there. Or eat there for their food is disgusting.

41. Now hiring truck drivers and they’re really needed.

Yes, seems like they really need truck drivers there from how this trailer truck is turned over. Of course, when it  comes to truck drivers, they're really hard to fire.

Yes, seems like they really need truck drivers there from how this trailer truck is turned over. Of course, when it comes to truck drivers, they’re really hard to fire.

42. Help Wanted: Must dominate the English language.

I'm not sure

I’m not sure “dominate” is the right word here. Seriously, this person doesn’t seem to have as much understanding of the English language as he or she thinks.

43. Want a job opportunity in broadcasting? Work as a janitor.

I'm sure when it comes to broadcasting, I don't think maintenance work comes to mind. Seriously, who wants to get into broadcasting expecting to dust, clean, sanitize, polish, spot wash, empty trash, gather recyclables, and replace light bulbs?

I’m sure when it comes to broadcasting, I don’t think maintenance work comes to mind. Seriously, who wants to get into broadcasting expecting to dust, clean, sanitize, polish, spot wash, empty trash, gather recyclables, and replace light bulbs?

44. Wanted: Office Assistant/Receptionist. Must be experienced in voicemail, Microsoft Office, and switchboard operating?

Guess they aren't looking for anyone under 80 in this line of work. Seriously, who the hell would have experience in operating a switchboard which is just so early 20th century?

Guess they aren’t looking for anyone under 80 in this line of work. Seriously, who the hell would have experience in operating a switchboard which is just so early 20th century?

45. Work at our coffee shop for your boyfriend will ask you for gas money eventually.

This employer seems to assume that only a certain type of woman will want to work for them. As to why some boyfriends would ask their girlfriends for gas money, I have no idea nor would I want to know.

This employer seems to assume that only a certain type of woman will want to work for them. As to why some boyfriends would ask their girlfriends for gas money, I have no idea nor would I want to know.

46. Dwarf wanted to impersonate Oompa Loompa for sorority event.

Seems like this sorority party's theme is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I'd sure hate to read the Craigslist ads calling for naughty kids to torture.

Seems like this sorority party’s theme is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I’d sure hate to read the Craigslist ads calling for naughty kids to torture.

47. Waiters and Waitresses Wanted for swingers party, but as for gender composition I can’t be sure.

The heading says 2 waiters and 2 waitresses. But reading the description they seem to ask for either 3 waitresses and 1 waiter or 3 waiters and 1 waitress. Seems like this couple can't make up their mind.

The heading says 2 waiters and 2 waitresses. But reading the description they seem to ask for either 3 waitresses and 1 waiter or 3 waiters and 1 waitress. Seems like this couple can’t make up their mind.

48. Wanted: Personal Texting Assistant.

For one, how is it possible for someone to receive 40-50 texts an hour. Second, I'm sure that this person needs to respond to texts less often or not respond to all their texts.

For one, how is it possible for someone to receive 40-50 texts an hour. Second, I’m sure that this person needs to respond to texts less often or not respond to all their texts.

49. Now hiring pubic hair trimmers?

For one, how many people have their pubic hair trimmed? Secondly, how in the hell are there people who make a living trimming pubic hair? Third, how is pubic hair trimming a business?

For one, how many people have their pubic hair trimmed? Secondly, how in the hell are there people who make a living trimming pubic hair? Third, how is pubic hair trimming a business?

50. Wanted: Male talent for shooting, er-I mean photo shooting with kitchen products.

I know this ad is seeking male talent for an ad photo shoot. Of course, when you have the words,

I know this ad is seeking male talent for an ad photo shoot. Of course, when you have the words, “shooting in the back,” in your job posting, people tend to get the wrong idea.

51. Staff wanted, but don’t think we don’t have standards because we do.

Of course, if you're under 18, smelly, irresponsible, whiny, dishonest, rude, an alien, and with a short attention span and no common sense, this job isn't for you. Still, at least they're honest.

Of course, if you’re under 18, smelly, irresponsible, whiny, dishonest, rude, an alien, and with a short attention span and no common sense, this job isn’t for you. Still, at least they’re honest.

52. Piano player wanted, must be able to open clams.

Had no idea that opening clams was an essential skill to being an adept piano player. Seriously, what does clam opening have to do with piano playing anyway? It's not,

Had no idea that opening clams was an essential skill to being an adept piano player. Seriously, what does clam opening have to do with piano playing anyway? It’s not, “Break us some clams, you’re the piano man/ Break us some clams tonight/Well, we’re all in the mood for some chowder/And you got us feeling alright….”

53. Hiring weekend cashier, must not look like Skeletor.

Being born in the 1990s, I'm sure that people around my age have no idea of He-Man or who Skeletor was. I mean those cartoons are from the 1980s.

Being born in the 1990s, I’m sure that people around my age have no idea of He-Man or who Skeletor was. I mean those cartoons are from the 1980s.

54. Seems like this place is hiring for its Going Out of Business Sale.

Yeah, because I'm not sure how else would any place be hiring new people during a store closing. Maybe they're just betting on people desperate for work at this point.

Yeah, because I’m not sure how else would any place be hiring new people during a store closing. Maybe they’re just betting on people desperate for work at this point.

55. Surgeon Wanted: No experience necessary. Must have own tools.

Now this would be a rather reasonable job posting....for a pirate ship in the 17th century. Seriously, it was all about hacking limbs and knowing their way around with a saw.

Now this would be a rather reasonable job posting….for a pirate ship in the 17th century. Seriously, it was all about hacking limbs and knowing their way around with a saw.

56. Join 10x Marketing or die.

Now I know that Darth Vader is a cultural icon. But still, this is a guy is a boss from hell known to force choke his employees, blow up his daughter's planet, and cut off his son's hand. Seriously, would you want a guy like that on a recruitment poster?

Now I know that Darth Vader is a cultural icon. But still, this is a guy is a boss from hell known to force choke his employees, blow up his daughter’s planet, and cut off his son’s hand. Seriously, would you want a guy like that on a recruitment poster?

57. Tired of working $9.75/hr, here’s a job for $5-7/hr.

Yeah, I'll take a pass on this. Seriously, compared to what they offer $9.75/hr isn't that bad, especially if it pertains to a job paying $5-7/hr.

Yeah, I’ll take a pass on this. Seriously, compared to what they offer $9.75/hr isn’t that bad, especially if it pertains to a job paying $5-7/hr.

58. Start a career in a fast paced lucrative pudding business for adverse working conditions.

Benefits include long hard hours, very low pay, lots of heavy lifting, working for a ball busting asshole, no benefits, and no advancement. Must be a college grad.

Benefits include long hard hours, very low pay, lots of heavy lifting, working for a ball busting asshole, no benefits, and no advancement. Must be a college grad.

59. Men wanted for hazardous journey. See Ernest Shackleton for details.

This is an ad for the Ernest Shackleton Antarctic expedition. Of course, despite the abysmal job description, he managed to get guys on board. Luckily they all survived the Endurance one.

This is an ad for the Ernest Shackleton Antarctic expedition. Of course, despite the abysmal job description, he managed to get guys on board. Luckily they all survived the Endurance one.

60. Waitress Needed: Seeking 18 year old with 20 years experience.

Hmmm...18 year old with 20 years experience. Wonder how that's possible. Wait a minute, it's not. Yeah, somebody must've messed up with this ad big time.

Hmmm…18 year old with 20 years experience. Wonder how that’s possible. Wait a minute, it’s not. Yeah, somebody must’ve messed up with this ad big time.

61. Spanish disco seeks energetic young dancers for Friday nights. Must wear Star Wars costume.

I'm sure there will be plenty of Star Wars fans who will jump at this opportunity. Of course, many of them would really hat to work between midnight and 4:30 am.

I’m sure there will be plenty of Star Wars fans who will jump at this opportunity. Of course, many of them would really hat to work between midnight and 4:30 am.

62.Wanted: Hay chewer.

Seriously, you'd have to be incredibly nuts to apply for this job. I mean the job description is utterly disgusting.

Seriously, you’d have to be incredibly nuts to apply for this job. I mean the job description is utterly disgusting.

63. Now hiring at Blockbuster. Please no dinosaurs in human costumes.

Dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years. So the odds of them being in a human costume is basically nil. Guess working at a video store can drive you nuts.

Dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years. So the odds of them being in a human costume is basically nil. Guess working at a video store can drive you nuts.

64. Exxon: Now hiring and by the way, we pay more than the NYPD.

If Exxon seems to pay more than the NYPD, then I'm sure that those guys in blue are basically working for peanuts. No wonder they commit so many atrocities on black people.

If Exxon seems to pay more than the NYPD, then I’m sure that those guys in blue are basically working for peanuts. No wonder they commit so many atrocities on black people.

65. Help wanted: Many positions available.

I'm sure this is a joke. If not, then it's probably some recruitment sign for a prostitution ring. Yes, dirty silhouette people you see on restrooms have sex lives, too.

I’m sure this is a joke. If not, then it’s probably some recruitment sign for a prostitution ring. Yes, dirty silhouette people you see on restrooms have sex lives, too.

66. Wanted: Babysitter for adopted daughter. Call 24601.

Again, this is a joke. Yeah, nice try Jean Valjean. Love the

Again, this is a joke. Yeah, nice try Jean Valjean. Love the “May or may not be during an attempted revival of the French Revolution.”

67. Now hiring fried turkeys.

I'm sure this is a case of bad ad placement. Seriously, who'd want to hire fried turkeys. Still pretty funny.

I’m sure this is a case of bad ad placement. Seriously, who’d want to hire fried turkeys. Still pretty funny.

68. Kitchen Helf Wated.

Seems like they need someone with good English skills. Either that, or someone who knows how to spell simple words like

Seems like they need someone with good English skills. Either that, or someone who knows how to spell simple words like “help” or “wanted.”

69. Wanted: Female Snail Crusher.

Of course, they will be paid via vouchers from Amazon. Still, this is said to be posted by film students. As to why they want female snail crushers, I have no idea.

Of course, they will be paid via vouchers from Amazon. Still, this is said to be posted by film students. As to why they want female snail crushers, I have no idea.

70. Good news! Spongebob is at Burger King hiring managers.

Of course, this is a result when advertising to customers gets in the way of advertising to job seekers. Yeah, might make people think

Of course, this is a result when advertising to customers gets in the way of advertising to job seekers. Yeah, might make people think “Hey, I didn’t know Spongebob worked at Burger King.”

71. Have what it takes to be an Air Force engineer? Call the number below.

Now this is the kind of complex math engineers would certainly deal with. Yes, this is certainly incomprehensible to people like me.

Now this is the kind of complex math engineers would certainly deal with. Yes, this is certainly incomprehensible to people like me.

72. Interested in graphic design. Then be a freelance studio assistant.

Sure you'll be working with an advertising agency. But you'll basically be a gopher in this position, which is kind of like an internship.

Sure you’ll be working with an advertising agency. But you’ll basically be a gopher in this position, which is kind of like an internship.

73. Be a part time server at our establishment, but you must meet the following criteria.

Now there may be some relevant disqualifications here such as being a sociopath, mean, or crazy. But some of these are just so irrelevant to the job such as not liking Batman, for instance.

Now there may be some relevant disqualifications here such as being a sociopath, mean, or crazy. But some of these are just so irrelevant to the job such as not liking Batman, for instance.

74. Wanted: Intern required for stuff.

Of course, this job has some fine qualifications. But the job title is very nonspecific other than it being from Glasgow. Yet, liking bourbon and a song on Youtube, how does that make anyone eligible?

Of course, this job has some fine qualifications. But the job title is very nonspecific other than it being from Glasgow. Yet, liking bourbon and a song on You Tube, how does that make anyone eligible?

75. People needed for Burger Bar. Politics students and P addicts need not apply.

Again, you have to love Murder Burger. Not sure what their food is like. But their ads seem like they're written by complete curmudgeons and are hilarious.

Again, you have to love Murder Burger. Not sure what their food is like. But their ads seem like they’re written by complete curmudgeons and are hilarious.

76. Wanted: Clinical Scientists for our graveyard shits.

Should be

Should be “graveyard shifts.” A great example of how leaving one letter can just change the whole meaning of the ad.

77. In Islamabad, they have very high standards for potential employees in Chinese restaurants.

Now 5 years experience for a waiter or barman is one thing, but 5 star hotel? You got to be kidding me. Talk about impossible standards.

Now 5 years experience for a waiter or barman is one thing, but 5 star hotel? You got to be kidding me. Talk about impossible standards.

78. Wanted: Head Coach of Division I College Basketball.

Now you have to admit, that the University of Nevada Las Vegas is really desperate for a head basketball coach. Otherwise, they wouldn't have advertised it on Craigslist.

Now you have to admit, that the University of Nevada Las Vegas is really desperate for a head basketball coach. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have advertised it on Craigslist.

79. Wanted: Photographer for adult film star party.

“Must be comfortable around little people,” well, that’s not really the thing in this case. Seriously, nudity and sex is one thing, but involving live animals in it, then it’s just disgusting.

80. Wanted: Two people to play Dungeons and Dragons with.

For one, since when can you send a resume telepathically? Second, I'm sure satisfaction of cosmic justice isn't enough for someone to live on.

For one, since when can you send a resume telepathically? Second, I’m sure satisfaction of cosmic justice isn’t enough for someone to live on.

NSFW Business Naming and Design

When it comes to starting a business, branding is everything. Branding is how businesses market their products and services to potential customers in a way that defines as well as advertises. Now one of the first ways to come up with a brand is in the business’s name. Think of how the name in many of the brands we see today defines the products and services in a lot of today’s enterprises. Still, to the aspiring entrepreneur, the business name could come in many different forms. Some could be just the name and the business you’re offering such as “Dan Paisley’s Auto Parts Store.” Some can be more creative like “Honest John’s Used Car Dealership” or “Handsome Greg’s Hardware Store.” Sometimes you can go with a clever name like many of the businesses in The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series like “Speedy Motors,” “Last Chance Salon,” or “The Handsome Men’s Go-Go Bar.” Yet, however you name your business, make sure it’s suited for a PG or G rated audience and defines what you’re selling. And even if you have a good business name, make sure it’s designed in aw way it doesn’t have unfortunate implications. Still, while there may be a lot of good business names out there, this isn’t the post for them. Rather it’s for those who probably should’ve considered hiring a marketing consultant but didn’t. So without further adieu, here are some bad business names and sign designs that may make you question what the hell the owner was thinking.

1. Doggy Style Pet Shop

I'm sure a great name for a pet store pertains to a sex position deriving from the idea of two dogs humping each other. Anyone who's been around dogs would know what that means.

I’m sure a great name for a pet store pertains to a sex position deriving from the idea of two dogs humping each other. Anyone who’s been around dogs would know what that means.

2. Megaflicks Video Store

While Megaflicks is a perfectly good name for a video store, perhaps the sci-fi font wasn't a good idea. Then again, this might be more appropriate sign for an adult film store.

While Megaflicks is a perfectly good name for a video store, perhaps the sci-fi font wasn’t a good idea. Then again, this might be more appropriate sign for an adult film store.

3. Know Knew Books Used Bookstore

What business owner sees as a clever pun, another sees the sign wondering if the person who designed it knows how to spell.

What business owner sees as a clever pun, another sees the sign wondering if the person who designed it knows how to spell.

4. Retarded Children’s Thrift Store

You may need to get a new business name if the one you currently have contains highly offensive term for mentally disabled people. Seriously, it's as bad as naming your football team the Redskins.

You may need to get a new business name if the one you currently have contains highly offensive term for mentally disabled people. Seriously, it’s as bad as naming your football team the Redskins.

5. Dong Welding

When choosing an appropriate name for a business, make sure yours doesn't refer to synonym for genitalia. Also, I'm sure this business name makes men cringe if they don't know anyone named Dong.

When choosing an appropriate name for a business, make sure yours doesn’t refer to synonym for genitalia. Also, I’m sure this business name makes men cringe if they don’t know anyone named Dong.

6. Stoner Drug Pharmacy

I'm sure "Stoner Drug" is a great name for a drugstore. I can see it now, "Stoner Drug: Our Stash Will Make You High." Hope this is just a medical marijuana dispensary.

I’m sure “Stoner Drug” is a great name for a drugstore. I can see it now, “Stoner Drug: Our Stash Will Make You High.” Hope this is just a medical marijuana dispensary.

7. Blood’s Seafood & Catering

Now while Blood may be a great name for a pirate captain, it's not so much for a seafood restauranteur.

Now while Blood may be a great name for a pirate captain, it’s not so much for a seafood restauranteur. Then again, you can say that for anything else other than pirate or serial killer.

8. Boring Business Systems

I'm sure if I hear if someone has "Boring" in their business name, that I might be interested in what they have to offer. Not.

I’m sure if I hear if someone has “Boring” in their business name, that I might be interested in what they have to offer. Not.

9. Hooker Cockram Construction Firm

From a comment on a Tumblr site Awkward Names: "Just found this company in our contact database. They have an employee called R. Wang. So there's a guy called R. Wang, working at a company that specialises in erections, called Hooker Cockram."

From a comment on a Tumblr site Awkward Names: “Just found this company in our contact database. They have an employee called R. Wang.
So there’s a guy called R. Wang, working at a company that specializes in erections, called Hooker Cockram.” It’s a construction company in Australia now known as just Cockram and they even have a website, too.

10. Goin’ Postal Shipping Center

Aside from being a name of a major shipping franchise, "going postal" also means becoming extremely or uncontrollably angry, often to the point of violence, and usually in a workplace environment. It gets its name from a bunch of post office incidents from 1986s onwards about postal workers attacking and killing their fellow employees and managers.

Aside from being a name of a major shipping franchise, “going postal” also means becoming extremely or uncontrollably angry, often to the point of violence, and usually in a workplace environment. It gets its name from a bunch of post office incidents from 1986 onwards about postal workers attacking and killing their fellow employees and managers.

11. The Barfer Shoppe Pet Food Store

Now this one gets its name from its slogan "Biologically Appropriate Raw Food for Cats and Dogs."  Of course when I hear "barfer" I usually think of someone regurgitating food that's been digested.

Now this one gets its name from its slogan “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food for Cats and Dogs.” Of course when I hear “barfer” I usually think of someone regurgitating food that’s already been digested.

12. Poo-Ping Palace Thai Cuisine

This is a Thai restaurant in Australia. Still, I'm not sure what Poo-Ping means in Thai. Then again, perhaps this sign is just explaining what happens a few hours later.

This is a Thai restaurant in Australia. Still, I’m not sure what Poo-Ping means in Thai. Then again, perhaps this sign is just explaining what happens a few hours later. Either way, still pretty funny.

13. B. A. A. D. Carpet Care

Gets its name from its slogan, "'Best All Around Deal' Company." Still, if you have "bad" in your business name, I'm sure people wouldn't want to buy it.

Gets its name from its slogan, “‘Best All Around Deal’ Company.” Still, if you have “bad” in your business name, I’m sure people wouldn’t want to buy it.

14. The Tranny Shop Auto Transmission Repair Service

Of course, "tranny" here is supposed to be short for transmission. Yet, when everyone else here's the word, "tranny," they think of someone who's been through a sex change.

Of course, “tranny” here is supposed to be short for transmission. Yet, when everyone else here’s the word, “tranny,” they think of someone who’s been through a sex change.

15. B. J. Queen Enterprises LLC Mechanical Contractor

Now I supposed, "B. J." is the guy's name. And I also suppose that he hasn't seen the South Park episode with the Jonas Brothers. Oh, and I'm sure no girl in her right mind may want to be referred to as "B. J. Queen."

Now I supposed, “B. J.” is the guy’s name. And I also suppose that he hasn’t seen the South Park episode with the Jonas Brothers. Oh, and I’m sure no girl in her right mind may want to be referred to as “B. J. Queen.”

16. Bong’s Cleaners Dry Cleaning

For the businessman who needs his designer suit cleaned after he's smoked one. I guess this is a dry cleaning store in the "Rocky Mountain High" Colorado.

For the businessman who needs his designer suit cleaned after he’s smoked one. I guess this is a dry cleaning store in the “Rocky Mountain High” Colorado.

17. Butt Drilling Water Well Engineers

This is a water well engineering firm in New Zealand. Still, I wonder if they have a lot of assholes working for them. Then again, that business probably made them assholes.

This is a water well engineering firm in New Zealand. Still, I wonder if they have a lot of assholes working for them. Then again, that business probably made them assholes.

18. Bill Buttram Photography

Of course, the logo design doesn't deter much shits and giggles either. As someone said on Awkward Names, "Buttram, with a nice logo to show a demonstration as to what is being said :)."

Of course, the logo design doesn’t deter much shits and giggles either. As someone said on Awkward Names, “Buttram, with a nice logo to show a demonstration as to what is being said :).”

19. Cock Polishing Services

For the man searching for a clean and polished look for where the sun don't shine. Of course, this won't count for the guy living in a nudist colony.

For the man searching for a clean and polished look for where the sun don’t shine. Of course, this won’t count for the guy living in a nudist colony.

20. Cuchi’s Barbershop and Beauty Salon

Of course, when I hear the word, "Cuchi" I think of a family hair salon. Actually not really. Still, I wonder if this place does Brazilians.

Of course, when I hear the word, “Cuchi” I think of a family hair salon. Actually not really. Still, I wonder if this place does Brazilians.

21. Dick’s Pumping Concrete Service

Doesn't help that their slogan is, "We'll put our hose anywhere." Still, I wonder if this business also sells those pumps to old men with erectile dysfunction.

Doesn’t help that their slogan is, “We’ll put our hose anywhere.” Still, I wonder if this business also sells those pumps to old men with erectile dysfunction.

22. The Dress Barn Clothing Store

Now there's nothing wrong with the name.  However, it's a clothing store that caters to plus-sized women so calling one's clientele livestock won't get them rushing to the door.

Now there’s nothing wrong with the name at first.
However, it’s a clothing store that caters to plus-sized women so calling one’s clientele livestock won’t get them rushing to the door.

23. Dykes Lumber Company

Probably the only Lumber Company facility in these parts that probably has speakers blasting to Melissa Etheridge music. Also, they even have their own website.

Probably the only Lumber Company facility in these parts that probably has speakers blasting to Melissa Etheridge music. Also, they even have their own website.

24. Family Beer & Liquor Store

This is a liquor store in Illinois. Now I'm sure they came up with "Family" just to give it a down home feel. Still, I don't think a place that sells alcoholic drinks should put "family" in its name. Makes one wonder whether they sell schnapps for kindergarten kids or something.

This is a liquor store in Illinois. Now I’m sure they came up with “Family” just to give it a down home feel. Still, I don’t think a place that sells alcohol should put “family” in its name. Makes one wonder whether they sell schnapps for kindergarten kids or something.

25. P. C. P. Dining Chinese Restaurant

Possibly the Chinese restaurant that offers the trippiest food in the business. Said that the food is so good, you might want to rip off you clothes and bite your neighbor for some leftovers.

Possibly the Chinese restaurant that offers the trippiest food in the business. Said that the food is so good, you might want to rip off you clothes and bite your neighbor for some leftovers.

26. Gross Convenient Store

At least this place lives up to the reputation of most convenient stores. Let's just say people are scared enough of convenient store food as it is. Not to mention, "Gross," isn't a name you'd want to use on a business sign.

At least this place lives up to the reputation of most convenient stores. Let’s just say people are scared enough of convenient store food as it is. Not to mention, “Gross,” isn’t a name you’d want to use on a business sign.

27. Hindenburger Restaurant

Basically their burgers are said to taste so great, that you'd say "Oh, the humanity!" Seriously, why name a burger place after a 1937 aviation disaster?

Basically their burgers are said to taste so great, that you’d say “Oh, the humanity!” Seriously, why name a burger place after a 1937 aviation disaster? It’s like naming a business after the Titanic.

28. Nude Furniture Store

Basically this is a store for furniture without the covers. Nevertheless, while trying to look it up on Google Images, I got more pictures of naked women than this business.

Basically this is a store for furniture without the covers. Nevertheless, while trying to look it up on Google Images, I got more pictures of naked women than this business.

29. PMS Firearms

The gun store for those women experiencing that time of the month when they need to go on a homicidal rampage. Yeah, firearms, that's what all moody women need while on their periods.

The gun store for those women experiencing that time of the month when they need to go on a homicidal rampage. Yeah, firearms, that’s what all moody women need while on their periods.

30. Prom Discount Liquors Store

Because there always has to be the store where all the high school kids get their booze on the night that leads to more teens getting pregnant and contracting STDs than any other.

Because there always has to be the store where all the high school kids get their booze on the night that leads to more teens getting pregnant and contracting STDs than any other.

