Vacant Hotels and Unemployed Teens: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

An empty hotel that's symbolic of Vegas's bust. A parking app that's about to turn San Francisco into one big $20/hour parking lot. And why it's really, really important that you spend your formative years working at a Dairy Queen. Let's look at What's Ruining Our Cities.

A lack of working teens is ruining the economy

Right about this time of year, back when you were in high school, chances are you were scouting potential employment opportunities at the mall or the neighborhood pool. But today, teens aren't taking jobs at the rates they use to, which is depriving cities of the reliable, cheap labor that keeps things humming. In 2000, 45 percent of Americans age 16-19 worked; now only about a quarter do, the lowest rate since World War II. But the lack of working teenagers is also contributing to bigger cultural problems: Teens aren't acquiring life and social skills that will help them post-graduation, which puts the grownup workforce at risk of decline, too. [Boston Globe]

A parking app is ruining San Francisco

Hunting for parking has got to be just about the most painful part of living in any city. Now a new app hopes to make the experience even worse. It's called MoneyParking, and it allows people to auction off available parking spaces to the highest bidder. Although it may sound like the ultimate convenience since you can locate and prepay for a space, prepare to have a new generation of "space squatters" hunkering down in available spots until their bid for $50/day gets accepted. Who knows, I guess you could even auction off your driveway? [Jalopnik]

An empty hotel is ruining Vegas

More than four years after it was supposed to open, the still-not-finished Harmon Hotel is being demolished in Las Vegas. Part of the CityCenter development, the Strip-front property was plagued by problems, including faulty rebar installation which rendered the structure unsafe. Although this tower was troubled from the start, plenty of people are calling the building an example of Vegas's downfall—and there are other buildings that sit half-finished and vacant on the Strip, as well. [Gizmodo]

Top image by Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock