Category: ECONOMY

Top 50 US Office Deals of 2017: Chinese Clampdown Makes Way for South Korean Buyers

One year ago, we did a round-up of the 50 largest office sales to close in the U.S. during 2016. Our analysis showed a slight slowdown in office sales activity compared to the previous year, but buyer interest remained strong. In keeping with tradition, we’re doing the same thing this year, to see if that interest waned during 2017.

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Welcome to BALTIMORE: America’s Inner City Hellhole

Long ago Baltimore was once considered the place to be on the east coast. The city was vibrant due to a busy port and an abundance of manufacturing jobs; now you can’t find a single fortune 500 company in Baltimore, let alone the greater Baltimore region.

I often joke with my wife that she is the only good thing that has come out of Baltimore in the last 30 years. She grew up in Towson, a suburb right outside of the City, and when we go back to visit her family even she has trouble believing what has become of her hometown.

A ride through Baltimore usually consists of locking your doors, rolling up your windows and having your head on a 360-degree swivel. Baltimore faces the same challenges as many other inner cities: rotting infrastructure, thousands of abandoned homes, potholes that haven’t been fixed in almost a decade, and trash littered everywhere on the side of the road. These are just the basic things your tax dollars should be taking care of. On the flip side, Baltimore has more pressing problems like a skyrocketing murder rate, a  police force that’s gone rogue, a heroin and opioid epidemic that is ruining the city, violent street gangs, a school system that is failing to teach kids the basic like reading and math, economic woes and a city Government that is always involved in a scandal.

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I’m no Republican, but isn’t it ironic that most inner city S***holes a mismanaged by Democrats?

If you want to get a feel for Baltimore, look at some of these insane videos that showcase the highlights of a fallen city.

If those video’s don’t do it for you just read some of these headlines from the past year. One has to wonder how much further can Baltimore sink?

The police department has officially gone rogue and turned into a band of armed thugs who are just as bad as the criminals.

Crime is spiraling out of control.

The heroin and opioid epidemic has reached crisis level.

Judges and Politicians are 100% of the problem in Baltimore, the city has a long history of corruption.

Baltimore City schools are an epic failure.

Baltimore’s economic woes.


Thomas Dishaw is the editor and creator of You can follow Gov’t Slaves on TwitterFacebook and GAB or contact us by email at 

This article is Creative Commons and can be republished in full with attribution. You can also view my catalog of  writings at

Desperation? Simon Property Group (the biggest mall owner in America) sues Starbucks over Teavana closures

Simon Property Group

Simon Property Group, the largest owner of malls in the United States has filed a lawsuit against Starbucks according to this USA Today report. The announcement comes on the heels of Starbucks announcement to abruptly close down all 379 Teavana locations.

Simon Property Group has filed a lawsuit in Marion County against the Starbucks Corp. over for its plans to shutter all of the Teavana stores operating in Simon malls nationwide.

In the lawsuit filed Aug. 21, Simon officials argued that their shopping centers rely on each of their tenants fulfilling their lease obligations, including  continuously operating in the space for the entire lease term.

But when Starbucks announced July 27 that it would be closing all 379 of its Teavana stores, including the 78 stores in Simon shopping centers, the company “put its stock price above its contractual obligations, the viability of Simon and its Shopping Centers, other retailers and consumers who count on the Teavana stores.”

The lawsuit also noted that Starbucks made the decision “unilaterally, without prior consent from Simon.”

During the July 27 announcement, Starbucks officials said the Teavana stores will be closed by next spring and the 3,300 employees will be able to apply for jobs in Starbucks stores, where it is expected to create 68,000 new jobs in the next five years.

Simon, the Indianapolis-based shopping mall giant, is now seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction to keep Starbucks from closing the stores early, as well as all appropriate relief as a result of this legal action.