31. Hump It & Dump It Waste Removal and Demolitions

This is a business in Britain. Still, it's name can also be referred to as "one night stand."  Yeah, not something that should be encouraged.

This is a business in Britain. Still, it’s name can also be referred to as “one night stand.” Yeah, not something that should be encouraged.

32. Spermies T-Shirt Design

Now seriously, what's with naming a T-shirt design business Spermies? Even worse, why is their mascot an actual sperm?

Now seriously, what’s with naming a T-shirt design business Spermies? Even worse, why is their mascot an actual sperm?

33. Butcher Family Funeral Home

Now I'm sure many people who go in there for a viewing are pleasantly surprised that the place doesn't remind them of anything related to Sweeny Todd.

Now I’m sure many people who go in there for a viewing are pleasantly surprised that the place doesn’t remind them of anything related to Sweeny Todd.

34. Booty’s House of Crabs Restaurant

I'm sure those crabs aren't the ones you get in your nether region. Still, this sign is just too dirty to ignore.

I’m sure those crabs aren’t the ones you get in your nether region. Still, this sign is just too dirty to ignore.

35. Dumploads OnUs Junk Removal Specialists

Of course, by dumping loads they mean junk, not poop. Still, I have to admit the business name certainly suits it.

Of course, by dumping loads they mean junk, not poop. Still, I have to admit the business name certainly suits it.

36. Vagina Tandoori Indian Cuisine

Now I'm sure restaurants from East Asia aren't the only ones with dirty names. Hope "vagina" doesn't mean anything inappropriate in Hindi. Then again, people in India speak a lot of different languages.

Now I’m sure restaurants from East Asia aren’t the only ones with dirty names. Hope “vagina” doesn’t mean anything inappropriate in Hindi. Then again, people in India speak a lot of different languages.

37. Fashion Do-Do Clothing Store

Basically this is the clothing store pertaining to wardrobe malfunctions. That, or designer clothes made from shit.

Basically this is the clothing store pertaining to wardrobe malfunctions. That, or designer clothes made from shit.

38. Hand Job Nails & Spa

Basically, this is a place where anyone can get a manicure, pedicure, and massage. Yet, it's also where a man could get his dick manually stimulated. Nevertheless, it's on Castro Street in San Francisco.

Basically, this is a place where anyone can get a manicure, pedicure, and massage. Yet, it’s also where a man could get his junk manually stimulated. Nevertheless, it’s on Castro Street in San Francisco, home of Harvey Milk.

39. Dirty Dick’s Crab House

Let's hope the crabs you got from Dirty Dick's are the ones you ate on your plate. Of course, Dirty Dick may be laden with STDs for all you know. Still, seriously, why go with the STD angle on crab shacks? Come on.

Let’s hope the crabs you got from Dirty Dick’s are the ones you ate on your plate. Of course, Dirty Dick may be laden with STDs for all you know. Still, seriously, why go with the STD angle on crab shacks? Come on. Don’t you want people to bring their kids?

40. Analtech Thin Laser Chromatography

This is a technology company that makes laser chromatographic plates. However, the name is more appropriate for a tech company that makes probes that go all the way up in your ass.

This is a technology company that makes laser chromatographic plates. However, the name is more appropriate for a tech company that makes probes that go all the way up in your ass.

41. FAG Bearings Corporation

This is a ball bearings company in Germany and apparently FAG is an abbreviation for a German saying. Yet, in English, "fag" is short for "faggot," which is a derogatory slur to gay people.

This is a ball bearings company in Germany and apparently FAG is an abbreviation for a German saying. Yet, in English, “fag” is short for “faggot,” which is a derogatory slur to gay people.

42. Suck Bang Blow Restaurant and Saloon

Despite the name, it's probably not an Asian restaurant. Actually, it's a biker bar at Myrtle Beach believe it or not. Still, I bet this sign gets a lot of complaints from parents.

Despite the name, it’s probably not an Asian restaurant. Actually, it’s a biker bar at Myrtle Beach believe it or not. Still, I bet this sign gets a lot of complaints from parents.

43. Pho King Way Noodles & Grill

Now this is one of more dirty named Asian restaurants. This one is Vietnamese. Sometimes I wonder why these Asian establishments have such names as a joke or something.

Now this is one of more dirty named Asian restaurants. This one is Vietnamese. Sometimes I wonder why these Asian establishments have such names as a joke or something.

44. The Chocolate Log Confectionary and Coffee Shop

Now there are great names for a candy and coffee store. Yet, I'm sure "chocolate log" isn't one of them because it's another word for "shit."

Now there are great names for a candy and coffee store. Yet, I’m sure “chocolate log” isn’t one of them because it’s another word for “shit.”

45. Ho-Made Restaurant

Now the "Eat In" and "Carry Out" slogan seem to give "Ho-Made" a whole new meaning. Then again "Ho-Made" is said to be short for "homemade" yet we all know what a "ho" is.

Now the “Eat In” and “Carry Out” slogan seem to give “Ho-Made” a whole new meaning. Then again “Ho-Made” is said to be short for “homemade” yet doesn’t make the sign sound less dirty does it?

