September 17, 2010 | 9:09am
Times are hard. You don't need Jay Leno to remind you. Double dip recession? We barely noticed a recovery in the first place. California's poverty rate is one percentage point above the already dire national average. And unemployment and the real estate crisis have combined to make L.A. one of the poorest performing economic centers in the nation, so much so that LA Biz Observed's Mark Lacter states in a headline that "L.A. is an economic basketcase."
Here are the 10 signs L.A.'s economy is continuing to struggle:Jet-set characters from Entourage get deep into drugs, porn and alcohol.City of L.A. actually tickets vehicles parked in spaces that have non-working meters. (True story).Nicolas Cage. What happened?Latinos, perennially at the bottom of the economic totem pole in L.A., now joined by Asian Americans, hipsters and other gentry in competition to sell cheap tacos from old trucks.Homeless hipsters turn off 3G service for iPhones, opting instead for free wi-fi. (Some now also hold "Will work for American Apparel t-shirt" signs).Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa now accepting free tickets to Clippers games.
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt goes without $800,000-a-year security detail (shame, but he and his soon-to-be ex-wife still have seven houses).The hot new property in Venice isn't beachfront McMansions, canal bungalows or Abbot Kinney Boulevard condos. It's RVs. Old ones.Douchey, "I-work-in-media," high-tech-viral-consultant guys with spikey hair, Audi A4s, and no particular skill sets no longer overpaid for talking loud on Blackberrys.Three-for-one lap dances. Yay! (By recently laid-off forty-somethings with three children. Not-so-yay).