“Starbucks does not contend that Simon breached any lease or that Starbucks cannot remain viable if it continues to honor its promises in its leases for stores in Simon’s Shopping Centers,” the lawsuit states. “Instead, Starbucks simply believes it can make more money if it violates the leases than if it honored the contractual promises and obligations.”

Cancer and diabetes rates to EXPLODE as McDonald’s unveils plan to open 2,000 more stores in China

China, once known for having some of the lowest cancer and disease rates throughout the world has quietly been sieged by ‘unhealthy’ Capitalism. Pizza Hut, Burger King, Taco Bell, Coca-Cola and finally McDonald’s are aggressively expanding into this untapped market leaving a deadly trail of cancer, diabetes, and disease for future generations to deal with.

According to this South China Morning Post report, McDonald’s will more than double their presence in China bringing the total number of stores to 4,500 by the year 2022.

McDonald’s said on Tuesday it would almost double the number of stores in mainland China by 2022, slightly more than was expected, as part of its strategic partnership with state-backed conglomerate CITIC Ltd and the Carlyle Group.

Earlier in the year, the US fast food chain agreed to sell most of its China and Hong Kong business to CITIC and Carlyle for up to US$2.1 billion. The new partnership had planned to add 1,500 restaurants in the two areas over the next five years.

But McDonald’s, which is betting the partnership will help it expand in the world’s No 2 economy without using much of its own capital, said it expects to increase the number of stores in mainland China to 4,500 by the end of 2022, from 2,500 now.

The company said it was targeting a double-digit annual sales growth in mainland China over the period, and was aiming to add 500 stores annually by 2022 versus 250 stores this year.

“China will soon become our largest market outside of the United States. We are excited to join forces with CITIC and Carlyle for better localised decision-making to meet changing customer demands in this dynamic market,” Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s chief executive, said.


Drones are quietly taking the jobs of Insurance Inspectors

Insurance Inspectors

Insurance Inspectors are the latest casualty of the much-anticipated tech takeover. According to this WSJ, report drones are becoming the norm as 40% of car insurers no longer use employees to physically inspect damage in some cases.

When Melinda Roberts found shingles in her front yard after a storm, her insurer didn’t dispatch a claims adjuster to investigate. It sent a drone.

The unmanned aircraft hovered above Ms. Roberts’ three-bedroom Birmingham, Ala., home and snapped photos of her roof. About a week later a check from Liberty Mutual Insurance arrived to cover repairs.

“It took a lot less time than I was expecting,” Ms. Roberts said.

Drones, photo-taking apps and artificial intelligence are accelerating what has long been a clunky, time-consuming experience: the auto or home-insurance claim.

Traditionally, an insurance claim associated with minor home damage or fender-bender auto accidents started with a phone call from a customer and ended days or weeks later with a mailed check. In between the insurer often would send an inspector to investigate the situation in person.

But about four in 10 car insurers no longer use employees to physically inspect damage in some cases, according to a LexisNexis Risk Solutions survey of insurance executives. Claims that rely on greater automation can be handled in two to three days compared with 10 to 15 days for a more traditional approach that involves an in-person visit, according to the survey.

Under Armour announces LAYOFFS as sales SLIDE

More bad news for retail. According to this CNBC report Under Armour has announced hundreds of layoffs as sales slide.

Under Armour plans to cut about 2 percent of its global workforce as it restructures its business in the face of slumping sales.

On Tuesday, the sports apparel company reported a narrower-than-expected second-quarter loss, but shares fell as the company trimmed its sales forecast for the year.

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Best Buy’s Geek Squad to Eliminate 399 Jobs

Best Buy’s Geek Squad is the latest to announce layoffs. According to this Fortune report the company will be eliminating 399 jobs.

Best Buy is eliminating 399 Geek Squad positions, but is expected to offer those employees positions within the company.

The affected positions come from Geek Squad’s “Covert Team,” who work remotely to provide technical support to customers. Best Buy says it is transitioning many of them from remote agents to roles in stores or making house calls.

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