46. S & M Mini Mall

S & M Mini Mall: the shopping center that caters to all your BDSM needs. I bet this is the ultimate shopping destination for the dominatrix where she could buy a gimp suit and the latest designer cat o' nine tails.

S & M Mini Mall: the shopping center that caters to all your BDSM needs. I bet this is the ultimate shopping destination for the dominatrix where she could buy a gimp suit and the latest designer cat o’ nine tails.

47. Stiff Nipples Air Conditioning Service

Because you never know when you'll need a cooling service that would make your house so cold that it hurts the sensitive regions of your chest.

Because you never know when you’ll need a cooling service that would make your house so cold that it hurts the sensitive regions of your chest.

48. Big Dick’s Halfway Inn Resort

Doesn't help when it's slogan is "Home of the Original Minnow Shot." Also, the arrow just kills me. Still, name of a restaurant and bar in Missouri.

Doesn’t help when it’s slogan is “Home of the Original Minnow Shot.” Also, the arrow just kills me. Still, name of a restaurant and bar in Missouri.

49. The Sweet Dairy Air Shop

Of course, while it may be a store for dairy products, the name sounds like another word for butt. Doesn't help that there's something phallic about that sheep.

Of course, while it may be a store for dairy products, the name sounds like another word for butt. Doesn’t help that there’s something phallic about that sheep.

50. Toylet Anime and Airsoft

Where anime comics and airsoft make good company. Still, I could understand anime comics at least in manga form but airsoft guns? I mean how do you play paint ball when you're sitting on the commode?

Where anime comics and airsoft make good company. Still, I could understand anime comics at least in manga form but airsoft guns? I mean how do you play paint ball when you’re sitting on the commode?

51. Herpes Pizza

Where you order pizza once and pay for it over the rest of your life. I heard the extra sores special is sensational. Still, what's with the corn ear on the sign? Seriously, what does corn have to do with pizza?

Where you order pizza once and pay for it over the rest of your life. I heard the extra sores special is sensational. Still, what’s with the corn ear on the sign? Seriously, what does corn have to do with pizza?

52. Cabbages & Condoms Thai Restaurant

Seriously, what do cabbages and condoms have to do with Thai food? Is this place trying to promote healthy eating habits and safe sex? Then again, it's in Bangkok.

Seriously, what do cabbages and condoms have to do with Thai food? Is this place trying to promote healthy eating habits and safe sex at the same time? Then again, it’s in Bangkok.

53. Hooker’s Funeral Home

Well, it has to be nice that there's a funeral that takes in all those poor sex workers who've been killed on cop shows. Their viewings must be very interesting.

Well, it has to be nice that there’s a funeral that takes in all those poor sex workers who’ve been killed on cop shows. Their viewings must be very interesting.

54. Kids Exchange

Never underestimate the value of spacing. If two close, the words, "kids exchange" may read "kid sex change." Yeah, it happens.

Never underestimate the value of spacing. If two close, the words, “kids exchange” may read “kid sex change.” Yeah, it happens.

55. Mammoth Erection Scaffolders

Remember this is a construction company, not what old man gets when he's had too many Viagra. Still, if you call this company asking for long, firm poles, they may hang up on you.

Remember this is a construction company, not what old man gets when he’s had too many Viagra. Still, if you call this company asking for long, firm poles, they may hang up on you.

56. Curl Up & Dye Hair Salon

If Sweeny Todd could expand into the beauty parlor business, this would be the perfect name for it. Still, I'm sure people don't want to have any thoughts about death while getting their haircut, especially after watching Sweeny Todd.

If Sweeny Todd could expand into the beauty parlor business, this would be the perfect name for it. Still, I’m sure people don’t want to have any thoughts about death while getting their haircut, especially after watching Sweeny Todd.

57. Badcock Home Furniture & More

Now this would be one of the most ironic places for a man to be caught with his pants down. Ironically, it's a store chain in the South, which means perhaps the place where David Vitter, Mark Sanford, and John Edwards bought their dining chairs.

Now this would be one of the most ironic places for a man to be caught with his pants down. Ironically, it’s a store chain in the South, which means perhaps the place where David Vitter, Mark Sanford, and John Edwards bought their dining chairs. Then again, you may not know who these guys are.

58. The Dirty Hoe Garden Shed

Finally, a perfect place for lonely men to get petunias, fertilizer, and a watering can for their mothers as well as a female escort for themselves.

Finally, a perfect place for lonely men to get petunias, fertilizer, and a watering can for their mothers as well as a female escort for themselves. Well, if they’re into that sort of thing and can live with the STDs for the rest of their lives.

59. Barf Bed & Breakfast

Heard they have excellent guest accommodations but the food is just disgusting. I mean it's bad enough to make you puke if you know what I mean. Still, you might want to eat out if you ever stop there.

Heard they have excellent guest accommodations but the food is just disgusting. I mean it’s bad enough to make you puke if you know what I mean. Still, you might want to eat out if you ever stop there.

60. Blue Balls Boutique

Now here's a nice little boutique for all the guys who are saving it for marriage, thinking about entering a monastery or priesthood, or men who just aren't getting any right now.

Now here’s a nice little boutique for all the guys who are saving it for marriage, thinking about entering a monastery or priesthood, or men who just aren’t getting any right now.

61. Knobs & Knockers Door Accessories

While this may be a cute name for a door accessories or hardware store, it's also a very appropriate name for a sex shop. I mean I've seen Young Frankenstein, when Gene Wilder says, "What knockers!" And Inga goes, "Oh, thank you, doctor."

While this may be a cute name for a door accessories or hardware store, it’s also a very appropriate name for a sex shop. I mean I’ve seen Young Frankenstein, when Gene Wilder says, “What knockers!” And Inga goes, “Oh, thank you, doctor.”

62. S. T. D. Central Flea Market

Where you come for the cheap crap you pay for the rest of your life on antibiotics and safe sex. Perhaps I should pass this resale shop if I ever come across it.

Where you come for the cheap crap you pay for the rest of your life on antibiotics and safe sex. Perhaps I should pass this resale shop if I ever come across it.

63. Pee & Poo Food & Drink

Please let this be an Asian restaurant and not some reflection of the fare this business has to offer. Because that would be disgusting.

Please let this be an Asian restaurant and not some reflection of the fare this business has to offer. Because that would be disgusting beyond all reason.

64. Shemale Hair Salon

Let's just hope this salon's "body works" and "fast altercations" don't pertain to a quick sex reassignment surgery. Because I'm perfectly fine with being a woman, thank you.

Let’s just hope this salon’s “body works” and “fast altercations” don’t pertain to a quick sex reassignment surgery. Because I’m perfectly fine with being a woman, thank you.

65. Pussy Cleaners Dry Cleaning

Finally, the place where I can take my formalwear to be dry cleaned and have my private parts cleaned at the same time. Then again, I usually clean my nether regions myself in the shower, thank you very much.

Finally, the place where I can take my formal wear to be dry cleaned and have my private parts cleaned at the same time. Then again, I usually clean my nether regions myself in the shower, thank you very much.

66. Menlove Dental Practice

If you're a straight man, then going to this dentist might give the words "open wide" and "it's just a little prick" a whole disturbing new subtext.

If you’re a straight man, then going to this dentist might give the words “open wide” and “it’s just a little prick” a whole disturbing new subtext.

67. Camel Towing Removal Service

Whether it's clearing a tree down the road or relieving a woman from the embarrassment of showing her crotch in really tight pants, these are the guys for you.

Whether it’s clearing a tree down the road or relieving a woman from the embarrassment of showing her crotch in really tight pants, these are the guys for you.

68. Fuk Mi Sushi Bar & Seafood Buffet

Now this Japanese restaurant has everything such as sushi, seafood, and an escort service to boot. Still, what a terrible name.

Now this Japanese restaurant has everything such as sushi, seafood, and an escort service to boot. Still, what a terrible name.

69. Long Poo Gas Supplies

Whether it's methane, propane, or whatever's coming from your rear end, these people got it all. Nevertheless, proceed with caution since natural gas is flammable and doesn't solve global warming at all.

Whether it’s methane, propane, or whatever’s coming from your rear end, these people got it all. Nevertheless, proceed with caution since natural gas is flammable and does nothing to stop global warming.

70. Hammered Liquor Store

May not be the most appropriate business name, but it fits. Yes, liquor and alcohol will get you hammered if you drink enough of it.

May not be the most appropriate business name, but it fits. Yes, liquor and alcohol will get you hammered if you drink enough of it.

71. Scandinavian Sun Tanning Salon

Sure Scandinavian people have good tans, yet understand that some places in Scandinavia don't get sunshine during certain times of the year. So it's kind of a stretch.

Sure Scandinavian people have good tans, yet understand that some places in Scandinavia don’t get sunshine during certain times of the year. So it’s kind of a stretch.

72. Sherrill’s Eat Here and Get Gas Rest Stop

I know this is a rest stop, but the word "gas" has another meaning than just fuel for the car. Remind me not to order anything with beans at this place if you know what I mean.

I know this is a rest stop, but the word “gas” has another meaning than just fuel for the car. Remind me not to order anything with beans at this place if you know what I mean.

73. Brick Furniture Store

Let's just say, you wouldn't expect a anything from Brick Furniture to be very comfortable. In fact, quite the opposite.

Let’s just say, you wouldn’t expect a anything from Brick Furniture to be very comfortable. In fact, quite the opposite.

74. Tom Raper RVs

Now having your own name in the business is fine but not if your name is Raper. This is especially true when you sell RVs.

Now having your own name in the business is fine but not if your name is Raper. This is especially true when you sell RVs.

75. Killer for Hire Exterminators

This is an exterminator business, yet you wouldn't know it by the presentation, which suggests a completely different service. I'm sure this business will take care of those unwanted pests at and will make you an offer you can't refuse.

This is an exterminator business, yet you wouldn’t know it by the presentation, which suggests a completely different service. I’m sure this business will take care of those unwanted pests at and will make you an offer you can’t refuse.