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James Howard Kunstler: The World's Greatest Misallocation Of Resources

Chris Martenson - 12 hours 17 min ago

James Howard Kunstler returns to the podcast this week, observing that despite the baton being handed to a new American president, the massive predicaments we face as a society remain the same. And it seems the incoming administration is just as in denial of them as the old.

Kunstler adds fresh critique to his now decades-old warning that we are sleepwalking our way deep into the Long Emergency. The longer we delude ourselves and waste our energies in pursuit of reviving the failed "endless growth" model, the farther our journey back to a sustainable way of living will be when our current system collapses.

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Categories: Economics

'Mutual credit' on Wikipedia

Matslats - January 21, 2017 - 15:25

I just spent rather longer than I care to admit completely revamping the wikipedia article on mutual credit.

This seemed valuable to me because that idea has been the focal point of my work, and source of much inspiration, since starting this blog in 2008, and I feel it is a simple yet profound idea which is appreciated only by a few money geeks.

In addition I've never seen a definition which satisfied me, rather, people assume what it means, so maybe this article will help some future scholar to better move towards a satisfactory definition!

Categories: Blogs

Daily Digest 1/21 - Women March On Washington, What To Expect From An Unexpected Presidency

Chris Martenson - January 21, 2017 - 07:47
  • Live Coverage of the Women's March on Washington
  • All the Anger in America Has Come to Washington, D.C.
  • Donald Trump takes oath of office—what to expect from an unexpected presidency
  • Donald Trump era begins with Obamacare rollback and missile defence plan
  • Marine Le Pen hails patriotism as the policy of the future
  • Activism That Actually Works
  • California Utilities Want $1 Billion to Promote Electric Cars
  • On the climate change frontline: the disappearing fishing villages of Bangladesh

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/20 - Good News Friday: Inauguration-Goers Hope Life Will Improve Under Trump, How To Run For Office

Chris Martenson - January 20, 2017 - 08:30
  • Inauguration Day
  • Inauguration-goers: Here’s how I hope my life will improve during Trump’s presidency
  • In 1971, the People Didn’t Just March on Washington — They Shut It Down
  • What Wall Street Wants From Trump
  • If You Want to Run for Office (and You Should), Start With These Resources
  • How One Piece Of Furniture Is Fighting Off Depression
  • A Tactile Atlas Helps the Blind 'See' Maps
  • Solar Could Be A Cheaper Power Source Than Coal Within A Decade

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/19 - CA v. Trump, The Year When The World Economy Starts Coming Apart

Chris Martenson - January 19, 2017 - 11:00
  • 2017: The Year When the World Economy Starts Coming Apart
  • Major Markets at Turning Points
  • Price hearing: dramatic ACA metaphors and the meaning of “access”
  • What’s Yours Is Theirs
  • The Great Exception: California v. Trump
  • OPEC Commitments Push Iraq Towards Oil Export Deal With Kurds
  • U.S. scientists officially declare 2016 the hottest year on record. That makes three in a row.
  • Ticks, Thriving in Warm Weather, Take a Ghastly Toll on New England Moose

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Categories: Economics

Too Much Complexity Is Killing Us

Chris Martenson - January 18, 2017 - 19:13

There’s a line of thinking -- one that we ascribe to here at -- that says today’s problems are far more complex and numerous than those we've dealt with in the past. In fact, some of them are actually predicaments -- meaning they have no solutions, only outcomes that we'll need to manage.  Moribund economic growth is only as high as it is due to massive debt binging. Ecological and energy issues are accelerating, and will for sure rear their heads at inopportune times not of our choosing.

Said another way: Eventually we're going to have to pay the bill.

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Categories: Economics

10 Ways Vancouver Created a Greener, More Efficient Transportation System

Shareable Magazine - January 18, 2017 - 18:02
In 2012, the city of Vancouver in Canada's British Columbia province set a lofty transportation goal — for people to make more than 50 percent of their trips in the city by foot, bicycle, and public transit by 2020. In 2015, the city had already met its target.    As the short video by Streetfilms below shows, the city accomplished this through a multi-modal approach by making sustainable transportation safer, more convenient, and more accessible. These are some notable points mentioned in the video:  
Categories: Economics

Barcelona Crowdsourced its Sharing Economy Policies. Can Other Cities Do the Same?

Shareable Magazine - January 18, 2017 - 15:09

When the City Council of Barcelona asked democracy activist and researcher Mayo Fuster Morell for policy recommendations regarding the sharing economy, she suggested that the councillors take a different approach: Rather than relying on an expert to dictate policy from the top down, why not use a collaborative process to build a sustainable set of institutions and practices that would draw strength from the grassroots?

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/18 - Italy's Credit Rating Cut, Central Bank Normalization Isn’t as We Know It

Chris Martenson - January 18, 2017 - 06:40
  • IRS letters warn millions about health insurance penalty
  • Italians’ Public-Debt Load Up 2,617 Euros Each on Renzi Miss
  • ECB prints money at record pace amid bank bonds bonanza
  • Brazil to Revise Growth Figures After IMF Slashed Outlook
  • Central Bank Normalization Isn’t as We Know It, Davos Panel Says
  • IMF Slashes Saudi Arabia Growth Forecast on Lower Oil Output
  • DBRS cuts Italy's credit rating, posing problems for its banks

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Categories: Economics

How Co-ops Can Make Infrastructure Great Again

If the Trump administration is serious about bringing jobs and pride back to rural America, they should take a lesson from cooperatives of the 1930s.
Categories: Economics

EU Committee Releases Report on Regulating the Collaborative Economy

Shareable Magazine - January 17, 2017 - 16:28

Last year, LabGov, a think tank and action platform focused on the urban commons that's based in Rome, Italy, asked us to provide feedback on the draft of an opinion report on how to regulate the collaborative economy. The effort was spearheaded by Benedetta Brighenti — vice mayor of Castelnuovo Rangone — for the European Committee of the Regions.

Categories: Economics

Here's How Fab Market is Creating a Sustainable Marketplace

Shareable Magazine - January 17, 2017 - 13:45
Why buy something made thousands of miles away if you can source the same product locally and even play a hand in building it? This is the thinking behind Fab Market.   
Categories: Economics

Why Women in Brazil Are Turning to the Solidarity Economy

Shareable Magazine - January 17, 2017 - 10:48

With a broader understanding of the solidarity economy in Brazil in mind, testimonials from participating entrepreneurs themselves show the real advantages of this kind of work, from circumventing market exclusion to creating new kinds of spaces where women are reimagining the divide between domestic and productive spheres.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: How People Around the World Are Building a Solidarity Economy

Shareable Magazine - January 17, 2017 - 10:48

In the face of social and ecological peril, there's a movement that continues to build and resist. This podcast will take you into the heart of it.

"I can't accept the death of my imagination on a daily basis," Caroline Woolard told us when we visited her at her studio in Lower Manhattan. "I'd rather have less money and work for something that I believe in." 

Caroline is an artist who co-creates projects and institutions for and within the solidarity economy. 

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/17 - Trump Would Win Trade War With China, How Stress Leads To CVD

Chris Martenson - January 17, 2017 - 06:22
  • Trump would win trade war with China, says aide
  • May Pledges Vote on Brexit Taking U.K. Out Of EU’s Single Market
  • Trump’s Health Secretary Pick in Trouble Over Insider Trading Accusations
  • How Do You Inspire Women to Run for Office? Elect Trump.
  • Beyond Distrust: How Americans View Their Government
  • Brain Activity May Explain How Stress Leads to CVD
  • 2017 Another Year Of Excessive Volatility For Oil Prices
  • Parts of United States are heating faster than globe as a whole

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Categories: Economics

If We’re Honest, We All Know Trump’s America

Trump articulates ideas that are closer to what is considered “normal” in the United States than many of us are willing to acknowledge.
Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/16 - Millennial Money Trouble, What Is Holding Renewable Energy Back?

Chris Martenson - January 16, 2017 - 07:25
  • Eight Men Have the Same Wealth As Poorest Half: Oxfam
  • Washington: You're Fired
  • Trump to Meet Martin Luther King Jr.’s Eldest Son to Observe Holiday
  • Money trouble
  • Living Standards Better Growth Gauge Than GDP, Davos Forum Says
  • What Is Holding Renewable Energy Back?
  • Two for the Price of One: Russian Scientists Build Solar+Wind Power Generator
  • The Hermit Who Inadvertently Shaped Climate-Change Science

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 1/14 - House Clears Path For Health Law Repeal, Most Americans Don't Have $500 Saved

Chris Martenson - January 14, 2017 - 07:22
  • China’s bitcoin market: another ticking time bomb?
  • House Clears Path for Repeal of Health Law
  • Millennials are falling behind their boomer parents
  • 6 in 10 Americans don't have $500 in savings
  • Silver Prices For The Year 2017
  • Vilsack leaving USDA early, no Trump replacement named
  • Northern California drenched, but state's drought far from over
  • If Trump Builds the Wall, What Will Happen to our Food System?

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Categories: Economics

Fixing The Future

Chris Martenson - January 13, 2017 - 19:50
Executive Summary
  • The gigantic predicament we all face
  • What you should do, as a concerned individual
  • What WE should do, as a society
  • Contributing to the new narrative

If you have not yet read Part 1: Mad As Hell available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

It simply has to be said; there appears to be little to no public appetite for facing reality. 

At least not without some sort of a calamity or forcing function to press the issue that will wake up enough people and call out what leadership actually exists to finally step up and begin to deliver.

The many predicaments and extreme complexity require astonishingly great leadership to address and there’s really none of that to be found anywhere at the moment.

So we must adopt a two prong approach in our lives to both deal with the coming calamities and lay the groundwork for the next stage of things.

As it stands right now, the central banks are mainly interested in propping up the asset markets which is only serving to enrich the already stupendously rich with a few minor scraps for enough upper and middle class people to keep them content to play along.  While this is being done, enormous imbalances are being created even as the underlying structural issues remain unaddressed.

Some of these are even dead simple, single factor financial issues, which should be among the easiest to detect and address yet these to remain unexamined and unaddressed.  Examples include exponentially increasing debt-per-capita in Japan (goosed by demographics) and pensions being utterly gutted by too-low interest rates.

If the simple math of these situations is still too difficult and complex to allow for any sort of proper response, we have to then conclude that the more subtle and intractable and larger issues we face are even further out of reach.

Here I am talking about needing to...

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Categories: Economics

Mad As Hell

Chris Martenson - January 13, 2017 - 19:50

A critical movement is arising at this time in history.

Each of us can assume a role to play in its formation and development, and therefore its eventual success or failure. It's my personal belief that we are past the time where we can avoid major disruption, so each of us must be personally prepared as best we can for upheaval, while also working towards building a new and better narrative to live by.

Do you have the courage to participate?

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Categories: Economics